HDTV

Toshiba 55SL417U 55" Edge Lit LED LCD HDTV

ARTICLE INDEX

Design of the Toshiba 55SL417U 55" Edge Lit LED LCD HDTV

Though not the absolutely thinnest panel out there; the SL417U is still pretty slender. The front bezel is of average width and finished in a nice piano black. This is my favorite kind of screen surround because it literally disappears whether the TV is on or off. A chrome strip adorns the sides and top of the panel and is not visible from the front. There are no mechanical buttons anywhere on the panel. You have to look closely to find the power and other controls on the lower right. They are all touch-sensitive; and I do mean sensitive. I barely had to make contact to activate them. The TV ships with a separate base which mimics the design of the panel with a piano black finish and chrome accents. The screen itself does a fairly good job of rejecting room reflections being finished with a semi-gloss coating.

Inputs are grouped around the left side of the panel and face either downwards or sideways. The jack panel is so thin, special connectors are needed for the analog inputs. These are all provided in the box. HDMI inputs number four and are version 1.4-compliant. While this is not a 3DTV, 1.4 does give you the audio-return feature. There are also two composite and one component input. A PC connector with audio is provided along with two USB ports, a LAN port and an RG6-type antenna terminal. The internal tuner is ATSC and QAM-capable so you can receive over-the-air signals or tune in non-encrypted cable-TV channels. If you are unable to run an Ethernet cable to your entertainment center, not to worry, the Toshiba includes 802.11n-compatible WiFi. No additional adapter is required.

The remote is the usual wand-type with the ability to control other devices. It is not backlit which I always consider to be a flaw. One nice feature is the direct-access buttons for Netflix and Yahoo widgets. These will likely be often-used features. Starting at the top we have power toggle and Game and Freeze buttons. The Game mode shuts off video processing and puts the TV in a bright picture mode. Moving down there are four mode buttons to control additional components followed by a numeric keypad. Next are three dedicated buttons for Netflix, Yahoo and other ‘Net apps along with an Info key. In the center are the navigation keys, and then transport keys which you will need for YouTube and other streaming apps as well as your Blu-ray or DVD player. At the bottom are the four colored keys for BD-Live interaction or cable box control as well as aspect ratio control, a sleep button and a subtitle toggle.