TOSHIBA PRO THEATER L9450
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.