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The Toshiba 42XV545U LCD TV has just been reviewed on HomeTheaterReview.

Toshiba knows that the DTV transition is upon us, albeit a little delayed for now. The company is well enough aware that, just because broadcasters are sending out the TV signals digitally, this doesn't mean everything they're sending is high-definition. For this reason, the company has developed a new system called Super Resolution Technology, which is meant to process poor standard-definition TV into near-HDTV. The 42-inch LCD model 42XV545U uses SRT, among other features, to provide a clean and clear digital picture. The original list price at about $1,500 made this a pricy 42-inch TV, but current prices of around $1,000 or less make it a much easier buy.

I've always liked Toshiba TVs ever since the old days, when they made quality CRT rear-projection systems. Toshiba tends to balance the qualities of performance and value. With LCD TVs, they may not rival the best-looking products from Samsung and Sony, but the lower cost generally gives you more bang for your buck, which is good enough for most people and much better than the second-tier brands.

Like most premium-brand LCD TVs, the 42XV545U is a 1080p-resolution model with an assortment of features for image and connectivity. For plugging in, you get four HDMI inputs to dock your cable box, Blu-ray player, game system and whatnot. Component, S-video and composite inputs are also available for your legacy non-digital gear. On the image side, Toshiba offers 120Hz ClearFrame processing (based on vector frame interpolation), which doubles the picture frame rate to take away some of the motion blur that can creep up on LCD TVs. You'll also find the company's PixelPure 4G feature, which uses a 14-bit processing engine to ensure smooth colors.

The 120Hz feature and PixelPure can also be found elsewhere in Toshiba's line. The SRT feature is what's new for the company. While essentially it's just another upconverting feature, similar to what any fixed-pixel display includes, Toshiba claims SRT goes further at smoothing jagged edges and enhancing colors. SRT is based on the company's Cell processor, similar to the powerful engine behind Sony's PlayStation 3.

So does SRT work? Simply, yes. Does it make all your standard-definition programming look like high-definition? No, not even close. It does make standard definition less annoying, and that's something. SRT will smooth out some of the roughness of SD TV, but this is something most other premium TVs do as well.

With high-definition content, the Toshiba looks very good. Some color banding was apparent, and the picture was not quite as sharp and vibrant as my favorite flat panel TVs, but it's a good performer.
High Points

•The easy-to-use onscreen menu with advanced red, blue and green color controls lets you customize the picture to your heart's content, if you know how.
• If you don't want to spend time tweaking the advanced controls, the Auto mode will get you 90 percent there without all the work.
•The TV sports an attractive glossy bezel that's only about one-and-a-half inches deep.
•This model is EnergyStar 3.0-compliant.
Low Points
•The remote lacks a back light, making it very difficult to use in the dark.
•Some color banding was apparent on HD images, and the contrast was not as strong as what we've found in some Samsung and Sony models.
•SRT, while it does remove most of the jagged edges, also softens detail.

Conclusion
The Toshiba 42XV545U show's Toshiba's commitment to offering practical technologies, rather than loading up on useless features. Don't get me wrong: I'm kind of a fan of useless features, but most people just want a competent TV that won't make them sacrifice a mortgage payment. This one qualifies, and it comes from a long-standing reputable brand to boot.
 
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