capsule review

Toshiba 42HL167

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At a Glance
  • Toshiba Regza 42HL167

Toshiba's LCD scored so poorly in our picture-quality jury tests that we gave it a second chance. That time it did worse.

How bad? When the camera plunges underwater in Mission: Impossible III, one corner of the screen became a big, black blotch. Shimmering sunlight on a train turned into a moire-like pattern. Mexican-American comedian George Lopez looked much too pale.

Nor does this model add much to the basic TV-watching experience. It comes sans picture-in-picture, headphone jack, and USB port. On the other hand, it can control a Toshiba HD DVD player, and it has timers for shutting off the TV and limiting game-playing time.

The 42HL167 is no treat to set up and use. The HDMI and coaxial inputs face down and are difficult to reach; the only easy-access inputs on the side are for composite and audio. Changing sources via the remote's Input button involves scrolling through all of the TV's inputs--even those that have nothing plugged into them. True, you can change inputs by pressing the remote's mode buttons (DVD, TV, or the like), but these also change which device the remote controls--so you can press the DVD button to make the TV display the DVD signal, but not without also telling the remote that you now want to control the DVD player, not the TV.

If things get too confusing, you can turn to the manual, which is well laid out and comprehensive. Unfortunately, because there's no PDF version of the manual online, you can't use Adobe Reader's search function to find a topic that isn't noted in the printed version's index.

The 42HL167 is one of five TVs we reviewed for our November 2007 issue's HDTV roundup that support HDMI 1.3, which holds out the promise of one day displaying far more colors than content currently makes available. But considering how it handles the colors that it has now, I can't get too enthusiastic about that.

Toshiba's remote is a bit large, but a well-placed finger groove helps it fit nicely in the hand. The buttons are also large and easy to find, and it is programmable.

Lincoln Spector

This story, "Toshiba 42HL167" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • This 42-incher displayed a surprisingly poor picture, in contrast to that of the other Toshiba LCDs we've tested.


    • Nice remote
    • Reasonably priced


    • Poor picture
    • Difficult to set up
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