I did quite a bit of research looking for just the right TV for my game room. This is an important detail when considering any review as well. Not everybody has the same goals. My requirements were at least 50", no extra features, LCD or Plasma, good picture quality, and it had to be inexpensive. I already have a dedicated Media Center PC ready to go and never have liked "smoothing" or 120hz+ effects. Oh, and I wanted it here in time for the 2012 Olympics.
It's being used in a medium sized Media/Game room that measures about 14' x 13', give or take a few inches. There are 2 windows with blinds. And I'm normally sitting about 8-9 feet away. This room has a couple of computers, so it's used as an office / game & media room (aka "man cave").
DESIGN & INSTALLATION:
The TV is only about 2" thick at the outer edge and has 1.5" border around the screen, so it looks very nice and thin. If you include the portion at the back that you can't see, you're a bit over 3" deep. It also only weighs about 40lbs. However, there is a larger "base" at the bottom where the included stand mounts. This base protrudes towards the back almost another ½" than the rest of the TV. This can be an issue when using the low-profile Cheetah APTMM2B mount I purchased as it does limit the angle at which you can adjust downward.
Fortunately at 4' off the ground, and with the help of the spacers that came with the mount, I was able to just barely get the angle I wanted for the TV without touching the wall. That does limit where I can route the cables since there isn't space to run them towards the middle and there is no way any screw driver I have is going to fit or reach from the bottom to tighten the extra support screws. I'll have to get a bendy screwdriver or something to reach from the side; otherwise it's not going anywhere.
I would still prefer that the stand mount at the back like others I've seen (and have), instead of bolting directly to the bottom. That eliminates the need for a larger base that's inevitably going to get in the way.
There is also a small green LED on the front of the TV. Which is good as this TV doesn't make any noises turning on or off. It's dim enough so I never even notice it when I'm watching a movie at night. And it's not one of those LED's that gets super bright when you look at it directly. That's it on the front as all of the physical buttons are hidden behind the recessed backing to the left, including power.
You can easily see from the specs to see what inputs it has. You'll also note I don't list having 2 HDMI ports as a negative. Considering its price and the fact that I'll be eventually hooking this up to a receiver that will handle all HDMI switching, it's not a factor for me.
So how does it look? After its calibrated, it looks excellent. As with most TV's, the default profiles leave much to be desired. My sources are OTA (Over-The-Air) HDTV, Blu-Ray, DVD, and hundreds of other TV shows that I stream or have on the Media Center PC. So far, they've all looked great. Even lower quality content looks decent. I don't currently have cable or satellite.
As with all high resolution displays, lower res content will suffer a bit without upconversion. Fortunately most of what I'm viewing is at least 720p or higher. Or it's already been upconverted. I've been watching the Olympics just about non-stop since it started and I'm still impressed with how good it looks.
One of the most impressive features is just how darn good the contrast ratio and viewing angles are. This has one of the best black levels that I've seen on any LCD. We're talking Plasma or DLP levels here. With LCDs it's very common to to have that greyish tone to "black" levels, especially with movies or dark scenes. Not an issue here. I also have a work bench directly below and in front of the TV and I can easily sit there and watch TV without any issues. It's not a 100% perfect at that sharp angle, but pretty darn good.
The only slight negative is when looking at certain large solid bright or light colored images, you can see some very slight unevenness in the backlighting. You can see some areas that are ever so slightly darker than others. I've seen this effect with other TV's as well. If you think that might bother you, just be aware.
However, I will add that with the many different sources I'm watching, it's rare that I even notice it. And I'm quite sensitive to any imperfections in displays regardless of how minor they are. In many cases, I have a hard time even pointing them out to other people. :) I also noticed you can lessen this by adjusting brightness and backlight settings. So far, it's minor and rare enough that it hasn't bothered me.
I also wanted to use the TV for playing the occasional PC game. I'm using a 25' HDMI cable to hook up my gaming PC on the other side of the room for that very purpose. I simply turned on "Game Mode" and fired up BF3 and Starcraft 2. So far, I haven't run into any input lag and everything looks great. At least none that I've noticed. So as a PC monitor, you're good to go.
It does have a VGA port if you want to use it, but for the best 1080p image, you'll want to stick with HDMI. If your PC doesn't have that, you can easily find cables or adapters to convert your DVI or DisplayPort to HDMI for a full digital picture.
I wasn't able to find any other professional presets on-line for this TV, so I pretty much started from scratch. This is a combination of adjusting on the fly and a bit of help from the Disney World of Wonder calibration disc. Which I should note, is pretty darn cool. Since some of this is indeed personal preference, you may just want to use this as a starting point and go from there.
Disclaimer: I'm not an A/V "expert" by any means and I'm still playing with these settings. :)
Advanced Picture Settings:
Dynamic Contrast: Off
Static Gamma: 0
Color Temperature: Medium
Cinema Mode: Video
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
Picture Size : Native
Auto Aspect Ratio: On
SOUND & REMOTE:
The built-in speakers are what I'd consider to be very average and "typical" for a flat screen TV. They're OK and get the job done. Just don't expect a full or deep range of sound. The options to adjust the speakers are also quite limited in the menu system. I'm running a 700W 5.1 PC surround sound system, so that's not an issue for me.
The remote on the other hand, isn't great. It has all of the right buttons, but it's not universal, and is very picky as to how you're pointing it at the TV. Just the wrong angle or not aimed perfectly at the IR sensor, and it'll ignore your input. So it's a good thing there is that green power LED so I know it turned off/on. At least it gives me an excuse to eventually get another Harmony remote.
+ Thin design
+ Great Value
+ Contrast ratio
+ Color accuracy
+ Viewing angles
+ Picture quality
+ LED Backlit
+ Game Mode
- Average speakers?
- Minor image uniformity issue*
Needless to say, I'm very happy with my purchase. Everybody that has seen the TV is equally impressed with the overall picture quality. They immediately assume this TV costs twice what it does. This bright LED backlit TV works great in the "cave" and has minimal glare as a result of the windows in the room. In fact, it's so bright that some may find themselves turning down the backlight at night time.
I also added an asterisk to the "con" for the uniformity I noted as it's so minor it's almost insignificant for my use. But I put it there as an FYI. So if you're purchasing this for something along the lines of what I was looking for, I consider this TV highly recommended. If not, I'm sure you'll still like it. :)
on July 9, 2012
I was shopping for a new TV for our family room after our plasma was shattered during shipping to our new home. I liked the quality of the plasma but it was heavy and would not work well in the new room full of windows. I found this 50" Toshiba for the same price as most same size plasmas. I was concerned bout the fact that it was 60hrz instead of 120hrz but to be honest cant even tell. Probably once the Olympics starts I may get some speed issues but most movies are made to fit 60hrz anyways. Not sure what he hype is about the higher htz, probably just marketing. The screen is nice, not as reflective as other competitors, and nice and bright. The only negative side is the 2 HDMI inputs. For a good all around TV for cable and kids movies its worth it. If you are looking for TV with all the latest technology like 3d and smart than this is not for you.
on December 6, 2012
I purchased this set as a replacement for my father's 5 year-old 42" Philips LCD as one of those crazy Black Friday deals. I was very interested to set this thing up for him, mainly because it occupied a couple new product niches for 2012: a TV with a 50" LCD panel (previously the 50" size was the exclusive domain of the plasma), and a Direct-LED backlight (or D-LED). For those unaware, a D-LED backlight is a new backlight configuration introduced this year by many different manufacturers. Unlike the more expensive and ultra-thin LED models, which place LED lighting along the edges of the screen, D-LED TVs use fewer LEDs spaced apart directly behind the panel. D-LED is similar in concept to the "Full-Array" LED backlight found in the most expensive LED TVs, but use far fewer individual LEDs, and lack the ability to selectively adjust the intensity of the backlight behind different areas of the panel (local dimming).
Look and feel: This is a budget set, and it doesn't try to hide that fact. The frame of the TV is constructed out of a glossy black plastic. To its credit, the frame around the screen is relatively thin -- about an inch -- and makes the TV fairly attractive looking. Beneath the glossy black frame, the TV features a piece of glossy silver plastic that tapers from either side of the TV and meets in a point beneath the Toshiba logo. The stand is made of the same glossy black plastic as the frame, and the TV wobbles pretty easily when attached to it. Being D-LED, the TV is naturally thicker than an edge-lit model, but it still only comes in at a few inches deep. On the whole, I like the design of the TV, but the materials do feel a little cheap; I wouldn't expect much more in this price range. The LCD panel used in this set is what I'd refer to as "semi-matte." For the most part, it's matte, but it tends to pick up a tiny bit of reflection compared to the completely matte Philips it replaced. To that point, semi-matte panels seem to be about as matte as you can get on an LCD television these days. I don't really see anything that's 100% matte anymore.
The supplied remote is standard Toshiba fare -- in fact, it's almost identical the remote supplied with my ancient Toshiba HD-DVD player (a moment of silence, if you would). It's tiny, the edges are too pointed, and the buttons are too close together. I'd assume most people won't be using it past the initial TV setup in favor of a universal remote, so it's not a big deal. I did not test the built-in speakers since I am using a separate A/V receiver and speakers.
Picture quality: This TV exceeded beyond my expectations in this area. Since it's backlit, it exhibited very good uniformity across the entire panel. It has a spot that's a tiny bit brighter than the rest of the screen in the lower left hand corner, but otherwise it's perfect. Backlight clouding and flashlighting are some of the biggest annoyances on LED TVs, and fortunately this one avoids that pitfall. Out of the box, the picture did not look very good. Some basic adjustment in "Preference" mode while eyeballing it during different content yielded a vastly improved picture. Note that this TV doesn't feature very many advanced picture options, but there are certainly enough to get by. I'll post the settings I'm currently using, but please note that 1) I am not a professional calibrator by any means, and 2) What works for my set will not necessarily work the same on another set. With that said, here we go:
ADVANCED PICTURE SETTINGS
Dynamic Contrast: Off
Static Gamma: 3
Color Temp: Warm
Make Sure Picture Size is set to "Native" rather than "Full." This eliminates overscan and will render the image pixel-for-pixel, doing away with any unnecessary scaling or cropping.
I was impressed by the contrast of the L2200U. This is aided by a better-than-average rendition of blacks - while they won't blow anybody away, they are relatively deep for a budget LED/LCD; the black depth is further assisted by the TV's very good backlight uniformity. The blacks are tinged slightly blue, like on many LCDs.
Unlike the older Philips LCD this Toshiba replaced, it handles dark scenes and mixed-contrast content very well. I tested this using Blu-Ray content like Tangled, Men in Black 3, and the Dark Knight Rises via an older Sony BDP-S1000ES Blu-Ray player. The L2200U held together very well on difficult scenes, looking natural and well-defined. Shadow detail was above-average, rendering many details on Agent J and K's suits in MIB3. I felt it tended to crush blacks slightly -- black areas tended to be a little too dark and lacked that last scintilla of detail and definition. Turning up the Static Gamma control revealed a bit more detail in black areas, but it started to look a little exaggerated or unnatural past a setting of "3," so that's where I left it.
Another concern I had purchasing this TV was that it was only 60Hz. To my surprise, however, the L2200U held together very well during fast motion and panning during close-up or detail shots. Many LCDs (like the one this one replaced) tend to smear and blur pretty noticeably during these types of content. This Toshiba isn't free of motion blur, but it isn't major enough to be distracting or annoying. In fact, I find the blur less noticeable on this TV than on my 3 year-old 120Hz Sharp LED (see my previous reviews for that one). Be aware that as a 60Hz model, it can't render the hyper-real "soap opera effect" smoothing, if you're into that. Nor can it do 5:5 pulldown on 24p content like a 120Hz model can, if you're a film buff.
Negatives: Viewing angle is not great; color fidelity and contrast drop off significantly off-axis. It isn't the worst I've ever seen, but it's not good. Not a big deal if you sit on axis. I also noticed that during up/down camera panning, this TV exhibits horizontal banding -- e.g. you can see faint, static "bands" across the panel when the camera moves up or down. I am not sure if this is from the structure of the backlight or something else; vertical banding is usually more endemic to LCD-based displays. It can be mildly annoying, but it isn't too noticeable unless you're looking for it.
The point: Overall, the Toshiba 50L2200U exhibited very good picture quality that far exceeds its price bracket. I'm generally quite picky when it comes to picture quality, and I found myself impressed by the image the L2200U produced more often than not. Whether you're paying close to MSRP or way below it, this television is definitely worth it. Recommended!
on September 21, 2012
This TV handles everything I've thrown at it.
I went with this model based on price alone. I got it at 650.00 from Amazon, and considering that I live in Canada and picked it up cross border it was an insanely good value. The closest I could find here was a 699.99 on a 50% off sale for the same model, and that doesnt include shipping (Free from amazon), 12% sales tax (no sales tax at the time from California Amazon partner), or Eco Fee (no eco fee in the US on consumer electronics to my knowledge). In all, I ended up paying the 12% tax to import it and saved over 200 dollars on eco fee/shipping charges. This was on top of the differences in TV Price.
I did not want 3d, I didnt need a SmartTV with wireless or integrated internet capability. I run a 25' HDMI cord from my desktop to the tv already, and with a tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab) I can remotely play, adjust volume, pause, stop videos from my desktop. Therefore, I wasnt after every bell and whistle offered in the TV market. That being said, this TV delivers on fantastic picture, fantastic and surprisingly powerful audio, and great depth of color. The start up is reasonable and much better than many tvs of similiar size. The picture remains awesome at almost every practical angle you can see it from... My neighbours could easily cancel their cable package if I left my curtains open.
I highly recommend this TV, the price is hard to beat for LED and if what you're doing is displaying shows from your PC, playing Xbox, or watching TV/Sports then it cant be beat. If you want it to iron your shirt and pick you up when you feel down, try a human because the TV market isnt quite there yet.
on July 10, 2012
I aquire this TV at SEARS for $750 with tax. The image is amazing and it looks just like an expensive model. I had a Panasonic 52" LCD Projection. You can imagine the improvement of my movie experience! The only thing I am concern is that if you are step too close to the TV, something like 3 or 4 feet away the image does not seen as good when you are farther. Anyway the TV is like 12' away and I cannot ask for better picture. I believe that there is no better picture!
Go ahead and buy it if you are a movie lover. You will be not dissapointed!
on December 12, 2012
Great 50 inch basic set. I watch quite a bit of sports and action movies have not noticed motion blur at all. Very evenly lit, bright, and color accurate. I use it with Uverse service, an AppleTV 3 and an old DVD player. All content really looks good. I really am not interested in gimmicky 3D or some poor user interface for the web or Netflix/Hulu. My AppleTV and iPad have those tasks covered well. I just wanted an excellent big screen for my content at an excellent price. The 50L2200U is perfect for my purpose.
on April 7, 2013
Skipping many of the details of how I acquired the set because they aren't germane to reviewing the actual set, I'll simply say that after much research, I decided on this set against a comparable 50" Panasonic set that was an edge-lit LED. I ended up with a floor model from Sears for $539. Best Buy matched WalMart's online price of $498, but they had no manual (turns out I didn't really need it), no box and no original remote. I live in a rural area, about 20 miles from the nearest city with any type of shopping centers, and after two trips to two different cities AFTER buying the TV, I was able to find the 8 mm x 16 mm COARSE THREAD mounting bolts I needed to mount this set on my stand (in the same city where I bought the set in earlier in the day.....). The mounting configuration on the back panel is standard 400 x 400 mm, but the actual mounting bolts are very specific - see above.
First, this is clearly not a set with a ton of bells and whistles. It's a pretty bare-bones video monitor with a limited number of video/audio adjustment options. If you want a TV with those features, BUY ONE, just don't expect this set to be one of them. If you want a good-sized TV/monitor for around $500, this unit will certainly fit your needs. It's nice and light (noticeably lighter than the 37" Sharp Aquos that this unit replaced) and mounting it on a stand is an easy operation; my wife and I recruited our 12 year old son to help hold the set, so I will say that a third set of hands certainly helps.
Even if you don't have a manual, setting up this unit is a breeze if you have any experience with navigating onscreen menus. It's very intuitive, and because of the limited number of adjustments, your head won't swim.
Do yourself a favor and use the HDMI feature to run this set from either a cable/satellite box or A/V receiver. I used to have Dish Network satellite service, but the receiver I had didn't have an HDMI port, so I was running my audio/video signals through optical/component video cables from my Yamaha A/V receiver to my Sharp Aquos. Yesterday, since I had since switched to Direct TV (but never upgraded to the available HDMI connection because the install tech just switched over the wiring system I had and I never got around to upgrading it) I connected my new Toshiba (and DVD player AND satellite box) with dedicated HDMI cables. I'm "hear" to tell you that it DEFINITELY makes a huge difference in both picture AND sound quality. Man, I've been missing out on my audio! I'm almost as impressed with my "new" sound quality (through a relatively decent A/V home theater system that includes Paradigm speakers and an Adcom 5-channel amplifier and sounded pretty good to begin with) as I am with the picture quality of my new Toshiba television. It doesn't matter if you're connecting this set to an A/V receiver or directly to a cable/satellite box. To get the absolute most out of your unit, use an HDMI cable (but don't get sucked in by elevated "high speeds" and big name brands; I grabbed three 3-foot cables for $10 each at Lowe's and they work fine).
I will confess that I had a fleeting moment of that sinking, buyer's remorse feeling of disappointment when I first got the unit up and running. The picture was pretty good in the store, but a bit less so when I got it home (and I'm all about picture quality; it's the only reason I bought this set). Having no manual for reference, I just hit "Menu" on the remote, went to "Picture Settings", and entered the suggested settings of Jordan and Wayne (they were both pretty close) included in their reviews here. My picture quality immediately went from "uh oh!" to "WOWZA!!". KUDOS TO JORDAN AND WAYNE FOR NOT ONLY HITTING ON SOME VERY GOOD SETTINGS, BUT SHARING THEM WITH THE REST OF US! I wouldn't suggest dinking around with the picture settings on your own - just duplicate their suggested settings (I think Wayne had a couple of extra settings that might have been found in the "Advanced Settings" menu) and after that you might tweak some settings a couple adjustment points one way or the other, but I'm confident that to get the absolute best picture out of this set, your numbers should be pretty close to theirs. So don't get too crazy if you don't like the initial picture quality. Like all HDTV sets, it's all about making the necessary and CORRECT adjustments to maximize picture quality. With the right settings, this TV puts out an excellent quality picture. However, keep in mind that what pleases one eye might not please another, and some people - lets face it - just don't know how to really dial in a television set. Follow the suggested settings found in these reviews, and there should be no reason whatsoever to be unhappy with this unit's picture quality.
At startup, I agree with other reviews after having noticed the 15-second or so lag time between power up and actual picture appearance. A bit of an annoyance? Kind of. However, every television set I've ever owned had its idiosyncrasies, and this one is no exception. However, I have yet to encounter any "deal killers".
I'm sorry to say that I can't offer an assessment of sound quality because I have this set running through an A/V receiver. I haven't heard the stock speakers on the set, and frankly don't care what they sound like because I won't ever listen to them. Again, I bought this set strictly for it's function as a video monitor - and at this price point, it performs admirably. At least after 24 hours...*lol*
As others have indicated, the remote is only average. The "Menu" button is a small round one that would have been much better were it in the place of the "CCaption" button, which is one of the larger (not largest) rectangular buttons in the middle of the remote unit. Others were also correct in their assessment of the finicky nature of the IR signal. It is a bit of an annoyance, however I programmed both the satellite remote control I use as well as my Universal programmable (think Harmony programmable) to this Toshiba, so I likely won't use the Toshiba remote much.
So far, I find this set to be very, very acceptable for the price. The colors are good, sharpness is good when properly set, I see no light issues yet, acceptable blacks - again, all very acceptable for a set in this cost range. Yes, there are other sets out there with more adjustments, bells and whistles, and better picture (and probably audio) quality. And, yes.........you'll pay for those features. If that's what you need (or want) then hey, go for it. If you want to upgrade your existing set (be it your first flat screen or you just want to update your existing one as I did), you don't need a ton of features (as I don't), and you DON'T want to spend big money (as I didn't) then I don't think you can go wrong with this nice little offering from Toshiba.
I'm giving this television 4 stars primarily because of what I consider to be a relatively substandard remote control for a 50" LED flat screen television. As far as available picture quality, I give it 5.
on February 7, 2013
It has a very good picture after the picture settings were set. Thanks to reviewers Jordon and Wayne, their suggestions helped me set it up. It is a nice looking tv . I don't care for the remote control. I wish it had come with a manual instead of direction to a website.
A lot of electronics are that way now I guess. We are really enjoying it and feel it was well worth what we paid for it.
on January 9, 2013
*Good picture quality. Deep black levels and good contrast. Default picture settings are not great, but once calibrated you'll get good quality pictures.
*Decent sound quality. A sound bar would make a difference, but good for general viewing.
*HDMI CEC control. Works with most devices and can control them using TV remote.
*Only 2 HDMI inputs. 50" TV deserves at least 3 HDMI ports. No Audio Return Control (ARC) available as well. That means you'll need a separate optical audio cable if you're using an external sound system to output TV's sound.
*Menu system is not user friendly IMO. Wish it had more than 1 user setting profile for pictures.
*Remote is boxy and not easy to hold. Limited range and angle. You'll have to be right in front of the TV to use the remote.
TV is 4" deep despite its a LED TV. Reason being its direct backlit, not edgelit. However, it results in uniform backlighting according to experts.
I think the panel is TN (not IPS), because picture quality reduces when looked from wider angles. Picture quality is great when you sit in-front of the TV and within about 45 degrees. Beyond that, picture quality distorts.
It has a thin bezel, although it's boxy and not fashionable.
Built quality seems to be good, but I can't comment on much since I've owned for about 2 months yet.
Not a swivel stand, but pretty rigid.
Finally, it's not a smart TV. No online capability at all. (That's why there are streaming boxes for).
If you want a basic TV with good picture quality and decent sound, consider this TV.
on March 9, 2013
I titled this "If this price is right" because it really is a matter of bang for your buck. This TV is not a five star unit when compared with higher end, and more costly, sets. But of course that's not the point. I got mine on sale at Best Buy for $500, and at that price it was a very good deal indeed in comparison to other sets in that price range. These Toshibas have a high contrast image that cuts through in even the most brightly lit rooms. The VGA input works very well too. No need for fooling with settings on the computer to get it to match.
You'll find reviews that complain that there is motion blur or that the sound isn't very good or it has too few inputs and so on. But most of these are comparing this set to more expensive ones, which isn't really valid. You need to compare the sound and picture and options to others in the same price range. As many of the positive reviews pint out, this is a good BASIC set. And I do find that adjusting the settings to your own preference will improve things. In my case I turn down the color intensity (a lot) and kick the backlighting and brightness up quite a bit.
You can get a decent 50" set if you don't have a lot to spend (and I certainly didn't). That's why I'm giving it a 5!