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

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

After publishing Asus PQ321Q 4K Monitor Review: Top-Shelf Ultra HD For $3500 and Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor Review: UP3214Q At $3500, I was personally anxious to get my hands on a 4K HDTV. Toshiba obliged by sending its new 65L9300U.

When Sony introduced its first Ultra HD TV in 2012, it was only available in an 84-inch screen size for an eye-watering $25,000. Today, Sony and its competition offer smaller screens at more down-to-earth prices. Selling for a now-familiar $3500, Toshiba’s 65L9300U represents a relatively good value in the 4K space.

Of course, Ultra HD means 3840x2160 pixels. Although that's not quite a true 4K (4096x2160), it comes close. At the very least, it's four times the resolution of Full HD’s 1920x1080. While the first generation of Ultra HD screens had specific bandwidth limitations, this is the first display we’ve seen with HDMI 2.0 support. You do need the very latest firmware from Toshiba's website. But once you're equipped with that, the TV accepts UHD signals at 60 Hz. Currently, the only way to generate such a signal is either through a computer or a streaming device like a Redray player.

The bandwidth issue really isn't as big of a deal with film-based content, since it’s delivered at 24 FPS. And pretty much everyone who buys this HDTV will be connecting a standard Blu-ray player that outputs good old 1920x1080. So, the real test for this generation is the quality of its upconversion.

Brand
Toshiba
Model
65L9300U
Street Price
$3500
Panel Type
IPS
Backlight
W-LED, edge array
Screen Size
65"
Max Resolution
3840x2160
Max Refresh Rate
240 Hz
3D
Passive, pattern retarder
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Response Time (GTG)
Not specified
Brightness (cd/m2)
Not specified
Speakers
2 x 10 W
HDMI
4
VGA
1
Component Video
1
Composite Video
2
Audio In
1 x 3.5 mm, 1 x RCA
Audio Out
1 x 3.5 mm, 1 x optical
USB
2 (v2.0)
IR Control
1 out
SD Card
1
Ethernet
1
Panel Dimensions
W x H x D w/base
57.6 x 37 x 14.7 in
1463 x 940 x 374 mm
Panel Thickness
2.8 in / 71 mm
Weight
108 lbs / 49 kg
Warranty
One year

Feature-wise, this HDTV is packed. Besides its Ultra HD resolution, there’s passive 3D and the same Cloud TV software we reported on in Toshiba 50L7300U Review: A 50-Inch LED HDTV With Wi-Fi. Wireless networking is of course built-in, or you can connect an Ethernet cable to the TV's LAN port. Plus, there’s a built-in WiDi receiver that lets you stream content from compatible laptops and portable devices.

3D is less of a marketing tool today than it was in the past. However, all mid- to high-priced HDTVs still include it. The 65L9300U offers passive 3D through pattern retarder technology. Unlike active 3D, where the glasses contain LCD shutters that must be synced to the display, passive 3D uses fixed polarizers in both the glasses and screen to achieve a stereo effect. Light output is much higher on passive sets, but the effective resolution is halved. Each frame shows every other horizontal line, and your eye/brain has to stitch them together. Fortunately, a 4K TV gives you plenty of extra pixels to get the resolution back up. So, for fans of stereoscopic content, an Ultra HD screen with passive 3D may be the best option you can buy.

The video technology here is not revolutionary, though. Backlighting is provided by a white-LED edge array. Contrast performance can be enhanced through a local-dimming feature called DynaLight, which modulates the backlight depending on content. There are also several other picture enhancement features that we’ll explore in-depth.

Toshiba addresses video processing with its quad-core CEVO 4K engine. Since nearly all of the content delivered to an Ultra HD TV will be 1080p for the foreseeable future, scaling quality is super-important. We’ll take a close look at some 2D and 3D Blu-rays on page four. And we’ll thoroughly test the video processing on page 11. We also get to check out some native 4K video courtesy of a laptop Toshiba included in our press package.

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  • 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...
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