HDTV

Toshiba 55WX800U 55" LED Edge Lit LCD 3D HDTV

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

I found the WX800’s menu system intuitive and easy to navigate. I only had to refer the manual a few times during my initial tour. The main menu is split into Picture, Sound, Applications, Preferences and Setup sections.

Picture is the first place to visit for all calibration options. Aside from the brightness, contrast and other typical picture controls, there are two sub-menus titled Advanced and Expert. Here is where you’ll find the two or ten-point grayscale control, the color management system and many options for image enhancement and noise reduction. The auto-dimming feature is called DynaLight and can be turned off if you wish. Along with that, there are 11 levels of Dynamic Contrast available. I turned on the DynaLight but left Dynamic Contrast at zero. Here you’ll also find the frame interpolation (Film Stabilization) and 240 Hz (ClearFrame) settings. The TV will accept a 1080p/24 signal and process it correctly with 10:10 pulldown if the Film Stabilization control is set to Standard. The Middle and High settings produce the “soap opera” effect. Also in the Advanced menu is the Smart Sensor feature. This activates a front-panel sensor that adjusts the backlight according to your room’s ambient lighting. In the Backlight Adjustment Pro menu, you can control exactly how the backlight is modulated with a sort of gamma curve screen. This is pretty cool since most TVs with this feature give you no control at all. You can also allow the TV to adjust color temperature with room light. The options are Auto, Incandescent, or Fluorescent. Since all of these features have a negative impact on picture quality, I left them off.

The Audio menu has several advanced options for things like Dolby Volume and simulated surround sound. There is also a dynamic range control, handy for movie-watching. The TOSLink output can be set for either Auto, which allows bitstream, or PCM. The surround output can be adjusted for wall or stand mounting and there is a graphic equalizer as well. Other options include bass boost and dialog enhancement.

The Applications menu gives you control of Yahoo Widgets and the NetTV suite of apps. You can also set favorite channels in the Channel Browser and set the sleep and on timers here. In the Preferences menu, there are more app-specific options for network setup, Netflix and Vudu options and most of the TVs other convenience features. You can also access 3D settings but they are limited to how the display reacts to a 3D feed. There is no 2D-3D conversion feature; only native Blu-ray 3D or broadcast content will show in 3D. If you want to prevent others from accessing the 3D mode, you can enter a lockout code. The final menu, Setup is the place to choose a language, scan for channels or update the firmware. This can only be done over the network; USB memory sticks are not supported.

As I do with every display, I did a full calibration of the WX800. After measuring all the picture modes I found Movie 2 to be the best starting point. The other modes utilize the same color gamut but set various things like the backlight or picture enhancements to different values. As I mentioned in the menu run-down, there are controls for every aspect of calibration. I discovered they were not without a few caveats however.

After setting brightness and contrast to appropriate levels, I turned off all dynamic picture adjustments. These traditionally play havoc with a display’s gamma and this TV already has decent black levels. My first order of business was grayscale adjustment. The WX800 offers either a 2-point or 10-point system. The 2-point adjustment yielded respectable results but I wanted to see if I could do better with the 10-point. My first discovery was that activating the 10-point adjustment also activates a separate grayscale memory. Normally I would rough in with the 2-point then fine tune with the 10-point but this didn’t work. Secondly, I learned the steps in the 10-point did not correspond to my window patterns. I had to use the set’s internal patterns which are much brighter than those from my Accupel signal generator. After a lot of work, I was only able to equal the result from the 2-point adjustment, not better it.

The gamma control is represented by a slider with 30 steps. Unfortunately, the control doesn’t have enough range to achieve a 2.2 curve. The best I could do was 2.03 on the lowest setting of -15. This was done with DynaLight and Dynamic Contrast turned off. Though this measurement is lower than standard, the picture did show decent depth of contrast. I found in watching actual content, a small improvement was made by turning on the DynaLight and leaving the Dynamic Contrast at zero.

My last stop was the WX800’s color management system. It worked correctly but unfortunately, the TV’s native gamut is slightly undersaturated, especially in the red primary. No CMS I’m aware of can expand a display’s native colors; only reduce them. I was able to align the secondaries perfectly using the six colors’ hue controls. The brightness controls also did a good job of setting the correct luminance values. The end result was decent and color looked excellent when viewing actual content. One cool feature I found was the RGB filter. This allows you to selectively shut off any primary color so you can adjust color and tint with a bar pattern. It’s like the blue only mode available on some displays but extended to red and green. It’s completely safe too. Not only will it prevent you from shutting off all three colors, when you exit the menu it turns all colors back on.