Toshiba 40rv753b

This year Toshiba has jumped on the DLNA networking bandwagon, and as a result the 40RV753B enables you to stream music, video and photos from Windows 7 laptops.

You'll need to connect the set to your router via Ethernet, or buy an optional Toshiba USB dongle and hook it up wirelessly. The dongle (WLM-10U2) supports 802.11b/a/g/n and will set you back around £60, which is a fairly hefty premium, but it's worth it for the added convenience.

At the heart of the 40RV753B is Meta Brain, the processing engine that pulls all the picture strings. Among the tech under its jurisdiction is Active Vision II, not the souped-up 100Hz or 200Hz versions found inside the SL and WL series respectively.

This aims to improve the picture in four key areas (colour, contrast, movement and detail) without any of the frame-insertion technology designed to reduce motion blur. That leaves the 40RV735B with bog standard 50Hz processing, but at this sort of price that doesn't come as a massive surprise.

Also sheltering under the Meta Brain umbrella is a 're-engineered' version of Resolution+, which is designed to make standard-definition pictures look like high-definition by sharpening up edges and detail in the areas that need it. On previous Toshiba sets the technology hasn't quite lived up to the marketing hype, doing a better job with HD material than SD, so we're keen to see how this new version fares.

Meta Brain also includes Auto View and Dolby Volume. The former uses an ambient light sensor to adjust the backlight automatically to suit to the conditions of the room (dimmer in darkness, brighter in well-lit rooms) while the former keeps the sound at a constant level to prevent aggressive double glazing adverts scaring the bejesus out of you.

Connectivity is excellent. You get four HDMI inputs, three on the back and one on the side, which should be enough to cater for most people's collection of hi-def kit. They're joined by Scart, component and PC (D-Sub) inputs, plus an optical digital audio output, an Ethernet port and a common interface slot for adding pay TV channels.

Also on the side are two USB ports that let you play MP3 and JPEG files from storage devices, which is a nice touch at this price. One of these can be used for the wireless USB dongle.