Toshiba 50L5200U Review
50" Edge Lit LED-LCD TV, 1080p, 120Hz
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
- Good smoothing effects from Clear Scan 240 feature
- Clear, Vibrant Picture
- Competition with plasma 50” models if you need a brighter picture for brightly lit rooms
- Fills unusual 50” LED/LCD screen size gap
- Side angle viewing contrast and color saturation degradation
- Screen uniformity when backlight turned up too high
- Lacks Wifi, Web Browser, Smart TV, 3D
The 50L5200 50 inch LED-LCD is a fairly barebones model from Toshiba with 120Hz processing and a standard black framing bezel. It's a nice looking TV with similar features to the 417 model from last year. LED backlighting is edge-lit. It's an economic model with pretty good black levels and brightness for an LED/LCD.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.3/10
The Clear Scan 240 feature (120Hz panel) on this TV works very well to reduce judder and jerky motion. I would say the reduction is around half of what you would see in a 60Hz television. We didnt note too many unwanted ill effects from this feature and its great with sports. Black levels and contrast are not as high as strong as some of the higher end TVs in the market, but they are decently saturated for an LED. Keep the backlight at a moderate setting to avoid running into screen uniformity imbalance especially at the left and right corners of the screen.
The DynaLight feature for dynamic backlight control is also included in the 40L5200. This feature moinitors the brightness of each frame on screen and automatically adjusts the pictures backlight intensity according to what it deems is best. It actually works pretty well, but you do notice an occasional flicker when the TV makes adjustments. For purists this will likely be a problem, but you can easily turn the feature off in the menu.
This shot shots off the good color peformance and detail on the L5200
Side Angle Viewing Quality
Side angle viewing quality is much improved on this TV with contrast and color saturation starting to degrade a little at about 20 degrees off center. Blacks become slightly hazier as well. This is not a bad result compared to many LED Televisions over the last few years.
This shot shows side angle viewing performance on the L5200U. Really no worse than most other LCD/LED TVs on the market
Though it did not calibrate exceptionally well, we felt the color rendition in this TV looked good but over-saturated. If you like a very bright and slightly over-saturated look in your TV viewing this TV may fit the bill well. Overall we felt the picture quality was good.
Keeping the backlight in check will keep the screen uniformity issues from popping up on the L5200U.
Features Rating: 7.9/10
The 50L5200U lacks Smart TV function and 3D viewing as well as Wifi and Web Browsing. It's a value model for an LED TV.
We were originally told this TV would have the new Aero Design with the almost invisible frame, but instead it has about a 1” black piano finish framing bezel. It's a nice enough looking TV – just not as stunning as the Aero design which is similar to the great designs on the LG and Samsung top models.
New Speaker System
Toshiba has not neglected the speaker system on this TV and include the outsourced Audessey Premium Suite speakers system which delivers much better sound than normal one way speakers. This is a welcome change from our reviews of 2011 Toshiba LED Televisions – where sound quality was sorely lacking. These speakers actually shoot the sound out in two directions. On the L5200 it does not have day and night mode – just one mode but it does give you dynamic volume control.
There is a special gaming picture mode on the 50L5200 which allows faster processing for gaming to help eliminate blur. It works moderately well.
Remote Control and Menu Functionality
Occasionally the L5200 is a little stubborn and slow to respond to commands. Once calibrated though, access is not needed much except adjust the backlight as needed (if you have the Dynalight feature off). The remote has a Quick key to adjust picture settings which is easy to use rather than sifting through the normal picture setting adjustments every time you want to adjust the backlight.
Picture mode options are complete with the aforementioned Autoview, Sports, PC, Game, Standard, Movie 1, and Movie 2.
Value Rating: 9.1/10
The 50 inch LED/LCD offering size has never been done before this year with this model. It's obviously there to offer competition to plasma TV 50” size offerings. It is a good choice even at $999 for brightly lit rooms especially ones that have light from windows if you plan on doing a lot of daytime television viewing. There are hardly any other 50 inch LCD/LED TVs to compare to as other manufacturers make 47” and 55 inch TVs not daring to compete with the 50” plasma TVs on the market. A good comp in plasma would be the Panasonic TC-P50UT50 which sells for $899 and has a better, though dimmer picture as well as 3D, and Smart TV function. Still, I give this TV over a 9 in value due to the sheer lack of competition in LED TVs in this size and because the picture gives you the positive attributes of LED if that's what you need. Unfortunately, you get the negative ones as well.
Overall Rating: 8.4/10
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert