Just an update on my situation, since I haven't chimed in for a few days:
-I've never seen any kind of distortion or deformity in faces or anything else on this set.
-I've been busy so I haven't scheduled warranty service to deal with the vertical banding yet, and I'm not going to calibrate until I get that straightened out (soon, I hope).
-Speaker buzz: definitely not a signal problem, I think it is a physical problem with ONE of the speakers with certain low frequency tones. I can almost elliminate it by turning down the bass. I'm going to deal with that when I get the banding taken care of.
I'm still sticking with my original assessment that the PQ on this set is great and it is priced nicely. The 1024x768 VGA input limitation may be an annoyance for some people, and a minority of owners have experienced banding problems (that were apparent right away, they did not appear out of no where). If you can live with the VGA issue and you can buy from a store with a good return policy, I definitely recommend this TV.
Originally Posted by astdave
Does anyone know if there has been software updates for the 42HL196. I have this weird issue where the captions turn on by themselves. Plus maybe the software upgrade would make the slide show feature better.
Not that I know of. Try calling Toshiba's customer support, the number is in the manual. Some people have complained that their phone support is not very good, but the one time I called the guy I spoke with was very knowledgeable. Don't bother filling out a support request online, you'll probably just get an automated response telling you to call them.