Toshiba 46TL868B review

Toshiba once again delivers a non-budget TV for a budget price

TODO alt text

Toshiba 46tl868b review

3D picture

So far the Toshiba 46TL868B has done nothing but over-achieve for its price point. And happily this trend largely continues with its picture performance.

Starting with 3D (having secured a pair of Toshiba's impressively light and rechargeable new active shutter 3D glasses, sold as extras), the Toshiba 46TL868B hits the right note immediately, by delivering an impressive amount of brightness and colour richness with its 3D images.

Sure, wearing the active 3D glasses does lead to a drop off in brightness, but it's nothing like as extreme as it tends to be with some active shutter 3D TVs - especially the more affordable ones.

The decent brightness helps 3D colours look likably natural, as well as bringing out a reasonable amount of tonal subtlety in dark parts of 3D images.

The Full HD nature of the Toshiba 46TL868B's active 3D images is clearly apparent, too, in the strikingly high detail you can see when watching Full HD 3D Blu-rays. Even when there's a lot of motion in the frame, the Toshiba 46TL868B manages to keep things looking crisp and textured - something that cheap TVs usually struggle to do even in 2D mode, never mind 3D.

Also contributing to the clarity of the Toshiba 46TL868B's 3D images is the fact that they're surprisingly little affected by crosstalk noise. The ghosting problem certainly doesn't appear routinely like it can on so many active 3D TVs - even some that cost considerably more than this one. It's still visible around bright or colour-rich objects during quite deep shots, but for the most part it's only a minor and occasional irritation rather than the really destructive force we might have expected.

In fact, it's the 3D image's clarity that sticks in the mind much more than any crosstalk issues.

2D picture

Toshiba 46tl868b review

Although mostly much better than they've any right to be for under £700, the Toshiba 46TL868B's 3D pictures do suffer with a bit of a problem during very dark scenes. During these you can sometimes see clear evidence of backlight inconsistency in the TV's top left and right corners. What's more, the fact that the areas of extra brightness are essentially a 2D artefact lying across the surface of a 3D image tends to make them look more obvious.

It's no surprise whatsoever to find backlight consistency issues also playing a part in the Toshiba 46TL868B's 2D performance. However, thankfully the problem is much easier to control with 2D than 3D, because there's no need to feed the picture with as much brightness once you don't have to contend with the dimming effect of the 3D glasses.

Take the backlight down to a sensible level - certainly below 70 and ideally between 55 and 60 if your room isn't very bright - and the backlight consistency issues become so minor that you'll only even be vaguely aware of them during a tiny fraction of your overall viewing time.

Dark scenes in 2D mode reveal the Toshiba 46TL868B to have a rather good black level response by the standards of similarly affordable TVs too. Admittedly the backlight, brightness and contrast settings you will probably end up with in your quest for the best black level performance will leave dark scenes sometimes looking a bit short of shadow detail. But this is a relatively small contrast problem by the standards of the affordable TV market at large.

The sharpness and detail evident with HD 2D pictures, meanwhile, handsomely picks up the baton from the clarity noted with HD 3D images, and again goes comfortably beyond the level you might expect at the Toshiba 46TL868B's price point.

Toshiba 46tl868b review

The motion clarity noted in 3D mode is even more striking in 2D too. Indeed, it's arguably in this performance aspect more than any other that the Toshiba 46TL868B most rises above its price point.

That said, the set also humbles the vast majority of other affordable TVs with its colours. Their vibrancy and range is even more obvious in 2D mode than in 3D, avoiding both the washed out and off-key looks that are quite common at the more affordable end of the TV market.

In fact, there are a few considerably more expensive TVs we can think of that can't match the Toshiba 46TL868B's colour vibrancy.

Standard definition

While HD TV pictures look startlingly good, aside from the occasional minor backlight flaw, though, the Toshiba 46TL868B does reveal its relative affordability a little more with standard definition sources - or weak quality ones, at least. With these, the set tends to exaggerate whatever noise (MPEG or otherwise) they might contain to a sometimes quite distracting degree.

To be fair, the set does carry noise reduction circuitry, but this tends to leave pictures looking a little soft and laggy.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyTL868
3D Type3D
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size116.8 cm (46")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityEU Ecolabel, RoHS
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)16.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption144 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio5,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand704 mm
Width with Stand1056 mm
Depth with Stand287 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate200 Hz
Height636 mm
Width1056 mm
Depth57 mm
Brightness400 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesTL868
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Child Lock, Hotel Mode, Auto Program
Product Model46TL868
Product Name46TL868 LED-LCD TV
Manufacturer Part Number46TL868B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

3D-ready TV. The TL series combines the latest LED and Smart TV technologies with 3D-ready capabilities to cater for your entertainment needs both today and tomorrow. It delivers Full HD 1080p resolution images whether you are watching 2D or 3D and 100Hz processing delivers stunning colour, clarity and fast moving image quality. You can also access internet TV content from YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Flickr.

The TL also features the Toshiba Places internet portal for access to a range of other internet content from Viewster, Woomi, Box Office 365 and more, all accessed via your TV at the touch of a button. Freeview HD allows access to terrestrial HD programmes and wireless content sharing in your home via DLNA and USB playback is also included.

Package Contents
  • 46TL868 LED-LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x 'AAA' Batteries
  • Instruction Manual
  • TV Stand
Response Time8 ms
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)13.25 kg