Review: Toshiba 47VL900A LCD TV
4.4Overall Score
Price (RRP): $1,999 Manufacturer: Toshiba

Toshiba’s new 47 incher, the 47VL900A LED/LCD TV sports a very special new feature: WiDi. What is it? What does it do? And how’s the rest of this TV?

Features

Well, first, WiDi. This is short for Intel Wireless Display. New computers using Intel’s recent processors support this feature, which is simply the ability to reflect the screen from the computer to the TV wirelessly.

And that is, in my books, one very cool feature indeed.

Otherwise, this is a passive 3D TV with a very thin border, under 12mm from the edge of the picture to the edge of the body. Since the glass is flat to within a millimetre or so of the edge, the borders seem almost non-existent.

The passive 3D technology works by delivering the left and right eye views to the TV simultaneously, one eye on the odd-numbered lines and the other on even-numbered lines. Polarised glasses separate the images from the two. The glasses are light and cheap because they don’t use an ‘active’ liquid crystal shutter system. You get four sets of glasses included in the price.

The full high definition panel offers a contrast ratio of up to 7 million to 1 and has the ability to brighten and darken different parts of the screen independently.

The panel is compact, thanks to the thin borders, and a middling 42mm deep. The stand swivels for convenience.

Don’t worry about the apparent lack of a composite video input. This TV is clearly a European-orientated model, and so it is equipped with a Euro-SCART 21 pin connector. An adaptor is included with the TV so that you can plug composite video and analogue audio into this, which is always useful just in case.

But it should be noted that this and most of the other connections are placed flat on the back of TV, so to use them you will have wires poking directly out the back of the TV, limiting close-to-wall placement.

The two USB ports are side-ways pointing, though. You will probably want to use the bottom one for the included WiFi dongle since this is required for WiDi operation.

Performance

We’ve used WiDi before, but only in its DLNA version, which appears to use the home network.

Using this TV it appears it was based on WiFi Direct, in which the computer and the TV communicate directly through their WiFi capabilities. The DLNA type worked well enough, but with a massive delay of a good one second or so between you doing something on the computer and it being reflected on the TV screen.