The LED backlight is by far the most interesting thing about the 40SL753. The set doesn't attempt any local dimming like some of the other recent edge LED sets we've seen (this is probably a good thing given how problematic such efforts have looked so far) and there isn't anything obviously special about the type, quality or number of diodes lights the set uses.
The 40SL753 provides a modicum of control over the light level of the LEDs reasonably well, thanks to a dedicated backlight adjustment, a dynamic contrast control that can automatically adjust the light output in response to the image content and an Autoview mode that can adjust the picture's brightness to suit ambient lighting conditions.
We got lots of mileage out of the 40SL753's backlight adjustment, but tended to treat the automated adjustments with suspicion - especially the ambient light metering one. In fact, we ultimately kept the AutoView picture preset option permanently off.
Of much more interest to us and anyone keen on optimising the 40SL753's picture quality is its startlingly far-reaching colour management system.
This enables you to adjust the hue, saturation and brightness of all six of the main red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and cyan colour elements. A Colour Temperature menu option also enables you to tinker with the offset and gain settings for the red, green and blue colour elements.
Thanks to the slightly more dynamic colour palette made possible by the backlight, we got more genuinely useful mileage out of these colour management tools than we have on Toshiba's CCFL LCD models. It's well worth securing a calibration aid like the HD Video Essentials Blu-ray if you buy this TV, as spending a little time tweaking all the colour options can definitely yield positive results.
The colour management tools are by no means the only surprising fine-tuning tricks the 40SL753 gives you, either. There's also the option to adjust the TV's static gamma preset (which can have a bearing on black level tone and shadow detail response).
Then there's a simple but effective sliding bar adjustment for shifting the set's black and white balance, and separate noise reduction tools for tackling MPEG digital tuner noise and standard video noise.
We preferred to leave both these noise reduction systems off with HD, as they frequently softened the picture unnecessarily. But provided you never set them higher than their 'Low' level, they can improve the look of standard definition sources slightly.
Toshiba has also given you the option of turning off the set's Active Vision M100 100Hz processing engine, and there's even a further optional tool dubbed 'Film Stabilisation' that allegedly introduces extra fluidity to HD pictures.
We didn't get much out of this latter feature, other than it making us reflect that some of the set's more complex tools and tricks could really have done with more explanation than they got in the phenomenally brief instructions manual.
Exactly the same can be said of the 40SL753's Control Visualisation menu option. Choose this if you've got the Autoview picture mode active and it will show you continually adjusting graphs of the picture's brightness and pixel control processing levels. But while these might interest you for about 10 seconds, they're ultimately all but useless as picture calibration aids.
Still, while some of the 40SL753's picture features might be more useful than others, they're still impressively numerous for a decently affordable edge LED TV. And the same goes for its connections.
Four HDMIs get the ball rolling, one of which is a v1.4 affair offering an audio return channel to compatible receivers. Not surprisingly, though, this port doesn't also take in full HD 3D.
Also impressive for a mid-price set is the 40SL753's pair of USBs, which can take in digital photos or, in USB 2's case, house an optional Wi-Fi dongle. Why would you need such a dongle? Because the 40SL753 can take in video, photo and music files from DLNA-capable PCs, though sadly only Windows 7 models.
The 40SL753 doesn't have any online services though, and with the optional Wi-Fi dongle costing a cool £60, you might decide to just make do with the provided Ethernet port if you want to avail yourself of the DLNA features. The Ethernet also offers mandatory support for the Freeview HD tuner that's built into the TV.
Still further multimedia aid comes from an SD card slot, offering an alternative means of playing digital photos, plus the more expected D-Sub PC jack.
The 40SL753's USB and SD slots don't play music or video files; for that sort of flexibility, you'll have to step up to the WL753 range. The WL753 series also introduces Toshiba's first online functiona, though as far as we can tell, this is currently limited to YouTube access.
Wrapping up the 40SL753's features is Toshiba's Resolution+. This proprietary engine for adding detail and sharpness to pictures remains one of the better such systems around, though we'd recommend that you never set it higher than level three, or else the system can start to make pictures look a bit gritty.