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Toshiba 47TL515U 3D LCD NetTV with LED Edge Lighting - Review

Great 2D, Affordable 3D, and Internet Streaming Too...

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Toshiba 47TL515U 3D Network LED/LCD TV - Photo - Front View

Toshiba 47TL515U 3D Network LED/LCD TV - Photo - Front View

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Toshiba 47TL515U is a slim, stylish-looking, 47-inch LCD TV that incorporates 3D viewing using the passive glasses viewing system (referred to as 3D Natural) and network media player/streamer functions, allowing access to both PC and online-based audio/video content.

The 47TL515U also utilizes LED edge-lighting that allows its slim physical profile, as well as eco-friendly power consumption. In addition, the 47-inch 47TL515U features a 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution for 2D viewing, and 120Hz and 240hz Clearscan processing for both 2D and 3D viewing. Connections include 4 HDMI inputs, two side mounted USB ports for accessing audio, video, and still image files stored on flash drives, and both Ethernet and WiFi internet connection options. After reading this review, also check out my Photo Profile and Video Performance Tests.

Toshiba 47TL515U Product Overview

Features of the Toshiba 47TL515U include:

1. 47-Inch, 16x9, 3D capable (FPR system) LCD Television with 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution, and 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate and 240Hz Clearframe processing.

2. 1080p video upscaling/processing for all non-1080p input sources as well as native 1080p input capability.

3. LED Edge-Lighting System. The LEDs are placed along the outside edges of the screen and light is then dispersed behind the screen. For more details on how LED technology is used in televisions, refer to my article: The Truth About "LED" Televisions

4. High Definition Compatible Inputs: Four HDMI, One Component (via supplied adapter cable), One VGA PC Monitor input.

5. Standard Definition-Only Inputs: Two Composite video inputs accessible via provided 3.5mm to RCA connection adapters.

6. Two Analog stereo inputs (one paired with the composite video input and the other paired with another composite video input and the component video input). One additional 3.5mm audio input in combination with HDMI input 4 and the PC monitor input.

7 Audio Outputs: One Digital Optical output and one set of fixed analog stereo outputs (via 3.5mm connector) for connection to external home theater receiver, stereo receiver, amplifier, or soundbar. Also, HDMI input 1 can also output audio via the Audio Return Channel feature.

8. Invisible speaker sound system (10 watts x 2) for use in leiu of the outputting audio to an external audio system (However, connecting to an external audio system is highly recommended).

9. 2 USB ports for access to audio, video, and still image files stored on flash drives. DLNA certification allows access to audio, video, and still image content stored on network connected devices, such as PC or media server.

10. On-board Ethernet port for wired internet/home network connection. Built-in WiFi connection option.

11. Net TV: Internet Yahoo TV Widgets for access to online content from a variety of sources including Blockbuster, Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, YouTube, and more that can be added.

12. ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuners for reception of over-the-air and unscrambled high definition/standard definition digital cable signals.

13. Audyssey Dynamic Volume sound stabilization and Dolby Digital Dynamic Range control.

14. Link for remote control via HDMI of HDMI-CEC compatible devices.

15. Wireless Infrared Remote Control included.

16. Energy Star rated.

17. Suggested Price: $1,299.99

For a closer look at the features and functions of the 47TL515U, check out my supplementary Photo Profile

3D

Toshiba 47TL515U 3D Network LED/LCD TV - Photo - Included Accessories

Toshiba 47TL515U 3D Network LED/LCD TV - Photo - Included Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The 47TL515U employs Passive Polarized Glasses for viewing 3D images. Four pairs are included with the included TV. The glasses require no batteries and do not need to be charged. The 47TL515U will work with 3D-enabled source devices that comply with the industry standards for 3D. For more on this refer to my 3D Basics FAQ.

Advanced Picture Settings

Besides color, contrast, and preset picture mode settings, Toshiba provides additional options for tweaking the 47TL515U. Some examples include:

Colormaster - Hue, saturation, and brightness of each base color (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan) can be adjusted separately.

Color Temperature - Adjusts Warmness (more towards red) or Coolness (more towards blue) of the image.

Auto Brightness Sensor Settings - When activated, this functions provides self-adjustment of the edge light system according to ambient light conditions.

Dynalight - Automatically makes black areas of the image deeper.

Dynamic Contrast - Automatically compensates contrast settings when changes in image content are detected.

Static Gamma - Provides adjustment of black level.

Noise Reduction - Compensates for the effects of video noise in a TV broadcast, DVD, or Blu-ray disc. However, use this control sparringly as other artifacts, such as edge harshness and a "pastey" appearance on flesh may increase.

Hardware Used

The additional home theater hardware used in this review included:

Blu-ray Disc Players: OPPO BDP-93 and Sony NSZ-GT1 (on review loan).

DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.

Home Theater Receivers Used: Onkyo TX-SR705 and Sony STR-DN1020 (on review loan).

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 (5.1 Channels): Paradigm Cinema 100 CT (on review loan).

DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.

Audio/Video connections made with Accell, Interconnect cables. 16 Gauge Speaker Wire used. High Speed HDMI Cables provided by Atlona for this review.

Software Used

3D Blu-ray Discs: Avatar, Captain America - The First Avenger, Despicable Me, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Drive Angry, Goldberg Variations Acoustica, Kung Fu Panda 2, My Bloody Valentine, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Space Station (IMAX), Tangled, Tron: Legacy, Thor, and Under The Sea (IMAX).

2D Blu-ray Discs: Art of Flight, Ben Hur, Hairspray, Inception, Iron Man 1&2, Jurassic Park Trilogy, Megamind, Shakira - Oral Fixation Tour, The Dark Knight, The Incredibles, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.

Physical Characteristics

Toshiba 47TL515U 3D Network LED/LCD TV - Photo - NET TV Menu

Toshiba 47TL515U 3D Network LED/LCD TV - Photo - NET TV Menu

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The 47TL515U is thin and stylish. This is a direct result of the LED Edge-Light system.

When the set is off, it is one big deep black rectangle with a very thin outer bezel frame. The bezel design and stand have a very straight edge, minimalist appearance. The stand allows the TV to swivel several degrees to the left and right. The screen has matte surface which minimizes ambient light reflection and glare, which also provides a better 3D viewing experience.

Also, as mentioned previously in this review, the 47TL515U also offers a full complement of audio/video inputs, including four HDMI inputs, two USB ports, and Ethernet port for network/internet connectivity.

2D Video Performance

The LED Edge Lighting system employed on the 47TL515U produced overall good black levels. However, in extremely dark scenes, or when no image is on the screen, there is some unevenness in black level which show up as soft white blotches in several spots across the screen. However, there is no white "spotlight" effect on the corners of the screen, as I have noticed in several other LED Edge-Lit LCD TVs. Also, letterbox and pillarbox bars when they are present, or not as black, or as even, as one would see on Plasma TV or an LED/LCD TV with full array backlighting.

LED edge lighting aside, color saturation and detail were excellent with 2D high definition source material, especially Blu-ray Discs. The live action Dark Knight and the combination of live-action-CGI in Transformers: Dark of the Moon looked fantastic.

The 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate refresh rate and 240Hz ClearFrame processing incorporated into the 47TL5151U provides smooth motion response in 2D, although the ClearFrame setting does result in the "Soap Opera Effect", which is distracting when viewing film-based content. However, this can be disabled, which is preferable for film-based content.

In addition to doing well with high definition 2D source material, the 47TL515U also did well processing and scaling standard definition source content. Using the HQV Benchmark Test Disc, the 47TL515U passed a majority of the tests (see test result examples).

Proceed to Page 2: 2D and 3D Video Performance, Internet Streaming, Audio Performance, Final Take.

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