Now that the home entertainment market has moved towards streaming video services and Blu-ray content, there has never been a better time to convert DVD collections to digital.
Toshiba Regza 52XV600A LCD television
This mid-range LCD panel from Toshiba has a good contrast ratio and some useful features
- Good dynamic contrast, clean upscaling
- High power usage compared to LED TVs, high recommended retail price
Toshiba's mid-range LCD panel is a competent offering with some useful picture-enhancing features. It's too expensive at its recommended retail price, but if you can find it cheaper than this then it may be worth picking up.
Price$ 3,799.00 (AUD)
The Toshiba Regza 52XV600A is a 52in LCD television with some well-implemented picture enhancement features. Its upscaling and 100Hz motion smoothing modes are among the best we've seen, and its reasonable dynamic contrast ratio makes it a good choice for watching movies in unfavourable lighting conditions. It is let down by a high price and plasma-rivalling power consumption.
Toshiba's Regza 52XV600A sits squarely in the middle of the company's big-screen LCD line-up, between the Toshiba Regza RV600A and the Toshiba Regza ZV600A. The Regza XV600A series' main differentiator is a 100Hz motion smoothing mode, as opposed to the Regza RV600A's 50Hz and the Regza ZV600A's 200Hz. All three panel ranges have the same 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 178 degree viewing angle. The Regza 52XV600A shares styling cues with the Regza RV600A — it has a relatively thin black bezel with a silver motif running across the lower edge.
Three HDMI ports mean the Toshiba Regza 52XV600A is on par with other mid-range panels like the Panasonic TH-P42S10A plasma TV. Two composite, one VGA and two component connectors make hooking up older devices easy — although the VGA input shares its audio input with one of the HDMI ports, which may cause trouble if you've got several A/V components connected simultaneously. An SD card slot on the side allows lets you display photos from digital cameras.
Setting up the Toshiba Regza 52XV600A is easy — its set up menu is easy to comprehend and simple to navigate using the bundled remote control. We were able to scan for both digital and analog channels and start watching television within a few minutes. Manually adjusting display and audio settings is just as easy: a simple on-screen interface has all the usual options as well as more advanced colour adjustment settings.
Picture quality when watching broadcast television was surprisingly good. The Toshiba Regza 52XV600A's panel showed footage with slightly more detail and clarity than most TVs, which often tend to display DVB-T broadcasts as a blocky mess. We think this is probably a result of the high-quality internal upscaler. We also tested 1080p Blu-ray footage and video games through a PlayStation 3 and were again impressed. The screen's 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio allowed it to display dark scenes with good levels of gradation and detail, and we didn't notice any annoying dynamic backlight adjustments. The Toshiba Regza 52XV600A struggled to display the opening scenes of The Dark Knight as well as competing plasmas — the pin-pricks of white light against an inky black background can test even the most competent panels.
We tested the Toshiba Regza 52XV600A in a room with harsh fluorescent lighting and it didn't miss a beat — making it a good choice for a bright living room.
Games and movies were aided by the ClearFrame 100Hz motion smoothing feature. When this feature first appeared in LCD televisions it was often poorly implemented, but these days we wouldn't buy a television without it. Toshiba's implementation smoothly interpolates frames without adding motion blur or jitter.
Our main gripe with the Toshiba Regza 52XV600A is its high power consumption. Whereas an LED TV like the Samsung UA55B7100 nets a five-star rating and consumes 220 Watts in normal usage, the Toshiba uses almost half as much power again and only has a four-star energy rating. This will add a few dollars per year to your energy bill, increasing the total cost of ownership.
If you can find the Toshiba Regza 52XV600A cheaper than its $4299 recommended retail price, it may make it more appealing. If you've got a particularly bright living room or don't like plasmas, see if you can audition the Toshiba Regza 52XV600A LCD television.
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