Toshiba's aggressive pricing of its 2009 TV range has won it many fans and numerous recommendations from us. The Toshiba 37XV635D is the 37-inch model from the XV635D range which includes Resolution+ technology, which claims to upscale any standard-definition source to 'near HD quality'. Other models in the range include the 32-inch 32XV635D and the 42-inch 42XV635D. But at £695 the 37XV635D is fairly expensive by the company's own standards, so we hope it's stuffed with extra goodies.
First impressions don't bode well; the set wears the same uninspiring, glossy black finish and no-nonsense lines as Toshiba's cheaper models.
There is a potentially useful difference, though, when you get to the sockets. For where the RV635 series (a branch lower on Toshiba's TV tree) only has a JPEG-capable USB port, the 37XV635 gets an extra SD photo card slot. Plus, its USB port brings music and DivX playback to the multimedia party.
The 37XV635 further tries to justify its extra cost with some of its features. Particularly eye-catching are a Media Player application for more sophisticated playback of your multimedia sources and the addition of 100Hz to the TV's processing suite.
The latter, which makes motion look smoother and sharper, is integrated into Toshiba's wide ranging Active Vision HD Pro video processing engine. This is in turn supported by Resolution+, the usually impressive proprietary scaling engine that converts standard-def images to the 37XV635's full HD resolution.
After tweaking some of the surprisingly plentiful picture adjustments in the 37XV635's menus (including a colour management system), we managed to get a decent picture. But perhaps not quite good enough to justify the 37XV635's extra cost over cheaper Toshiba models.
But the good news is that the 37XV635 produces a pretty good black level response, leaving dark scenes engaging and believable.
Thanks to Resolution+, meanwhile, the television also delivers a superior standard definition performance that makes Freeview broadcasts and DVDs look crisp, without introducing unpleasant block or dot noise.
The 100Hz system, meanwhile, does marginally reduce the 37XV635's motion blur versus the cheaper RV series; colours are well saturated and subtly blended and the set sounds more robust than the lower range, too.
However, there's still a modicum of motion blur around, and worse, the 37XV635's picture exhibits the same fairly profound lack of brightness witnessed on Toshiba's cheaper TVs.
The HD pictures also look slightly softer than those of some rival TVs. That said, this is a telly that's being discounted online, in which case it's well worth a look.
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