The Toshiba 55VL963 is an easy beast to control. The user interface is stylised and effective – just navigate upwards from the circular hub at the bottom of the screen to find what you want.
It's fast, graphical and easy; everything is just a few clicks away. No doubt acknowledging that its online portal Places is an ergonomic mess, the GUI also provides easy access to BBC iPlayer and YouTube from the main menu.
The TV also offers standard CEC control of linked HDMI products, via a single remote.
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Sonically, the Toshiba 55VL963 does a decent job. Admittedly, expectations are never high when it comes to the audio prowess of super-thin TVs.
Yet despite the limited space available for the TV's stereo drivers, and the modest 2 x 10W amplification giving them life, the screen makes an agreeably well-rounded noise. For more causal viewing, it's certainly not going to cause offence.
Taking some credit for this is Audyssey Premium Television. Audyssey is a familiar name on many AV receivers, where it provides the auto-calibration technology used to optimise sound channels. Here it contributes ABX, which uses effective processing to bolster the set's bass. All things considered, it's a remarkably effective embellishment.
When it comes to sheer value for money, the Toshiba VL963 rates highly. You get a lot of glass for your money and build quality is first class. Images also pass muster, provided you don't look too closely.
The set is capable of bold blacks and vibrant colours. There are niggling caveats regarding motion clarity though, and the set's processing foibles that had us on edge once we knew they were there.
Our recommendation would be to run this TV with Active Motion processing off; for movies and broadcast shows, it looks fine. Edge the Sharpness control back in all modes.