Toshiba 55UL7A63DB (49UL7A, 55UL7A) 4K TV review

Verdict

Even if you have to accept the fact that no less than 500 € LCD TV will be delivered without performance chains (especially with regard to HDR), Dolby Vision support and the smart features of this Toshiba set give it a decent value.

Advantages

  • Very cheap for what is on offer
  • Surprisingly thin design
  • Dolby Vision Support

The inconvenients

  • Backlight scrambling, especially with HDR
  • Not brilliant enough to make HDR a lot of justice
  • Limited viewing angles

Key specifications

  • Price: £ 479
  • 55 inch 4K LCD TV
  • Supports HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision HDR
  • Built-in smart apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Freeview Play
  • Shipped with Alexa listening device
  • Four HDMI

What is the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB?

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is a 55-inch 4K TV with less than £ 500. That’s enough in itself to catch the attention of any bargain hunter on TV – but that’s just the beginning of its attractions.

It also features a pretty respectable smart TV system, with Alexa voice control. It supports not only the high dynamic range but also the premium Dolby Vision HDR format.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB design and build quality – A surprisingly attractive TV for such an affordable package

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB seems surprisingly attractive for a TV as cheap, at least remote. The thinness of the frame of the screen and the back is particularly striking, which gives it an elegant appearance.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB.

From near you start to notice that Toshiba has chosen to go pretty heavy plastic. However, this is not particularly noticeable from a typical viewing distance, and although the screen is rather light, the desk stand to which it is attached is a surprisingly heavy metal plate.

The 55UL7A63DB comes with an external drive Alexa listening device that connects to the TV via a USB cable – not as tidy as a built-in voice recognition to the remote control. Nevertheless, the audio receiver is at least small and easy to conceal. Plus, you do not get voice recognition on most budget TVs.

Surprisingly for its price, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB comes with two remote controls. Both are fairly well-designed, with decent button layout and convenient direct access to leading video streaming services. A strange difference, however, is finding the full size remote control wearing a direct access button for Amazon Video premium, while the smaller remote, less cluttered with buttons, replaces the Amazon Prime Video remote with a Rakuten remote. Personally, I would have preferred an Amazon button on both.

Features of Toshiba’s 55UL7A63DB – A Selection of Features at This Price Level

The price of £ 479 of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is without doubt its most important feature. Despite its affordable price, it is still at the top of Toshiba’s latest British lineup, but it has a few other features that you would not expect for so little money.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

Detail of the lower corner of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

For example, in addition to managing the standard HDR10 system, the 55UL7A63DB can also play the broadcast-friendly HLG system (used by the BBC iPlayer application for live HDR and catch-up streams) and Dolby Vision. This provides additional information on scene-by-scene images to help TVs deliver better HDR images.

Although smart features are beginning to appear on almost all TVs in recent times, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB offers a better choice than its price. In fact, there are dozens of applications presented via a surprisingly elegant and economical graphical interface.

As usual, most UK users will only really care about a few: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Freeview Reading (which hosts catch-up services for major British terrestrial broadcasters), and Rakuten.

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB supports 4K and HDR streams on Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube. And this HDR support includes Dolby Vision if streaming is available.

The 55UL7A63DB claims to use micro-gradation technology in its LCD panel. This sounds interesting because the term micro-dimming is now generally associated with televisions using direct LED lighting and a large number of small local dimming areas. However, it turns out that this is not what Toshiba means by micro-attenuation.

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Despite its extreme finesse, the 55UL7A63DB uses a direct LED lighting system, in which the lights are placed just behind the screen rather than on its edges. But there is no system allowing different areas of these lights to simultaneously generate different levels of brightness to enhance the contrast.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

The connectivity options of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB are numerous.

In fact, it is difficult to determine exactly what Toshiba’s Tru Micro Dimming feature does. Especially because testing the various settings of the function seems to have very little impact on the image. Surprisingly for its price, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB provides both a relatively advanced motion processing system and image calibration tools, including white point adjustments and color balance. It’s ambitious for a 55-inch TV as affordable.

Connectivity is also strong for spending. For starters, it has four HDMI inputs, two USB ports and, exceptionally for the current TV market, real component video and VGA for PC.

In fact, these last two connections make you wonder if the TV uses a particularly up-to-date chassis. Maybe I’m too suspicious here. Perhaps the current owner of the Toshiba brand in the UK, the Turkish manufacturer Vestel, simply wants to make sure that existing equipment is taken care of – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Configuring Toshiba 55UL7A63DB – Tricky to get the best image possible, with a slow interface

The menus of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB are well presented and well organized, but can sometimes be extremely slow and frustrating.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

“Alexa” external of the Alexa Alexa of Toshiba 55UL7A63DB.

The image presets offer a wide variety of images, but they are all accompanied by a chain or two fasteners. For example, the Dynamic preset provides the best shadow detail, especially with HDR, but it also results in noise and tense colors.

The Cinema preset best removes the backlighting clouds, but it also dims the dark areas, leaving them dim. This can also cause the appearance of bright HDR areas.

The default Natural Image preset presumably offers the most complete balance – especially if you set Dynamic Contrast to Low. High dynamic contrast settings cause high noise levels again.

Toshiba’s Tru Motion processor is not bad at all for such an affordable TV. It reduces tremor without causing images that are overly processed or look unnatural. Purists will be happy to learn that the native processing of 55UL7A63DB movements without the activation of Tru Motion is also very good.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

The intelligent interface of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is very economical on the screen.

Be sure to disable NR for all HD 4K sources and of good quality, as this may make them unnecessarily soft.

Use the “Intelligent” Dolby Audio setting to stop the weakening of the sound and make sure to switch to Game mode if you play video, because the response time of the TV will be reduced to 28ms, which is not spectacular .

A final point to emphasize is that if you end up with a Toshiba 55UL7A63DB, try feeding it with as much Dolby Vision content as possible.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB Performance – Not the Brightest TV for True HDR Performance

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB images are sufficiently usable for such an affordable TV, but do not expect miracles on the budget.

Let’s start with the bad news. To begin with its lack of brightness. I measured the maximum light output of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB when using a white HDR square on more than 10% of the screen at only 288 nits in the brightest dynamic mode. This drops to 250 nits in Cinema mode.

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These figures remain at least stable; you do not get the extreme but short-lived brightness that some high-end TVs use to reach peaks of brightness up to 2,000 nits or more. However, the reality is what to do HDR you need brightness and 288 nits are not enough to deliver a truly compelling HDR experience.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

Rear view of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB.

In addition, you can not even use the maximum brightness of the 55UL7A63DB as this can cause a significant “cut-off” (loss of detail) in the brightest parts of HDR images. At the same time, however, if you reduce the brightness to combat clipping, you can lose subtle details in the dark areas, leaving them flat and empty.

In other words, the effective brightness band that you can use on the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is quite narrow. Aside from the fact that this group is not brilliant enough to offer a significant HDR experience, it’s impossible to arrange a magical combination of settings that simultaneously addresses the details of shadows and saturation of the TV. There is always a compromise in one area or another.

Another important problem with the 55UL7A63DB images is the backlight nebulization. This can appear in many places on dark shots. It’s pretty clear, even in the most contrasted Cinema mode, sometimes giving you the impression of looking at the darkest scenes through some sort of cloud filter.

It is important to note at this point that the brightness and backlighting issues of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB with HDR are extremely common with affordable TVs. In fact, many of them suffer a lot worse, while offering deeper black levels than the 55UL7A63DB. In fact, the sensitivity of the 55UL7A63DB to the shading areas is partly due to the fact that it is able to reach black levels a little deeper than those of many low budget TVs.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

Bottom corner of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB.

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB does a respectable job with color for its money – as long as you’ve done it as previously, and the TV’s brightness is already limited. If you do not, the relatively limited color gamut of the screen compared to HDR TV standards may leave some tones with HDR content appearing washed out. The dark tones start to look a little rough and ready, with too much brightness too.

Once again, you essentially neutralize HDR and an extended color experience to achieve the most natural results. But in reality, you are just working with what this TV can offer you, and the results are far more enjoyable than trying to push the HDR to places where this TV can not go.

Above all, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB has a contrast weapon and HDR color secret in its sleeve: its support Dolby Vision. Power in Dolby Vision sources makes a huge difference in terms of image quality, increasing contrast and especially improving color tones. The importance of the difference Dolby Vision confirms that the Dolby system has the biggest impact on affordable screens.

Of course, everything you look at is not available in Dolby Vision. In fact, only a minority of 4K Blu-ray discs and streams support it. But at least the 55UL7A63DB is ready and able to benefit from improved image when and where you can access it, while most similarly priced TVs are not.

The Toshiba 55UL7A63DB is doing a decent job in selling its native 4K resolution. With relatively static 4K shots, you can clearly see more texture and detail than you would with a simple HDTV. In addition, the set does not lose as much detail during the movement as you thought.

Judder can sometimes be slightly distracting, while the Tru Motion system can create a slight blur if you use it to fight the judder. There is also a tendency to a slight flicker of high contrast areas. But none of these problems is disastrous for such an affordable TV, especially if you avoid the noise that exaggerates the dynamic picture setting.

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The Toshiba 55UL7A63D also does a respectable job of converting 4K sources into 4K sources, better than many of its competitors at a similar price. This is particularly effective at removing noise from sources below 4K before resizing. Even very granular HD source images usually end up being polite and believable.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB

The image menu of the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB.

Some skin tones can become a plastic touch after going upmarket. However, when it’s the only upscale problem you encounter on such an affordable TV, you’re in pretty good territory.

As with all economy TVs, the Toshiba 55UL7A63D is happier as a SDR screen than an HDR display. It produces a fairly natural SDR image, with good contrast and reasonably authentic shaded colors (because SDR colors fit more comfortably into the brightness area of ​​the screen and the color gamut).

The 55UL7A63D with SDR video is much more efficient. In fact, I would seriously consider the use of 4K HDR game consoles in SDR mode and the purchase of a Panasonic 4K Blu-ray player that allows you to convert HDR to SDR discs, so you can enjoy the 4K resolution of your TV without having to worry. with HDR.

The audio performance of the Toshiba 55UL7A63D is roughly equivalent to the economical TV course. That’s saying it’s not really much. This is despite the fact that the generally strong audio brand Onkyo has apparently played a role in the development of the audio system. Its speakers lack projection and dynamic range, which gives a rather compressed and muffled sound. The tone also tends towards the boom, giving the impression that it comes from inside a box and can become quite hard during dense moments.

The bass is present, to be fair, but it sounds rather dislocated from the rest of the sound. Similarly, the set can be quite noisy without causing background noise or loudspeaker noise, but the compressed nature of the sound makes the sound not particularly pleasant.

The Toshiba 55UL7A63D however differs from its rivals with a relatively direct, forward and direct tone. In addition, its useful Dolby Audio modes reduce the mute effect and give voices, especially male voices, a more convincing sound than they often are on low-cost TVs.

Should I buy Toshiba 55UL7A63DB?

Inevitably, considering its low cost, the Toshiba 55UL7A63D is far from perfect. It is not bright enough to make HDR properly, and it is difficult to find a perfect level of brightness that preserves the details of the shadow without causing haze in the backlight or high noise. You will probably want to associate with an external audio system at some point.

Dolby Vision’s support really helped him a lot in his hard disk drive (HDR) efforts, and he’s a strong performer.

Also remember that most Toshiba 55UL7A63DB issues also apply to other low cost TVs. And, in fact, the 55UL7A63DB has benefits that many budget rivals do not have. Its intelligent system is both rich in content and well presented, for example. Alexa voice control support is also unusual, as are its reasonable black levels. Colors may look good as long as you do not try to make the HDR too bright.

The most promising challenger of the 55UL7A63D, if you can find £ 70 more, is the Philips 55PUS6754. This sequel that just appeared at the impressive 55PUS6753 supports Dolby Vision and the HDR10 + “Dynamic HDR” formats and Philips unique Ambilight technology.

Verdict

Provided you can accept / bypass its limitations (too typical) in terms of HDR budget and backlight, the Toshiba 55UL7A63DB has a good price / quality ratio to offer for its attractive price of £ 479.

Toshiba 55UL7A63DB (49UL7A, 55UL7A) 4K TV review
Toshiba 55UL7A63DB (49UL7A, 55UL7A) 4K TV review 1

Verdict Even if you have to accept the fact that no less than 500 € LCD TV will be delivered without performance chains (especially with regard to HDR), Do

Editor's Rating:
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