Toshiba 42VL963 review

Ambitious but oh-so-slow Edge LED telly with passive 3D

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With a wired LAN-only Toshiba Places platform a tad short on apps, and an obstinate user interface, it would be easy to dismiss this 42-inch Edge LED, but it's picture is just too versatile to ignore.

We liked

Judged purely on picture quality, the 42VL963 is as good an all-rounder as we've seen at this price; 2D and 3D are both handled well, and even standard definition sources look tight.

Active Vision works well at removing judder from Blu-ray, and there's enough in the way of contrast and black level to provide a good basis for an above-average picture.

It's also good to see dedicated shortcuts to both BBC iPlayer and YouTube on the central carousel since it stops us having to bother firing up Toshiba Places.

And with the lights on, the 42VL963 is one of the best-looking TVs around at this price.

We disliked

Toshiba Places lacks Wi-Fi, is slow, and is devoid of must-have video content. Nor is the 42VL963 a great TV to live with; saddled with an overly fussy and slow user interface, there's a worrying delay between a poorly-designed remote control and the 42VL963, so much so that we genuinely thought we'd picked up the wrong remote control on several occasions.

Final verdict

Great value 2D, 3D and upscaled SD images are interrupted by a lacklustre Toshiba Places and an all-round slow user interface that's frustrating to use.

Toshiba Places is hardly the smart TV platform of our dreams, and nor does the 42VL963 seem able to handle app data quickly enough.

Despite its core quality and luscious design, the 42VL963 is saddled with a poor remote control and can be frustrating to live with.

Also consider

Hovering around the same price as this Toshiba is another passive 3DTV, the Panasonic TX-L42ET5B, which boasts a better smart TV platform and a far more effective remote control.

Panasonic also makes an active shutter 3D variant, the Panasonic TX-L42ET50B which includes a polished chrome floating bezel.

LG also makes a huge variety of passive 3DTVs, including the LM660T Series and LM670T Series, though its larger 50-inch 50PM670T active shutter 3D plasma goes for the same price as this 42-inch Toshiba.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyVL963
3D Type3D
Smart TVYes
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityCEC
Analog TunerNTSC
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)15 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption122 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio7,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand634 mm
Width with Stand995 mm
Depth with Stand235 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
3D TechnologyPolarized
3D ConversionYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation Technology400 Active Motion Rate
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Height579 mm
Width995 mm
Depth42 mm
Brightness360 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemAudyssey EQ, Dolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesVL963
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesDigital Noise Reduction, Ambient Lighting, Auto Program, Teletext, Hotel Mode, Auto-off
Product Model42VL963B
Product Name42" Smart 3D LED TV
Manufacturer Part Number42VL963B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The 42" VL963 offers the latest 3D and Smart TV technologies delivered in a sleek sheet of glass design to offer a complete TV solution. Experience sharp, vivid, lifelike images in 2D or 3D with incredible depth and viewing comfort. Super high speed AMR400 processing delivers stunning colour, clarity and fast moving image quality. 2D to 3D conversion and 3D depth control allow you to enjoy all your existing content in 3D.

Package Contents
  • 42" Smart 3D LED TV
  • 4 x Pairs of 3D Glasses
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
Response Time10 ms
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)12.90 kg