Toshiba 65L9300U: A Glimpse Of The Future
- 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
- 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.