on July 20, 2011
I was a more than a little aprehensive about buying this TV since I did not find one review prior to purchasing. I had done a lot of research on Natural (passive)3D LED-LCD HDTV televisions. I even bought a subscription to consumer reports to gain more information. I read reviews on as many models that I could find that fit my criteria. I wanted a passive 3D system, I wanted a screen at least 46 inches and after researching I decided I needed at least a 240hz refresh rate to avoid the "ghosts" I keep hearing about. Unfortunately most of those TV's were expensive and I wanted to keep my price point below $1300.00. Then I found this Toshiba. The price point was great, no tax, and shipping was only $25.00. Set up was easy (my 19 year old son did it...may not have been easy for me). I heard on other reviews from many of the other televisions that the default picture settings needed adjustment but all I did was turn it on and was AMAZED. This picture is crystal clear. I have had the TV for about 2 months now and it still continues to amaze me. Although I don't watch a lot of the 3D channels, but this is VERY COOL. I have never had a ghost issue, even when watching sports. It feels as if you are in the picture...I wish I had more 3D programs available to me. I did watch the british open the other day and thought I saw a trail after a putt of the golf ball...but it didn't happen again. Interestingly my kids brought home a set of 3D glasses from an imax theatre the other day (I am NOT encouraging people to do this...) and those glasses also worked with this TV. Another reason I wanted natural...I did not want to spend $100 dollars for more glasses. My father owns a Sony HD LCD and he is impressed with the picture I have vs his.
My only two complaints are: there is a big lag time between channel changes. It feels like a minute or so after you change the channel until the picture comes back but I am sure it is only 20 seconds or so, I am just used to that function being instantaneous. The other is the sound. I read reviews on all of the other comparable TV's and they all said you need to get a decent sound bar or surround sound because of this so it was expected and I will eventually invest in an up to date system.
All in all, I am very happy with this TV...I made a big leap of faith that it would be everything I had hoped for and have not been dissapointed. I thought about giving it only 4 stars because of the sound and channel issue but it is such a great TV otherwise I didn't think it was fair. Hopefully this review will help someone else take the plunge!
I have had this Toshiba TV since late July 2011 and so far have been extremely pleased with my purchase. It seems to be unjustifiably underrated. Crutchfield likes this set and they're no technology dummies!
I purchased this television after first having had a look at the comparable 47" passive 3D LG TV (Model: LG Infinia 47LW6500 47 Cinema 3D 1080p 240 Hz LED-LCD HDTV) which - overall - did not impress me as much as I expected based on the opinions of certain overly enthusiastic members of the LG True Believers Club here on Amazon.com who are apparently experiencing something akin to an ersatz orgasm as they continue to post monotonously uncritical, over-the-top, positive reviews about this set.
"How many ways can I say wonderful and amazing? Oh dearest LG, let me count the ways!" I think that some of these people must be paid or unpaid shills intentionally getting the good word out for LG on the Internet.
Although the 47" 3D LG TV does indeed have a beautiful picture, I personally disliked the following and thus would rank it a neutral 3 out of 5 stars:
1) Stand quality/design - especially flimsy and wobbly plastic with removal problems - not an easy on or off. Attach the stand and you may very well not be able to remove it in the future due to an apparent mismatch between the screws provided and the drilled holes.
2) WIFI implementation via external dongle with suboptimal throughput - the LG would repeatedly ask me to establish my Internet connection when this had been done successfully a long time ago.
3) The second remote provided with the LG is essentially superfluous; there's rarely a need for more than one remote per electronic device. Why unnecessarily contribute to the multiplication of remotes around the house?
4) Both LG remotes also did interfere with some other electronic devices that I have in my living room, turning them on and/or off when this was not desired (digital picture frame, Internet radio, etc.). Panasonic and Toshiba remotes do not cause this problem.
NOW CONCERNING THE TOSHIBA:
The integrated WIFI connection on the Toshiba TV is rock solid. I have had absolutely no problems with having to repeatedly input my network information due to a lost wireless connection or anything of this sort. Just set up the WIFI connection once and then forget it. Streaming from the Internet - either through the TV itself or via my WIFI-enabled Panasonic Blu-ray player - is smooth and flawless, which it should be with the now 50 Mbps download speed that I have available at home (as of May 2013). And the integrated WIFI means that both of the provided USB ports are available for other things - no need for a USB WIFI dongle on this set!
Picture quality is great as far as I am concerned. I am by no means claiming that this TV has the absolute best picture quality available anywhere and this is unnecessary. I don't get too obsessed about the picture of one TV being technically 10 - 30% better than that of another. In most cases we're not dealing with truly good versus bad image quality, just different levels of goodness. Choose the set that's good enough for you overall; that's all that matters.
When first receiving this TV be sure to perform the software upgrade/update and then do NOT leave the television on the default AutoSave picture settings which emphasize energy savings over picture quality. Instead select the Standard picture settings. If you do all of this, you should end up with a very nice picture. And if you are so inclined, the Toshiba has a large number of settings that you can tweak to approach whatever your idea of picture perfection may be. Personally, I'd rather spend my time doing other things, but the potential to do this is readily available.
The Toshiba TV certainly more than meets my needs of watching the occasional over-the-air TV program and then streaming on-demand content from the Internet via WIFI. I have also had the opportunity to try out the passive 3D effect/experience of the set and it is very realistic; the images appear to pop right out of the screen - works fine for me.
Sound quality - although acceptable for built-in TV speakers - certainly can be improved and I have done so by adding a soundbar system with wireless subwoofer to the set (Panasonic SC-HTB520 2.1-Channel SoundBar Speaker System with Wireless Kelton Subwoofer, see my review). The combination works like a charm, a great sound upgrade! And everything can be controlled with the Toshiba's single remote control.
I give this Toshiba TV a rating of 4 out of 5 stars in light of the following things that I felt could be improved:
1) Stand implementation could be better. I would prefer a stand with more metal parts and less plastic (see Panasonic TVs) that attaches to the bottom/base of the LCD panel - better weight-bearing functionality and less strain (again see Panasonic) - instead of a stand that attaches directly to the back of the LCD panel. If one of the attaching screws does not come out easily, you may have difficulty removing the stand if you ever want to wall mount the TV in the future.
2) The design/layout of the Toshiba remote control is not optimized. Of the two remotes that I regularly use (Toshiba & Panasonic), I like the Panasonic remote much better: There are fewer buttons overall and they are larger, more colorful and easier to actuate while the Toshiba remote for the most part has smaller, monotonic black buttons making it difficult to find the desired function. In short it takes longer to get properly oriented with the Toshiba remote control, but it's not an insurmountable problem and you'll get used to it.
3) Changing channels is a bit too slow for my taste (as another reviewer already has mentioned). They do all switch, but the time delay is longer than expected or needed. The original start-up of the set from a cold start at about 27 seconds or so is also on the long side. You might wonder whether or not anything is happening during this time: nothing but a soft click is heard after hitting the power button on the remote and then a tiny green light - as the only sign of life - starts flashing after some 15 seconds have elapsed. These are essentially minor inconveniences - not deal breakers.
4) The Internet apps provided with the Net TV function need to be expanded. The selection so far is very limited, but this does not bother me, because I have other streaming-enabled devices (Blu-ray player, etc.) available to provide additional choices. This is something that Toshiba can -and hopefully will - improve in the near future.
STATUS UPDATE ON 11/20/2012
I have now been using this Toshiba LED TV daily for about 16 months - no problems whatsoever, no repairs. It is still going strong just like on the day in July 2011 that I first plugged it in.
STATUS UPDATE ON 07/20/2013
After 2 years of regular daily use, this Toshiba LED TV still continues to function flawlessly - no service needed.
STATUS UPDATE ON 02/02/2014
After more than 2.5 years of daily use, this Toshiba TV is still going strong just like the Energizer Bunny - no problems, no repairs!
on July 1, 2011
Size, weight, appearance are fantastic. Picture is not great until tweaked, but WAY better than just ok. Same for the sound. You'll have to tweak it - there are lots of settings...once tuned, it performs really well. Wi-Fi connect is perfect. For the price, screen size, features - this TV is a great buy. Packaging was terrific. I am *very* satisfied with this purchase.
on November 20, 2011
first off, IMO, active 3D is garbage tech. headaches, pricey glasses, noticeable flickering with some viewers, heavy uncomfortable glasses (not so much with the newer 2011 active glasses), glasses that aren't cross compatible with other manufacturers, newer active glasses may not be compatible with older active TVs from the same manufacturers, reduced brightness; all are negatives against active 3D.
after trying out a friend's panasonic 3DTV last year, i didn't believe in any 3D technology. i dismissed 3D until i tried LG's passive 3D at a local best buy. i then researched passive TV sets by LG, vizio, and toshiba. i was set on buying a lower cost vizio but after seeing the TV in person at walmart, i couldn't pull the trigger. the edge back lighting was extremely noticeable inside the well lit walmart store. i feared that watching TV on the vizio in a dark room would have been an awful experience. so i was back looking at the LG, the priciest of the 3 but after reading several reviews from gamers and many pointing out that the LG has noticeable lag while gaming, i couldn't pull the trigger on that either. so then there's toshiba, there isn't as many reviews on this set but some have mentioned that the gaming lag that's on the LG isn't on the toshiba. this may not matter to some but to gamers, that lag is a big deal. the toshiba also has pretty much all the features the LG does but for a couple of hundred dollars less. the vizio was about $150 cheaper than the toshiba but does not have a 2D to 3D feature. this is a feature which can convert any 2D signal, including live TV, into a 3D signal. a feature i was looking forward to but after playing around with the 3D feature and the 2D to 3D feature, i found that the conversion feature doesn't really come close to a real 3D signal.
enough comparisons, this toshiba is an awesome TV. the 3D is just as good as the LG's that i've seen. i only have avatar 3D on bluray and have to say that this TV brings the 3D theater experience at home, all with comfortable, lightweight, inexpensive, passive 3D glasses (includes 4). for 2D viewing, it's an awesome TV for an LED LCD. i say that because i still feel plasmas have LCDs beat but since they don't make any plasmas with passive 3D and 3D was my primary reason for this purchase, this purchase made the most sense for me. oh, i should point out that i also own a 2D only panasonic plasma.
i'm giving this TV a 5 rating because i feel that this TV is the best 3DTV you can buy for under a grand. it's not without its flaws; edge back lighting is uneven but only noticeable in a completely dark room, the remote control is nicely backlit but the buttons feel too stiff for my liking, the netflix app isn't as good as the app in my bluray player or xbox, and it takes about 20 seconds to start up. if you do purchase this TV be sure you upgrade the firmware asap. the upgrade will make navigating through the menus much smoother and will also fix netflix which did not work before the update.
edit: have had the tv for a couple weeks now and love it. volume is low though but that's expected with most thin profile tv's these days. also, this tv has played every video format that i've thrown at it via the usb port, a very welcome feature.
on October 12, 2011
This is a Good TV at a great price. I shopped this TV against the Sony KDL46EX720 and the Samsung UN466400.
-Fast Refresh Rate-240hz versus 120 for both the Samsung and Sony. The Sony has the number 240 everywhere I looked; however, this is not a true 240hz refresh rate.
-Passive 3d-This was a big one for me.
-I have 3 young children and I am hesitant to hand over a $60.00 pair of glasses passive glasses are significantly cheaper.
-Eye fatigue, personally I felt like the active glasses caused eye fatigue significantly quicker than the passive- I felt like I was getting a headache down the center of my head any time I wore the active glasses for more than a few minutes.
-Active glasses are kind of a pain- they are heavy, you have to recharge them which I tend not to stay on top off and I felt there was a lot more visual noise (not syncing properly via bluetooth and crosstalk)
-Active 3d is well entrenched with the top brands (Sony and Samsung) and you will find that every salesperson will tell you it is significantly better; however, I recommend reading this article: ([...])the author of the study referenced in this article is very highly regarded in the HDTV world and it provides an in depth comparison of active versus passive 3d.
-Matte screen-I have a bright room and this is one of the few LED LCD TVs that is not using a glossy screen which reflects light.
-Price-I was able to find this TV at a very reasonable price versus the Samsung and Sony.
-Built in WiFi-This is huge and anyone purchasing a TV should make sure it is internet connected as you can receive software updates that can correct issues with the TV. There is one out of the box that I hope will be corrected soon and I'll cover that in cons.
-The picture is good on this TV; however, I felt both the Sony and Samsung did have a slightly better 2d picture. You will absolutely have to tweak this picture out of the box as it defaults to power saver mode which sacrifices picture quality for energy savings. I am all for being green, but I think this was a huge mistake by Toshiba-I can only imagine all the returns because people take it out of the box hook it up and the picture is lackluster. I recommend going to AVSforums-dot-com, searching for the model number and trying out some of the users recommended settings. That is what I did and I have an excellent picture on this TV.
-Incredibly long time to power on (This is the issue I am hoping is corrected via a software update)-This TV takes 20 seconds to go from hitting the power button to a picture on the screen.
-Speakers are awful- This was across the board on all brands-If you are going to purchase a 3d HDTV you should have a sound system.
-Lack of reviews-This has nothing to do with the TV per se, but there are not a lot of reviews on this TV and I like to research.
All in all this is a good TV at a great price-I have watched 3d movies, played 3d games and watched sports on this TV and have been very happy with the picture and refresh rate.
60 Day Update
I am still happy with this purchase, some minor annoyances with the 20 second to picture delay when starting up and changing channels, particularly when going from an HD to SD channel. I also notice that sometimes it does not seem to recognize other inputs and I have to restart the device associated with that input.
Other than those annoyances, I still recommend this TV- 3D, gaming, movies all look excellent.
on September 26, 2011
I was on the market for a 3D television for the sake of bluray 3D and xbox 360 video games. Stumbled over this one, and I cant regret my decision. I am not a video guru, but once you calibrate the tv to your preference it will be great. May want to experiment with the different options for the best picture quailty for daytime and nightime viewing. Must I add that when you put the smooth video option on and leave the edge enhancer off (unless u really want to be part of the movie set), one will be astound at how live and real your bluray and/or bluray 3D will be. No wonder this set is described to be having a natural picture. Freaked me out at how great the bluray 3D video is. Cant tell rather its half resolution far as being passive 3D. Everything is crisp as can be. No charging required for glasses that are included. Noticed that it has four slightly lit corners on screen when pitch black, but when content is displayed, it fades down to normal. Using the 3D button to convert 2D is not really convincing, helps a little with the resolution on DVD for some reason, other than that I rather watch it in 2D unless the native content is 3D. Haven't tried 3D games yet, but very confident that it will perform well.
Pros: Excellent Video
Light up Remote
Cons: Speakers are a little under quality
Time lag to turn on tv (~22 sec.)
TV stand wobbles when touch or bumped
on December 11, 2011
Before I got this TV, I bought the LG 5600. That TV's tuner would hardly pull in any OTA HD channels, maybe 4 or 5. Picture quality was decent but there was some noticable backlight blooming. I returned the LG and got this Toshiba 47TL515U.
Right off the bat, the TV is receiving all 26 OTA HD channels in my area. A big improvement over the LG. The TV features a very stylish design and is a lot sturdier on it's base which is solid glass instead of plastic.
Now for the picture quality...totally amazing! OTA broadcast channels in HD look awesome! The Black levels are amazing, color is perfect, all in all, an incredible picture. Just change the setting from the default "autoview" to "standard". Blu ray looks great and 3D is among the best.
In my opinion, this TV blows away the LG. I've always used Toshiba products and have a 55 inch Toshiba LED TV in my main media room. This one was for our living room. I should have gotten this TV from the start.
So, if you want an awesome just about perfect picture right out of the box...forget LG, really forget Vizio....and get this Toshiba. You won't be sorry. There's no need to spend the high prices that Samsung and Sony charge you. Get the Toshiba.
on November 30, 2011
I'll make it short and to the point:
+ very nice picture quality (I'm using my PC with this TV as well, it looks amazing when connected through HDMI)
+ whites and blacks looks incredible
+ quite a few features for the buck
+ gaming mode is good, it reduces the input lag to an acceptable point. I play fighting games, so every ms counts, in gaming mode I was doing almost just as good as with my old monitor. Definite plus.
- Right off the bat I see backlight bleed in top corners it's annoying
- I don't like the remote, buttons are crappy in my opinion. Even though it has back-lighting, I would prefer a touch screen remote. Not really a minus, but worth a mention.
- no HULU+. I'm referencing it, but apparently every TV out there has extremely slow apps and you are better off using your PC or a console anyway. Not really a minus, but worth a mention.
Summary: if you aren't afraid of some backlight bleed, go for it.
To AMAZON: Fedex just dropped it off by my house, on a RAINY DAY and there was no one there to sign for it. It's a $1000 TV, I don't trust my neighbors that much... It worked out for me, but this type of service will back fire at you one day. It's too expensive to just leave at someones door.
After several days of owning this TV, I decided to return it. Backlight bleed proved to be far more annoying than I anticipated, slow tv start up time is also a drag and input lag in games proved to be a bit more than I figured at first, due to additional lag that you get from playing online (it's still fine for casual games, just not Fighting games and FPS players that take their games a tad more seriously). I tested the 3D feature, it worked well, but 2D to 3D is a pure gimmick, I found it to be useless.
UPDATED SUMMARY: it's an OK tv, hence I gave it 3 stars, but I think there are better options out there to consider.
on December 8, 2011
I've had this TV for a little over a month at the time of this writing. It's proven to be very nice. The picture is super clear, bright in the right places, crisp, and the 3D performance is very good and fun (I have nothing to really compare the 3D performance to, but it works as I expect it to). There are a few things about this set that could use some improvement; It takes a VERY long time to warm up when first turned on! There is practically no indication that it's doing anything during this period, other than a tiny, nearly inaudible 'click' and a tiny LED indicator that doesn't stay on the whole time. The set is quite slow to change resolutions! I use a DirectTV HD DVR as my source/tuner. Any time the source changes from one resolution to another, the TV goes blank for what seems like a long time (probably 10 seconds or less, but it feels longer). Also, when changing from 2D programming to 3D programming, or when turning on the virtual 3D rendering on 2D sources, this lag exists. Also, when using Netflix or other online features, the set is quite slow to get to where it needs to go. Once there, it works fine. I've watched one Netflix movie, over my home wireless network, where the access point is in the same room. Initial buffering took what I thought was a long time, but I had NO dropouts or delays for buffering once the movie started, and the picture quality was quite acceptable to me. I am not an audio/video-phile, and my standards are probably lower than some, but I have been in the AV business for 30+ years, and find this set to be a very good value for the money. I've continued watching prices, and even during the sales season, I have not seen another 47" or similar 3D LED-LCD TV on the market from any manufacturer at a better price than I paid here, especially considering 2-day shipping to my door and 12-months same-as-cash financing! Time will tell if this set will outlast the one it replaced; a Vizio that died after about 3 years, but so far, I'm happy with my purchase, and with the service I received from Amazon!
on January 22, 2012
Here is a general description of the Toshiba 47TL515U 47-Inch Natural 3D 1080p 240 Hz LED-LCD HDTV with Net TV, Black.
- Its bezel has a black-aluminum look to it and is outlined with a reflective glass trim when viewed from the side.
- The bottom trim of the TV (where the Power-Volume-Channel controls are located) is extremely glossy.
- Its base is a rather large solid plate of glass (7-8 pounds by my estimate) with rubber feet that raise the base about 1/4 an inch off the tv-stand's surface.
- Weighs just about the same as my outgoing 42" LCD TV (~45 pounds) I was impressed how much thinner and deceptively heavy this LED TV is.
- Remote control has a backlight feature, glossy black, loads of buttons.
+ Clean & crisp images you expect from a 240hz LED TV.
+ Low cost of passive 3d, uses the same 3d glasses used in movie theaters.
+ Built-in WiFi, 2d->3d capability (more of a gimmick than a stunning 3d display), loads of adjustments can be made to your liking.
+ Loads of apps, Netflix TV, Pandora, Yahoo! apps (ie weather, finance), Skype, Facebook, Twitter, able to download and install more apps if wanted.
+ USB input is able to play movies right from the flash drive. I've thrown .avi, .mp4 format movies at it and it plays flawlessly.
+ Low power consumption. $18 a year when used 5 hrs a day everyday for a year as estimated by the FTC.
+ Features voice enhance, it really helps to bring out a voice from background noise. Very practical for hearing news reports.
- Massive TV start up time. Powering it up from a night's rest is between 20-40s at times.
- Channel lag, takes about a full second at times to change from channel to channel.
- Menu proves to be a little over-complicated. Pressing the menu key will launch a plethora of tabs/sub-menus. There are 3 different ways to program the WiFi connection.
- The bottom panel with the power-volume-channel controls are touch-activated, on a glossy panel that is very prone to lingering finger prints. (design flaw?)
- The sound is very tinny, high pitches will sting ear drums. Motive to enter sound-bar market.
- AutoView screen preference (adjusts color-brightness-backlight-contrast-dynalight automatically) is really annoying, it brings noticeable changes to the picture every second on a dynamic scene.
- Initially the WiFi was very finicky, it would disconnect often and I would have to reestablish a WiFi connection, after a few days this has stopped and now has a stable connection.
- Wobbles nervously when I plug in HDMI/USB.
- Hardwired and very short power plug. (~3-4ft)
Overall I find this TV to be very sleek, affordable, and functional. Once you get past putting up with the initial start up lag, this is the TV to buy in this current LED TV market.
Update: I have discovered that at times this TV is unresponsive to channel switching/volume changing and even power controls. After a solid minute it will just shut itself off. Will update if this TV poses a serious problem.
Part 2: Does not support my 32gb Corsair flash drive, however I went around this problem by plugging the flash drive into my router to use it as a media server. From there I can watch videos out of the 32gb flash drive.