Toshiba 55WX800U 3D LCD HDTV Page 2

The set’s audio is thin and bright, but what can you expect when the set’s svelte design only allows for two 1.4-by-2.75-inch full-range speakers and a 2.2-inch woofer? Even the most modest external audio system will provide a dramatic improvement.

The Race to 240
Toshiba’s ClearFrame 240 anti-blur technology refreshes the image at 120 hertz and modulates the backlighting to produce an effect similar to a true 240-Hz refresh. When combined with processing that adds interpolated frames to the real frames in the program material, this feature can smooth motion and reduce motion blur. For me, and for many other film lovers, interpolation used with film-based material produces a non-filmlike smoothness more Days of Our Lives than Days of Heaven.

The ClearFrame 240 and Film Stabilization features work together. How they interact can be confusing, and the manual doesn’t explain it well. All you really need to know is that the Standard position of Film Stabilization provides the best deinterlacing of interlaced sources. If you set Film Stabilization to High, it automatically turns ClearFrame 240 on and produces that aggressive smoothing that destroys the film-like look.

I did find that turning off both Film Stabilization and ClearFrame 240 best preserved that film-like look on all material, despite the deinterlacing advantage of setting Film Stabilization to Standard. But with Film Stabilization on Standard and ClearFrame 240 either on or off, there was a subtle degree of interpolation that smoothed out motion on some film-based material (the effect was most obvious on interlaced sources, less so on Blu-ray’s progressive 24p). Many viewers will like this, and I did not find it overly objectionable. One annoying quirk was that Film Stabilization often (though not always) defaulted to High when I turned the set on, regardless of its position when I’d last turned the set off.

Like any self-respecting HDTV these days, the 55WX800U has a full complement of Internet apps. You can connect the Toshiba directly to your home network, either wired or wireless. Toshiba recommends a 5-gigahertz router for audio and SD video wireless streaming.

The set’s Net TV feature offers links to a variety of services and widgets, including Netflix, VUDU, YouTube, Blockbuster On Demand, Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, news, weather, finance, and more. I had considerable trouble getting my router to link consistently to the Toshiba, but based on prior experience, this was more likely me than the set.

Finally, I got things working at least long enough to make some observations. When I viewed three different HDX (1080p) trailers from VUDU, I discovered two seemingly contradictory issues. There was a very slight but perceptible motion stutter (probably a bandwidth or VUDU problem). There was also a sort of video look, clearly visible through the stuttering, which suggests that the set’s interpolation mode was operating in High. I could neither confirm this via the set’s menus nor turn it off; none of the set’s picture adjustments are accessible with online sources.

Picture This: 2D
The Toshiba produced good results in our standard video processing tests (see the Video Test Bench—all results taken with an HDMI input). The only failing was moiré on our 2:2 HD test, which I never noticed on real-world program material.

The set’s out-of-the-box default color was much too blue. When I turned the Color Temperature control to its minimum setting, it looked better, but it still wasn’t correct. To get something tolerable, I went into the White Balance menu and turned both the Blue Offset and Blue Gain down by a few steps.

I spent several days with the set in this condition before I set it up for a full color calibration. Even before I broke out the color meters, it was clear that the color was watchable if not particularly accurate. Fleshtones weren’t distractingly blue following these tweaks, although the talking heads that populate many an analog SD cable channel looked more pasty-faced than normal.

The set’s HD resolution was clearly superb. I could see not only the actors’ facial blemishes but the makeup-softened bags under their eyes as well. The set’s blacks weren’t trend-settingly deep, but the dark scenes had more than enough punch to avoid that fogged-out, grayish look that’s common to poor LCD designs.


McMinnDSC's picture

I'd really like to know the suggested best settings for if you DO want that "Live" look. I'd just like to flip back and forth from a film look to a live look. Pixar things look amazing in that live look. I call it soap opera effect cause it makes everything look like days of our lives.

I've just been going with these same settings and turning the ClearFrame 240 on, and Film Stabilization to high (as he describes on page two as causing the live effect) but I just wasn't sure if there were any other or better settings to achieve the best "like look" or if the author was just mentioning setting Film Stabilization to High as a "don't do this" kind of thing.