At around £1,500, this Toshiba is one of the cheapest 'big name' 42-inch LCD televisions around. Not only that, it has a 1,920x1,080-pixel display resolution, which means that it can show the 1080i high-definition format (the one used by Sky HD) in full line-by-line glory. All screens marked HD Ready can display 1080i, but most have fewer than 1,080 lines on their panels and so have to downscale the source to fit the screen. Not so with this TV.
In addition to showing hi-def video and games, the 42WLT66 comes with a digital tuner providing access to standard-definition Freeview channels, so even if you're not planning on going hi-def just yet, you can at least watch digital terrestrial TV without the need for a separate box.
Thanks to its narrow screen surround, the television seems small and compact for a 42-incher -- something worth bearing in mind if you're looking for a television that won't completely dominate your living room. The desktop stand is also tiny, so you'll be able to perch the TV on a small table rather than a huge Ikea-style bench.
The styling is similarly understated. That classic consumer electronics colour combination of black and silver is very much in evidence here, and the result is a rather run-of-the-mill aesthetic that should fit in pretty much anywhere. It's not blow-your-socks-off beautiful, but it'll do.
Build quality is solid enough too, although the set has an extremely plasticky feel and look upon close inspection -- especially round the back. We suppose this is the price you have to pay for affordability and, as you won't spend too much time gazing at the back of a telly (unless you have some rather odd interests) we can't grumble.
Something at the back that you will have to look at from time to time is the array of connections. There are two digital HDMI sockets, which most people will find very handy (if not immediately, then at least in the near future), a component video input, PC input and two Scarts. Annoyingly, only one of the Scarts is RGB-capable, so if you want to get the best picture quality out of two RGB-outputting devices (such as a PlayStation 2 and a Sky+ box) then you're going to be faffing around at the back of the telly more often than you'd like.
As with almost all new digital TVs, there's also a Common Interface slot at the back, enabling you to upgrade to Top Up TV should you wish. Toshiba has also provided a small cable-management loop at the top of the stand to help keep things tidy round the back.
Once the television is plugged in, setting it up is a doddle. There's auto-tuning to make sure all the channels are stored straight away and the menu system is laid out in a logical, thoughtful manner, with tabbed sections for tweaking the audio and the picture and making adjustments to the main settings. The one slight problem was the remote control -- while the design and button layout is fine, it was noticeably unresponsive when being used to move through the menu system. Oddly, it worked perfectly well at all other times, so we're at a loss to explain why.