Toshiba 46TL963 review

The very definition of cheap and cheerful

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Great Value

Although they're certainly not perfect, the Toshiba 46TL963's pictures are better - much better, for much of the time - than its cheap price would lead you to expect.

A selection of HD feeds quickly reveals, for instance, much more detail and crispness in the Toshiba 46TL963's pictures than you commonly get at the set's price level.

Playing a crucial part in this is the lack of blurring over motion, even if you don't bother with the Active Vision 200 motion processing system. In fact, this processing can actually make pictures look worse, at least on its highest power setting.

Also contributing to the image's sense of clarity is the Toshiba 46TL963's surprisingly astute colour rendering.

Toshiba 46TL963 review

There's both a wider colour range and more subtlety in the reproduction of colour blends than you get with the vast majority of similarly affordable TVs. This proves particularly helpful when it comes to skin tones, which look much more nuanced and thus less mannequin-like than they usually do on affordable TVs.

The Toshiba 46TL963's colours impress, too, with their vibrancy. Relatively artificial, colour-rich HD material such as the animated Rio film on Blu-ray, a Sky News HD studio feed or the brilliant Borderlands 2 game positively explode off the screen.

They capture and hold your attention far more successfully than the rather muted, low-contrast colour schemes deployed by many budget TVs.

Colours as potent as those of the Toshiba 46TL963 are seldom seen unless a screen can also deliver a strong black level response. And so it proves here, where images with a mix of bright and dark material contain strikingly deep black colours, miles away from the washed-out blacks commonly witnessed at the cheaper end of the TV market.

Toshiba 46TL963 review

Even better, the Toshiba 46TL963 seems able to produce its good black levels without compromising the intensity of bright parts of mixed images nearly as much as might have been expected.

The only source content that can seriously catch the Toshiba 46TL963 out is extremely dark footage, such as night-time movie scenes. While the set's general black levels remain quite strong, having darkness dominating the screen can reveal some unevenness in the TV's backlighting.

In other words, parts of the screen show unnatural pools of light that are caused by the edge LED lighting system rather than being any part of the source image content.

These patches lose some of their intensity if you slam down the set's backlight setting, but the only way to get rid of them so much that they cease to be a distraction is to use the TV's Hollywood 1 picture preset.

Toshiba 46TL963 review

However, it's likely that most users won't feel comfortable with this mode, since it leaves images looking far less rich and punchy than they do with most of the other presets.

It's also worth throwing in here that while the colours look subtle versus most budget televisions, there is a touch more striping over colour blends than you get with more expensive TVs from the likes of Sony, Samsung and Panasonic.

Another less than brilliant performance area for the Toshiba 46TL963 is standard definition playback.

While it manages to remap non-HD Freeview broadcasts to its Full HD pixel count with good levels of sharpness and colour punch, the resulting images look a bit noisy at times, with MPEG noise and quite a lot of grain.

Toshiba 46TL963 review

Toshiba's noise reduction systems can soften away some of this noise, but they tend to leave pictures looking softer as well.

The Toshiba 46TL963 gets back to impressing us, though, with its handling of 3D.

Some previous Toshiba active 3D TVs have suffered quite heavily with crosstalk ghosting interference, but while this is still occasionally visible over background objects on the Toshiba 46TL963, it's neither common nor aggressive enough to be considered a serious problem.

Also striking is how bright and punchy 3D images look, despite the dimming impact of the active shutter glasses. Detail levels are decent too (though not quite as high definition as those of some higher spec active 3D TVs), and 3D pictures don't suffer at all badly with motion judder.

Toshiba 46TL963 review

There are a couple of problems to be aware of, though, beside the slight crosstalk already mentioned.

First, because the Toshiba 46TL963 has to run very bright with 3D to combat the dimming of the glasses, you can sometimes be aware of the backlight inconsistency problems noted earlier.

Second, Toshiba's 3D glasses are a little too narrow for comfort, letting in more light around the lenses than we'd like.

The final picture performance point to cover is input lag. And, thankfully, the Toshiba 46TL963 does well here, producing a figure of just 36ms - low enough not to severely affect your gaming performance.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyTL963
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
Brand NameToshiba
Screen Size116.8 cm (46")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityCEC
Analog TunerNTSC
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)18.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyLED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption145 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio1,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand687 mm
Width with Stand1056 mm
Depth with Stand235 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation Technology200 Active Motion Rate
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Height555 mm
Width1056 mm
Depth56 mm
Brightness400 cd/m²
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesTL963
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesDigital Noise Reduction, Ambient Lighting, Auto Program, Teletext, Auto-off, Hotel Mode
Product Model46TL963
Product Name46" Smart 3D LED TV
Manufacturer Part Number46TL963B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The 46" TL963 combines the latest LED and Smart TV technologies with 3D-ready capabilities to cater for your entertainment needs both today and tomorrow. It delivers Full HD 1080p resolution images whether you are watching 2D or 3D and high speed AMR200 processing delivers fast moving images in stunning colour and clarity. 2D to 3D conversion and 3D depth control allow you to enjoy all your existing content in 3D.

Package Contents
  • 46" Smart 3D LED TV
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
  • Instruction Manual
  • TV Stand
Response Time8 ms
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)16 kg