Toshiba's New HDTV Tries to Make Everything Look Good

LCDs convert old, lower-resolution fare into something better.

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Not everything looks better on a high-definition TV. Some low-resolution fare—particularly broadcasts and VHS tapes—can look worse on a modern flat panel than on an old tube set made 20 years ago.

That's why I think Darren Murph at Engadget missed the boat when he mocked Toshiba for its new LCDs that pump up non-HD images. Yes, the converted images fall short of high definition. To my eyes, they looked a lot better than the blurry picture that comes with standard broadcasts.

I'm leery of paying much for improvements to high-definition TVs. The sizes of mainstream sets, say between 42 and 50 inches, don't get much of a boost from more resolution. Faster refresh rates and other antiblur technology do make a difference, but I only notice they're missing in head-to-head comparisons.

To untrained eyes, any reputable HDTV looks great when you get it alone in your family room.

Toshiba's new Super Resolution Technology now adds about $300 to a TV's price, a company rep told me. I'm not sure it warrants that many bucks. But kudos to Toshiba for trying to make everything look decent on an HD set.


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