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Toshiba 42RV635 review

Budget MetaBrains for all with the new Toshiba LCD TV

Toshiba 42RV635
The Toshiba 42RV635 has a MetaBrain to process images and does a very good job with SD sources

Our Verdict

Not many TVs can upscale standard def feeds and make them look as good as this one does. HD is equally impressive although the sound is a bit weak


  • Resolution+ works well on standard def
  • Good value


  • Poor viewing angle
  • Limited brightness levels

Considering it costs just £750, we're pleasantly surprised to find the 42RV635 boasting not one but two potentially exciting features: an environmentally friendly panel and a MetaBrain.

The eco panel operates at far lower power levels than those found on the company's cheaper AV635 models. And MetaBrain is the fancy name given to a suite of picture processing technology including Toshiba's Active Vision II and Resolution+ systems.

The former works on multiple picture elements, such as colour, contrast, detailing and motion control, while Resolution+ makes standard-definition look startlingly sharp via techniques derived from Toshiba's PC Cell processors.

More good news finds a good looking chassis complete with illuminated Toshiba logo, no less. And the connections don't let the side down, including as they do an impressive four HDMIs and a JPEG-friendly USB port.

The 42RV635 is remarkably flexible for its money, too, with loads of picture tweaks – including a full colour management system – housed within its onscreen menus.


This sense that the 42RV635 is a bargain continues to grow once you clap eyes on the TV's standard-def pictures. For Resolution+ continues to deliver SD results that precious few premium priced TVs can match, let alone other budget models.

Standard-definition pictures look impressively sharp and detailed, and this extra clarity is achieved without creating the sort of video noise that besmirches the SD performances of so many rivals.

The 42RV635 also recreates HD images with noticeably more clarity and detail than Toshiba's lower resolution LCD TVs. Concerns you might have held about the eco panel potentially harming picture quality prove unfounded, as the low-power panel seems to help to produce a more convincing black level than its less efficient siblings.

There's still a little blueness in parts of the picture that should be black, but it's not seriously distracting. The black level improvements help colours look more convincing during dark scenes too, and prevents them from looking so one dimensional.

The 42RV635D's biggest issue is the way pictures lose colour and contrast quite drastically if watched from any sort of angle. It also has to be said that although SD pictures are excellent, those produced by Toshiba's cheaper, non-full HD sets are fractionally better still.

The 42RV635D's sound, meanwhile, sometimes succumbs to wince-inducing harshness during loud action scenes. But the speakers at least pack more punch than those of many affordable flat TVs.

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