We started on the Toshiba 40RL858's Hollywood 1 picture mode for the sake of simplicity. This avoids the occasional haloing of bright objects (something that a light sensor-driven feature called AutoView also appears to cause), although it's worth increasing the contrast and brightness a notch or two. But having done so, there's nowhere to save settings as a user preset. Doh!
With our Star Wars IV V VI Blu-ray boxset in tow, the Toshiba 40RL858's Edge LED-lit backlight appears as annoying as a Gungan, with some light leakage at the bottom and sides of the screen jarring during the dingy, muted scenes inside the Jawa sandcrawler on Tatooine. It's not an unusual sight on similarly priced sets, but it's nonetheless a hardware characteristic that's tricky to get around.
Those same scenes reveal a fairly profound attempt at black, although a lot of shadow detail is lost across C3PO and the other droids. Colour is generally good, but not as nuanced as a high-end set, with ColourMaster adding little.
The preceding handheld camera-driven scenes in Star Wars IV of R2D2 being hunted down by Jawas shows up a touch of shimmer around moving edges, and we also noticed a slight blur as R2D2 moves, although the picture is very obviously Full HD.
It's actually worth toning down Hollywood 1's sharpness setting to banish what little background noise there is on Blu-rays, and thereby achieving an even cleaner image.
Even with standard definition DVDs, it's worth sticking to the Hollywood 1 setting, which takes down the backlight sufficiently to hide the otherwise incessant picture noise in backgrounds.
Watching Djokovic Vs Murray from the Australian Open on BBC2, the MPEG digital noise reduction cleans up some of that noise, but adds some jagged edges.
Overall, standard definition sources are coped with reasonably well, with DVDs especially looking smooth and very watchable.
Switching to BBC HD for the rest of Djokovic Vs Murray, the immediately crisper, more precise picture is obvious, although a moving overhead shot of the Rod Laver Arena still produced diagonal jagged edges from the court markings.
As Murray rolled his body from side to side while awaiting Djokovic's serve, his face blurred. But aside from this, and other issues caused by the LCD panel, the Toshiba 40RL858 is a decent, good value canvas for watching Freeview HD fare.