Toshiba 40sl753 3

At the risk of kicking off too negatively, the first thing we should say is that we toyed with only giving the 40SL753 a three out of five for pictures, on account of one particular weakness. But in the end the combined strengths of the good points just persuaded us to nudge up to four.

Having mentioned it, we might as well get that flaw out of the way first. And it's actually pretty predictable given the set's edge LED nature: inconsistent backlighting.

During dark scenes it's impossible not to notice how three of the four corners of the picture show clear 'jets' of excess brightness surging into the picture for a couple of inches or so. The intensity of these light spillages reduces with every millimetre they extend away from the corners, but that doesn't make them any less noticeable.

Our review sample also revealed a couple of more subtle but larger pools of lighting inconsistency during dark scenes, occupying quite a few square inches to the top left of centre and bottom centre of the image.

You can reduce the problem if you really hammer down the backlight setting. But by the time you've got down to the 30-35 setting that really makes a big impact on the light inconsistencies, you've suddenly got a picture that looks rather flat and lifeless.

Limited viewing angle

While we're in a moany state of mind, we should also say that the 40SL753 has a really limited viewing angle, with contrast and colour integrity dropping dramatically if viewed from any angle wider than 35°.
Finally in the negative column, the set's HD pictures don't look quite as pin-sharp as we've seen them on some rival sets. This seems to be caused by some residual motion blur, for relatively static HD shots tend to look more detailed and crisp.

That said, the 100Hz engine certainly does reduce judder and blur from the set's 'native' state, as becomes evident if you turn the system off. And the remaining motion issues with it on are pretty minimal by the standards of an £850 edge LED set.

Also in the plus column, the 40SL753's pictures retain those oft-seen twin edge LED advantages of extreme brightness and vibrant, richly saturated colours. Actually, these can both become too extreme if you use the frankly rather daft, probably shop-oriented Dynamic picture preset. The Standard setting is usually your best bet, or possibly the movie preset when watching films. Though some might find this mode a touch too soft for comfort.

Colours are mostly natural as well as dynamic, with pretty good levels of blend subtlety helping complete an engaging colourscape.

As noted earlier, the Resolution+ system also helps the 40SL753 become a pretty impressive standard definition upscaler. Despite the backlight inconsistencies, the 40SL753 is actually capable of producing a surprisingly deep black level response.

Finally, we must stress that the backlight issues that bothered us during dark film sequences are simply not visible at all when watching anything with any degree of brightness to it. So, in other words, for the vast majority of your viewing time the backlight problems won't be visible.

It's this fact more than any other that ultimately made us lean towards the four star score we've eventually awarded the 40SL753's pictures.