What’s the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB?
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is a 55-inch 4K TV costing lower than £500. That’s sufficient in itself to seize the eye of any TV cut price hunter – nevertheless it’s simply the beginning of its sights.
It additionally carries a reasonably respectable sensible TV system, full with Alexa voice management. It helps not simply excessive dynamic vary, however the premium Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR format, too.
Toshiba 55UL7A63DB design and construct high quality — A surprisingly enticing TV for such an reasonably priced set
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB appears to be like surprisingly enticing for such an inexpensive TV – at the very least from a distance. Notably placing is the slimness of each its display body and rear, which give it fairly a premium look.
Up-close you begin to discover that Toshiba has chosen to go fairly heavy on the plastic. Nonetheless, this isn’t particularly seen from a typical viewing distance, and whereas the display is fairly light-weight, the desktop plinth it attaches to is a startlingly heavy slab of metallic.
The 55UL7A63DB ships with an exterior Alexa listening machine that connects to the TV by way of a USB cable – not precisely as tidy as having voice-recognition constructed into the distant management. Nonetheless, the audio receiver is at the very least small and simple to cover, plus you don’t get voice-recognition in any respect on most price range TVs.
Surprisingly for its worth, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB ships with two distant controls. Each are fairly effectively designed, with first rate button layouts and helpful direct entry to key video-streaming companies. One odd distinction, although, finds the full-sized distant carrying a direct entry button for Amazon Prime Video, whereas the smaller, much less button-heavy distant swaps the Amazon Prime Video distant for a Rakuten one. Personally, I’d have most well-liked an Amazon button on each.
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Toshiba 55UL7A63DB options — A powerful number of options at this worth level
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB’s £479 worth is arguably its single most necessary function. It nonetheless sits in the direction of the highest of Toshiba’s newest UK vary, regardless of its affordability, nevertheless it boasts a number of different options you wouldn’t anticipate for therefore little cash.
As an illustration, in addition to dealing with the business customary HDR10 system, the 55UL7A63DB may play the broadcast-friendly HLG system (as utilized by the BBC iPlayer app for each dwell and catch-up HDR streams) and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. This supplies additional scene-by-scene image info to assist TVs ship higher HDR photos.
Whereas sensible options are beginning to seem on virtually all TVs as of late, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB carries a greater choice than you’d anticipate for its worth. In reality, there are dozens of apps introduced by means of a surprisingly modern and economical GUI.
As regular, although, most UK customers will solely actually care about a number of: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Freeview Play (which hosts the catch-up companies for the UK’s primary terrestrial broadcasters), and Rakuten.
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB helps 4K and HDR streams on Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. And that HDR assist contains Dolby Imaginative and prescient if a streamed present is obtainable in it.
The 55UL7A63DB claims to be utilizing micro-dimming know-how in its LCD panel. This sounds thrilling, because the micro dimming time period is now usually related to TVs that use direct LED lighting and an enormous variety of small native dimming zones. Nonetheless, it seems that this isn’t what Toshiba means my micro-dimming.
Regardless of its acute slimness, the 55UL7A63DB does use a direct LED lighting system, the place the lights sit proper behind the display quite than round its edges. However there’s no system for having totally different zones of those lights concurrently output totally different gentle ranges to spice up distinction.
In reality, it’s exhausting to work out precisely what Toshiba’s Tru Micro Dimming function does. Not least as a result of making an attempt the function’s totally different settings appears to make little or no distinction to the image. Surprisingly for its worth, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB supplies each a movement processing system and a few comparatively in-depth image calibration instruments, together with white level and color stability tweaks. That is impressively bold for such an reasonably priced 55-inch TV.
Connectivity, too, is robust for the outlay. For starters, it boasts 4 HDMIs, two USBs and, unusually for immediately’s TV market, each real part video and VGA PC inputs.
Really, these latter two connections type of make you marvel if the TV is utilizing a very up-to-date chassis. Maybe I’m being too suspicious right here. Possibly the present proprietor of the Toshiba model within the UK, Turkish producer Vestel, simply desires to make sure that legacy tools is supported – and there’s completely nothing fallacious with that.
Toshiba 55UL7A63DB setup — Tough to get the very best image, with a sluggish interface
Whereas the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB’s menus are properly introduced and laid out, they will run frustratingly sluggishly at occasions.
Image presets provide loads of image selection, however all include a string or two connected. As an illustration, the Dynamic preset provides the very best shadow detailing, particularly with HDR, nevertheless it additionally leads to noise and a few strained-looking colors.
The Cinema preset does the very best job of suppressing some backlight clouding, nevertheless it additionally takes an excessive amount of brightness out of darkish areas, leaving them wanting hole. It may possibly additionally trigger vibrant HDR areas to look flared out.
The default Pure image preset in all probability affords essentially the most all-round stability – particularly in case you set Dynamic Distinction to Low. Greater Dynamic Distinction settings once more trigger elevated ranges of noise.
Toshiba’s Tru Movement processor isn’t dangerous in any respect for such an reasonably priced TV. It reduces judder with out leading to too processed or unnatural-looking photos. Purists will probably be happy to listen to that the 55UL7A63DB’s native movement dealing with with out Tru Movement lively can be fairly good.
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Ensure you flip off NR for all 4K and good-quality HD sources, since it will possibly make them look unnecessarily mushy.
Use the “Sensible” Dolby Audio setting to cease the sound showing muffled, and ensure you swap to Sport mode in case you’re video gaming, since this reduces the TV’s response time to a good –though not spectacular – 28ms.
One final level to emphasize is that if you find yourself with a Toshiba 55UL7A63DB, attempt to feed it as a lot Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material as you may.
Toshiba 55UL7A63DB efficiency — Not the brightest of TVs for true HDR efficiency
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB’s photos are serviceable sufficient for such an reasonably priced TV, however don’t anticipate price range miracles.
Let’s get the dangerous information out of the way in which first. Beginning with its lack of brightness. I measured the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB’s peak gentle output when utilizing a white HDR sq. over 10% of the display at simply 288 nits within the brightest Dynamic mode. This drops to 250 nits in Cinema mode.
These figures do at the very least stay steady; you don’t get the acute however short-lived bursts of brightness some high-end rival TVs use to realize brightness peaks as excessive as 2000 nits or extra. Nonetheless, the fact is that to do HDR correctly you want brightness, and 288 nits isn’t sufficient to ship a very convincing HDR expertise.
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What’s extra, you may’t even actually use the 55UL7A63DB’s most brightness as a result of this may trigger substantial “clipping” (element loss) within the brightest elements of HDR photos. On the identical time, although, in case you cut back brightness to fight the clipping then you may lose delicate element in darkish areas, leaving them wanting flat and empty.
In different phrases, the band of efficient brightness you should utilize on the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is fairly slim. In addition to this band not likely being vibrant sufficient to ship a lot of an HDR expertise, it’s inconceivable to decide on a magical mixture of settings that concurrently tackles the TV’s shadow element and clipping issues. There’s at all times a trade-off in a single space or the opposite.
One other important challenge with the 55UL7A63DB’s photos is backlight clouding. This could seem in quite a few locations over darkish pictures. It’s clear sufficient, even in essentially the most contrast-rich Cinema mode, typically making you’re feeling such as you’re watching the darkest scenes by means of some form of cloud filter.
It’s necessary to emphasize at this level that the form of brightness and backlight points the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB has with HDR are extraordinarily widespread with reasonably priced TVs. In reality, many endure with them far worse – in addition to delivering shallower black ranges than the 55UL7A63DB does. In reality, the 55UL7A63DB’s susceptibility to areas of clouding is partly as a result of it’s able to hitting black ranges barely deeper than these of many price range TVs.
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB does a good job with color for its cash – offered you’ve already achieved as instructed earlier and reined within the TV’s already restricted brightness. Should you don’t, the display’s comparatively restricted color gamut by HDR TV requirements can depart tones with HDR content material wanting washed out. Darkish color tones begin to look a bit tough and prepared with the brightness too excessive, too.
Once more, you’re primarily neutering the HDR and huge color expertise to realize essentially the most pure outcomes. However actually you’re simply working with what this specific TV may give you, and the outcomes are far more pleasant than making an attempt to push HDR to locations this TV can’t go.
Crucially, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB has one secret HDR color and distinction weapon up its sleeve: its Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist. Feeding in Dolby Imaginative and prescient sources makes an enormous distinction to image high quality, boosting distinction and particularly enhancing color tones. The extent of the distinction Dolby Imaginative and prescient confirms that Dolby’s system really has its greatest impact on reasonably priced screens.
In fact, not every part you watch is out there in Dolby Imaginative and prescient. In reality, solely a minority of 4K Blu-ray discs and streams assist it. However at the very least the 55UL7A63DB is prepared and capable of profit from its image enhance when and the place you may entry it, whereas most equally priced TVs usually are not.
The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB does an honest job of promoting its native 4K decision. With comparatively static 4K pictures you may clearly see extra texture and element than you’d get with a mere HD TV. What’s extra, the set doesn’t lose as a lot of that element throughout movement as you might need anticipated.
Judder can sometimes be barely distracting, whereas the Tru Movement system can create some light smearing in case you use that to deal with the judder. There’s a bent, too, for areas of closely contrasting effective element to flicker a bit. However none of those points is disastrous for such an reasonably priced TV, particularly in case you keep away from the noise exaggerating Dynamic image setting.
The Toshiba 55UL7A63D additionally does a good job of changing sub-4K sources to 4K, higher than a lot of its equally priced rivals. It’s particularly good for its cash at eradicating noise from sub-4K sources earlier than upscaling them. Even very grainy HD supply photographs usually find yourself wanting polished and plausible.
Some pores and skin tones can develop into a contact plasticky submit upscaling. Nonetheless, when that’s the one upscaling drawback you will have on such an reasonably priced TV, you’re in fairly robust territory.
As with all price range TVs, the Toshiba 55UL7A63D is happier as an SDR show than an HDR one. It delivers a fairly pure SDR picture, with good distinction and fairly genuine, nuanced colors (since SDR colors sit throughout the display’s lighting and color gamut consolation zone extra comfortably).
A lot simpler is the 55UL7A63D with SDR video. In reality, I’d severely contemplate working 4K HDR video games consoles in SDR mode, and getting a Panasonic 4K Blu-ray participant that permits you to convert HDR discs to SDR, in an effort to benefit from the TV’s 4K decision with out having to emphasize it out with HDR.
The Toshiba 55UL7A63D’s audio efficiency is about par for the price range TV course. Which is to say that it isn’t actually as much as a lot. That is although often robust audio model Onkyo has apparently had a hand within the sound system’s improvement. Its audio system lack projection and dynamic vary, resulting in a quite compressed and muffled sound. The tone additionally tends in the direction of boomy, sounding prefer it’s coming from inside a field, and might develop into fairly harsh throughout dense moments.
Bass is current, to be truthful, nevertheless it sounds quite dislocated from the remainder of the sound. Equally, the set can go fairly loud with out inflicting cupboard rattle or speaker phutting, however the compressed nature of the sound implies that it isn’t a very nice loud expertise.
The Toshiba 55UL7A63D does distinguish itself from price range rivals with a comparatively direct, entrance and ahead tone, nonetheless. As well as, its useful Dolby Audio modes cut back the muffling impact and make voices – particularly male voices – sound extra convincing than they typically do on price range TVs.
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Ought to I purchase the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB?
Inevitably, given how low cost it’s, the Toshiba 55UL7A63D is way from excellent. It isn’t actually vibrant sufficient to do HDR correctly, and it’s exhausting to discover a excellent brightness stage that preserves shadow element with out inflicting backlight clouding and elevated noise. You’ll in all probability find yourself desirous to accomplice it with some form of exterior audio system sooner or later, too.
Its Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist actually helps its HDR efforts, although, and it’s a greater than stable SDR performer.
Don’t overlook, too, that a lot of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB’s points additionally apply to different price range TVs. And, really, the 55UL7A63DB does get some issues proper that many price range rivals don’t. Its sensible system is each content material wealthy and neatly introduced, for example. The Alexa voice management assist is uncommon, too, as are its affordable black ranges. Colors can look good as effectively, as long as you don’t attempt to make HDR too vibrant.
Probably the most promising challenger to the 55UL7A63D, if you could find £70 extra, is the Philips 55PUS6754. This just-released sequel to the spectacular 55PUS6753 boasts assist for each the Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+ “dynamic HDR” codecs, and Philips’ distinctive Ambilight know-how.
Supplied you may settle for/work round its (all too typical) price range TV HDR and backlighting limitations, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB has an honest quantity to supply for its eye-catching £479 price ticket.