The TL515’s L-shaped jack panel is smartly designed and is equipped with a generous array of connections, including four HDMI inputs (three along the side of the set), along with a component input and two composite SD inputs. The analog video inputs feature 3.5mm input jacks to keep the panel depth as skinny as possible, but Toshiba supplies the breakout adapters in the parts bag, so there’s no worry there. There’s also an RGB PC input with a 3.5mm stereo analog input, but it can sub as a second component video input via an optional adapter.
The TL515 also provides both analog and digital audio outputs (many sets omit the analog audio output), which is a big plus if you want to connect the set to a 2.1 channel desktop audio system (which will sound ever so much better than the puny clock radio speakers that the set is equipped with). While many users will probably take advantage of the TL515’s built-in Wi-Fi, there’s an RJ-45 connection if you have a wired LAN port nearby. Two USB ports round out the connectivity package.
On Screen Display
The TL515 sports a very good looking and intuitive OSD, with a half circle array of colorful and nicely designed main menu icons positioned at lower screen center. Another half circle of sub-menu icons resides above, and they get you to where you need to be quickly and intuitively. All in all it’s a nice design that even the most techno-phobic users should have no problem mastering in a very short time.
When making picture adjustments or changing other settings, the OSD doesn’t run and hide after just a few seconds as is typically the case, which is a major plus for those who want to get the best image quality out of their set.
I do like Toshiba’s multi-level picture adjustment menu structure, which includes three levels of adjustment sophistication, starting out with the basic adjustments with the option to go to more advanced settings. Once you go to the most advanced level of setting, you’ll find a third sub-menu option, which features a range of expert-level adjustments that are needed for a full-on calibration.
Once the picture adjustments are set to one’s liking, Toshiba’s TheaterLock option does just that, which is to completely block any further picture adjustments, and which helps to ensure that time spent tweaking during initial setup won’t be wasted unnecessarily down the road due to inadvertent mis-adjustment.
While it has a very spiffy look, the remote takes a bit of getting used to. It’s equipped with backlighting (always a big plus in my book), but the backlighting level is a tad on the dim side, and can’t be adjusted. Some of the buttons on the lower part of the remote are downright tiny, with similarly miniscule labeling. But, points must be awarded for the ability of the remote to control your cable or satellite box, a Blu-ray or DVD player, and another auxiliary component. And more points still are due for the inclusion of chapter skip buttons, as many TV remotes these days only provide scan forward and back buttons and omit the more useful skip buttons (the remote does, however, include scan buttons as well).
There’s also a picture size button on the remote, which will come in handy if you access the Netflix service. While Toshiba touts the ability of the set to display a true 1920x1080p 1:1 pixel-for-pixel picture (that mode is named Native), activating the Netflix function puts the set back into default overscan mode, so to keep the picture as sharp as possible for regular viewing, that picture size button will come in handy.
The time it takes to power up the set and get to the point where there’s picture and sound is molasses slow, clocking in at a very leisurely 30 seconds or so. During the power up process, there’s only a teensy (and dim) green LED on the lower front bezel that flickers only occasionally to indicate that the set is actually waking up.
Also, the TL515 can’t display “below black”, which is a requirement for properly adjusting the brightness control with the PLUGE pattern that’s found on virtually every DVD and Blu-ray setup test disc out there.