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Toshiba Regza 42ZV650U LCD HDTV Review

42 in.

The Toshiba Regza 42ZV650U is a good television, but not a great television.

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Formats

The Toshiba 42ZV650U is a native 1080p display, meaning is has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This is the best resolution you can get on a TV at this time. Well, almost. Toshiba actually announced a TV with 4K resolution (that's an incredible 3840 x 2160), but don't expect this to become a regular feature for a few more years.

Viewing Angle

The viewing angle on the Toshiba 42ZV650U and all three competitors is virtually identical, as you can see from the chart below. They all clocked in at about 20 degrees from center on each side, or about 40 degrees in total. This is average for an LCD television. If you need a wider viewing angle, check out a plasma TV.

We should note that final scores for each of these TV may vary slightly depending on other, related problems beyond what the regular test can see. For instance, the Toshiba 42ZV650U has a huge problem with vertical viewing angle. That means that when you stand up or crouch down, the contrast goes haywire. You need to be sitting more or less dead-on with the screen for optimal viewing. We docked some points for that.

Viewing Angle Chart
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Reflectance

The Toshiba 42ZV650U does a decent job of staving off reflection. It has the unfortunate feature of what we can only describe as 'reflection dispersal display technology' (that's a mouthful, huh?). This is something you see on higher-end TVs that create a distinct kind of pattern when you shine a light on the screen. It's a bit like a star-shape. We suppose it's meant to curtail the huge, glowing halo that you see when you shine a light on cheap TVs. True, it limits the amount of screen that gets obscured by a poorly placed light, but the pattern itself is so distinctive it's almost equally distracting.

Of course, there's also the possibility that this 'reflection dispersal' is merely a side-effect of some other screen technology. Unfortunately, we can't know for sure.

Video Processing

The Toshiba 42ZV650U has a lot of special processing features, which we detail below. Of course, our general recommendation is to leave them off, as they frequently make your picture look worse. The only exceptions are the noise reduction features (because the picture is a bit noisy) and the Film Stabilization feature. The latter can make movies and TV look so strange that it looks like it was shot with a home camcorder. It's hard to explain, but the effect is so bad it's kind of fun to play with it sometimes.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Multimedia & Internet
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Samsung LN40B610 Comparison
  14. Sony Bravia KDL-40W5100 Comparison
  15. VIZIO VL420M Comparison
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
  18. Photo Gallery
  19. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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