Toshiba 37RL853B review

A decent mid-range 37-inch LCD TV with Freeview HD and a bucketful of picture adjustment options

Toshiba 37RL853B review
A good budget LCD TV, but not one that will challenge the ruling elite

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Toshiba 37rl853b

Some of last year's Toshiba screens suffered badly from excessive MPEG noise but the 37RL853B is significantly better in this respect.

Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief stored on our Sky+ HD box in standard definition features a scene where Cary Grant chases a thief across some rooftops at night. The pitch black skies are a great test of a how solid a picture a panel can muster. The results are not perfect, as part of the picture can clearly be seen to break up, but it's not the overwhelmingly disastrous distraction we've seen before. And the same scene in HD is completely solid.

The same HD recording also shows the 37RL853's talent for serving up finely detailed static images. A shot of the watching crowd in their fancy dress features some interesting characters and you can clearly see every detail and nuance of their sun-withered faces. Their costumes also show how well the screen renders a diverse colour palette with accurate well-contained hues.

When watching a movie it pays to experiment with the various modes. In a bright room it's better to stick with the Standard mode than either of the Hollywood modes, which reduce the backlight and contrast such that the picture seems limp and dull.

The Autoview mode is worth trying but can't be relied upon, for example when watching cricket the green grass is far too bright.

Blu-rays serve to reiterate the panel's strengths and weaknesses. No Country For Old Men has some vast desert skies that are served up with a high level of noise and DNR seems to have little effect. There are also plenty of dark scenes that show that shadow detail is not the best but at least the detail in well-lit scenes is very good.

Avatar looks superb: the level of detail in Sully's face at the first Pandora briefing is astonishing. Overall there's very little motion judder and colours remain true.

The Freeview picture is generally very good, especially the three HD channels. The standard definition picture is about par for the course and engaging Resolution+ certainly sharpens things up. Finally, viewing angles are very good.