Definitely a top-of-the-line offering, the 46SV670 is one of a duo of new Toshiba models (there’s a 55” version in addition to the 46” model tested here) that features banks of white LEDs behind the LCD panel, in lieu of the conventional fluorescent backlighting method. Hundreds of LEDs allow precise backlighting control that permits much deeper blacks than can be had with traditional fluorescent backlighting.
As with other LED-powered backlit LCD sets (definitely the trend in top-tier LCD flat panel HDTVs), the LEDs are controlled via a multi-block drive system that splits the screen backlighting into dozens of individual zones. This provides the ability to boost bright portions of an image, while at the same time allowing much darker blacks in other portions of the image. While Toshiba isn’t alone in claiming ridiculously huge dynamic contrast ratio specs, there’s no question that compared to conventional LCD flat panels, LED local dimming does provide substantially superior contrast, with deep blacks that rival the best plasmas. A side benefit is decreased power consumption, which can trim back your energy bill a tad.
Consider this HDTV if: you’d like a mostly fully-loaded premium LCD HDTV with the latest LED local dimming technology. The Toshiba is also priced well below that of some other LED backlit sets.
Look elsewhere if: you’re on a tight budget, as the ratio of dollars per square inch of screen area is substantially higher than with conventional fluorescent backlit LCD HDTVs. Also, the lack of an Ethernet port precludes on-demand video streaming, a feature that some competitive models now offer.
Ratings (relative to comparably-priced LCD HDTVs):