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Customer Review

147 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the "man cave", August 10, 2012
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This review is from: Toshiba 50L2200U 50-Inch 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV (Black) (Electronics)
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.

PICTURE:

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.

GAMING:

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.

CALIBRATION:

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. :)

Picture Settings:
Contrast: 85
Backlight: 54
DynaLight: Off
Brightness: 56
Color: 52
Tint: -3
Sharpness: 4

Advanced Picture Settings:
Dynamic Contrast: Off
Static Gamma: 0
Color Temperature: Medium
Cinema Mode: Video

Noise Reduction:
DNR: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off

Theater Settings:
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.

Pros:
+ Thin design
+ Great Value
+ Contrast ratio
+ Color accuracy
+ Viewing angles
+ Picture quality
+ LED Backlit
+ Game Mode

Cons:
- Remote
- Average speakers?
- Minor image uniformity issue*

CONCLUSION:

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. :)
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 25, 2012 1:41:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 1:41:33 PM PDT
amazoner says:
Good Review. Can you or someone tell me if it has a swivel base? Probably doesn't but I'm hoping....

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 1:52:17 PM PDT
Wayne says:
Thanks, and sorry, no swiveling base.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 3:50:55 PM PDT
amazoner says:
Thank you Wayne.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:16:00 PM PST
R. Pogue says:
Great input! There are a few Black Friday deals regarding this TV so I'm doing some research.

Since reviewing, have you had any problems with input lag on games at all? I know you said you didn't detect any (so this is no offense to you), but sometimes I find that people who say stuff like that just can't tell. You seem very knowledgeable though, and if you're using a mouse on it, then you'd be able to tell right away. Couple other quick questions if you wouldn't mind indulging me -

1.)Any experience playing a game in 480p? I'm a big retro gamer and some of these games on the Wii's Virtual Console or what have you require quick reflexes.
2.) Blu-Ray and other High Def content - no issues with motion blurring or ghosting or anything like that? I've read good things on Television Info about this TVs motion compared to other displays. The Samsung I had tried out felt too blurry in regards to moving images.

Thanks so much for bearing with me! Like you, I've been doing a LOT of research in regards to gaming and Blu-Ray playback at a good price.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 3:22:49 PM PST
Wayne says:
Thanks for the feedback. So first, when testing for input lag, I do quickly move the mouse around and pay attention to see if there is any hint of delay. None found at all. I even played some more SC2 today, just for you, and we're still good. :)

I'm afraid I don't have anything below 720p to test out on the display. Just in general though, I wouldn't have high expectations. High res displays tend to really bring out the poor quality of low res content.

I watch 1080p content on the TV all the time, including blu-ray, and everything looks great. No motion blur or ghosting and I have to say it again - the contrast ratio is excellent. It's just a great all around TV.

Good luck with your research. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 7:39:35 AM PST
R. Pogue says:
Thanks! One more question if you'll indulge me - does this TV have a 24p or Film mode for Blu-Rays, and if not, has it made a difference for your Blu-Ray watching experience?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 11:47:56 AM PST
Wayne says:
No 24p or film mode. Just the typical Dynamic, Standard, Movie, PC, and Preference (Custom) presets. I wouldn't expect to see a lot of high-end features at this price point. But with that said, I've seen no issues at all with motion blur or ghosting anywhere, including HD/Blu-Ray content.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 7:24:09 PM PST
Cloud says:
I am a total novice when it comes to flat panel hdtv. As I type this, I'm watching my vintage 36" Sony Wega Trinitron! LOL. I want to be able to hook up my laptop to watch You Tube Videos as well as Netflix Movies. I am not a gamer. I would assume You Tube will look just like it does on my laptop, except bigger, of course. Or will the picture become pix-elated since it will be so large? I like to watch documentaries and stupid stuff like that. I just want reasonably clear pic and sound that you can hear easily. For Netflix movies, will the HDTV work if I'm streaming from my laptop? Your post was very helpful!! Thanks for taking the time to write it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2012 8:07:12 PM PST
Wayne says:
Hey Cloud, I have a media center system hooked up to the TV. It's basically an old quad core Windows 7 desktop connected via HDMI. I'm outputting at 1920x1080@60hz (aka, "1080p"), which is the native resolution for the TV, and quite common among PC monitors in the 24" range. So that's something virtually any modern notebook or desktop is capable of doing. But on a 50" TV, it just looks like a really big high-def PC monitor. :)

I also watch YouTube on there all the time, which also has most newer content at 1080p. It looks great. If you have the bandwidth, Netflix and Amazon Video stream most content in some form of HD. Basically as long as your content or source is also at least 720p or higher, it will look fine. Any lower, and it'll probably look much worse than it did on your notebook. Mostly because the screen is so large.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 5:39:50 PM PST
Hey Wayne, thanks for all the helpful information. The only question I have (something I can't find anywhere) is regarding the screen finish. Is it glossy or matte? I don't have the luxury of seeing this in person.

Thanks!
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