Originally Posted by Techradar Review: Toshiba 55WL863BOverview
For a couple of years now there's been an increasingly wide divide between Toshiba in Japan and Toshiba in the UK.
For while Toshiba's Japan division has been blazing a high-end trail with its phenomenally powerful and entirely uncompromising CEVO TVs, Toshiba in the UK has been increasingly turning into a (very successful) budget brand.
Today, though, Toshiba is finally trying to get back on higher ground with the 55WL863: its first UK TV to carry the brand's CEVO Engine.
This powerful processing engine ushers in a number of potentially important picture features, including an advanced 2D to 3D conversion engine, a 3D version of Toshiba's long-respected Resolution+ system for boosting sharpness and detail, and a potentially very handy NetResolution+ system for improving the look of streamed video from the Internet.
The CEVO Engine
is also used to drive the 55WL863's PRO-LED screen
, complete with a degree of local dimming.Edge LED
Focussing next on the features that make the 55WL863's pictures tick, the full HD 55-inch screen is illuminated by edge LED lighting but with a degree of local dimming available. Local dimming isn't always very successful on edge LED TVs, so it will be interesting to see how well it works here.
The claimed contrast ratio of 7,000,000:1 is promising at least, even though it's almost certainly also rather fanciful...
The really big cause for hope with the 55WL863's pictures, though, is the new CEVO Engine. For as well as driving key 'headline' features like the NetResolution system for improving the appearance of streamed video and the 3D Resolution+ system for boosting the sharpness of 3D images, the CEVO Engine works on a more micro level when it comes to improving such general image components as colour, contrast and motion clarity.
While the CEVO Engine has doubtless made its presence subtly felt in the HD picture results so far - especially as we spent most of our time watching the mostly good settings arrived at via the exclusive, CEVO-powered auto calibration system - its impact becomes much more overt when watching standard definition.
For standard def sources are upscaled to the screen's full HD resolution exceptionally well, thanks to the way detail and sharpness are added at the same time that noise is suppressed. Colours retain their naturalism and subtlety during their upscaling transition, too.
The CEVO Engine is also, more surprisingly gloriously apparent when watching 3D. For here engaging the Resolution+ mode delivers a result that's nothing short of revelatory, sharpening and adding more detail to even full HD 3D Blu-ray pictures to a degree that makes them quite simply the most detailed active 3D pictures yet seen on a TV. Seriously.We liked
The 55WL863's build quality is gorgeous, and its connections leave no stone unturned in catering for these modern multimedia times.
The presentation of its Places online service is superb too, and its attempts to personalise the TV for different users are worthy. There's a satisfying degree of calibration flexibility as well, and best of all the TV's picture quality is mostly excellent.We disliked
The remote supplied with the 55WL863 isn't as helpful as it thinks it is. Also, the Places service needs to have more content added to get closer to the online services offered by rival brands, and it's a shame the otherwise exemplary 3D pictures are let down by noticeable crosstalk.
There's some minor light bleed in the picture's corners during dark scenes too, but this isn't nearly as bad a problem as it is on some of Toshiba's other TVs this year.Final verdict
While there's a nagging sense that Toshiba could perhaps have used its CEVO Engine processing a bit more overtly in the 55WL863, it's still the case that the system has helped Toshiba deliver a really good TV that deserves a place at the top table of TV quality this year.
The set's multimedia support is good, and its 2D pictures are sharp, colourful, bright and natural for the most part. What's more, 3D pictures are in some ways the best we've seen, with just the existence of crosstalk noise letting them down.