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back to article Toshiba Regza 40RL858 40in LED TV

Toshiba is a bit of a wild card when it comes to TVs. While some of its screens are genuinely exciting, others are merely bargain bin fillers. Buying a cheaper Tosh is a classic case of caveat emptor. Toshiba 40RL858 LED Smart TV Media savvy: Toshiba's Regza 40RL858 But while this 40in slimline LED LCD sits at the affordable …

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Only 2 HDMI sockets?

Why, in these days of multiple entertainment sources, do manufacturers still only put two real input connectors on a TV?

It was just about understandable in the early SCART days, when there wasn't much to connect beyond a VCR and maybe a satellite receiver, and the sockets were physically bulky. Today even a fairly modest setup is likely to have Satellite, Blu-ray and a games console. Adding a PVR and a networked streaming media client to that isn't unusual. Plus the spare socket for the digital camera.

HDMI connectors are tiny and cheap, like USB, so why not put 4 or even 6 on the TV, and avoid the need for an ugly external switchbox which means traipsing across the room to change sources?

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Easy

It's a budget option, they want to keep the features down to encourage people to buy more expensive models. People who can/will only spend this much will make do. I would.

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2 HDMI ports?

Nope, it's 3 HDMI ports...

"Backside connections include a pair of HDMIs, Scart, component video and stereo audio, Ethernet, optical digital audio out and a PC D-Sub. These are bolstered by additional side-facing ports, comprising a third HDMI, USB, CI slot, headphone jack and some basic on-body controls."

One HDMI port on the side.

Although generally I do agree with you about the lack of ports. Before xmas I bought a 42" Full HD Panasonic plasma TV. Just a basic model (I think it was the cheapest Full HD plasma I could get). It only has 2 HDMI ports too. No VGA input either which was a shame.

As it happens though I managed to get an auto HDMI switch box for a fiver (I think from either Aria.co.uk or eBuyer.com) so I can switch between the devices I have plugged into the TV (Tivo, Media PC, PS3, XBOX 360). I still find I have to get up though to switch audio sources as I put everything through my AV decoder and the PS3 and Media PC audio won't go over the HDMI and out of the TV's optical digital connection (but it works fine on the XBOX360!). Guess the workaround for this would be for me to buy a HDMI AV receiver.

Rob

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Well, to be fair, there's a third on the side panel, but yeah, I agree. Once the HDMI circuit is in there, probably doesn't cost much to add a few more.

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MJI
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My 3 year old TV has 3 HDMI

And that was a lot then. And it has 3 SCART.

All 3 are full, what happens when I get a Freeview HD PVR?

Not sure what to do?

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well said on the Toshiba split product lines

We bought a "cheap" Toshiba back a few years when a 37-incher cost $800 and the Samsung ones started at a minimum of $1,200. I guess it was one of their bargain-bin filler models, but I really couldn't see paying any more for TV when the content to fill it is so lame.

So the Toshiba - it sucks. Picture quality is acceptable but the black levels and/or contrast ratios are pitiful. I will never consider them for my next TV, as I don't want to chance getting one of their lower-rung models when I'm expecting to get something better.

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Anonymous Coward

Game mode?

How's this set for videogaming on? Does it have a game mode to reduce latency? Does it make any difference?

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Yet to see any flat-screen TV that isn't horrendous for gaming, even via component inputs (if that makes a blind bit of difference). I may be being picky, but a quarter-second latency is a quarter-second too much. This kind of information never makes it into spec sheets - in other words, we rely on reviewers!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quarter second latency

I'd certainly not describe anyone calling quarter second latency as being picky! Still, I've happily played games on an old colour accurate compuer monitor with an fifth of a second g-g latency, although it was only a third person adventure where timing's not so critical. I'd hope no general purpose screen is as bad as that.

Timing's important for shooters and fighters, but it's only really rhythm-action games that I've found unplayable on LCD panels in the past. It's especially bad because it appears that TVs will delay the audio to keep it in sync with the laggardly visuals. When you're relying on the music for your timing, you're stuffed.

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Inputs schminputs

If you need more connectivity then either get an AV amp which will have more inputs than you can shake a stick at or if you really are happy with the weedy audio of flat-screen TV sets then use an HDMI switch.

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I have my TV hooked up to a hifi already, I don't need a new AV amp, nor the cabling it needs, nor yet another remote control. I just like to be able to pick up the TV remote & select the source. I had to build an external SCART switch for that in past, it would be nice to think that manufacturers had moved on from making inadequate equipment that needs external accessrories to be useful.

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LED?

You are falling for the hype now. LED backlit, not LED pixels!

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