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Toshiba 50L7300U Review: A 50-Inch LED HDTV With Wi-Fi

Toshiba 50L7300U Cloud TV: Tons Of Features At A Reasonable Price

The lines between computer monitors and HDTVs are pretty blurry. Aside from the most popular sizes, there aren't many technological differences between the screen on your desk and the TV in your living room. Nearly all desktop displays employ LED backlights. The same is true for large-screen HDTVs (and when I say large, I'm talking about 50 inches-plus).

In the not-so-distant past, a mainstream TV was 32 inches and high-definition meant 720p. Now, enthusiasts seem to start their research at 50 inches, while even the least-expensive models support 1080p.

Always value-conscious, Toshiba recently began shipping its line of Cloud TVs. The company sent over the 50L7300U for us to look at. This is a 50-inch LED edge-lit panel with a full array of network features. In fact, you could watch a tremendous amount of content on it with nothing more than an Internet connection. Selling at a list price of $1400 and a street price under $900, Toshiba's latest might just be a cord-cutter's dream display.

BrandToshiba
Model50L7300U
List Price$1400
Panel TypeIPS
BacklightW-LED, edge array
Screen Size49.5"
Max Resolution1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate240 Hz
Aspect Ratio16:9
Response Time (GTG)8 ms
Brightness (cd/m2)443
Speakers2 x 10 W
HDMI4
VGA1
Component1
Composite2
Audio In1 x 3.5 mm, 1 x RCA
Audio Out1 x 3.5 mm, 1 x optical
USB2 (v2.0)
IR Control1 out
Panel DimensionsW x H x D44.8 x 29.2 x 9.5 in1139 x 742 x 242
Panel Thickness2.3 in / 58 mm
Weight38.4 lbs / 17.4 kg
WarrantyOne year

There are a couple of principal differences between HDTVs and computer monitors. First and foremost is that every television includes speakers and some sort of tuner. Believe it or not, those items are required by the FCC before a manufacturer can call its product a television. If they aren't part of the package, the device must be labeled “monitor.” Pioneer's now-discontinued PRO-141 and -151 plasma displays are good examples. They had neither tuner nor speakers, but were clearly marketed as televisions.

Another difference is video processing and scaling. While all fixed-pixel displays scale incoming signals to their native resolutions, HDTVs have more sophisticated video processing abilities used to handle the various cadences and refresh rates that exist in video-based content. This is a vast subject unto itself, and we'll go into more depth on page 11, along with a few tests we’re adding to our benchmark suite.

In addition to the usual image quality tests, which we tweaked somewhat, we’ll cover usability both for traditional content delivered via broadcast and Blu-ray, and streamed video, which the 50L7300U offers in abundance. We're retaining our response and lag tests because we know HDTVs are often the centerpieces for home entertainment. You probably won't connect a high-end gaming PC to this screen, but plenty of folks will hook up an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, we're sure.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.