Toshiba 46XV555D review

A good value, super-size screen with a lot to recommend it

TechRadar Verdict

Plenty of mass appeal, but a couple of niggling flaws leave this TV short of real greatness


  • +

    Decent performance

  • +

    Ease of use


  • -

    Motion handling is poor

  • -

    Thin audio

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The Toshiba 46XV555 is the latest from the Regza line and is a 46in whopper dressed snappily in subtly cambered black lacquer.

This is a fairly serious television, with all sorts of grown-up specifications including a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080-pixel) panel, 24fps playback and a fancy processing engine to polish up the pictures.

In this case, it's Toshiba's own Active Vision, a suite of tweaks and modes that has served its sets well in the past, without ever really threatening to put the wind up the more self-important systems such as Philips' Perfect Pixel, or whatever it's called this month.

The socket count is fairly generous, with a trio of HDMIs handling the main input duties.

Mismatching menus

Toshiba's pastel-shaded operating system has been around a while now and – while it's still simple enough – newer, jazzier GUIs from the likes of Philips and LG have moved the game on, making Toshiba's look a bit creaky.

There's also a potentially confusing mismatch between the look of the menus pertaining to the set itself (picture, sound, setup and the rest) and those just concerned with the digital tuner, which look and feel totally different.

Still, anyone with opposable thumbs and a double-figure IQ should be able to get to grips with it all quickly enough.

Garish Freeview images

The prospect of Freeview plastered across 46in is hardly likely to inspire anything more positive than mild trepidation, but the Toshiba 46XV555D handles it about as well as one would expect.

There is, of course, a distracting amount of block noise, edges are ill-defined and anything shot in a studio is a garish assault on the retina. Still, anything better than hideous at this size can be considered a minor triumph.

At which point, we must stress the importance of carefully considering whether you really have the room for a set this large. Bigger is obviously better for movies, but you do need to have a space large enough to house this telly – and the relatively long viewing distance required to get the most from it.

You don't, for example, want to be watching The Jeremy Kyle Show from any closer than at least 3m – unless of course, you enjoy being dazzled by digital dross, that is.

Picture tweaking

Movies are a much better showcase for the 46XV555, with a crisp palette doing lively service to our Space Chimps DVD. Be prepared to fiddle with the controls to get the best from it, though: our factory-set model was horribly unbalanced.

High-definition material is better still, with a huge amount of detail underscored by accurate, well-blended colours. Blacks are also decent, although the recent slew of plasmas on our test bench has reminded us just how far behind gas sets LCD TV still seem to be. It can reach down to impressive depths of tone, but the graduation between shades is a little crude.

The biggest problem, though, is movement. No large liquid crystal set really has this cracked, but motion is sufficiently juddery on this Toshiba as to be distracting. That said, the overall experience is still enjoyable.

Sufficient audio

The audio performance is perfectly adequate and the amount of volume on offer is roughly appropriate to the super-size screen. Fidelity is pretty good, but the bass levels are feeble, meaning that you don't get much of a sense of space or depth in the soundfield.

There are, of course, the inevitable pseudo-surround settings to pull soundtracks this way or that, but they don't really address this general flaw to any worthwhile degree, and you'd be far better served putting the audio through a proper home cinema system.

This is true of just about every set, no matter how good the on-board speakers may be, but pictures of this size really deserve to be partnered with a suitably huge audio performance. The handling of everyday TV broadcasts, though, it should be noted, is absolutely fine.

Well-priced LCD

Toshiba is always big on value and the Toshiba 46XV555D strikes the usual, admirable balance between pricing and performance. Which is to say that you get a decent, huge TV that will serve you well for a good few years, but isn't quite in the same rarefied league as the hardcore videophile machines from a couple of rival manufacturers beginning with 'P' that we could mention.

It's certainly close enough to be tempting to anyone with a grand going spare, though.

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