What is the Toshiba 32L4353DB?
Design & Connections
At the back of the bulky chassis we have 4 HDMI ports (3 side, 1 rear facing), legacy video connections, 2 USB ports, a LAN port and a S/PDIF digital audio out. There’s also Wi-Fi built-in for convenience and WiDi (WiFi Direct) for compatible devices.
The supplied remote is also very cumbersome but that does mean the buttons are large and easy to locate and the new Search, Home and Profile buttons look as though they’ve been stuck on as an afterthought so we’ll consign this one to the status of ‘could do better’.
The Toshiba L4353 has a very respectable set of features and the new Home Page is a huge improvement on what went before; it’s much prettier than before and better organised, too. As we said above, it can be very sluggish to move around and the fact that there’s not much besides VoD services, means the various pages look almost identical. Toshiba’s new Cloud TV app is impressive and basically recreates the portal experience on the smaller screen. It’s only available on Apple devices at present, however, and there are no announced plans for Android, or other platforms. All 2013 Toshiba TVs now feature built-in Wi-Fi, as well as WiDi support to compatible laptops. There’s also the mandatory Web browser and Skype support but the former was very sluggish, on the TV we tested it on, and the latter requires the purchase of an expensive USB camera to function.
The concentration on Video on Demand services through the portal is understandable and most of the big players are present including YouTube and iPlayer but we couldn’t get the Netflix app to work, despite going through a complicated setup procedure. The overall app support is certainly limited compared to the likes of Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony but provided a few more key services can be added and the interface is made more responsive, Toshiba’s 2013 Smart TV platform should keep most users happy.
Contrast, Black Level & Screen Uniformity
Cleary the 32L4353 is using an IPS panel and neither deep blacks nor impressive dynamic range are traits of these panels, so it should come as no surprise to see the L4353 struggle to topple the 1000:1 milestone for contrast ratio. It got close, averaging a black level of 0.12cd/m2 against peak white of 109 cd/m2, on our ANSI checkerboard pattern, but topped out at 920:1 (ish). We could have pushed the panel much brighter and seen a commensurate increase in contrast but we try and standardise a peak white of 120 cd/m2, on a full raster, to keep the playing field level. We could have stood the mediocre blacks if screen uniformity had been up to scratch but unfortunately the sample was blighted by some very ugly clouding which crept in to virtually any dark scene and proved very distracting.
Despite the presence of the Cinema Mode in the Picture Menu, the L4353 was unable to pick up on the PALcentric 2:2 film cadence, so you’ll be best using ‘upscaling’ players and set-to-boxes to perform the task for standard definition film content sent through an interlaced signal. The 32L4353 had no problems correctly displaying Blu-ray discs and proved to have a decent scaling engine for SD material and the 32-inch screen size certainly helps. The L4353 also had no problems in showing a mixture of film and video mixed content and was (almost) able to show a signal all way the up to peak white. Both film and video were shown at full resolution, provided Native was selected as the Picture Size.
The 32L4353 proved itself quite the little performer for gamers. With a latency of just 26 milliseconds between controller input and on-screen reaction, we’d class it as unnoticeable and one of the absolute most reactive gaming screens we’ve tested.
The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:
Out-of-the-Box – Standard Mode: 35W
Calibrated – Calibrated Hollywood Mode: 42W
Toshiba 32L4353DB Picture Quality
- Convincing colours post calibration
- Good performance in bright rooms
- New Cloud Portal is well designed
- Low input lag
- Poor uniformity
- Average black levels and contrast
- Cloud portal can be very sluggish
- Smeary movement
Toshiba 32L4353DB TV Review
The plain black 32L4353 is inoffensive enough from face-on but those looking for a slimline TV will be disappointed to note it's somewhat outsized, especially for wall mounting, although that's not going to trouble everyone. The remote is also quite generously proportioned and difficult to hold in one hand but the large buttons make it easy to locate commands and next to impossible to lose down the back of the couch. Toshiba's Menu systems and User Interfaces have had a welcome lick of paint for 2013, although Toshiba's new Cloud TV portal can be treacle-like to wade through. More on Toshiba's 2013 Smart TV Platform can be found here.
We weren't particularly susrprised that the calibration controls inside the L4353 didn't all work as intended but it didn't stop us from extracting impressive accuracy from the Toshiba. And, in fact, colour accuracy is about the only major plus with this TV as black levels and dynamic range are mediocre and the L4353 was blighted by poor light distribution in dark scenes and dirty screen effect with paler colours, especially when panning. On the bright side, it handled standard definition signals well enough and the input lag is low for gamers but it's really one to consign to the 'second TV' candidate list.
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Our Review Ethos
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