A bolt of lightening and then nothing... Strange but true! A freak storm around four months ago, sent a lightening bolt down smack bang on top if the house, killing My Toshiba CRT TV, my DVD player, Hi-fi, telephones, Sky box and various other bits and pieces. As an avid movie/DVD fan I had recently realised that my eight year old 29? giant screened Tosh CRT set (that was classed as giant back then, believe me!) was no longer cutting the mustard, what I needed was a big screen, a chunky amp, some huge speakers, oh and an excuse to replace a TV set which had served me well for many years. The lightening was the only excuse I needed. After many hours of internet and in shop research, I had narrowed the selections down to either a 36ZP18 36? Toshiba CRT set, the Toshiba 46WH08B 46? rear projection (almost exactly the same as the 40WH08B only larger) or the cheapest Plasma in existence. Of course, the plasma was out of the question, coming in at a cool £6,999 and the 36? just wasn`t big enough. So, I opted for the 46WH08B, with it`s built in Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder and speakers and haven`t looked back since. Before I list my thoughts on the TV itself, let me provide you with a little information and explanation (feel free to skip if you know your CRT`s from your rear projections): If you live in the UK or Europe, most TV`s as you know them will be CRT`s, this means that they use Cathode Ray Tubes to display the image. Most of the CRT sets available today provide fantastic picture quality and vivid/vibrant colours (especially the 36ZP18 mentioned above) and are wonderful for displaying digital images such as a DVD. The fact that the screens are relatively small, help to ensure that the images delivered stay crisp. The downside of CRT technology is that 36? is probably going to be the largest screen size you are likely to see, mainly due to the size (read that as weight) of the glass needed to display the ima
ge itself, coupled with the high costs that it would entail. Also, Cathode ray tubes are not the smallest things in the world which is why you have a large lump protruding from the back of your TV set. This would have to get larger if the screen size were to increase. Rear projection TV`s are extremely popular in the states and work in a fairly similar way to projectors you may have watched slide shows on at school, except that with the TV the projector is contained in the base and pointed up to reflect off of the inside of the TV screen (thus display and image). As the screen needn`t be glass (indeed it is always a plastic of some description), rear projection TV`s are fairly cheap, can be far larger and are far lighter than their CRT brothers and are also fairly thin as they don`t have to house a massive Cathode Ray Tube. The downside to rear projection technology is that the image could often appear washed out and/or blurry, with blacks becoming dark greys (very similar to the afore mentioned school projector images). Enter Toshiba`s new range of rear projection TV`s and what I`m here to discuss, the Toshiba 40/46WH08B. Toshiba have been one of the few manufactures of rear projection TV`s in Europe over the last few years and as such have been able to refine the technology. Indeed the 40 & 46WH08B have won several awards including What Video & TV `best buy` and Home Entertainment `best buy`. My thoughts then: Picture Pro`s: The first thing you notice about the picture is how big it is! You`ll wonder how you ever watched TV on your old set, and will have all sorts of problems when visiting relatives who still have 15 year old 21? sets :o) The second thing you`ll notice is that the blacks are black, the greys are grey, indeed all the colours are faithfully reproduced. Toshiba have also saw fit to include a 100MHZ mode, tint adjustment, brightness, colour and contrast controls and my favourite, a sharpness co
ntrol. With the shear size of these screens, typical terrestrial and sky broadcasted images begin to lose there clarity and edge. Archiving in sky digital broadcasts is also more apparent that on a CRT set (archiving being a blocky distortion of a digital image, usually caused when the image has been compressed highly in order for it to be transmitted, something which sky unfortunately has to do in order to provide you with so many channels in so little space). This is where the sharpness control comes into it`s own, allowing the user to adjust the image in such a way as to remove these defects without degrading the picture to greatly. Finally, you have a full range of screen sizes to chose from including 16:9, 4:3, LIVE, CINEMA and a few others, which are easily selected at the press of a button. Picture Con`s: Basically, don`t expect CRT type picture quality, you aren`t going to get it! The picture resolution will appear lower (as it is being displayed at a greater size), the colours will seem less vibrant and you will be able to see any blackheads on Leonardo DiCaprio`s face :o) The TV has independent convergence controls, which will allow you to adjust the pictures convergence settings should they come out of alignment. This is OK, but I do find that if I set the correct convergence for PAL image displays, the convergence is out for any NTSC image displays. I am not sure if this is a trait of the PAL/NTSC formats or whether this is an issue with the convergence tool itself? If you have no idea what I was just talking about `fear not`, it will not make any difference to your viewing pleasure as you won`t be playing with the settings in the first place unlike Mr fiddly here :o) Screen Pro`s It`s plastic and that means light. The screen is made from a very, very fine corrugated type plastic (think old tin roofs, but infinitely finer) which makes it a joy to clean as it doesn`t appear to hold sticky f
inger prints or more importantly dust! Also, you are able to watch the screen from almost any horizontal angle ( apart from behind the TV obviously :o) ), which is quite unique for a rear projection screen, as the nature of the screen usually means that the image gets progressively darker the more acute the horizontal angle (If you`ve ever seen a laptop screen, you`ll know what I mean). Screen Con`s As mentioned above but this time a bad point, the nature of the screen means that if you are elevated either to far above or below the screen (vertically), the image will get progressively darker the more acute the angle. As mentioned above, this is true for all rear projection screens and you`ll need to be quite high or low for this to have any real noticeable effect. Sound Pro`s The TV comes with three speakers built into the base of the TV for front left, front right and centre channels and has two rear speakers for rear left and rear right. What I loved though was the option to connect two separate speakers for front left and front right (my Pioneer hi-fi speakers did the job nicely), leaving the two built-in front left and front right speakers to act as one centre channel, and the third speaker to act as a very effective Sub. In its default configuration, the TV was able to produce a good sound range, however by connecting 2 separate speakers the TV was able to sound almost as good as a dedicated amp and speaker set (almost!). All the bass, treble balance and bass boost options are available, and you are also able to set the sound level for each speaker independently, good for those of us with odd shaped rooms. Sound Con`s Of course, though the sound produced by the TV is good, it will never be as good as the sound produced by a dedicated amp/speaker set up. But as a dedicated set-up would cost you the best part of £700 (for anything half decent anyway) you don`t here me complaining (or my neighbour for that
mater, and believe me he did when I borrowed a dedicated sound set-up from a friend a few months back!). Controller Pro`s/Con`s Sadly overlooked in many reviews, the TV`s controller is plain, functional and does the job, though it`s a little on the big side if you ask me! Connectors Pro`s/Con`s 3 scart connectors round the back, though sadly only 1 is RGB. Connectors for the 2 separate front speakers mentioned earlier, oh and a connection for an external sub if required (the in-built sub hasn`t quite got the range it could have). 2 digital audio connectors (nice for DVD to TV direct audio feeds) and a component connector (one of the highest quality picture related connectors, similar to RGB scart but better though I am lead to believe). Round the front are S-Video, composite (yuk) and phono connectors for your headphones. In summary then, I love my rear projection and would never (read that as could never) go back to a little CRT screen, despite the better image quality it provides. If you want big screen, cinema style entertainment, grab the popcorn, dim the lights, put on your favourite DVD, oh and make sure that you remembered to order the Toshiba 46WH08B or you may be sorely disappointed. As always, if you want to discuss this further or have a question, drop me a line. `Scoob`
Humm! I know this is the wrong size - not the Toshiba 40WH08B, but they are basically the same TV other than size. The Toshiba 46WH08B is 46 inches (widescreen), compared to the Toshiba 40WH08B, which is 40 inches (widescreen). I OWN A TOSHIBA 46WH08B AND IT ROCKS! The picture is very good having a 100Hz DFS, flicker free Digital Comb Filter also it has an anti-reflective panel. Other features include... Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound Using 6 Channels Of Sound For The Ultimate In Home Cinema Audio Reproduction: 2 Stereo Front Speakers, 2 Stereo Rear Speakers Plus A Centre Dialogue Speaker And Sub Woofer. Front & Rear Audio And Video Inputs Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound Digital Surround Sound Using 6 Channels Of Sound For The Ultimate In Home Cinema Audio Reproduction: 2 Stereo Front Speakers, 2 Stereo Rear Speakers Plus A Centre Dialogue Speaker And Sub Woofer. 50 Watts RMS Power Output Digital Sound Processor (DSP) Surround Speakers Spacial Surround Sound 3 Scart Sockets Multi-Standard Tuner, Digital/S-VHS/Component Inputs. Super Scene Control 500 Page Megatext I bought a rear projection rather than plasma because a technician told me a plasma tube only lasts approx. 50,000 hours (better value too!) Where as a rear projection has a similar life span to a standard tube based TV. It was expensive but well worth it! (Cost approx £2,500.00) Oh - a word of warning the stand alone is £200.00 and you want to be sure that the TV will not be to high up when you view it from your sofa as the picture becomes darker (try some crates first). Thank you for reading this op. By rating this opinion the NSPCC charity will receive 5p. Thank you!