Toshiba 46yl863 review

Usability

Toshiba has long persevered with a rather drab and long-winded text-only menu system that's still found on some of its more affordable TVs.

Happily, though, the brand has thought out of the box with the Toshiba 46YL863, producing an innovative and mostly effective on-screen menu system based around a neat and fluid 'concentric circles' design. Excellent.

The Places menus are very clean, colourful, logical and inviting for the most part, too, while the remote control is logically organised.

The auto-calibration kit is a bold attempt to make professional set up of a TV easier for normal folk to achieve too, even if its cost is prohibitive and its results not quite perfect.

Toshiba 46yl863 review

There are one or two usability problems, though. First, while the remote control's buttons are effective, the sliding silver sheath on the remote control - intended to cover up a series of rarely used buttons - makes it feel a bit faffy to hold and use.

The other annoyance occurs if you try to access either YouTube or the BBC iPlayer from within the Places menu. Even though there are icons there for both services, selecting them just generates a message telling you that you first need to exit the Places menus and access the two services through a different route. Daft.

Sound

TVs as skinny as the Toshiba 46YL863 notoriously find it difficult to produce all but the most basic of audio performances. But Toshiba's television set is an impressive exception to the rule.

For a start, it's able to play louder without succumbing to vibration or harshness than most of its 'size zero' rivals - a situation not harmed by the impressive robustness of its metallic chassis.

Even better, it manages to produce a bit of something that's completely alien to 95% of super-skinny TVs: bass. The built-in subwoofer enables action scenes to enjoy at least a little rumble, which makes them sound hugely more satisfying and engaging than most 'wafer-thin' flatscreen TV sound stages.

Also, the Toshiba 46YL863 is able to open up its audio mix quite nicely when required, giving its sound performance at least a couple more gears than you usually get with flatscreen TVs.

Value

Obviously you can't ignore the fact that £1,300 is a hefty price for a 46-inch TV these days. But the Toshiba 46YL863 is worthy of the money in most ways, delivering an excellent 2D picture performance and a strong feature count.

The only things that should give you pause for thought are its crosstalk problems with 3D and its currently limited online content.