Part of Toshiba's 2010 lineup, the G300 Series is a mid-level series that lacks some of the higher-end features found in the company's top-shelf offerings, such as LED backlighting, ClearScan 240Hz, Resolution+, and NET TV. The G300 Series includes screen sizes of 40, 46, and 55 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the 40G300U ($899.99), but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 40-inch, 1080p LCD uses Toshiba's CineSpeed LCD panel and has ClearFrame 120Hz technology to reduce motion blur. Although this TV does not include the new NET TV Web platform, it does offer a network connection that allows you to stream digital media from a DLNA-compliant server. The 40G300U does not appear to have EnergyStar 4.0 certification.
The connection panel includes four HDMI inputs but only one component video input. You also get a PC input and an RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both a 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signal, and one is located on the side panel for easy access. Also located on the side panel is a USB port for JPEG and MP3 playback. The back panel sports an Ethernet port for a wired network connection; this model does not come with the USB-based 802.11n adapter that you get with higher-end lines like the UX600 Series.
The 40G300U offers a solid assortment of picture adjustments but lacks some advanced options, like precise white-balance controls, the Auto Brightness sensor that adjusts the backlight based on the room's ambient light, and the ColorMaster system that lets you individually adjust each color point. You do get five preset picture modes, as well as the option to enable a Gaming mode that improves response time when mating the TV with a gaming console. The menu includes three preset color-temperature options, as well as Blue and Green Drive adjustments that provide limited ability to fine-tune the TV's white balance. You can adjust the TV's backlight brightness via either a fixed backlight control or the DynaLight mode that automatically tailors the backlight to suit the source content. The setup menu also offers gamma adjustment and MPEG noise reduction. The ClearFrame control addresses the issue of motion blur, while the Film Stabilization mode deals with the problem of judder in film sources, using motion interpolation to produce smoother movement. Finally, the TV has eight aspect-ratio options, including a Native mode for viewing images with no overscan.
The 40G300U has a black frame with a tapered bezel and subtle gradation around the edges, as well as a rounded base and invisible speakers. The audio setup menu includes bass, treble, and balance controls, as well as QSound audio processing. It does not offer the Dolby Volume sound-leveling technology you'll find in higher-end models.
Read more about the 40G300U on Page 2.
• This TV has a 1080p resolution and will accept 24p sources via its HDMI inputs.
• ClearFrame 120Hz technology effectively reduces motion blur, with a separate Film Stabilization mode to address film judder.
• LCDs can be very bright, which makes them a good choice for a brightly lit viewing environment.
• The TV can connect to your home network to receive streamed content
from a DLNA server, and the USB port allows for easy music/photo
• This TV uses a traditional CCFL backlight, so its black level will
likely not be as deep as you'll find in the better full-array LED-based
LCDs with local dimming.
• LCD viewing angles are not as good as you'll find with a plasma TV.
• The 40G300U lacks 3D capability.
• This TV does not support Toshiba's NET TV platform, for access to video-on-demand, YouTube and other Web services.
Comparison and Competition
To compare the Toshiba 40G300U against its competition please read our reviews of the Insignia NS-L55X-10A LCD HDTV and the Sony KDL-46EX500 LCD HDTV. Also compare the 40G300 against Toshiba's other televisions by reading the Toshiba 46UX600U review and the Toshiba 46RV525R review. You can also learn more by visiting our All Things LCD HDTV section.
The 40G300U doesn't offer all the benefits you
get with higher-end Toshiba models, but it is a 1080p display with four
HDMI inputs and the all-important 120Hz technology needed to reduce
motion blur in an LCD. Plus, it boasts digital-media perks like DLNA
streaming and USB media playback. All in all, it's a solid choice for
someone who wants an affordable, 1080p TV that will see a lot of use
with sports, action flicks, and gaming content.