Toshiba 3D TV – seeing is not the same as believing



  • LED backlighting
  • 3D capable
  • Sleek looks

Toshiba is one of those Japanese consumer electronic companies that I like to call ‘the quiet achievers’. Along with the likes of Hitachi and Yamaha, Toshiba is a company that makes great products that work well, look great and are for the most part, future-proofed- all this without kicking up much of a fuss.

So it goes with the WL700A LED series 3D capable TV from Toshiba. Straight after taking it out of the box, it was obvious that the WL700A is a sexy looking number. Its near-frameless sleek, sublime, smooth and almost sensuous look – think Eva Longoria in a little black dress or a 1997 Porsche Boxter- give Toshiba’s 3D TV a very desirable, aesthetic quality.

This should be of no surprise though as this TV was designed by Danish company Jacob Jensen Design.

The Toshiba WL700A measures in at 29mm thin, and includes a touch activated control panel and one of the big pluses of this unit is the Advanced Edge LED backlighting instead of fluroscent tubes, which provides great contrast for colours on screen, and delivers excellent levels of black.

And the connectivity options which include 4 x HDMI outlets, 2 x USB ports and DivX HD, MKV, HD JPG, MP3 and MP4 playback, together with the Autoview option ensures that TV settings such as sharpness, contrast and brightness are always set automatically adjusting to the available light conditions.

Other features include the ability to make the WL700A TV the central entertainment hub in the home allowing viewers to acquire, view, manage and stream digital content such as movies, images and music from their Toshiba notebook or selected smartphones to the unit.

Nice. However there is a catch. In fact there are several. Firstly, although this is not Toshiba’s fault, but good luck with 3D content. Yeah, yeah- I know what you are going to say– Avatar, Toy Story 3, Megamind, Shrek, Transformers, Despicable Me etc, etc. That’s nice if you spend your whole life only watching movies that have been made on a CGI computer somewhere.

But what about if your movie tastes are a bit more broad? You know, what if you are well past your Tween years and like to watch Westerns, drama, Sci-Fi, crime shows, comedies, reality TV, talk shows, documentaries or even musicals? Well, tough, basically.

Secondly, if you buy this TV, then get ready to also fork out for a Toshiba 3D Blu-ray player as well. After encountering a bit of turbulence connecting a PS3 to the TV, it seems that like really does attract like and if you are a lover of the plug ‘n‘ play philosophy, then best to use other Toshiba peripherals.

And while you are throwing the green stuff around, to get the most out of this TVs’ HD technology, also throw out all of your DVD’s and be prepared to pay a small fortune for Blu-rays- 3D and otherwise.

So if you have any money left in your bank account after all that, you may also want to connect a semi-decent sound system to the WL700A. It’s in-built speakers are quite good but hey, to get the most out of Blu-ray audio and Dolby Digital Surround Sound you will need better that the in-built speakers.

Lastly, it may have just been the test unit, but although I used fresh batteries, I found the remote control to be a bit hit and miss. Not sure if this is an issue across the whole range but I sincerely hope not as this can really become mega-frustrating.

Having said all that, Toshiba should be commended for the WL700A- it truly is a great TV to watch 3D or 2D on. Playing a Blu-ray movie was fun and it could even be said that the picture quality and resolution were marvellous, without any edge fuzziness at all.

The 3D quality seemed a bit different to what I have seen in other TVs, this is probably due to the fact that I watch most of my 3D movies on Plasma rather than a backlit LCD.

Bar that, the Toshiba WL700A at a starting price of under $3300 for the 46-inch model is well worth a look if you are in the market for a new flatscreen.  But just be warned- once you see how great the HD picture quality of the WL700A is, your bank account will never be the same again.

Pros: aesthetically beautiful, full HD quality, 3D quality also high level

Cons: lack of 3D content, needs better speakers attached to it, buggy remote control

Rating: 3.5  / 5