Just got back from my brothers.. he's just had the new 51WH36P delivered... Well for those that want to know.. First Impressions - The sets immediately looked good, the new case is much nicer, it is a sculptured all plastic affair, at last, and although the top is thin, they have kindly added a small sculptured bit in the middle that is perfect for even a large centre speaker. The 51/57" have a 'cloth' grill at the front, although it looks like a plastic panel. The 42 has a plastic panel, with holes in the bottom 1/3 for airflow... aesthetics wise, the 42 might just shade the 51/57, but its a close thing - The picture is instantly improved. Either this was set-up exceptionally well, or they have improved the Focus no-end. The Menus's (New with loads of colour) look pin-sharp, and considering its size, this is amazing. The contrast range with the 'black stretch' is excellent, the best I have ever seen in an RPTV, and probably in any CRT based set. - colours are uniform, and very well contained, there appears to be no discernible red or blue push, although there must be some, since they are normally set-up to have this non-linear response, it certainly does not show itself in normal viewing. - Its bright.. eye-piercingly so, it needed turning down quite a bit, and even then its still bright... Thats first impressions... so having then fiddled with it... 1. The convergence was miles out, and using the standard menu had us going round in circles.. but quickly entering service mode, and using the 'proper' convergence setup... it was absolutely spot on....... 2. The focus is pin-sharp in the centre, and only gets slightly worse towards the periphery. Some text on sky channels is quite soft, but since the SKY Menu is very sharp, this must be the poor broadcast quality.. 3. Noise is excellent, the DNR can be adjusted per input source, so can be high for SKY, and low for DVD's.. and with SKY this makes big difference.. 4. The 100Hz processing has taken a step forward, the pure 100Hz mode still has some flicker and does not improve the picture at all. What I mean by this is any MPEG2 jaggies are apparently obvious. Selecting Natural or Active imrpoves things, and it was hard to see any artefacts creeping in, We tries a football match, and fairly fast horizontal scrolling text, and there was no sign of processing, although I am sure given the correct situation, the processing would show itself. The Progressive mode, (De-interlcaing) does indeed work well, sat up close to the set, you can see the scan lines, but in PROGRESS mode, all scan lines completely disappear. We tried watching sections of movies alternately in all picture modes, and all I can say is, I am impressed, to be honest all modes look good, it was nearly impossible to see any difference between Progresive and Natural/Active modes at normal viewing distances (9-10 feet away). 5. Using the THX Optimizer, we had a look at the sets basic video perfromance, and it is excellent, no matter what the contrast setting you can make out all 8 boxes on the contrast test, which leaves massive scope for setting the thing up... I like higher contrast for some films, to reveal more detail, and this still allows all the shades of white to be visible.. The brightness as usual is very high, and turned down to 50 gives the correct 7 Box (Hidden THX Drop shadow effect). The geomtery is excellent, as is usual with RPTV's. The best test is the sharpness test pattern, the black/white bars appear to have no moire and no noise, you could turn the sharpness to 100% and there was still no aliasing occuring.. 6. Black Strecth - this is great, never had it on my 50wh18B, and it really makes a big difference, it really makes blacks, black, and gives a dramatic feeling of detail. 7. The 'active vision' in general is good, it adds real definition to the picture, all edges are crisp and sharp, and is a real improvement over previous models. With the convergence set, we tried a few films, well all the favourite bits, anyway... 1. Monsters Inc - Awesome, as it always is, but there is no lack of anything in the picture.. the contrast is excellent, yet the dark level detail is stunning... anyone wondering if blowing the picture upto 51" will degrade detail need not worry, it just looks better the bigger it gets!!! There was plenty of scope to try the processing modes. Its clear the Toshiba seem to be doing something right, as the pure 100Hz mode shows all the sources MPEG2 aretfacts up, all the jaggies etc that are produced by the DVD player are present, yet switch to any other mode, and the set does an excellent job of smoothing them out without ruiing edge detail. 2. Gladiator - Hacing recently demo'd a 42" plasma, and this being one of the demo films, it was nice to see how RPTV's stack up.. And the results are amazing. There is one part in particular that really shows how good this set is.. during the initial battle, Maximus chops a guys head off, leaving his sword embedded in a tree, the director has delibreatly slowed the frame rate down for effect, and on all the plasma's we saw, this gave a 'jerky' motion to the sword flapping up and down, that seemed very noticeably unnatural. On the Tosh this is rendered very very well, the decrease in visual frame rate is noticeable, but the sword flapping up and down looks smooth and controlled. This battle is quite dark, and looks superb on a 51" screen. 3. Road to Perdition - a difficult film for TV's, its dark and moody... and again well handled by the Tosh. It felt cinematic with nothing to draw you away from the film. Usually on a lot of sets, you start noticeing dark areas where all the detail has disappeared, or it just looks false, and this can ruin a film, but I am pleased to report that the set handles all this admirably. We hooked up the XBOX, to see how this performs.. Its a big improvement - the Focus is excellent for a big CRT, text is still slightly soft, but then its trying to blow up and analogue 576 line picture to 51"... and considering this, its amazing how well it copes. As is usual, you need to either switch of black strecth, or increase the brightness/decrease contrast so dark areas are 'lit up', as this always aids gameplay... it looks noticeably better then my 50wh18B, mainly due to what I think is better processing, less noise, and better focus. If you are wondering if a 51" is too big, and will the 42 Give a better picture... Well I think the answer is NO, the 51" is not too big, and the picture is just as detailed, and just as bright. but the extra size is only a good thing. Normally the 42 has benefitted from a nicer cabinet, but this has been redressed. The larger cabinets are sculptured, and chamferred on the sides/top, and this helps to make the set look much smaller and less imposing in the room. The top bezel is thin, but as mentioned, the moulding on top widens for few inches to allow a large centre speaker to be placed on top, albeit slightly angled back.. As for the Plasma/RPTV - horses for courses, it seems to me that if viewing DVD's and TV, the RPTV is better, there are less artefacts, and better contrast etc. The problem I see in all Plasma sets is they are trying to render an analogue signal on a digital display, and like viewing DVD's on a TFT monitor via DVI, it produces a detrimental affect. Plasma's however are much better when fed a high res source, whether XBOX in 1080P, or a PC, the focus is excellent, and shows the performance of a plasma off.. but having seen a few Plasma's with HTPC's feeding them higher res interpolated DVD's, I still think this RPTV wins... I was all excited about the Progress de-interlacing internal picture mode, but think this has such a negliglible effect compared to the active vision and black stretch. It removes scan lines, but only if you are less then 1 metre can you see them anyway.. So I am looking forward to mine arriving, the new menu is nice, there are one or two nice features, like press the OK button, and a small menu appears so you can quickly goto a aprticular AV Input (now there are 5 AV inputs to choose from via this menu). The service mode is controlled/entered in the same way as all previous Tosh;s, so its instantly tweakable... I got home, and low and behold Toshiba have left a message telling me mine will be delivered next monday... Lets hope this one is setup as well as my brothers... NOTE - We did not have a progressive scan DVD player to check the external prog scan effects... all tests were done via an SD220E.. Addition - During daylight, there appeared to be no Haloing when on a black screen with a smal lamount of white text, and there appears to be no shadows/colour leakage/internal reflection.. We will check tonight, when dark, as these things are more noticeable. But this again seems to be an improvement over previous models..