Toshiba UL20 Series 4K TV review (43UL2063DB): Entry-level affordability

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(Pocket-lint) - With Dolby Vision HDR, copious catch-up TV and streaming options, positive a terms tag that won't interruption the bank, Toshiba's UL20 is an entry-level 4K surface bid that you'll privation to shortlist.

There's a surface size for each room, from room to cinema. The exemplary tin beryllium had successful 40-, 43-, 49-, 50-, 55-, 58- and 65-inch guises. We person the 43-inch exemplary connected the trial bench, and it's rather a cutie.

Design

  • 3x HDMI, 2x USB
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Cookie cutter styling makes this an casual telly to unrecorded with, though you'll beryllium constricted to 3 HDMI inputs (one with audio instrumentality transmission (ARC)). Also astir the backmost is VGA and a integer optical audio output, for transportation to a soundbar oregon AV receiver. Ethernet offers a hardwire alternate to Wi-Fi. There's besides Bluetooth connectivity, and 2 USB ports.

The HDMIs bash not enactment 4K 120fps oregon immoderate different precocious HDMI 2.1 functionality. But you guessed that, right? You tin inactive get 4K resolution, of course, conscionable astatine a 60fps maximum framework complaint - but that's good arsenic astir contented successful the UK is 50fps maximum, portion due cinema is 24fps. 

Pocket-lint

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The UL2063 comes with a ample IR distant zapper, sporting dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Freeview Play. The acceptable volition besides respond to dependable commands, erstwhile utilized arsenic portion of a wider Amazon Alexa oregon Google Assistant ecosystem.

Don't expect to find an equivalent Toshiba surface successful the States oregon Australia. This exemplary is produced by European licence holder Vestel, for the UK and Europe.

Smart OS  

  • Toshiba Smart Centre
  • Freeview Play

Toshiba Smart Centre and Freeview Play guarantee there's ever thing to stream. Toshiba's level is comparable to, say, Philip's Saphi oregon Hisense's VIDAA portals. It's designed chiefly to furnish you with streaming TV services and catch-up, which it does alternatively well.

Linux-based, the level lists Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Twitch, Rakuten TV, Britbox and Chili amongst its offerings. If you request Disney+ oregon Apple TV+ though you'll person to adhd a abstracted streaming instrumentality oregon different gizmo, arsenic they're not offered here. Still, you could bargain an Amazon Fire TV Lite for conscionable £/€30.

Pocket-lint

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Freeview Play covers each mainstream catch-up needs though. There's BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, UKTV Play, CBS Catch-up and Horror Bites, positive a immense fig of free-to-watch box-sets.  

Gamers volition find the UL20 serves arsenic a bully debased outgo show too. We measured input lag astatine 17.5ms (1080/60) successful Game mode, which is good for competitory gameplay.

Picture performance 

  • TRU Picture Engine
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG HDR

Dolby Vision makes the astir of movies, portion TRU Flow smooths retired sports programmes.

Pocket-lint

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That means the UL20 offers a good-looking picture. It doesn't implicit present connected its terms point, but neither does it disappoint. Out of the box, images are sharp, moderately contrasty with an acceptable mean representation astatine its brightest.

Image presets comprise Dynamic, Game, Sports, Cinema, Natural, Dolby Vision Bright, Dolby Vision Dark, positive User adjustable. We recovered the Cinema preset the astir engaging and consistent. Dynamic is simply a small excessively oversaturated for mundane use.   

The acceptable features a trio of TRU representation processing technologies, including TRU Resolution upscaling and contrast-enhancing TRU Micro Dimming. The sheet doesn't bash a heavy blacks, though, and tends to grey-out erstwhile watched successful rooms with small oregon nary ambient light. The solution is to support immoderate illumination successful the room, arsenic this subjectively improves the backlit image.

We measured HDR highest brightness astatine 330 nits, which is precisely what we would expect from a fund HDR telly - no, it's not the 1,000+ nits of immoderate high-spec tellies, but that's conscionable to beryllium expected. Compatibility covers regular HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision - the past of which does a peculiarly bully occupation with compatible contented from Netflix, keeping it bully and filmic.

Philips

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As befits its cheapie status, the UL20 doesn't usage a wide colour gamut panel, but there's capable popular present to marque animations sing and sports events to look lush and handsome. A tally done of Despicable Me 3 is simply a riot of affluent blues and heavy explosive oranges.

TRU Flow creaseless question processing is simply a MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) strategy that irons retired judder and maintains good item successful accelerated moving content. It works good for sports, but adds a soap opera effect to movies, truthful you mightiness privation to crook it disconnected travel movie night.

Sound performance

  • 2x 10W
  • HDMI ARC
  • AI dependable mode

The dependable strategy whitethorn beryllium stereo only, but dialog is cleanable and crisp arsenic a result. The UL20 is amazingly punchy, too, acknowledgment to a potent 2x 10W talker setup, which should support you amused until you put successful a soundbar.

Philips

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There's nary enactment for Dolby Atmos, though you volition find measurement levelling, a compression strategy to trim dynamics betwixt sources, and dialog enhancement for improved vocal clarity connected mumble-dramas. An AI Sound mode puts the TV into dynamically compressed Night mode betwixt 10pm and 7am.  

Verdict

Proving that entry-level TVs don't person to beryllium debased connected niceties, this frugal 4K flatscreen combines a broad enactment of catch-up and streaming services, with effectual Dolby Vision HDR absorption and immoderate effectual question handling.

Clearly there's immoderate level of compromise erstwhile it comes to representation show astatine this terms point, but wide usability is high. So beryllium it a 2nd set, oregon an HD upgrade, the Toshiba UL20 bid is worthy a spot connected your shortlist - and, indeed, your TV stand.

Also consider

Samsung UE43TU7020

A best-seller successful the bargain aisle, Samsung's TU7020 is disposable successful a wide scope of surface sizes (43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 70- and 75-inches) and is built connected the brand's highly versatile Tizen astute platform. It employs a talented 4K Crystal processor, but lacks Dolby Vision HDR. There's besides dependable power via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It's somewhat pricier than the reviewed Toshiba, but tempting nonetheless.

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Philips 43PUS7555

This silver-framed Philips whitethorn deficiency the brand's trademark Ambilight temper lighting system, but it's inactive a agleam buy, offering Dolby Vision HDR enactment and a step-down mentation of Philips' highly regarded P5 Picture Engine. Streaming services and catch-up TV are delivered by Freeview Play portion Philips' Saphi astute portal, which features Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube.

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Writing by Steve May. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 13 August 2021.

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