Despite being associated in the UK with the relatively affordable end of the TV market, Toshiba's decision to leap early into the new, premium 4K TV sector isn't as surprising as it might initially seem.

Scores in depth
Toshiba 65L9363DB review scores
Toshiba 65L9363DB review scores
Toshiba 65L9363DB review scores
Toshiba 65L9363DB review scores
Toshiba 65L9363DB review scores

For if you've got a good memory/not enough else going on your life, you might remember that Toshiba launched a TV with a 4K pixel count a full 18 months ago: the 55ZL2.

In the case of that 55-inch set, though, the 4K resolution was a function of Toshiba's well-meant but ultimately unsuccessful stab at delivering a watchable glasses-free 3D experience.

With the new 65L9363DB 4K TV filling our field of vision today, the 4K resolution is all about, well, 4K resolution.

The 8,294,400 pixels are there predominantly so you can enjoy the maximum picture resolution from the upcoming 4K sources we expect to start appearing next year.

Though with a bit of luck, the 65L9363DB's new CEVO 4K processing engine might also be clever enough to deliver a quality boost to your existing HD and even standard definition sources.

The extra resolution it carries should also bolster the 65L9363DB's passive 3D system, enabling you to enjoy a genuine full HD 3D experience rather than the reduced-resolution experience passive 3D gives on normal HD TVs.

Toshiba 65L9363DB review

Also standing out on the 65L9363DB's spec sheet is Toshiba's Cloud TV smart system of DLNA streaming and online applications, and an extremely extensive set of picture calibration tools in keeping with the set's ambition to curry favour with really serious AV fans.

The 65L9363DB is joined in Toshiba's 4K ranks by a 58-inch model, the 58L9363DB, which has the distinction of being the cheapest - at £2,999 - 4K TV currently on sale in the UK. Naturally, we'll be testing this too as soon as we can get hold of one.

If 4K doesn't interest you or, more likely, you just can't stretch your budget to 4K levels, Toshiba's highest-level HD LCD TVs are the L7 series, comprising the 58-inch 58L7365, the 50-inch 50L7355 and the 40-inch 40L7355.

Features

The 65L9363DB's design is more 'smart casual' than 'black tie'. Its skinny frame is suitably on trend and gains extra fashion kudos for making you wonder how such a large expanse of screen can be supported by apparently so little bodywork.

The silver areas of its finish look a bit cheap compared to the metallic or glass-like finishes sported by some high-end rivals though, and while the open-framed table stand you get with the TV is attractive and robustly built, it doesn't hold the screen quite as rigidly as we might like.

Toshiba's entry-level screens are often justly praised for the amount of connections and features they carry, so it's no surprise to find this flagship model packing plenty of feature heat beyond its main attraction of a 3840x2160 native pixel count.

Toshiba 65L9363DB review

For starters it sports Toshiba's new Cloud TV online system, complete with a revamped interface and access to a selection of online applications and video-streaming services.

It doesn't take too long to discover, though, that this online service is pretty low on content versus the Smart TV platforms now offered by some rivals - most noticeably LG and Samsung. The only video-streaming services of note, for instance, are the BBC iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube and KnowHow Movies. Which means there's no LoveFilm, no ITV Player, no 4oD and no Demand 5 - to name but four.

There are signs of genuine innovation in Toshiba's Cloud TV platform, though. Its inclusion of a Twitter feed showing posts associated with the top three trending programmes is clever, if ultimately ruined by the distinctly un-family-friendly language of so many of Twitter's users, and we genuinely liked the little group of onscreen avatars who recommend upcoming programmes from different genres - despite the avatars' rather low-res appearance.

Apparently, Toshiba will at some point add another avatar able to make recommendations based on an analysis of your viewing history, but as yet we don't have a confirmed date for this.

We also appreciate Toshiba's efforts when it comes to providing search tools to help you track down content across the set's many different source options, and the ability to sync the TV listings to a MediaGuide app on your iOS or Android smart device so that you can browse channels on your portable screen without interrupting what's showing on the main TV.

Toshiba 65L9363DB review

Ultimately, though, there's no disguising that Toshiba needs to add more video services before it can start to mix it with the best the Smart TV world has to offer.

As you would expect, the online services we've just been talking about are delivered by both a LAN port and built-in Wi-Fi - and just as predictably, these connections also permit streaming of video, photo and music files from networked DLNA-enabled PCs.

You've also got both USB and SD card ports for direct playback of media from those storage devices, while other key connections include four HDMI ports.

These HDMIs are not built to the 4K-friendly HDMI 2.0 spec, but they can currently play 4K signals up to 30FPS, and Toshiba assures us that a firmware update at some point will enable them to support 4K up to 60P - though almost certainly only at an 8-bit, 10.2MB or so data rate with 4:2:0 colour sampling.

The Panasonic L65WT600 with its cutting-edge HDMI 2.0 ports and proprietary data handling chips can handle up to 18MB 4:4:4 signals by comparison.

Inevitably, the 65L9363DB supports 3D playback, opting for LG's passive format and providing four pairs of glasses for instant family 3D action.

The screen is lit by an edge LED lighting system and driven by Toshiba's 800AMR processing engine, which combines a native 100Hz panel with backlight scanning and frame interpolation elements to give a claimed 800Hz-like motion effect.

If you're a die-hard tinkerer or fancy getting your TV professionally calibrated by an expert, the 65L9363DB's got your back thanks to a seriously extensive collection of picture calibration aids - including the key gamma, colour management and white balance fine tuning tools.