HDTV

Toshiba 50L5200U LCD TV

ARTICLE INDEX

Toshiba 50L5200U LCD TV In Use

For television programming and movies, I kept the Toshiba on the User Preference picture mode since Chris Heinonen had calibrated it.  Dynamic and standard modes were too bright and punchy for my tastes and the color temperature was too cool. 

Overall the Toshiba delivered a good picture.  There is a bit of light bleed at each corner, but it is only noticeable during very dark scenes.  I'm not a big fan of dynamic backlight adjusting as a means to enhance contrast and Toshiba's DynaLight feature was a bit distracting to me. If it isn't a full backlit array, it is too apparent when the backlight luminance increases and decreases.  Whenever I pulled up the cable box guide (minimalistic design and black bars due to a 4:3 aspect), or a dark scene came up (ABC's Castle seems to have plenty of low-lit scenes), the TV dimmed too much and lost its pop and vibrancy. 

During my time with the 50L5200U, I tested out the ClearFrame technology on some sports programming.  Thanks to the NFL Draft, I had some football content to test out along with some Premier League soccer.  Flipping the ClearFrame on and off made for a subtle improvement to movement.  There was a bit less studdering and motion blur, but not meeting the clarity of faster 240 or 480 Hz panels and certainly not like the crispness plasma delivers.  On 24p filmed based material, the ClearFrame technology gave the image a bit of an artificial look to movement.  It wasn't as prominent as some LCD sets that I have seen, but I preferred to have the feature turned off. 

With Blu-ray movies, the Toshiba of course looked its best.  Toy Story 3 was vibrant, but not too hot under the calibrated settings. Switching to Dynamic mode was way too over pumped for my tastes.  Baraka had a lovely depth to the image, especially for a lower end 50" LCD.

To test out gaming, I hooked up a PlayStation 3 and switched the gaming mode to on in the Toshiba menu.  Lag is critical when playing online first person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty.   Without gaming mode turned on there was a slight but noticeable lag, but once turned on I did not notice any. Although our measurements showed around 45ms of lag in gaming mode, it was not enough to impact my quality of play.  Images were crisp, colorful and smooth.  As a gaming display, the Toshiba works very well.

For audio, the Toshiba features Audyssey ABX™ for improved sound quality.  At first, the volume seemed overly loud to me given the how low the volume was set.  After thumbing through the menus, I discovered Dynamic Volume was turned on. Turning this off lowered the volume levels quite a bit, allowing for finer adjustments.  Turning on Audyssey ABX™ made the sound livelier, but I tended to find myself increasing the volume when dialog was hard to hear, and then having to decrease when things felt too loud.  Overall I didn't find a benefit to the Audyssey ABX system over flat panels without it.