Toshiba 55WL768 review

Elegant LCD giant with Wi-Fi but poor 3D playback

Toshiba 55WL768
The Toshiba 55WL768 has a lot to offer, with excellent 2D capabilities

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One of the biggest challenges of edge-lit LED technology is ensuring an evenly lit image. Toshiba hasn't quite mastered the art on the 55WL768, which has pools of brightness along the edge of the frame. Fortunately, you are only really likely to notice it with solid dark images such as title sequences.

The vast majority of viewing on the 55WL768 is likely to be done with 2D HD sources and it's a pleasure to be able to report that this set serves up some pretty high quality stuff.

The secret is to find the settings that suit your environment and stick with them. Bumping Resolution+ up to its maximum setting does wonders, eking out greater detail in the 2D Avatar Blu-ray so that the bristles in Sully's beard are almost as clear as you get on the best screens. Without Resolution+ engaged the picture can look a little soft.

Otherwise, there is little not to like with accurate colours, excellent contrast and plenty of brightness. Broadcast HD is equally enjoyable, especially movies and sport on Sky.

Standard-definition shows on Freeview are acceptable with Resolution+ engaged, if a little softer than their HD counterparts. The biggest weakness – also present on HD sources – is MPEG noise over large amorphous areas but it's nothing like as noticeable as on Toshiba's 40WL753, for example.

Toshiba 55wl768

It's worth playing with Active Vision and the Film Stabilization settings, which work in tandem. With the Active Vision engaged camera movement is smooth and there are no artefacts but Film Stablization must be kept to a minimum. Film Stablization and Active Vision M200 Pro are to be avoided with movies or filmic material as they detrimentally affect the look but can improve sports viewing.

It pays to know that if Active Vision and Film Stablization are off, switching Active Vision on automatically sets Film Stablization to its standard setting. Switching Film Stablization off also deactivates Active Vision M200 Pro.

Starting with both off, putting Film Stablization to its highest setting automatically turns Active Vision M200 Pro on yet setting Film Stablization to standard or middle doesn't engage the latter. Got that? Good.

The viewing angle of the screen is excellent, with no drop-off in contrast or brightness at extreme angles.

The 55WL768's 3D performance does give cause for concern. It's not so much crosstalk, which is better than average (but only just), it's more the lack of depth. With the Monsters vs Aliens 3D Blu-ray you just don't get the same sense of objects projecting either into or out of the screen.

Brightness levels are affected more than they should be, but even so it's impossible to get 3D with the same amount of punch as you'd expect from a 55-inch screen.

It's not the fault of Toshiba's 3D Blu-ray deck (used as a source) either as Sky 3D also suffers by comparison with rival screens. Take David Attenborough's superb Flying Monsters programme. Too many of the carefully staged shots lose impact and the loss of resolution makes some long shots akin to watching a VHS tape. It really makes you wish they'd made it in 2D.