Toshiba 46TL968B review

Active shutter 3D is optional on this 46-inch smart TV with Wi-Fi

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Great Value

It might be built for HD, but the Toshiba 46TL968B manages a decent performance with standard-definition content, too. Everybody Loves Raymond on Channel 4 is nicely upscaled, with Toshiba's much-loved Resolution+ removing all but the occasional stain of mosquito noise.

With bright colours and plenty of contrast, a broadcast of MasterChef: The Professionals on the BBC HD channel adds sumptuous detail to that list of positive first impressions.

Toshiba 46TL968B review

2D Blu-ray

Switch the lights off and power up the Blu-ray player - in 2D, for now - and the Toshiba 46TL968 immediately shows us one flaw; LED light leakage. In our sample we could see it most clearly in the bottom right-hand corner, though such misting was evident to a lesser extent along both sides of the screen.

It's distracting if you watch a murky sequence where black dominates; in our test disc Pacific, a close-up shot of a soldier waiting in his foxhole at night on Guadalcanal featured a misty patch on his shoulder.

However, switch the lights back on, or watch brighter fare, and you'll never see it.

Toshiba 46TL968B review

Aside from that, the Toshiba 46TL968 initially does very well indeed using the preset Hollywood Pro setting, which helps create a contrast-heavy image with muted yet realistic colour gradations.

We did notice slight glare around the glowing ammunition leaving the American guns in the dead of night, but black is dealt with reasonably well, with just enough shadow detail.

However, brighter sequences from Pacific, such as when the marines trawl the cadaver-strewn Alligator Creek for signs of life, are where the Toshiba 46TL968 shines, with excellent fine detailing and incredibly lifelike colour throughout this harrowing scene. There is, however, some image lag and a definite judder throughout.

Toshiba 46TL968B review

Buried in the Toshiba 46TL968's Advanced Picture Settings menu is ClearScan, which is available on four settings - complete de-activation, Standard, Middle and High power.

Once used it brings problems, because by upping the frame rate (by inserting guessed-at frames of video) this circuitry introduces a silky smooth look to video. It reduces the instance of motion blur and banishes judder altogether, so much so that it's hard to go back to 'normal' Blu-ray.

However, it also brings problems. Set to its highest strength, Clear Scan makes a fast-moving sequence of the goodies engaging the baddies in paddy fields so much easier to watch in terms of movement, but causes distracting flicker around almost everything that moves.

Toshiba 46TL968B review

The picture does look more detailed, however. Tone ClearScan down to middle power and the problem recedes, but not enough, while the standard setting is spotless, yet arguably doesn't get anywhere the smooth, hyper-real look that ClearScan is there to create.

It may be problematic, but we do wish tech such as ClearScan was given a shortcut on the remote - we're pretty sure most buyers of the Toshiba 46TL968 will never, ever even notice ClearScan as an option.

Another issue we noticed while testing the Toshiba 46TL968 was its relatively poor viewing angle; slip to off-centre and the colours and contrast begin to drain from the image.

3D Blu-ray

Before engaging with 3D proper, we did put Pacific through the 3D conversion engine, though the results were confused. Depth and foreground weren't always where they should have been, and movement was somewhat jerky, though the Toshiba 46TL968's onscreen menu looked great.

This time ClearScan isn't an option - it's greyed-out in the Picture settings menus - and nor is it available with a bona fide 3D Blu-ray disc.

Toshiba 46TL968B review

That's a shame, because during the opening sequence of Hugo the Toshiba 46TL968 displayed some image lag, though detail and depth within still shots impressed amid barely a whiff of double-imaging/crosstalk.

There was also a tendency for some of the 3D shots - notably the clock towering above the train station - to look divorced from the picture, and rather fake. This isn't something that the TV's 3D depth adjuster can do much about; all that brings is crosstalk.