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Category: Reviews

Toshiba’s Natural 3D Ultra-slim HDTV In Depth Review

The 42TL515U is an ultra slim, natural 3D TV, measuring at a little over an inch thick and it doesn’t require battery powered 3D glasses. The first thing you will notice when turning the TV on is how long it actually takes to turn on. It literally takes 30sec-1 minute to turn on. This is not an exaggeration. Once you get the TV up and running you have a lot of features included that you could use.

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There are a lot of so-so features on the TV including NetTV which does allow you to use NetFlix, Facebook, and Youtube and allows you to install other Yahoo widgets (including Skype) but it’s slow, clumsy, and lacking especially having to navigate and search with a non-keyboard controller. The functionality is there, but I would rather use an external device is available. The other Yahoo widget apps that are available to download are lacking; some notable one’s are the weather app and NFL app. This TV does have built in wifi so you can connect wireless without attach an external dongle like some older TV’s.

Features

The 42TL515U also includes 2 USB ports which you can play videos, music, and pictures on your TV. The video formats are limited but does support the basics (some .AVI, MKV, and MP4). The television also include passive 3D technology and 2D to 3D conversion. Passive 3D means that you do not need battery operated 3D glasses to watch 3D videos; you can use the movie theater glasses. It works great and the glasses are very inexpensive to replace. The 3D videos are best viewed at eye level and directly in front of the TV but I believe this is usually the case for most passive 3D TV’s. The 2D to 3D technology allows you to convert non 3D videos into 3D videos, however the 3D is minimal and the technology does not work that well. The ClearScan 240hz technology doubles the TV’s 120hz refresh rate.

Autoview

The television comes with an autoview feature which uses the sensors in the front to auto-configure the brightness and backlighting settings. In terms of overall picture quality, the set has good sharpness and clarity with minimal bleeding. The black levels appear decent.

I played my XBox 360 on this TV with some 3D titles as well (Batman Arkham Asylum & Crysis 3). The TV handles games very well (including 3D games) and did not lag at all.

The remote control can light up and has short cuts to NetTV and Netflix but I would like to see a QWERTY keyboard on the remote to enhance the SmartTV features. It takes 2 AAA batteries and is pretty big for a remote.

The sound on the 42TL515U is terrible. It seems like after turning the volume bar pass 25, it’ll just go up numerically but the volume will stay the same level. It can be hard to hear especially in a big room. I find myself needing to turn on the subtitles most the time. I would recommend a soundbar or a sound system to go a long with the TV.

Conclusions

Overall, I would not recommend the TV as there are better budget 3D TV’s out there. The 42TL515U provides just about every feature you can ask for, but it doesn’t perform any of it well. The picture quality is decent with minimal bleeding but the TV takes a long time to turn on and the sound quality just does not go high enough.