Toshiba 26AV502R 26-Inch 720P LCD HDTV Review

Toshiba's entry in the 26-Inch LCD HDTV market

Toshiba's entry in the 26-Inch LCD HDTV market

Budget HDTV week continues here at Today’s entry is the Toshiba 26AB502R 26-Inch 720P LCD HDTV. In keeping with the other HDTVs we’ve reviewed so far this week, the Toshiba 26AB502R is a 26-inch LCD TV. That should make comparison a snap.

The Toshiba 26AB502R features:

  • A sleek glossy black (“piano black”) finish on its frame
  • Dynalight backlight control — adjusts the backlighting according to how light or dark the content is onscreen
  • Native Mode — restores the 3-5% of the picture that’s typically lost on most HDTVs due to overscanning
  • Color Temperature Control — with three presets to adjust the warmth of the picture
  • Cinema Mode 24ps (with 3:2 pulldown) — when using film sources, the Toshiba 26AB502R is able to translate 24-frame film into 30 frame video eliminating the duplicate information for a clearer, more “cinema-real” picture
  • TheaterWide — special modes for viewing movies and other widescreen, letterboxed content
  • Gaming Mode — speeds up the time the signal from your controller/game console takes to reach the screen, resulting in more responsive gaming
  • Channel Browser — lets you scan the last 32 channels you browsed with images for the last five chanels
  • Channel Labeling — lets you name channels how you desire
  • Energy Star Compliant — for savings on your electric bill
  • Connections: 2 HDMI, 2 component, 2 composite, 1 S-video, 1 PC, one digital audio out — for plenty of last-gen and next-generation hookups

You also get a stand and a universal remote.

So how does the Toshiba 26AV502R 26-Inch 720P LCD HDTV stack up? The Toshiba 26AV502R delivers a crisp, clear picture. Dynalight feature isn’t as obtrusive as the comparable Sony backlighting. And sound out of the built-in speakers is decent (although again, we highly recommend a true Surround Sound setup for optimal home theater performance). Gaming mode is a nice touch, as the onscreen action was quick and highly responsive to controller inputs. Setup is also relatively straightforward and intuitive. And the remote control is well-laid out and the buttons glow in the dark, which is a nice touch.

The cons on the Toshiba 26AB502R are that sometimes the Dynalight feature can wash scenes out, changing the overall brightness levels for no reason. And sometimes color, particularly on non-high-def sources, can be washed out or overly green or orange. Even after adjustments, these issues remained. And of course, because it’s an LCD, you still have issues viewing the image from extreme angles to the side.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Recommendation: Probably buy another TV. If not for the sometimes fluctuating Dynalight and the odd color issues, this would be our hands-down winner. Game Mode and Cinema Mode are fantastic for gaming and movies, respectively. The TV looks fantastic with its glossy black finish, and the overall picture is nice. But picture quality is most important. And the issues are too big to overlook.

In case you are interested in the Toshiba 26AV502R, Amazon makes you add it to your shopping cart to price it. But it’s on sale now for $352.94. A good price, but not as good a value as the Samsung LN26B360.

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