If you happen to’re on the lookout for a 4K TV with a easy design and the powers of Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos on its aspect, the Toshiba UL21 is an inexpensive alternative.
- Easy, smooth design
- Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos assist
- Detailed picture high quality
- You want an Echo to make use of Alexa
- Giant, smudge-prone distant
4K decision The LED show has a decision of 3840 x 2160 and comes with TRU Micro Dimming and TRU Decision.
HDR assist The UL21 helps HDR10, HLG and Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR codecs.
Number of appsThe TV comes with Freeview Play, Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube pre-installed.
Down firing stereo audio system The audio additionally advantages from Dolby Atmos assist.
The UL21 is one in all 4 4K and HD Prepared TVs launched by Toshiba on the finish of 2021 that steadiness a handful of high-end options at an inexpensive worth.
For the UL21 which means Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist and assistance on the audio aspect from Dolby Atmos. The TV additionally takes benefit of Toshiba’s TRU Micro Dimming and TRU Decision image applied sciences, and is appropriate with each Alexa and Google Assistant.
So what sort of efficiency can this 43-inch mannequin ship?
- Shiny, easy design
- Giant distant
- No eARC
If you happen to’re on the lookout for a TV that makes an announcement, the UL21 isn’t it. The TV has a shiny, plastic construct and chunky ft that come throughout fairly plain-looking. That mentioned, the black bezel permits it to soften into its background towards darker partitions and the design is nice should you’re on the lookout for one thing easy.
The UL21 measures 973 x 81 x 567 with out the stand, however the ft do stick out in entrance of and behind the TV taking over further area, in order that’s one thing to remember if in case you have a small TV stand.
The distant is my least favorite facet of the TV largely characteristic as a result of its measurement and smudge-prone keys. There are many buttons, together with a quantity pad, playback and handy shortcuts for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Freeview Play, however it may undoubtedly be slimmed down. I discovered myself utilizing the keys within the centre and the shortcuts, so it’d be nice to have a smaller, sleeker possibility with out the quantity pad, for instance.
The buttons have a great grip to them, however the arrow keys had been susceptible to selecting up smudges and fingerprints.
On the rear you’ll discover a collection of ports, together with two USB, two HDMI, an antenna enter and a CI+ slot on the aspect, and Digital Audio Output (Optic), Ethernet, LNB, a headphone jack and a 3rd HDMI port on the aspect. There may be, nonetheless, no eARC port for outputting lossless sound akin to Atmos to a appropriate soundbar.
- The interface is straightforward to observe
- There are not any Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus or NOW apps
- You’ll want to attach an Echo to make use of Alexa
Not like a few of Toshiba’s 2021 TVs, the UL21 doesn’t assist Android TV, which means you gained’t get entry to the Play Retailer or sure apps. Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless a collection of in style streaming apps out there and the UI may be very easy to navigate.
The menu is proscribed to the underside part of the display and options 5 classes: House, Search, TV, Settings and Sources. House is the place all of the streaming apps will be discovered, together with the TV’s app retailer and an online browser, whereas TV is the place Freeview Play, EPG, channels, timers and recordings are saved.
Settings is the place you’ll be able to go to regulate the image, sound and community and entry key data concerning set up, the system and manuals.
So far as app assist is anxious, the TV helps lots of the typical suspects together with Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and Britbox. Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus and NOW will not be out there within the app retailer, so that you’ll must spend money on a streaming stick should you’re subscribed to any of those apps.
The UL21 “Works with” Alexa and Google Assistant, which means you’ll want to attach an Amazon Echo gadget if you wish to navigate the set hands-free (in contrast to the Toshiba WK3C, which comes with Alexa built-in).
The TV can also be appropriate for avid gamers, with its 9.8ms lag in its Sport mode, making certain you will get fast response instances when paired with current-gen consoles, just like the PS5 and the Xbox Collection X.
Image high quality
- Two of the three TRU Image Engine options are current
- The TV helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10 and HLG
- 4K upscaling leaves one thing to be desired
The UL21 takes benefit of plenty of TRU Image Engine options, together with TRU Micro Dimming for deeper blacks and higher distinction and TRU Decision for extra refined 4K upscaling. The set lacks the TRU Circulate smoothing tech discovered on different Toshiba TVs, just like the UK31.
There’s additionally assist for Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos. The primary boosts the TV’s HDR, alongside HDR10 and HLG, whereas the second claims to supply extra immersive audio, which I’ll increase on within the sound part.
There are 5 image modes to select from when streaming non-Dolby supported content material – Pure, Cinema, Sport, Sports activities and Dynamic.
My most well-liked setting was Cinema mode, which has a heat high quality to it with deeper reds and extra orange-toned yellows. I additionally discovered Cinema mode toned down the pinks and blues extra outstanding within the default Pure mode, providing a extra coherent set of colors when streaming films and TV reveals.
Dynamic mode is way nearer to Pure in color, however with much more pumped-up blues, cooler-toned pinks and sharper particulars, which I feel would work greatest for if you wish to give daytime TV a slight increase. Although, I personally want the best way through which the slight heat of Pure brings extra life to characters.
Transferring on to Dolby Imaginative and prescient-supported content material and Cinema mode is changed with Dolby Imaginative and prescient Darkish and Dolby Imaginative and prescient Vivid. Dolby Imaginative and prescient Vivid is designed for use in rooms with numerous ambient mild, whereas Darkish is greatest suited to rooms which can be extra, nicely, darkish.
Stranger Issues appears nice in Dolby Imaginative and prescient, with the setting providing even hotter oranges than Cinema mode. I used to be ready to pick ample quantities of element, from the skinny traces adorning Joyce’s corduroy jacket and the wisps of smoke coming from her lips to the person hairs atop Hopper’s head and the creases worrying his brow.
Eleven’s pores and skin is heat and saturated within the episode, as are the pores and skin tones in an episode of Method 1: Drive to Survive. The result’s a energetic – if a bit orange – look each in direct daylight and within the moodier lighting of Hawkins.
Persevering with with Drive to Survive, the daring reds of the racers’ jackets stand out, as does the colourful yellow of the Ferrari emblem. The inexperienced grass is on the hotter aspect, however the orange tones bathing the picture distinction nicely with the blue sky, permitting it to pop.
Biking again to Stranger Issues, night-time scenes look significantly menacing with the lights off in Dolby Imaginative and prescient Darkish, although I did want the blacks would go deeper within the shadows.
One other space I felt may use a lift was distinction. An inspection of the clouds in an episode of Promoting Sundown confirmed they lacked some definition across the edges. All-in-all, whereas I loved the addition of Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR, I felt the TV may nonetheless profit from deeper blacks and brighter whites.
Lastly, I revisited an episode of Gilmore Women from 2003 to see how the TV dealt with upscaling with TRU Decision in tow. The colors appeared sensible – the blue sky was very pure and Lorelai and Rory had sufficient pink of their cheeks to appear lifelike. Nonetheless, they weren’t as saturated as these produced by different TVs, such because the Panasonic JX850.
The picture was additionally over-sharpened, which, in flip, precipitated the picture to lose some element of their faces. Quick-forward to the membership scene within the Women in Bikinis, Boys Doin’ the Twist episode and the Toshiba’s upscaling was dimmer and noisier than the Panasonic, too. Even in Lorelai’s house, the small print within the wall and on her clothes had been tougher to pick.
Sound high quality
- Dolby Atmos assist provides the audio a lift
- The sound is sharp and detailed
- Influence sounds aren’t essentially the most hard-hitting
Together with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, the UL21 is a TV that advantages from the assistance of Dolby Atmos, an audio characteristic designed to supply a extra immersive and three-dimensional listening expertise.
To check the sound, I placed on The Hobbit: An Sudden Journey. First off, I discovered that Dolby Atmos provides a barely fuller sound with deeper bass than the TV’s audio system produce with Atmos off. The soundtrack additionally sounds as if it has been given a lift by way of the setting, permitting it to raised compete with the domineering narration.
Usually talking, the steadiness between the soundtrack, narration and sound results is respectable sufficient. Each small element from the clank of metallic on metallic to the creak of a fence opening to the slightest scratch of pen on paper is sharp and audible, although Bilbo’s narration stays the loudest sound we hear.
Influence sounds might be simpler. Buildings collapse and villages are destroyed with little fanfare from the audio system and the dragon’s roar is overshadowed by the soundtrack and narration, suggesting an absence of steadiness.
That mentioned, the voices within the mid-range are full of element and the bass current within the soundtrack has an honest quantity of weight to it. Like most inexpensive TVs, the highs and lows are one thing that profit from a lift from a soundbar, however I don’t assume this can be a needed buy should you don’t plan on watching many intense motion scenes. You possibly can learn extra about this in our information to one of the best soundbars, although.
Do you have to purchase it?
You can purchase it if you would like an easy, inexpensive TV with a few high-end options The UL21 might look unassuming, however options like Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos assist, TRU Micro Dimming and Sport mode give it an edge over some equally priced units.
It does upscale decrease high quality sources all that nicely Whereas the colors appeared nice upscaled, I discovered that the picture appeared overly sharp, and affected element ranges.
The Toshiba UL21 is an low-cost 4K TV that has Dolby to thank for serving to it shine.
Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Toshiba’s TRU Image Engine be a part of forces to current a picture that’s heat, decently contrasted and full of finer particulars. In the meantime, Dolby Atmos provides the audio a lift that may solely be topped with a soundbar.
Upscaling leaves one thing to be desired and also you’ll want to choose up an Amazon Echo if you wish to go hands-free with the controls, however that is undoubtedly a TV value your consideration.
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Examined the TV over a number of weeks
Streamed content material in numerous resolutions
Examined the latency to see how the display would carry out when gaming
The UL21 has a decision of 3840 x 2160, making it a 4K TV.
Sure, the TV helps a number of HDR codecs, together with HDR10, HLG and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. There’s no HDR10+, nonetheless.
Measurement (Dimensions with out stand)
Varieties of HDR
Refresh Fee TVs
Audio (Energy output)
973 x 234 x 620 MM
973 x 81 x 567 MM
Toshiba Sensible Portal
3840 x 2160
HDR10, HLG and Dolby Imaginative and prescient
2x USB, 3x HDMI, an antenna enter, CI+ slot, Digital Audio Output (Optic), Ethernet, LNB and a headphone jack
4K Extremely HD TV
4K (or Extremely HD) refers back to the decision of a TV’s show, which equates to the variety of horizontal and vertical pixels that it will probably show. 4K TVs have a decision of 3840 x 2160 (8.3 million pixels), which is 4 instances that of a Full HD TV. With extra pixels, you get a sharper, clearer image than is feasible from an equal sized 1080p show.
Dolby Imaginative and prescient
Dolby Imaginative and prescient is a variant of HDR, including a layer of dynamic metadata to the core HDR sign. This dynamic metadata carries scene-by-scene (or frame-by-frame) directions from content material creators on how a TV ought to current the pictures to enhance the whole lot from brightness to distinction, detailing and color copy.
Dolby Atmos is an object-based audio format. It expands on 5.1 and seven.1 soundtracks by including overhead channels. Sounds are known as “audio objects”, of which there will be as much as 128 audio channels, and these ‘objects’ will be precisely positioned inside a 3D soundscape. This enables soundtracks that assist the expertise to put sounds above and across the listener with appropriate equipment.
Amazon’s sensible voice assistant
eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) is the replace to ARC and it boosts the bandwidth and velocity, making room for object-based audio encompass codecs akin to DTS:X and Dolby Atmos to be despatched on to an AV receiver/soundbar.