Toshiba 42VL963B 3D LED LCD TV Review

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Reviewed by Mark Hodgkinson, 18th October 2012. Those looking for a chic, modern TV and like a spot of 3D action will find the Toshiba VL963 a tempting proposition. The 963 will fit the bill even more if they view their 2D action with the lights up where the lack of contrast punch will be hardly noticeable. There's room for improvement with the video processing and the feature set isn't exactly wowing us but, for the value on offer, we're happy to recommend a demo.
Read the full review...
 

wildwolf

Novice Member
Hi Mark,
I have owned the 55" version of this model for about a month now and the family and I are very pleased with it particularly the quality of the 3D.
Thank you for doing your review and I found it very informative, I note your comments on how you improved the picture quality by calibration and adjustment of the settings by your own judgement.
I would very much like to achieve the same improvements to my set and wondered if you could advise me or point me towards the optimum settings for my set.
When you talk about calibration does this have to be done for each individual set or can the results from one tv be copied to another of the same make.
I assume calibration services are available commercially?
Thank you in advance.
Regards,
md
 

hodg100

Ex Reviewer & News Writer
Hi md

Thanks for the commnets.

Unfortunately settings aren't really transferable from one set to another, especially the Colour Master and Colour Temp options which are very specific.

I'd normally be happy to some basic settings but these TVs are very finciky to set up properly and to get good results I really had to play everything off against each other, i.e. I had to balance Contrast, Brightness and Colour against the adjustments in the Colour Temp and Colour Master and each against one another singularly. To tell the truth, it was a bit of a pain but worth it in the end.

All I can say is the most accurate out of box setting would be to choose Hollywood 1.

You can optimise the panel for your environment with the simple steps in our Picture Perfect campaign:

PicturePerfect : AVForums campaign to improve television pictures | AVForums.com - UK Online

To get the absolute best, yes, you can hire a pro calibrator - there's a map linked below to find your nearest:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/custom-installations-installers/1475757-look-here-find-custom-installer-calibrator.html

Yes, the 3D is great! Wish I'd had the 55 to review, would have made it even better.
 

wildwolf

Novice Member
Mark,
Thanks for your message and the information, I feel enlightened.
I have seen the picture perfect items which were also very helpful. I found the Hollywood 1 setting was the best, I have also reduced the green setting after reading your review and the Sky news readers look much less alien!! so that's great.
Thanks again for your assistance.
Regards,
Mark:thumbsup:
 

MilesPrower

Standard Member
Hi, thanks frmthe review, I'm looking at this tv and have a few questions.

Are the 24p issues you mention at the end of the review the same as the 24p issues on the LG models, it's not 100% clear to me.

I know AVForums have some weird policy about out giving out user settings etc, but is there anything other than "Hollywood 1 is closest" you can suggest to users.
For example, maybe saying something like "Hollywood 1 is closest, but I found it a tad to warm/cold and this is easiest resolved by adjusting "this/that" and "this/that" in the picture setup, this will get you as near as dammit however we suggest a pro blah blah blah..." etc....
Remember most users buying a cheap bottom of the range tv ain't gonna pay hundreds of pounds on a calibration, so by giving them the settings it's not really hurting the pro calibration Industry...

Just give em out on crappy tvs to help poor folk gt the best out of their cheap tat and just tax the rich! It's like its run by the conservative in here taxing the poor ;)

Also, gaming lag was not really looked into in depth, do you know what this sits at with all settings off and in game mode? Do you have a best (fastest) setting for this tv?
This is also useful info for cheap skates like me buying this for the bedroom Xbox etc... :smashin:
 

hodg100

Ex Reviewer & News Writer
Hi, thanks frmthe review, I'm looking at this tv and have a few questions.

Are the 24p issues you mention at the end of the review the same as the 24p issues on the LG models, it's not 100% clear to me.

I know AVForums have some weird policy about out giving out user settings etc, but is there anything other than "Hollywood 1 is closest" you can suggest to users.
For example, maybe saying something like "Hollywood 1 is closest, but I found it a tad to warm/cold and this is easiest resolved by adjusting "this/that" and "this/that" in the picture setup, this will get you as near as dammit however we suggest a pro blah blah blah..." etc....
Remember most users buying a cheap bottom of the range tv ain't gonna pay hundreds of pounds on a calibration, so by giving them the settings it's not really hurting the pro calibration Industry...

Just give em out on crappy tvs to help poor folk gt the best out of their cheap tat and just tax the rich! It's like its run by the conservative in here taxing the poor ;)

Also, gaming lag was not really looked into in depth, do you know what this sits at with all settings off and in game mode? Do you have a best (fastest) setting for this tv?
This is also useful info for cheap skates like me buying this for the bedroom Xbox etc... :smashin:
Hi Miles

No, it's different to the LG's - you'll notice (or you might) shimmering and flickering on objects at 1080p24.

It's not really a weird policy, it's more a case of us not wanting to issues settings that will, in all likelihood, make the TV look worse than just sticking it in the best mode and adjusting the basics. Particularly with the Toshiba's who's calibration controls are iffy, at best.

From the review:

Anyone even remotely concerned with enjoying responsive gaming on the VL963 seriously needs to engage the Game Picture Mode else be faced with lag of around 125 milliseconds. The Game mode obviously does the trick in cutting down on any unnecessary processing by reducing input latency to between 48 and 49 milliseconds, which isn’t too bad but laggier than some we’ve tested. Panel response isn’t particularly impressive and we did notice some ghosting from time to time but it’s likely most won’t find it an issue. 3D gaming is quite laggy, however, and we took measurements around the 123 milliseconds mark in that mode.
Not sure what else you would need to know - Game Mode is really the only choice if you're even semi serious about input lag.

Hope that helps!

Mark
 

MilesPrower

Standard Member
Hi,

That helps a lot. Thanks Mark :smashin:

A few questions/clarity from my last post :)
The gaming mode... What I ment was, does enabling pc mode etc make it faster still etc?

Also does this tv have local led dimming?
I also heard it had audyssey tech for great audio, is this true?

How easy will this be to calibrate just using a Standard Set of test patterns?
Does this tv have the ability to overly a blue filter like other models do for calibrating on test patterns?
Is the 3D bett/worse/same as LG (didn't they change their algorithm)
are the menus relly slow and clunky?

Is this tv worth buying now for its £1200 price tag, or waiting for it to drop? (55" version)

Between this and the LM620/640 which are in the same price bracket for 55"... Which gives best colour, response time, lag Compatability etc... Which would you buy?

If you had£1200 and were buying. 55" passive... Who would your money go to?

Hope you don't mind the questions and hope you can help/answer these for me :smashin:
 

hodg100

Ex Reviewer & News Writer
Hi,

That helps a lot. Thanks Mark :smashin:

A few questions/clarity from my last post :)
The gaming mode... What I ment was, does enabling pc mode etc make it faster still etc? - No, Game Mode is the fastest

Also does this tv have local led dimming? - No, it's global

I also heard it had audyssey tech for great audio, is this true? - There's an equaliser but the speakers are mediocre

How easy will this be to calibrate just using a Standard Set of test patterns? - Full calibration is not easy, basics is

Does this tv have the ability to overly a blue filter like other models do for calibrating on test patterns? - Nope

Is the 3D bett/worse/same as LG (didn't they change their algorithm)
are the menus relly slow and clunky? - Without a side by side, hard to say but it's very good, if you like passive. Menus aren't clunky

Is this tv worth buying now for its £1200 price tag, or waiting for it to drop? (55" version) - Difficult to say. Value means something different to everyone but it's not a lot of money for a lot of screen.

Between this and the LM620/640 which are in the same price bracket for 55"... Which gives best colour, response time, lag Compatability etc... Which would you buy? That's also very tough but I think I could live with the Toshiba more easily.

If you had£1200 and were buying. 55" passive... Who would your money go to? I honestly don't know. I'm very indecisive.

Hope you don't mind the questions and hope you can help/answer these for me :smashin:

Answered questions in the quote:)
 

MilesPrower

Standard Member
Mark,
How do you enable 1:1 on this tv via hdmi when a pc is connected?
I'm getting constant scaling? I seem to get 1:1 enabled what so ever, any tips?
 

MilesPrower

Standard Member
Hey,
Just checked the tv inside out, tried everything possible, read and re read the manual...

Then found this:
The HDMI inputs on this TV only accept VGA, SVGA, XGA, WXGA, and SXGA signal formats which are compliant with VESA as shown in the table below.
Which means, for those that dont know these formats, that this TV does not support 1080p over HDMI! The maximum supported resolution on this tv via hdmi is 1360x768.

Basically, if you send a 1920x1080 signl via HDMI to the tv, it scales it down. (which is exactly what's happening with mine).

This TV, does not do 1080p over hdmi?
That has to be the weirdest feature I've ever heard of.

The HDMI ports on this tv have been restricted to a max of 1360x768 for some reason, according to the manual.
And it would appear to be true as I can't get my PC/PS3/360 to display (dot by dot) on this tv via HDMI unless I lower the resolution to apx 720p or 1360x768.

This may explain the gaming lag mark, as gaming at 1080p causes the tv to process and scale the image down, while gaming at 1360x768 (or other low supported resolutions) does not...

I get a gaming lag or apx 31ms at 1360x768.

So, no 1080p over HDMI :thumbsdow
Whatever next...
Returning mine today!
 
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MilesPrower

Standard Member
Hey all,
Seems like this set is not a big seller... (not many users)
Any way, after a fight with Currys, I got a refund as this tv is seriously flawed :thumbsdow

Here are a list of my findings:
HDMI Scaling and incompatible formats
No Support of Full RGB 4:4:4 (0-255) (PC/XBOX/PS3 users beware)

Other users reported (and I can confirm):
Backlight dimming in PC Mode forced on, when menu states its off?
PC Mode has horrific Lag
PC mode doesn't support Full RGB (Jesus toshiba) :facepalm:
3D mode states it doesn't support backlight dimming, when in fact it does! All it does is grey out the option, but the dimming is still activated much like PC Mode, just enable it prior to watching a film, enable 3D, and the option will be greyed out, but dimming will be enabled :suicide:

@Toshiba
No that you will read this, but much like other TV manufactures, you really need to test these tvs before they go out. This tv is useless to anyone with a Console, PC, HTPC etc and had you just employed a decent bug tester you could have these issues sorted before it gets to market.

Much like LG, this was a nice looking set, but fundamentally flawed in almost every respect.

To any potential owners, I give it a :thumbsdow and returned mine.
To current owners, contact toshiba to get them to fix your firmware if they will.

@Mark
If you still have the TV can you confirm these issues?
 

VinylHogger

Novice Member
Hey,
Just checked the tv inside out, tried everything possible, read and re read the manual...

Then found this:


Which means, for those that dont know these formats, that this TV does not support 1080p over HDMI! The maximum supported resolution on this tv via hdmi is 1360x768.

Basically, if you send a 1920x1080 signl via HDMI to the tv, it scales it down. (which is exactly what's happening with mine).

This TV, does not do 1080p over hdmi?
That has to be the weirdest feature I've ever heard of.

The HDMI ports on this tv have been restricted to a max of 1360x768 for some reason, according to the manual.
And it would appear to be true as I can't get my PC/PS3/360 to display (dot by dot) on this tv via HDMI unless I lower the resolution to apx 720p or 1360x768.

This may explain the gaming lag mark, as gaming at 1080p causes the tv to process and scale the image down, while gaming at 1360x768 (or other low supported resolutions) does not...

I get a gaming lag or apx 31ms at 1360x768.

So, no 1080p over HDMI :thumbsdow
Whatever next...
Returning mine today!

Jeez I can't believe that. I can't have it scaling everything and this shouldn't be advertised as a FULL HD TV!

I absolutely love the styling and highly considered buying it. Finding this out is a complete kick in the niagras.

Can anyone confirm if this has or will be fixed in a firmware update?

Also, going back to the original review, is the issue with the screen being reflective a major issue? I plan to put this in a conservatory so it will be in a very bright lit environment during the summer, for the entire 4 days we are likely to get any sunshine.

Thanks!
 

Speedyj

Standard Member
I just rang Toshiba support and was told that it does do full 1080p over HDMI but the guy I spoke to did not sound totally convincing to me. Has anyone else tested this?
 

aaalex

Standard Member
Any news about the downscaling? I was thinking about buying this tv, but I will not do it if it is not a true FullHD
Thanks!
Alessio
ps: hi everybody, this is my first post :D
 

Techmum

Standard Member
I can confirm pretty much all of the above!
we actually owned a VL963 and had almost exactly the same issues, Toshiba said to but the WL969 to resolve these issues and I can say, honestly that the WL968 exhibits all the same faults, with the added bonus of the 3D also being completely broken?

I have posted videos on YouTube, spoken to a reviewer who is about to review the WL seres TV who has also confirmed my findings and reported all of this to Toshbia.

Toshiba have confirmed that after essentially calling me a dumb blonde, and not operating the TV correctly (I'm a software engineer) that in fact they have confirmed that after testing the firmware of be TV and the iOS app that it indeed is fundamentally flawed and requires fixing.

I am awaiting a response from them regarding the other issues, but as I too have began the refund process I assume like the others here, one refunded the case will be closed.

I say ignore these sets from Toshiba, they are awful! I owned both! Support is poor and these TVs are flawed from the outset. Check my YouTube videos, descriptions and I'm happy to post my email correspondence with Toshiba for others to see.

The new 2013 sets from Samsung LG etc are announced and en route! Ignore these awful TVs and but something better, hopefully they will learn that treating customers like idiots, selling cheap tat dressed up in a mini skirt is not good enough!

We have the power to make them feel the pain/strain of selling poor products. Don't let then con you, don't let them sell you tat.

Test this TV yourself, and its big brother, I have a WL968 and had the VL and can confirm that they are both severely flawed and because of this are the wosrt TVs I have seen this year! And trust me, we have had some awful TVs.

I will say this!
If Toshiba fix these issues, all of them! These range if TVs "could" be the best TVs to come out of 2012! But currently they are so broken that its impossible to use in the real world.

While I don't care much for reviews, I'm astounded that these reviewers again didn't pick up on some of these issues? It seems that real world tests are not done. If it displays anyway page it gets recommended, even though this TV, when connected to a 360, in game mode and calibrated by our local ISF calibrator still had an awful S curve gamma that peaked at 1.6 and 3.0 ... Movie mode can be smoothed out more as it adds internal processing, but gaming is apx 50% black screen and as movies only really use up to 80% great for the majority of the viewing etc it means movie watching from an Xbox and gaming from an Xbox etc its impossible on this TV and its big brother.

Toshiba removed some of the basic controls from these sets and have crippled them on purpose (which seems strange) but if they just added back the flat gamma controls and white balance controls, and removed resolution+ from game mode, fixed the iOS app (WL series) and the broken 3D then they would have a great TV.

Until then,
If you buy this... You will seriously regret it! Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but probably in the next few weeks after the new sets announced at CES start arriving with low price tags and all these issues from 2012 supoosedly resolved.

Toshiba have really tarnished their reputation with this set as its not even as good as last years VL or WL range.

That's my experience with these sets, if you want emails posted etc just let me know and ill post my correspondence so you can see the evidence of this issues and the lack of care from Toshiba in trying to resolve them.

So pleased I was able to get my £1500 back so I can buy a TV that actually works.
 

Finicky

Standard Member
I can confirm some of the above issues too, I have a WL968B which is going back to the retailer as it is a complete shambles IMO.

Not all these issues bother me, but i have trsted the ones reported and the ones i found my self, here is my kist of confirmed issues that bother me in some way.

3D not working in 24p

No Gamma Controls (360 in game mode is unusable for movie and gaming IMO due to gamma so high HCFL and i1 Display Pro can't register it :thumbsdow it's over 3.0 meaning virtually all grey is black :lesson:

No Full RGB Support

The advertised iOS app actually doesn't work and they are not sure if they can fix it due to a fundamental design change in the way in which it works.

No Media Guide for IOS either.

Wifi does not connect to hidden SSIds

Back light bleeding issues

Resolution+ is forced ON in game mode, making it look effin ugly IMO and adding lag... Ironically, game mode is the ONLY mode that they activate this shoddy feature, meaning that what the poster above says about forcing on a processing mode in the only mode that is supposed to remove processing is genuinely true... This Processing feature is not even an option in any other mode and can't be removed by any means.

Local dimming forced on in pc mode, I never noticed this initially, but it's true :laugh: you can't use oc mode without local dimming?

1pt white balance controls etc is a real shame for those wanting good Calibration.

Online features are an absolute disgrace and watching video on ip,Ayer is a joke as the tv is not co figurable in these modes, meaning if you pay for a movie, or what ever you have to watch it in some funky, forced, ugly as hell dynamic mode? It's truly awful and nut be seen to be believed.

I can confirm that Auto cal only works with their propriety device... However, thy don't even sell that device? I have an i1 which their oem version is based off but it doesn't work with that.. Meaning, yup... Auto cal is pointless as it only works with 1 device, that we can't buy?

Active motion doesn't work well with any content at all, even stars causes issues and is best left off.

Poor support from toshiba


it's funny, I didn't want to agree or confirm these issue... But... They are their! I think AVForums really need to update and refresh the way they do reviews. I agree that it's ridiculous that supposedly educated reviewers don't notice these issues.

I like the basic tests they do, but looking over their reviews of recommended products, then looking at user reviews... It's very interesting. The users agree that the test images etc are fine, but when used with real world scenarios the tvs fall apart.

I think a new review format for 2013 should be:
Current Tests
+
Genuine Game Mode calibration/lag tests etc
HTPC tests such as lag, 24p, 3D etc
TV app testing
Check for missing/incorrectly advertised features to ensure TV can do the things it says it does.

As currently we users have created a list of apx 10 things these tvs can't do, that they say they can :thumbsdow
 

AlanPartridge

Standard Member
Hey,
Just checked the tv inside out, tried everything possible, read and re read the manual...

Then found this:


Which means, for those that dont know these formats, that this TV does not support 1080p over HDMI! The maximum supported resolution on this tv via hdmi is 1360x768.

Basically, if you send a 1920x1080 signl via HDMI to the tv, it scales it down. (which is exactly what's happening with mine).

This TV, does not do 1080p over hdmi?
That has to be the weirdest feature I've ever heard of.

The HDMI ports on this tv have been restricted to a max of 1360x768 for some reason, according to the manual.
And it would appear to be true as I can't get my PC/PS3/360 to display (dot by dot) on this tv via HDMI unless I lower the resolution to apx 720p or 1360x768.

This may explain the gaming lag mark, as gaming at 1080p causes the tv to process and scale the image down, while gaming at 1360x768 (or other low supported resolutions) does not...

I get a gaming lag or apx 31ms at 1360x768.

So, no 1080p over HDMI :thumbsdow
Whatever next...
Returning mine today!
Hello all, first post, stumbled in on this topic by chance and thought I'd check it out on my 42VL863B (my manual says the same thing re. VESA standards as the 42VL963B) which I bought last year as was surprised to read this. TBH, am still very happy with the set and I'm wondering whether the manual is wrong...my PS3 is set up via HDMI and I tested the set running Wipeout HD Fury, which is one of the few PS3 games which claim to output @ full 1080p and is also 3D compatible.

(1) If I declined the prompt to automatically enable 3D on startup, then hit the 'i' button on the remote in game, the set claimed it was displaying @ 1920 x 1080.

(2) If I accepted the prompt to automatically enable 3D on startup, then hit the 'i' button on the remote in game, the set claimed it was displaying @ 1280 x 720.

Most other games -as per the back of the box- also show 720p resolution.

Does (1) not settle matters then, ie. the set CAN in fact output full 1920 x 1080p via HDMI? Or are we saying it's upscaling the image and calling it full HD, when it isn't?
I'd anticipated the drop to 1280 x 720 in (2) would have been on account of the 3D 'eating into' the resolution, this being a passive set...

Happy to stand corrected, any thoughts?
 

Wip3out

Novice Member
Got this in an end of line/returned tv from JL for £599 for the 55" as it was an open box and the guy said JL are no longer stocking this tv for reasons he can't get into???

@Mark and anyone else, does anyone know how to get into the service menu etc so I can disable the resolution+ in game mode as its awful. Gaming on this tv is atrocious and needs that awful edge enhancement disabling.

I've tried all the usual stuff found online, but to no avail.

Anyone know how to disable the resolution+ in game mode or how to access the service menu to disable it, Mark, anyone?
 
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luKasledge

Active Member
I was very seriously considering this TV but reading all the problems you guys have been having, I guess I'll have to look elsewhere.

Please help me out though by telling me what you guys got instead?

I'm mainly looking for a gaming TV so lag is important.
 

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