Toshiba 40CV550A LCD television

A mid-range Toshiba LCD television with good detail and low power consumption but no 100Hz motion smoothing.

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Toshiba 40CV550A
  • Toshiba 40CV550A
  • Toshiba 40CV550A
  • Toshiba 40CV550A

Pros

  • Low power consumption, crisp 1080p detail reproduction, good price

Cons

  • No 100Hz technology, overly bright back-light by default

Bottom Line

As a simple, entry-level 1080p LCD television, Toshiba’s 40CV550A is a good product. Its lack of 100Hz motion compensation may deter enthusiasts and the need to tweak display modes to achieve the best picture quality might be confusing for novice users.

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The Toshiba 40CV550A is a mid-range LCD television that displays 1080p content crisply and vibrantly. Power-saving features lower its overall running costs, but a few problems with the default settings mean that you will need to customise the 40CV550A’s picture to get the best possible experience.

Toshiba faces a lot of competition in the budget 1080p market: almost every television manufacturer has a model with a similar screen size, resolution and feature set. Unlike Toshiba's other televisions the CV550A doesn't have a 100Hz motion smoothing mode. This may seem like a crippling omission given it is common in competing models, but the Toshiba 40CV550A reproduces fast motion with only minimal jittering, making a 100Hz mode almost unnecessary.

The thin, piano-black bezel of the Toshiba 40CV550A is fairly typical for an LCD television, but the lower bezel’s curve and line-art design sets it apart from the rest of the crowd. The stand is not too large and the Toshiba 40CV550A is easy to set up, but the LCD television can't swivel.

Plenty of analog inputs are included on the Toshiba 40CV550A — useful for families who still have VCRs or older DVD players or digital video cameras. One VGA, one component, one S-Video and three composite ports are included, along with two HDMI ports for the latest digital equipment.

Low power consumption is a key feature of the Toshiba 40CV550A LCD television. At 185W it is less than the 194W consumption of the smaller 37in Sharp LC37D85X. This is enough to earn it a 4.5 star energy-efficiency rating; labels displaying the energy efficiency of TVs will soon be mandatory in Australia.

To get the best possible picture from the Toshiba 40CV550A’s 1080p panel, some tweaking is required. We found the picture too sharp in its default Dynamic mode. It was slightly too bright and under-saturated. These issues were easily fixed using the custom picture mode. The end result was a television that played back video vibrantly and with plenty of fine detail.

Games played at 1080p and Blu-ray video were handled without issue — images were distortion-free and showed all the detail we expected to be visible on a screen of this size. DVD-resolution video and standard-definition television was upscaled acceptably, although we saw a small amount of interpolation noise and artefacting at some points.

The speakers of the Toshiba 40CV550A are acceptable but not fantastic. At low to medium volumes sound is well balanced and clear, but at higher volumes bass becomes ragged and rattles the speaker cabinets slightly. If you’re attaching a home theatre system, though, this won’t be a problem.

The Toshiba 40CV550A is a competent LCD television, with no glaring flaws in any area. If you’re looking for a budget 1080p LCD television and aren’t fussed by the lack of 100Hz motion smoothing technology, check it out.

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