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Toshiba Regza 42RL853

Toshiba Regza 42RL853 42in LED TV

Affordable net set, anyone?

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Remote control for virtualized desktops

Missed Places

It’s disappointing to report that Toshiba’s on-line portal, called Places, is not available on this set, as it really would have transformed its usability. If this paucity of IPTV depresses, remember there are similarly priced screens around that offer zero connectivity. Take comfort also from the fact that Toshiba’s YouTube implementation is terrific, offering as it does access to any hi-def streams that might reside alongside the regular SD block-o-vision served up by most everyone else.

Toshiba Regza 42RL853

The applications menu is clearly laid out

The 42RL853 can ostensibly stream media across a network, but its file compliancy is several years out of date. Once networked, the TV could see all my Nas devices, but when I started to dig down into individual files, its reticence to play ball quickly became apparent.

Rather spectacularly, the screen failed to stream any popular video format from my nest of networked Nas devices. So if you have AVI, MOV, MPEG4 or MKVs you want to watch you’ll need a different bit of kit entirely to get them on your screen. The manual suggests its happiest with MTS, M2TS, MP4, M4V, MPG and .TS extensions for movies, with limits to 1000 files per folder. With MP4 content, the manual rather unhelpfully adds: some files may not be played.

Toshiba Regza 42RL853

The remote functions are instantly recognisable

Indeed, the only streaming video success I had was an MPEG-2 .TS file, derived from an AVCHD home recording. Music fared better with MP3 and MP4/M4A support. Across the network, the set correctly read artist/album metadata from my MP3s, although it was unable to display accompanying album art. One rather nice touch though is that as soon as any music file plays, the TV goes into screensaver mode.

Toshiba Regza 42RL853

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