TOSHIBA PRO THEATER L9450

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST -

To en­sure that smart TVs re­main easy to use, TV man­u­fac­tur­ers have been sweat­ing the user in­ter­face and user ex­pe­ri­ence de­tails in the last few years. We saw LG turn­ing to We­bOS in 2014, and Sam­sung’s con­tin­ued ef­forts to re­fine its Smart Hub in­ter­face. If you aren’t a fan of ei­ther, Toshiba’s An­droid ap­proach pro­vides an­other cred­i­ble al­ter­na­tive.

Start­ing with the L4300 se­ries in 2013 that came with An­droid 4.2 Jelly Bean, 2014 is the sec­ond year Toshiba is us­ing An­droid as a smart TV plat­form for its TVs. In fact, the in­te­gra­tion has now come to the Ja­panese com­pany’s 4K TV lineup, like the L9450 se­ries we’ve here. Re­gard­less of the An­droid ver­sion (this time, it’s An­droid 4.4), the ap­peal is the same, and that is you get to en­joy the vast num­ber of apps (in­clud­ing games) on the Google Play store on a big-screen TV. The only gripe we’ve here is that one can only down­load free apps, but not pay for apps through the TV. Oth­er­wise, it’s a very familiar en­vi­ron­ment that An­droid mo­bile users are ac­cus­tomed to. Used to re­ar­rang­ing home screen icons, down­load­ing in­ter­ac­tive wall­pa­pers, or set­ting up pro­files for dif­fer­ent users on your An­droid smart­phone or tablet? You can do the same on the L9450.

Of course, be­ing Toshiba’s flag­ship 4K TV, the L9450 (avail­able in 50, 65, and 84-inch screen sizes) is packed with so­phis­ti­cated hard­ware com­po­nents and soft­ware fea­tures, in­clud­ing the com­pany’s third-gen­er­a­tion Cevo 4K video pro­cess­ing en­gine for nat­u­ral color re­pro­duc­tion and full HD-to-4K up­scal­ing, Ac­tive Mo­tion & Res­o­lu­tion Plus 3,100 that re­duces mo­tion blur dur­ing fast­mov­ing se­quences, DVB-T2 sup­port for dig­i­tal TV broad­cast­ing, HDMI 2.0, screen mir­ror­ing, and even a Foot­ball mode that at­tempts to ren­der smoother footage, with bet­ter de­tails and nat­u­ral-look­ing grass. Sound isn’t ne­glected ei­ther, and the 50 and 65-inch L9450 sport a com­pact ‘Labyrinth’ speaker sys­tem ca­pa­ble of 30W of au­dio out­put. The Labyrinth sys­tem isn’t re­quired on the gi­ant 84-inch model, as its 40W sys­tem al­ready goes very loud.

Know­ing that most peo­ple don’t tweak or cal­i­brate their TVs, the L9450 also in­cor­po­rates two fea­tures - In­tel­li­gent Scene Op­ti­mizer and In­tel­li­gent Auto View - to en­sure that you al­ways get the best pos­si­ble im­age qual­ity. The for­mer ba­si­cally de­tects the con­tent and in­put source to in­tel­li­gently ad­just pic­ture and sound set­tings, while the lat­ter an­a­lyzes sig­nal and am­bi­ent light­ing con­di­tions to fine-tune the color man­age­ment sys­tem (e.g., back­light, color tem­per­a­ture, gamma, sat­u­ra­tion, sharp­ness) au­to­mat­i­cally. Oh, lest we for­get, the L9450 is the only TV here that doesn’t do 3D.

Easy to ex­pand func­tion­al­ity through An­droid apps. No built-in cam­era; doesn’t sup­port 3D.

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