Toshiba 40WL753 review

Can Toshiba's networkable Freeview HD LED TV help it catch up with its flatscreen rivals?

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Toshiba 40wl753

The 40WL753 is something of a mixed bag in terms of features. The most obvious absentee (apart from 3D playback, which you won't get at this price from any brand) is a connected TV portal, something that Sony, Samsung, Philips, Panasonic and LG are all offering.

Some might argue that the YouTube function, which gives you instant access to the millions of videos on that site, makes the 40WL753 a 'smart TV', but you need a few other services to play with before you can really make that claim.

On the other hand, Toshiba has embraced the concept of the TV as a multimedia hub, endowing the 40WL753 with DLNA networking via both wired and wireless connections and media file playback (mp3, JPEG and DivX) from USB (there are two inputs) and SDHC card. This makes it one of the better connected sets around.

More traditional TV features include an integrated Freeview HD tuner, a 1,920 x ,1080-pixel panel, edge-LED backlighting, 200HZ Active Vision M200HD processing, AutoView brightness adjustment and Toshiba's powerful Resolution+ upscaling engine.

Alongside the USB, Ethernet and SDHC ports, connections include four HDMI inputs (one side-mounted), a couple of Scarts (one RGB), component and composite video, a PC input and optical and analogue audio outputs, plus a dedicated subwoofer phono.

Picture adjustment modes run from the simplistic – a handful of presets including Standard, Movie and Dynamic – to the pleasantly in-depth. Knob-fiddlers will be grateful for the 40WL753's RGBCMY colour adjustment and RGB offset and gain tweaks, plus backlight, static gamma and black/white level control. Using these blindly may result in some undesirable pictures, of course, so it's best to get your hands on a calibration disc if you're serious about getting the best possible picture.

Toshiba 40wl753

It's probable that any new owner of the 40WL753 will hook it up to the web and have a shufti at the YouTube feature, but this is something that could do with a bit of work. There's no dedicated button on the handset to access it (why not?) and it seems to get stuck on the loading page.

Switching from YouTube XL (a TV-friendly version) to the Standard view works, but only a masochist would want to spend time navigating the normal online iteration with the TV's remote.

Oddly, switching back to YouTube XL seems to make it function perfectly, and before long you'll be wasting valuable testing time watching online videos – once you've used the remote to enter your search terms via an onscreen keyboard. Toshiba should take a leaf out of Philips' book and have alphanumeric keys on the handset.