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 delivers a picture performance in tune with the TV's general demeanour: solid, but never stunning.

Standard-def Freeview pictures are presented quite cleanly, so while they can look soft, they're free from artefacting. It's here where you should activate the Resolution+ feature, as this definitely improves detailing on SD material without any noticeable side-effects. Unfortunately, to do this you have to delve into the advanced settings menu, when, again it would have made sense to have a dedicated button somewhere on the remote control.

Stepping up to Freeview HD channels brings the expected jump in quality, with the the 40WL753 displaying the hi-def BBC channel with plenty of fine detail and crisp edges.
Blu-rays provide an even better HD experience – Knight and Day is sharper than a mouthful of lemon juice.

Overall, the colour rendering of the 40WL753 is very good. Tones look natural (with the exception of some orangey reds, but that's generally true of most mid-range flatscreens) and don't suffer from obvious banding. They do, however, lack a bit of pop, something we attribute to the TV's less than first-rate contrast.

Toshiba's LED backlighting system, bereft of any local dimming technology, struggles to deliver peak whites and deep blacks at the same time. On a standard 100 per cent white to 100 per cent black gradated test image, the 100% black portion is not as dark as it should be. Adjusting the backlight to compensate this affects the overall brightness. There are some greyscaling issues, too.

It is possible to achieve more colour vibrancy by ramping up the contrast level in the picture settings menu, but this results in an oversaturated image with crushed, unrealistic blacks.

In the end, despite the tweaks available, it's nigh-on impossible to contrive a picture performance that marries vibrant bright colours to detailed, deep black levels.

Toshiba 40wl753

This average contrast performance is something of a shame, as elsewhere the 40WL753 acquits itself well. Demanding test images and patterns are handled well particularly in terms of deinterlacing and mosquito/block noise.

Judder, even on fast-moving pans (both horizontally and vertically) is limited, and calling on the talents of Active Vision 200MHD processing manages to smooth things out subtly without damaging picture detail.