Finding a decent large-screen TV for under £500 can be a challenge if you limit your shopping to flagship models, but the Toshiba L6453DB series manages to keep prices low while still providing great image quality. It doesn’t have as many smart services as its rivals or any 3D support, but if that doesn’t bother you the L6453DB is a good buy for those on a budget.
For this review we tested the 47in model in the L6453DB range, but it’s also available in a 42in (42L6453DB) screen size. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We’re confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.
With a plastic stand that doesn’t feel particularly sturdy, the L6453 doesn’t have the same premium looks as Toshiba’s L7 series. The chassis is rather chunky, but as it’s made out of the same lightweight plastic it’s not particularly heavy. You don’t notice these shortcomings when looking at the TV face on, as the glossy bezel looks just as good as Toshiba’s flagship models.
There’s a good range of ports round the back, including four HDMI inputs, SCART, VGA, component and composite inputs. There are also two USB2 ports, an Ethernet port, an S/PDIF digital optical audio output and a CI slot. You shouldn’t need to use the Ethernet port, though, as integrated Wi-Fi makes it very easy to get the L6453DB online.
Picture quality was surprisingly good for a TV of this price, as the L6453DB’s Standard picture profile showed the TV was already displaying 96.9 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut straight out of the box. This is more than 15 per cent higher than the more expensive L7 series, so it’s a much better fit for those that don’t want to fiddle around with the various picture settings.
Brightness was a little on the low side, measuring just 97.13cd/m2, but this can easily be changed by increasing the backlight setting in the main menu. Contrast, meanwhile, maxed out at a fairly average 849:1, but its black level of 0.11cd/m2 meant that blacks were reasonably deep and inky. Letterboxes in our Blu-ray test footage had a very slight blue tinge, but you’ll only notice it when looking at the TV up close.
We achieved even better results once we’d calibrated the TV using the 10-point white balance settings in the Expert Picture Settings menu. By changing the red value to +13, green to -12 and blue to -19, we achieved a full 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut and increased the contrast ratio to a much more respectable 1,182:1. Blacks increased a fraction to 0.13cd/m2, but we didn’t notice the difference.
In practice, these new settings made our Star Trek footage look much richer and more vivid, although darker night scenes still suffered from a lack of detail. However, we were able to fix this problem by disabling the auto brightness sensor and the active backlight control. The L6453DB’s image processing was also excellent for the price, showing no signs of judder whatsoever during fast camera pans. This is just as well, as the L6453DB doesn’t have any frame interpolation feature to help smooth out any jerky camera movements.