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Got my Toshiba 30WL46

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by JonStatt, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    Finally I received my Toshiba 30WL46 TV, UK specification. It looks nicer in the flesh than in the pictures.

    First, lets clear up some specification confusion.

    Contrast ratio is 600:1
    Brightness is 550 cd/m2
    Resolution is 1280x768 (NOT 720. 720 is for the 27")
    It does not have component inputs
    It does support PIP, PAP and PAT

    So first of all lets start with the bad news:-
    1) There are software flaws. Colour temperature set to normal is actually cool, and cool is normal. Warm is correct
    2) Another software flaw. Luminance peaking and black stretch settings are lost when disconnected from mains, but not lost on standby
    3) Another software flaw. When using PIP/PAP the second channel has its own brightness settings/colour temperatures etc. It seems to get confused and apply second channels image settings to first channel, the most obvious being colour temperature.
    4) There is a high pitched whine (confirmed with 2 sets) that is audible when first switching the unit on and fades after it has been on for a few minutes or so. It appears to be coming from the power supply. I have really sensitive high pitched hearing so this may not bother others. With the sound up on the TV it is not that obvious.
    5) The user guide gives completely the wrong information on how to use teletext subpages. I figured out the right way myself.

    With that out of the way!

    When first switching the TV on, the first thing I noticed is that black was not as black as expected. I found my way into the menu system which is a very fancy graphical affair. I quickly found my way to the backlight control. It runs from 1-15 and was set to 15. I turned this right down to 3. Blacks now looked closer black and yet still the picture seemed very contrasty. I have to say that LCDs still need to mature on black level and compared to a CRT, they still do not show the same amount of dark detail or reach true black as per a well set CRT.

    However on a bright image, I felt I could almost walk into the TV it was so natural, vibrant and lifelike.

    The image looked a little soft even at maximum sharpness until I switched on luminance peaking. This made the image look far more 3D like (if less technically accurate!)

    There was no evidence of smearing/blurring. I wondered as this was not an Activevision set, how much difference this would make. Having seen an activevision set previously, I cannot see a major difference.

    The unit features twin analogue tuners and the picture from analogue is the best I have ever seen on any television ever. It made the best of a good UHF signal and almost rivalled that from cable via RGB! Talking of Cable, the picture is outstanding from this too. My only gripe is there isn't separate colour level settings for the different inputs. As per normal, RGB input is more saturated, so a compromise between analogue and RGB input is needed.

    The switching on of PIP and PAP is a little slow. Once in PIP mode, you can change the size of the inserted picture window and change its location. You can even switch it from 4:3 to 16:9! With both PIP and PAP, you can only change the channel of the currently selected window (switched by using the picture swap button). Teletext can also be placed next to a channel window.

    I have not yet tried the DVI or VGA inputs.

    Jonathan
     
  2. gnudi

    gnudi
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    Thanks a lot for that report :thumbsup:
    It clarifies a lot for people waiting fot this screen like me :cool:

    So you seem pretty satisfied with the general image quality...
    I think youve seen other products in the same range , how would you qualify the Toshiba against comparable products?
     
  3. PhilB1234

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    Thanks Jonathon,
    Congratulations on getting your hands on one, it's good to know there are some in the country now!!
    Other than the few criticisms you seem pretty pleased, so would you say it was the best set that you were looking at?
    If you're able a couple of real-life photos would be most welcome!! Maybe including the input panel?
     
  4. PhilB1234

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    I forgot to ask...... Who did you buy yours thorugh? I'm hoping Empire Direct will let me know soon when I can expect mine!
     
  5. soup nazi

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    If you could show us a couple of pictures that would be great.
     
  6. heiqqi

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    An observation about Toshiba display resolutions.

    32WL48 is 1368x768: true 16:9.
    27WL46 is 1280x720, true 16:9.
    30WL46 is 1280x768, so is it actually 15:9 or can the pixels be not square?

    It would be strange if the 32" and 27" are 16:9 and the 30" is 15:9.

    What are the physical measurements of the screen, is it actually 15:9 or 16:9?
     
  7. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    No pictures yet Im afriad.

    Anyway, to answer some of the questions. I have looked at the Sharps, Panasonics and Philips, JVC. Personally I have always found Panasonics to stand out to me. Perhaps this is because of they way they are set-up in the shop though. Half the problem is you don't really get to see them properly as you need a couple of days tweaking the settings for each one to match your own preferences.

    Anyway, my own conclusion is that the Toshiba is right up there with the best, but I am not sure it is THE best. At the price point it certainly is great value, especially with its extra features. With bright scenes, it is incredibly real....I really feel I could stick my hand into the screen! Dark scenes lose some of the detail and watching very dark set movies may not be so satisfying.

    Remember this set does not have Activevision LCD. I have seen an active vision LCD and the difference is very slight. THere is still incredible detail and contrast on the 30WL46.

    The screen is 15:9 by the looks of it. I measured it and it is not true 16:9. Of course I can't say it is obvious to the eye!

    Some extra features not documented in the manual. The pause button intended for video use on the remote, actually pauses the TV picture too! Pressing the middle OK button brings up a list of channels and external inputs which makes it faster to get to Input 3 or 4.

    I have tried a Nueston MC-500 connected via DVI. I tried it both on 720P and on 1024x768, and it worked perfectly.

    I tried to buy mine from Currys. What a disaster. It came into stock once on the web at 1059. You cannot order until it is in stock. I ordered by credit agreement (9 months interest free). After ordering I get an email saying they will not hold the stock if I choose credit agreement (THANKS FOR TELLING ME when I ordered!!). They say I will get the agreement within 4 days. It took a week and by the time it gets back the order will have timed out. Absolutely pathetic!!

    So as my current TV in that room had failed, I decided to pay a bit extra to get it quick. I got mine from Hiway Hifi in Edgware Road/London. I paid the web price but no delivery because I picked it up directly.

    Jonathan
     
  8. gnudi

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    Thanks a lot for your impressions... :thumbsup:
    I dont expect this Thoshiba to be THE BEST at this price (and since I have seen some beautiful but expensive Sony KLV32 or Philips 9986 LCDs) but well the price/quality ratio seems pretty excellent... Lets hope I got mine quickly...
    Too bad for the photos Jonathan :(

    This question is not intended to you specially but what about this 15/9 ratio? Will it deform an image from dvd? Will it be possible to receive hd by dvi @720p?
    Thanks for any clarification...

    Oops I didnt see this...So it does work with 720p signal...
    But stilll , cant this resolution generate a signal deformation on a standard 16/9 source? Or is it just about black borders ?
    Sorry but I dont understand that much about all this hd resolutions and number of lines :blush:
     
  9. PhilB1234

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    Good to have confirmation that it can accept 720p via DVI.... Thanks for that.
    It may not have component inputs but many displays will accept compoenent via the VGA socket so I think I'll try that when (if?) mine arrives.

    Gnudi: I wouldn't worry about the 15:9/16:9 issue as it will be almost impossible to tell the difference.... if there is any! Pixels can be shapes other than square (some plasma panels have a 1024X1024 pxiel res but are 16:9 shaped)....
     
  10. gnudi

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    Ok cool.. Well we only have to wait now :rolleyes:
     
  11. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    I actually swapped my first 30WL46 out. The high pitched sound from what I believe to be the power supply was too annoying. The new one also does make some noise but much much quieter and it seems to disappear completely once the set has been on for a short while. I do have very sensitive high pitched hearing so this should not detract from others choosing this set.

    For the better, the new one has no stuck pixels at all (yet).

    I have also seen some comments that the 30 and 27 WL46 are just re-issues of the existing 26 and 32WL46 sets with different screen sizes. This is absolutely and totally untrue. The older sets provided many more input connections. The newer sets have a different UI, especially to accomodate new features like the PIP and PAP. Also, the LCD panels found in ALL of the newer models are supposed to be (According to Toshiba) an improvement in terms of black level and dynamic response.

    Finally, Active Vision found in both the 26 and 32WL46 is not in the 27 or 30 inch. It is purely about internal processing and nothing to do with the LCD panel itself. The signal is fed through some proprietary high speed processing to improve detail level and contast level (scene dependant).

    Jonathan
     
  12. gnudi

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    Sorry to bother you again Jonathan but would you by luck have a dvd player with DVI output? Cause I've read that despite what its been said , the 30WL46 would not be DHCP compatible which would be quite a disappointment...If you could confirm...
    For sure the Neuston MC500 doesnt have DHCP but most dvd players and certainly hdtv receivers will... :(
     
  13. gnudi

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    Me happy :clap:
    I got my 30WL46 today and began playing with it...

    First thing , Im really impressed by the image quality...
    Ive been looking at lcd screens for 3 months now seeing the worse and the best ,the good being more around 2500-3000 euros or more...
    The ones I saw under 2000€ were really disapointing till now..
    I just got mine for 1590€ (around 1100£ I think) and I must say this is quite a bargain...
    My dvd and cabletv box are connected via simple RGB scarts and yet the image is simply superb...Of course I made a few settings to get it more the way I like but I was really pleased to see such quality even with simple tv,
    and thats something many sets even a lot more expensive didnt achieve.

    I had a Sony Wega CRT before that and I can easily say its quite as good except maybe still lower details in dark scenes but well LCDs made big progresses...The general impression is that its softer too , like a "cinema-style" image , more polish, something I did notice often on plasma screens...
    But well it might depend on settings too...

    I bought this to replace my old crt tv and my main usage is watching tv (70%) ,then dvds (20%) then playing videogames (10%) so this set is exactly what I needed , a "good for everything" set . Having a fantastic screen for movies and disapointing tv quality wasnt satisfying for me.

    Well I've just tweaked it a bit and tried 2 or 3 dvds for now , these are my first impressions...Ill take a bit time to know this one more...

    Bad points for now:
    -1st one is that "hiss" sound Jonathan talked about...Each time I power it up , theres a high pitched sound that goes higher and higher and then disappears (either fades out either the frequency becomes too high for my ears :D ). This only happens at the powering up but its a bit annoying...
    -2nd one is that its a shame that a screen with such abilities doesnt have component inputs cause you would like to see how good it can be...Yes theres a DVI but Im a bit afraid we wont be able to use it for dvd reading because of these hdcp matters (not confirmed yet though).

    Well Im going and watch a movie :cool:
     
  14. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    Thanks for your feedback. The high pitched noise is a strange one although I strongly believe it is in the power supply. Therefore, it could easily be remedied once Toshiba realise it and probably release an improved design.

    I don't have a DVI DVD player to try unfortunately. My understanding is that the 30WL46 is not HDCP compatible. The UK website for Toshiba confirms this, stating DVI input (non HDCP enabled).

    So the question is, is it possible to hack a DVD player to remove the HDCP? I am guessing the answer should be yes, because they already hack Panasonics region coding by loading a replacement firmware from a CD.

    Jonathan
     
  15. domtheone

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    I saw this tv in Powerhouse the other day. It was hooked up to a dvd player (not sure which) and the connection probably wasn't very good but, the smearing was terrible.

    Playing a copy of Monsters Inc, when that big blue monster was racing across the screen he was leaving a huge blue trail across the screen.

    Not being too familiar with LCD's, was this probably caused by the way the player was rigged up to the Tosh?

    Also, I think it was a split feed as there were other TV's close by (including a Sony and Panasonic that looked very good) showing the same movie but the Tosh's picture seemed to suffer most...
     
  16. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    I don't think it could be anything to do with the connection but I have not noticed any smeaing at all on mine unless you whack the noise reduction up to maximum. Perhaps this was why you saw what you saw.
     
  17. domtheone

    domtheone
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    That's possible.

    Come to think about it, the sales rep di say he had been tinkering about with the set to try to get a better picture...
     
  18. adaeus

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    Got mine toshiba too. First impression was dissapointment by the picture quality. But the second day, when i managed to make all settings i was impressed. I like the input-output features. I had connected at the same the dvd, the vhs, a pc (via vga and rca for the sound), and my camcorder.
    :)
     
  19. awarner

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    Just ordered mine today Currys have a special on at £999.99 for the 30" :D
    Just wondering how good the DVI-D input is? as I intend to use my DVI-I output from my Windows Media Edition PC I have just built.

    Any input on this will be greately recieved :thumbsup:
     
  20. adaeus

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    As i read in a Greek magazine (Hitech) the dvi is the best connection for the pc and gives the best quality picture...
    Maybe you have to change the resolution from the display preferences (if the desktop doesnt fit to the tv screen) as i did to mine.
     
  21. PhilB1234

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    I use the DVI connection from my scaler for Sky (using the RGBs output) and the results are fantastic... As soon as you get a true pixel-for-pixel signal (i.e. 1280 x 768p @ 50Hz) the image is remarkably sharp. Much more detail than on any other TV I've seen, but the MPEG encoding problems with Sky are highlighted if you're too close.
    By moving to the DVI input you lose all of the softness of the analogue signal inputs, and it's a real night and day difference! No smearing, smooth movement and razor sharp edges.
    I'd say owners of this set should definitely investigate trying it with a scaler to see the difference!
     
  22. jimr

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    Would be grateful if someone could explain "mpeg encoding problems with Sky"?
    I have noticed much 'blockyness" during quick movement scenes on what are supposed to be good LCD screens, both on Sky and terrestial, this effect seems absent on CRT.
     
  23. Milez

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    I'm seriously considering getting the 30WL46 to replace my current Toshiba 21" 4:3 which I've had for the past 10yrs and is now starting to flicker.

    However, I have a few general concerns/queries:

    1) What is Toshiba's guarantee policy with regard to stuck/dead pixels on this set?

    2) In the event of returning an item or making a warranty claim, is there any advantage in buying from a high-street store compared to an online retailer (I'm specifically thinking about Hiway Hifi Vs PrcDirect.co.uk)

    3) Quite a few posters seem to be using scalers, however they are quite expensive. Is it really necessary to use a scaler to get the best from this or any other LCD set?


    Any comment on the above points would be much appreciated.

    Milez
     
  24. awarner

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    1, I was told 10% but this is reduced with Curry's own warranty
    2, I paid all of £250 for an additional 5yr warranty which includes unlimited repairs parts and labour for normal and accidental problems. I thought this was a good deal as far as warranties go.

    Because of the offer Curry's have at the moment (advertised online)
    I went and ordered from a local shop. I have yet to find the same set for less than the £999.99 I am paying inc free delivery thrown in (supposed to be £15 anywhere on the net. Closest I have found is aprox plus delivery £1024.

    As I am new to all this, I can only quote what I have been told and seen for myself but hopefully it will help :)
     
  25. rampantscot

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    Got my 30WL46 from Powerhouse took 3year warranty also a bit of haggling, got TV for £860, plus £239.99 for warranty but am thinking of cancelling the warranty due to the other post in here stating 5 years for same price.
    Also cheapest place i found this from was rgbdirect something like £945 delivered.
    Only thing i read in a thread bout humming noise coming from this set, i have a noise coming from mine, should there be any noise with this set?
     
  26. awarner

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    Without hearing the noice (delivery should be on the 5th Jan) it's probably the high frequency switching of the power supply. A lot of power convertors do this. It could be possible that it's the capacitors charging but I would be surprised at that.

    £860 is not a bad price :) but the warranty is Curry's own and it varies greatly depending on make of TV etc but I was impressed with 5 years as I don't want to risk having to fork out for an early replacement if something went wrong.
     
  27. thearrowmaker

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    Have just decided to get a new tv and thought a 30" lcd a suitable choice. Having come across the Toshiba 30WL46 I thought it a highly attractive possibility. However I have seen it on sale with prices from between £900 and £1400. I was wondering if their is more than one version available as I have seen it described as variously the 30WL46, the 30WL46B and the 30WL46S. :lease:
     
  28. awarner

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    Apparently that is to do with different regions, the units are all the same.
     
  29. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    There are 2 noises.

    A high pitched noise that goes away quite quickly after the set has been on a few minutes.

    A buzz/humm which should only be audible when you are right next to the set and is louder when the backlight is turned lower.

    Jonathan
     
  30. rampantscot

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    Thats it mate initial high pitched noise then a buzz/humm similar to noise you hear from dodgy streetlights as you walk passed them.

    Do you think its a fault with this TV as late night viewing with reduced volume makes this humm pretty annoying?
     

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