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

Toshiba 65L9300U HDTV: 4K That Doesn’t Break The Bank

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 Toshiba 65L9300U is a 65-inch LED 4K HDTV. It includes the company's cloud-based software platform, uses passive 3D technology, and includes the first HDMI 2.0-compatible input we've seen in our lab.

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.

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Street Price$3500
Panel TypeIPS
BacklightW-LED, edge array
Screen Size65"
Max Resolution3840x2160
Max Refresh Rate240 Hz
3DPassive, pattern retarder
Aspect Ratio16:9
Response Time (GTG)Not specified
Brightness (cd/m2)Not specified
Speakers2 x 10 W
Component Video1
Composite Video2
Audio In1 x 3.5 mm, 1 x RCA
Audio Out1 x 3.5 mm, 1 x optical
USB2 (v2.0)
IR Control1 out
SD Card1
Panel DimensionsW x H x D w/base57.6 x 37 x 14.7 in1463 x 940 x 374 mm
Panel Thickness2.8 in / 71 mm
Weight108 lbs / 49 kg
WarrantyOne 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.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • Someone Somewhere
    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.
  • SteelCity1981
    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.
  • cats_Paw
    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.
  • Someone Somewhere
    You can do 1080p120 (equivalent to 60Hz 3d 1080p) over HDMI 1.4a easily... same bandwidth as 1440p60.
  • alchemy69
    4K TVs are bought by the same people who buy $100 Monster hdmi cables because "they give a better picture".
  • Someone Somewhere
    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.
  • TheDane
    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.
  • TheDane
    Like this:
  • Immaculate
    Why doesn't anybody add DisplayPort to TVs?
  • Someone Somewhere
    Which is extra failure points, and can block other connectors.