Toshiba 40RL953 review

This mid-range Freeview HD screen is no triumph for Toshiba

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In the wake of the highly impressive Toshiba 46YL853 and more than decent Toshiba 40RL858, we had high hopes for the Toshiba 40RL953.

We expected to find an attractive, affordable 40-inch TV with decent performance and broad multimedia capability, but the Toshiba 40RL953 proved instead that sometimes in life you don't get what you wish for.

We liked

Some aspects of the screen are certainly as good as, if not better than, other 40-inch TVs. It's a peach to look at, has excellent USB file compatibility, is a cinch to use and delivers solid, enjoyable Blu-ray and Sky pictures once you've played around with the versatile image adjustment tools.

We disliked

The HDMI problem of intermittent black lines across the screen (which we put down to a faulty sample) and occasional image jerkiness are letdowns. The Freeview tuner's pictures are a tad soft, with waxy-looking skin, while shadow detail and motion resolution are both poor. The remote control is porcine ugly and unenjoyable to handle.

Final verdict

The Toshiba 40RL953 is a mixed bag. It's tasty looking and is capable of delivering fairly decent images, but is inconsistent and too fussy about which sources it needs to do so.

Likewise, there are some good things to say about its connected TV portal, but lack of content options means Toshiba Places is not the ultimate of smart TV places.

Also consider

The Toshiba 40RL858 is a fairly similar proposition to the Toshiba 40RL953, only it's currently a little more affordable. We found its performance more consistent with our expectations of the mid-value market.

The attractive LG 42LV450U is also cheaper than the Toshiba 40RL953 and has good quality images, but suffers from the lack of a Freeview HD tuner and absence of smart TV features.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Product FamilyRL953
EU Energy LabelA+
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Analog TunerNTSC
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating Power Consumption90 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio1,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Motion Interpolation Technology100 Active Motion Rate
Height506 mm
Width735 mm
Depth206 mm
Brightness350 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesRL953
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesDigital Noise Reduction, Ambient Lighting, Auto Program, Teletext, Auto-off, Hotel Mode
Product Model40RL953
Product Name40" Smart LED TV
Manufacturer Part Number40RL953B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The 40" RL953 Smart TV series brings more quality content and connectivity to your home.

Delivering stunning Full HD 1080p image quality the RL series features built-in Freeview HD for access to terrestrial HD programmes, internet content and catch-up TV services including YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Facebook. You can also get access to a range of other online content from Acetrax movies, Flickr, Aupeo internet radio and more through the Toshiba Places internet portal accessed via your TV at the touch of a button. The added convenience of smartphone & tablet remote control operation is also included.

Package Contents
  • 40" Smart LED TV
  • Remote Control
  • Battery
  • Instruction Manual
  • TV Stand Integrated
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)14 kg