Toshiba 46SL417U Review
Description: 46" Full HD LED backlit LCD TV 1080p resolution
Includes: Tablet Top Stand, Built in Wifi, component and composite breakout cables
Dimensions: 42.46" X 28.59 X 1
Reviewer: Jack Burden
Date: Summer 2011
Picture Quality Rating (HD): 8/10
The Toshiba SL417 comes preset out of the box to the energy saving AutoView picture mode. It's really a pretty good setting especially compared to the preset mode on most TVs, however some of the extra picture features that it uses such as the Dynalight feature can be distracting. The AutoView mode does exactly what it says, it finds a good picture setting for you based on room light (from a starting point of course). Use our calibrated picture settings (next page) to reduce light fluctuation and improve dark shadow detail.
A good shot from the Blu Ray of 300 shows good black levels and contrast on the Toshiba SL417. The HD picture quality is very vibrant.
After calibrating the TV close to D6500K we played various movies that we like to test with as well as some You Tube and Netflix content. Color information from the SL417 is very good. They are realistic, vibrant, and rich. Blacks and contrast are good too. The Sports picture mode will really make sports programming pop if you want to amp it up. That's the only programming for which I would change our settings.
Toshiba claimed to have come out with a new processor for their TVs called Cinespeed and we can confirm that it works. During processor testing (results next page) the Toshiba SL417 registered excellent results, the best we've seen on several tests including the most difficult film resolution loss test. The superb processor translates into little to no motion lag, moire' patterns, color mapping, and especially annoying flicker with moving patterns. Eliminating these faults helps picture quality tremendously. On the negative side of picture quality, side angle viewing contrast degrades rapidly at 20 degrees and severely (30%).
Picture Quality Rating (Non-HD): 7.5/10
A crisp, colorful shot from the DVD of Kill Bill shows how well the SL417 can upconvert lower resolution signals..
The Toshiba's processor did a great job of upconverting lower end signals to its full 1080p resolution. It especially shines when vertical pattern information is displayed such as ties, or blinds. Color output was just as good as with HD programming. What the SL417 does not overcome are two of the most common issues with LED backed LCD TVs – 1) weak side viewing angles, and 2) backlight screen uniformity. We've mentioned the first, with uniformity when we increased the Brightness controls slightly to help dark shadow detail we could more easily see backlight uniformity issues especially near the left and right edges of the screen.
Another shot from the same movie shows background light uniformity issues at the edges of the screen (with Brightness control turned up).
Contast levels decrease at around 20 degrees off center pretty significantly as evidenced by these two shots from Oceans 12. The first shot is taken from front and center while the second is from a side angle of 20 degrees.
Features Rating: 8/10
Features: This TV has 120Hz enabled frame rate conversion called Clear Frame. It's not nearly as intrusive as most of these dejudder technologies, however we still recommend turning it off. The TVs processor does a good enough job eliminating judder not to use it.
The Internet Options Menu on the SL417
Internet Options: Toshiba is a little behind in the Internet TV options department, but has the ones you will need most. The Yahoo! Widgets options which publishes the news, financials and a few other services. We're still not a big fan. The SL417 also has Netflix, Vudu Movies, Cinema Now, Pandora, Facebook, Flickr, You Tube.
Vudu Movies is one of the choices (via subscription) on the SL417
Wireless Connectivity: It's present, built in, and works very well on the SL417. The fact that the Wifi is built in is a plus, since most TV manufacturers are producing an optional Wifi dongle.
Other new features include DynaLight LED backlight technology which automatically adjusts the backlight on the LCD depending on room light conditions. This energy saving feature could save you a few bucks a year, but we found the occasional flicker from the backlight distracting.
Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: The diminutive Pic Size key at the bottom of the remote controls the TVs aspect ratio options. The Full option will cover most of your needs.
Inputs: 4 HDMI, 2 Component (through included breakout cables), 1 Composite (through included breakout cable), PC 15 pin D-sub, 2 USB, LAN, Coaxial composite.
Aesthetic Appearance and Design: The SL417 is no slouch in the looks department with a slim 1" black medium gloss bezel framing and a clear glass finish on the top of the heavy well built table stand. The included stand also swivels to about 20 degrees. The depth of the TV is a super sleek 1" by our measurements. Input receptacles are well positioned to allow for super tight wall mounting (thus the included breakout cables).
The SL417 has a very complete but non-backlit remote control
Remote Control/Menu Funtionality: The non-backlit remote is attractive and fairly user friendly. The input key is a little hidden. It has ample buttons for controlling both the TV and all the Internet features with special keys for Netflix, Yahoo! Widgets, and Net TV. One special note: To change the picture or sound settings while watching Internet TV features, use the Quick key rather than the Menu key as the latter does not work for Internet options. You'll want to adjust these picture settings as well to our calibrations.
The arching half wheel menu system is easy enough to understand and I guess a little cool. Calibration options are very complete though the TV only has a 2 point white balance control. Picture mode options are complete with the aforementioned Autoview, Sports, PC, Game, Standard, Movie 1, and Movie 2. A unique Theaterlock option locks settings in place, so the kids cant accidentally change them on you.
Audio Output: These super thin TVs are rough on the speaker quality. Imagine how small they must be to fit into that housing. The volume control was slow responding at times. It's difficult to get comfortable with the sound whether using in the increased volume from the Dynamic Volume Control or turning it off. Sound quality is tinny and high-pitched. Voice is audible though and there is an optional voice enhancement control which we normally suggested using.see Value Rating and Overall Score on Page 2