Price (RRP): $1,979
This review of the Toshiba Regza 40CV550A LCD TV was as part of a collection of 5 reviews for the article Eco TVs – how green is your TV?. The 5 reviews have been gathered together in the article 5 eco TVs tried and tested.
Although the Toshiba Regza 40CV550A LCD TV has been around for a while, it offers exceptional performance on the energy front, with a claimed 4.5 star energy rating and just 397kWh per year.
Yet there are no special eco features highlighted by Toshiba in its promotional literature. Other, perhaps, than the headline ‘Brightness’ rating of 380cd/square metre. This is lower than the 500 or so usually claimed.
And here we get to how it does it: it just turns things down a little. The drawback of this is that if, for some reason, you do need a super bright picture – perhaps to deal with afternoon light being cast on the TV by an unfortunately placed window – you won’t get it with this TV.
But that aside, the main picture presets do a fine job, especially the default ‘Standard’ one. This was positively miserly in its consumption, drawing an average of just over 90 watts. Yet (that afternoon window aside) the colour and brightness were fine for normal use. The lower consumption ‘Movie’ mode only saved a further six watts.
But there was one major performance drawback with this TV … one that the correction of which would not have any impact on power consumption at all: the TV does not have any kind of ‘1:1’ or ‘Just’ or ‘Real’ aspect ratio setting for 1080p video inputs. These settings eliminate picture scaling completely, and just feed each pixel of the incoming signal to the respective pixel of the screen.
This TV insists on applying ‘overscan’ to all signals, including full high definition ones, thereby pushing between 2-3 percent of the picture off each edge of the screen. It also ‘sharpens’ the picture in all modes, adding a messy edge to some fine detail. Even turning the sharpness control down to the minimum didn’t completely eliminate this.