Toshiba 55SV670U

June 27, 2009 by

Toshiba 55SV670U

Toshiba’s SV670U series comes with an overactive backlight and able to deliver some really good blacks, along with accurate color and solid video processing.

There is a sheet of transparent material that covers the entire face of the panel, creating an illusion on the Toshiba 55SV670U that the whole thing is composed of one pane of glass, especially from a side view.  The frame is edged in silver metal, which borders a silver background that fades tastefully to black.  From far, it looks like Toshiba did some spray painting, but come nearer, users will see that the silver is composed of tiny squares that curve from the extreme edge of the panel inward.  This color blend is interesting; however, the unit is thicker than other competing LCDs.  Purchase comes with a matching swivel stand.

The dual color design extends to the big remote control.  There are few buttons on the remote control, but suffice to function well.  However, it is not illuminated, and small handed people may have trouble reaching the important picture mode and size keys at the bottom of the remote.  This remote control is capable of controlling three other pieces of devices.

Setting up the Toshiba 55SV670U
There are plenty of connectivity.  The back panel has three HDMI inputs, two component video, one VGA-stylel PC input with 1280 x 1024 maximum resolution, and one AV input with composite and S-Video.  There are also digital and analog audio outputs for this AV, while the side panel sports one more HDMI, another AV input with composite video, a USB and an SD card slots.

Overall, setting up the system can be easy if not for a wordy 83-page owner’s manual. The step-by-step guide is mostly driven by words, as opposed to illustrations to most other manuals by manufacturers of similar product. A little too technical, a little too confusing, the average user will do better just matching the cables based on logic with any indications available at the I/O panel itself.  However, we must give some credit to Toshiba for being so detailed in preparing the manual.

Toshiba 55SV670U

Toshiba’s FocaLight LED backlighting with full local dimming is the reason why this model is slightly more expensive than Toshiba’s other step-down models.  A group of LEDs can be individuall dimmed or switched off in different areas of the screen.  Unlike edge-lit technology, the LEDs are all nicely arranged at the back panel instead of the side, which may be the reason why this unit is bulkier than its cousins with edge-lighting.

There is no Internet connectivity on this system, even though the mass market has driven up demands for such a feature, and other manufacturers do as much as possible to include this feature into their design. 

In theory, the SV670U have a 240Hz refresh rate, which means that by right the TV takes each frame to a standard 60Hz source and repeats it four times.  However, Toshiba is not doing that with this ClearScan 240 with Backlighting Scanning technology, instead it only repeats each frame twice, using a scanning backlight system to double those frames to four.

There is a dejudder processing feature with smooth setting.  Toshiba allows users to get the anti-blurring effects of 240Hz without having to engage the dejudder. There is a lot of talk about the Resolution+ processing by Toshiba’s marketing propaganda, which is actually applied to standard definition sources. 

Toshiba 55SV670U

There are lots of applause when it comes to the inky blacks typical of local dimming LED-based LCDs accompanied by mostly accurate colors. The very deep black level is amazing.  The system actually shuts off its backlighting completely during black scenes.  For night scenes with shadows, the darkness maintained a generally inky black, still natural and realistic. 

While the system shows pretty good picture quality, users may also experience more blooming effects, which means the tendency of bright objects spilling over onto darker backgrounds, creating a halo effect. This blooming is evident even in the tv’s own menu system, and worsened considerably for audience seated off-angel from the sweet spot directly in front of the screen.

Sometimes the backlights may not dim enough, and that interrupted the darkness unnaturally. Users may see something like very faint brighter clouding flashed briefly in the shadows.  Also, depending on the overall brightness of the scene, the darkness may not remain at a constant level. 

However, shadow detail is excellent. There is no bluish or greenish tinge that may be seen on other brands. Color accuracy deserves praise, and skin tones look natural and warm. It may be just a little less saturated in many brighter scenes, but they were still rich.  The only downside is that the Toshiba is less accurate on primary color of green and secondary color of cyan, even if it is negligible. Also, this system has the worst off-angle performance compared to its peers from other companies.

There is nothing worth celebrating over the 240Hz refreshing rate, as there is not much difference with a 120Hz.  There is a Film Stabilization setting with three choices, namely Off, Standard and Smooth.  The difference between Off and Standard is hard to discern.  The Standard setting does not include a dejudder effect, so users may appreciate it on a 24p sources for a more natural feel. 

The dejudder only exists in the Smooth settings option. This makes a film look more like video, but Toshiba maintained some minor judder but fewer artefacts, which is fantastic. 

One annoying thing is the glossy screen that has a tendency to reflect ambient light sources.  Toshiba did not use a matte surface for this and the only upset is that it maintained black level performance under bright lights better than its peers with matte screen.

Toshiba flaunt about its Resolution+ processing, but failed to impress with it.  It did resolve every detail of the DVD format, and tuning up the level seems to add more sharpness to the image, yet at the same time introduced edge enhancements.  It also failed to remove many jaggies from rotating diagonal lines even with the Resolution+.  Switching on the Toshiba’s digital noise reduction works well, but the auto function did not have much effects.

Meanwhile, Toshiba does well with the HDMI connectivity. The TV is able to reproduce every line of a 1920 x 1080 source with no edge enhancement or overscan. However, the VGA reproduction could have done better.

Pros and Cons

The Toshiba 55SV670U costs less than most LED-based LCD TVs with local dimming.  It manages to deliver deep black levels, and reproduces relatively accurate colors with extensive picture adjustments.  It is also able to separate anti-blurring and dejudder functions.  There are four HDMI ports and one PC input which allow users to connect almost everything to the tv, and the design of this system is impressive.

However, blooming is more evident on this Toshiba tv as compared to other LED-based LCD TVs out there. The backlight is not stable and easily fluctuates, and the off-angle performance is not going to please the users.  The glossy screen reflects ambient light, and there is no distinct benefits seen from its 240Hz refreshing rate.

The Toshiba 55SV670U is not as good as other LED-based LCDs with local dimming, however, for the price it asks for, it is still a good buy for an average user who will appreciate the great blacks that it delivers.

The review above applies to the SV670U series, 55SV670U for 55” and 46SV670U for 46”.

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Comments (6)


  1. Bjorn92 says:

    I got this for about 2 weeks now… and I really love it! The blacks are really inky, and video processing is simply outstanding. The motion is smooth and gives me a cinema-like experience.

  2. anonymous says:

    It’s stylish. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    I like the way it processes the video, there’s no judder, and the screen is uniform. There’s no loop-sided brightness, and the local dimming is wonderful.

  4. J0dy says:

    I came back home in the afternoon and wanted to watch a movie. But it was horrible because it uses a reflective screen, and even if I pull the curtains, I still see them mirrored on the screen.

  5. WhiteLight says:

    I chose this model because it shows better contrast than other tvs at the shop. The shop belongs to my friend, and I went there very late at night just right after he closed it for the day, before we went for supper. I asked him to play Mr and Mrs Smith, and I compared it with all other tvs there. I love the inky black, I love the color and contrast. Beautiful!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Blu-rays are great! I’d recommend this to anyone looking for an excellent TV.

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