Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Toshiba 65L9300U: A Glimpse Of The Future

Toshiba 65L9300U: A 4K HDTV With HDMI 2.0 Support
By

With Ultra HD monitors becoming more prolific, we thought it was time to check out a 4K HDTV. Toshiba sent us its 65-inch L9300U LED panel. This TV offers 3D and cloud features in addition to a high pixel count. We put it through its paces in this review.

Likes

  • Superb picture quality and resolution
  • Excellent contrast with DynaLight and Dynamic Contrast options
  • Accurate color and gamma
  • Brightest and best 3D we've seen to date

Dislikes

  • Cloud TV interface is slow with poor response to commands
  • No gamma control

We had to look pretty hard to find any real flaws with the 65L9300U. Evaluated purely as a display, it checks all of our requisite boxes. Contrast is good when you use the DynaLight and Dynamic Contrast on their Low settings. Color accuracy is among the best. And grayscale tracking sets a new record-low error in our benchmark suite. Even though gamma conforms almost perfectly to the 2.2 standard, we like to see at least a multiple gamma preset option for the off chance you might want to alter it to suit different content. While the majority of television and movie production uses 2.2, there are sometimes exceptions.

Our only real complaint targets the implementation of Toshiba's Cloud TV features. The company uses this platform in all of its Internet-enabled TVs. We’ve tested two so far, and both were slow and laggy. We realize that streaming will always be less responsive than broadcast or disc-based content, but this smart TV just doesn’t have the snap we feel it should. We can only speculate that a hardware upgrade might improve the experience, but without knowledge of the components inside, we're only certain that this is a weak point for Toshiba.

The real stars here are the Ultra HD resolution and passive 3D. Without a 4K disc format, or sufficient broadcast/Internet bandwidth to stream 4K video, we’ll have to suffer with 1080p a bit longer. When displays are ahead of their time like this one, there has to be a good scaling solution in place to take full advantage of those extra pixels. Toshiba hit a home run in that regard. Everything we watched on the 65L9300U looked better than on a 1080p display. And you don't have to sit 10 feet away, either. Stand as close as you want; the 65L9300U looks great up-close. There's no real point where you see a pixel structure unless your face is right up to the screen.

Fancy processing exacts a toll on gaming performance. But Toshiba addresses that concern with its Game picture mode. If you plan to hook up a console, you’ll have no trouble. However, enthusiasts stoked about a 65" screen capable of 3840x2160 at 60 Hz face another challenge: not only do you need the latest firmware from Toshiba to enable HDMI 2.0 support, but you also need a compatible graphics card as well. Those simply do not exist yet.

Thinking a little more positively, this is the first HDTV I've used that I'd consider as a computer monitor. Running Windows on such a large display at 1920x1080 results in severe pixelation unless you're eight or nine feet away. Ultra HD delivers the density to put you three or four feet away and still see a beautiful picture.

The display industry never stops trying to invent the next big thing. This year, the buzz is around 4K and OLED. We’re still trying to get our first OLED TV in the lab. Until we do, 4K is at the top of our reasons to upgrade your existing panel. No screen spends long at the top, but Toshiba's 65L9300U is definitely king of the moment. I personally consider myself a fan, and cannot wait to get more Ultra HD-capable hardware into the office. For its excellent video benchmark performance and stunning picture quality, we’re giving it Tom’s Hardware Approved recognition.

Display all 34 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 3, 2014 12:22 AM
    Argh. Why do people still make TVs with rear-exit connectors? That was the #1 hardest to find criteria last time we got a new one.
  • 2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , April 3, 2014 1:09 AM
    Toshiba still holding onto the 3D in their TV's. I got caught up in the hype and bought me a 3D TV two years ago and honestly I have only used it maybe 4 or 5 times if that. It's something now that I look back on I could have really done without and saved money on a regular HDTV, but live and learn. a cheaper non 3D version of this would be nice. I, like most people can do without the 3D function on a TV, esp if it will reduce the cost on the TV itself. It is nice to finally see a 4k TV come with HDMI 2.0 support, something that 1080p TV's don't need but 4k do in order to take full advantage of it by allowing 60fps.
  • 2 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 3, 2014 2:10 AM
    Untill we get 4K contenent or GPUs can manage 4K resolutions in AAA titles with highest settings possible, 4K makes as much sense as a fast car in a 50 Km/h town.On the 3D matter, it does look cool on a projector if you get a 120+ inch screen, but in tvs, it looks like a gimick to me.Now... The HDMI improvment is something I want. Ive been wanting Full HD 60Hz 3D for a long time, and it seems 3D has been so unpopular that it didnt even make sense to invest in improving bandwidth.
  • 0 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 3, 2014 2:13 AM
    You can do 1080p120 (equivalent to 60Hz 3d 1080p) over HDMI 1.4a easily... same bandwidth as 1440p60.
  • 8 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 3, 2014 2:38 AM
    Actually, 4K TVs can bring a better picture. Especially if one has 4K content, or is viewing pictures or text.

    Monster cables are definitely crap though.
  • 2 Hide
    TheDane , April 3, 2014 3:48 AM
    Quote:
    Argh. Why do people still make TVs with rear-exit connectors? That was the #1 hardest to find criteria last time we got a new one.
    Argh. Why don't people use a cheap angled adapter.
  • 0 Hide
    TheDane , April 3, 2014 3:50 AM
    Like this: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahdmi%20angle%20adapter
  • 1 Hide
    Immaculate , April 3, 2014 4:03 AM
    Why doesn't anybody add DisplayPort to TVs?
  • -1 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , April 3, 2014 4:17 AM
    Which is extra failure points, and can block other connectors.
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , April 3, 2014 6:44 AM
    $1500 - $2000 would be the "sweet spot" price point for this TV.Still I'm glad to see this at $3500 is not too "exotic".... LOLSo it could reach the $2000 "sweet spot" within a year or so... Good review by the way.
  • 0 Hide
    aberkae , April 3, 2014 7:05 AM
    51 ms of input lag is too much lag for any gaming, fyi abesofmaine has a few 55 inch 4k monitors by sony samsung and lg closer to $2000 frees shipping and no tax. the 65 inchers are still $3k and up.
  • 0 Hide
    NinjaNerd56 , April 3, 2014 7:38 AM
    I have a Toshiba set in the bedroom and it's only OK overall.Of course, part of that is the 65 inch Panasonic plasma in the living room. Only 1080p, but incredible picture in every aspect. I spent about as much on it last year as this Toshiba costs now at MSRP. Don't regret a penny.Given the dearth of 4K content, I'll stick with this plasma beast for a while. May be the last year we see plasma, so I'm about to see if the 100,000 hour rating on the panel is for real.And, I'd put my calibrated Panasonic against any set, including 4K machines, with 1080p content. And I'd win. Sadly, resolution and 'smart' features are the focus of these early 4K sets and as picture comes behind.That said...it's 4K! This will be neat...in 2-3 years.
  • 1 Hide
    davidgirgis , April 3, 2014 8:26 AM
    This TV is similar to the Panasonic TC-L65WT600. According to THX, you have to sit 6.5 feet away from this TV, at most.
  • -5 Hide
    Zeroplanetz , April 3, 2014 8:44 AM
    I want 4k 120hz min, with 3d, and no need for WiFi or internet in it and at 50". For no more than $1k. That's when ill buy. No not some almost. But true 4k. It would be nice though if I could add a blutooth dongle for video receiving from my PC.
  • 0 Hide
    Traciatim , April 3, 2014 8:53 AM
    Quote:
    I want 4k 120hz min, with 3d, and no need for WiFi or internet in it and at 50". For no more than $1k. That's when ill buy. No not some almost. But true 4k. It would be nice though if I could add a blutooth dongle for video receiving from my PC.
    Do you sit under 4' away from your TV or something?
  • 0 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , April 3, 2014 8:54 AM
    I've had very good luck with Toshiba TVs in the past 6-7 years, purchasing for myself and recommending to friends and family. It is nice to see their picture quality is still top tier.
  • 0 Hide
    Steveymoo , April 3, 2014 8:54 AM
    So uh, why does Dell charge the same for their 32" US again? This has twice the real estate, and similar (if not better) performance, but costs exactly the same.Anyone?
  • 0 Hide
    davidgirgis , April 3, 2014 9:11 AM
    Quote:
    So uh, why does Dell charge the same for their 32" US again? This has twice the real estate, and similar (if not better) performance, but costs exactly the same.Anyone?
    I guess the ultimate in picture quality right now is 4k at 60Hz. The Dell can connect to your computer via Display Port 1.2 to achieve this, but this TV cannot. It's rather a future proof concept that will accept an HDMI 2.0 capable 4k set-top player.
  • 0 Hide
    Zeroplanetz , April 3, 2014 9:19 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I want 4k 120hz min, with 3d, and no need for WiFi or internet in it and at 50". For no more than $1k. That's when ill buy. No not some almost. But true 4k. It would be nice though if I could add a blutooth dongle for video receiving from my PC.
    Do you sit under 4' away from your TV or something?
    no. My point is I don't need or want all that extra stuff. When I can add my own WiFi and internet for far far less than they offer. I want great screen with great refresh and 3d ability. Everything else is meh. I don't want some android chrome or apple in my tv either. If they want to truly go somewhere with tvs, let us wirelessly sync into the tv with what we want. My PC is within 30ft of my tv soo...
Display more comments
React To This Article