Product Review (August 2003) - Toshiba
TDP-MT8U High-Definition DLP™ Projector

Toshiba's new TDP-MT8U joins the latest generation of high-definition projectors sporting the new HD2/Mustang DLP™ from Texas Instruments. Capable of producing 1,000 ANSI lumens and an impressive 1400:1 contrast ratio, the TDP-MT8U is grouped with an elite set of high-end home theater projectors. Several performance improvements have been made to the HD2 DLP™ to increase the contrast ratio and deepen the black level. An increase in the deflection angle (12° versus 10°) and the Dark Metal process used on the individual mirror surfaces improve the image quality. The native resolution of the HD2 DLP is the same 1280x720 pixel array used in the earlier HD1 DLP. Complimenting the new DLP technology used on the TDP-MT8U is Faroudja's highly regarded DCDi+™ video deinterlacing and scaling processing. The TDP-MT8U is still fairly compact for a high performance home theater projector (measuring about 13" wide by 9" deep). The design has the look of a portable projector with a large molded handle on the front housing. The handle is actually quite useful during the installation process.

Light comes from a 200/250-Watt UHP lamp designed with anti-flicker circuitry. The all-glass precision lens is designed by the optics experts at Carl Zeiss as noted on the lens housing. This single DLP projector requires an internal color filter wheel to produce sequential red, green and blue images at a high rate on the screen. Our vision's persistence integrates these sequential images and produces a color picture on the screen. The faster the sequence, the easier it is for our eyes to integrate the colors. One of the problem associated with single DLP projectors is the "rainbow effect" often seen when the color sequence becomes apparent during fast motion or when the viewer's eyes move rapidly. Some people are more sensitive to this effect than others. To minimize this problem, the TDP-MT8U uses a new six-segment color wheel (Red-Green-Blue-Red-Green-Blue) that runs at 9000 rpm. The result is video projecting the RGB color sequence 300 times per second or five times the 60 Hertz frame rate. This helps reduce the "rainbow effect" often seen by those sensitive to flicker.

Setup
We projected the image onto a 100" diagonal Stewart FireHawk screen mounted on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall. The FireHawk is an excellent compliment to today's high-performance DLP projectors with a gain of 1.35 and a wide viewing angle of 100 degrees. FireHawk's ability to resist ambient light in the room helps maintain a high contrast image. In addition, the gray particles embedded into the screen coating deepens the black level to further enhance the already impressive HD2 DLP chip. We mounted our projector from the ceiling and positioned it to minimize geometric errors. No lens shift adjustments are provided, so the projector must be optimally mounted to avoid using the digital keystone adjustments. The keystone adjustments tend to degrade the image quality, so ideally we prefer not to use them. Zoom and focus on the TDP-MT8U are fully manual. The zoom lens is actually more powerful than many projectors we have seen and this allowed us to project a 100" diagonol image onto our 16:9 FireHawk screen at a distance of about 13 feet. The VeLux material on the Luxus frame absorbed any overscan, resulting in a perfect looking 16:9 image from our seating position.

Connectivity
The rear panel of the TDP-MT8U has a large number of video inputs including both analog and digital interfaces. One composite and two S-video inputs fully compatible with NTSC, NTSC 4.43, PAL, SECAM standards are provided. There are two component (YPrPb, 3 RCA jacks) video inputs and one VESA (15-pin D-sub) input. The projector can actually accept either component or RGB with sync-on-green on the RCA connections labeled "component". The VESA input can also run in either component or RGB/HV formats for the ultimate in video interface compatibility. However, the user must select the correct Color Space option in the setup menu. All common formats (480p, 720p 1080i and 1080p) are supported with these inputs. The TDP-MT8U also has a special M1-DA connector that greatly resembles a standard DVI connector. There are two adapter cables available from Toshiba for connecting to the M1-DA connector. The DVI-D to M1-DA adapter cable includes a 24-pin male DVI-D connector and a 4-pin USB interface. The DVI-A to M1-DA adapter cable includes a standard analog VESA (15-pin) male and a 4-pin USB interface. Both cables are just over 6 feet in length. The DVI-D interface is fully DVI/HDCP compliant for encrypted content. A D-5 connector is also provided on the TDP-MT8U, but we did not test this interface. Additional connectors include a pair of 12V triggers for screen control (drop-down screens or curtains) options and an RS232 interface for serial commands. Professional installers may also take advantage of the serial interface for full control of the projector settings.

Remote
The infrared remote supplied with the TDP-MT8U is small and lightweight with a well designed backlight for the dimly lit home theater environment. Pointing the remote at the screen to command the projector (positioned well above our heads) worked flawlessly. The remote is simple with the menu navigation buttons (Menu, Select, Up and Down) located at the top. The screen Resize button along with the dedicated Contrast and Brightness controls are located in near the middle of the keypad. Just below this are four video input buttons, each of which can be defined by the user based on the video connections on the rear panel. The fifth source button cycles through all of the video inputs in the event the four main video buttons don't cover all of the connected inputs. Using the aspect ratio menu, the user can select Native, 16:9 (1.78:1), 4:3 (1.33:1), Letterbox, and Natural Wide modes. The Native mode looked the best since full resolution of the display is maintained. However, having different screen modes increases the flexibility of the display with the many different video sources available. Finally, the Preset button recalls one of three predefined user settings.

Several more advanced controls are provided for the user. Image processing parameters that are adjustable include NR (Noise Reduction), Cross Color Suppression, 2:2 pulldown, Color Space (YUV or RGB), Gamma (Film, Video or PC), Color Temperature (6500K, 8200K or 9300K) and Video Standard (Auto, NTSC, PAL or SECAM). Phase and position controls are also included in these menu items.

Color Tracking
We connected our Sencore VP300 video generator to the 15-pin D-sub connector and ran 720p video in the RGB/HV mode. We set the black level using the PLUGE pattern and checked the stair step levels to ensure we had properly adjusted the display. Using the menu settings we selected the 6500K color temperature and proceeded to check color tracking accuracy. Using our Sencore CP5000 All-Display Color Analyzer, we measured the color temperature in 10 IRE increments starting with 20% IRE. The TDP-MT8U tracked 6500K almost perfectly across all measured IRE levels. The menus have both Gain and Bias controls for fine tuning the color temperature if needed.

Display Primaries
We measured the primary colors produced by the TDP-MT8U using our GretagMacbeth Eye-One Pro Spectrophotometer along with the Milori ColorFacts software. The CIE chart shows where the ideal primaries are located with the smaller three points with the darker lines joining them. The measured primary colors are marked by the red, green and blue markers connected together with the white triangle. Only colors inside this triangle can be generated by the display. The bottom line is colors looked excellent overall with deep reds and rich blues. Green was not as deep as I've seen on some displays, but still looked quite impressive. Flesh tones looked beautiful with this projector.

The light output of the TDP-MT8U running in high power mode produced over 1000 lumens. We measured just under 60 foot-Lamberts on our 87-inch wide Stewart FireHawk filmscreen which has a gain of 1.35. Although blacks were not completely black in our dark theater environment we found the projector produced the best picture in a dimly lit room. The standard lamp mode decreased light output slightly and improved the black level in a dark room. This also increases the lamp life by 50% to 3000 hours as compared to the 2000 hour life in the high power mode.

Faroudja Processing
The TDP-MT8U utilizes the Faroudja™ (Sage) FL12300 DCDi+™ De-interlacer/Scaler/Enhancer chip, known for its reference quality video processing capabilities. One of the common problems with film-based movies on DVD is properly deinterlacing the video to eliminate interlacing artifacts. The Faroudja video processor detects the 3-2 pulldown sequence by storing multiple fields of video and determining the original film frames. Once the original 24 fps (frames per second) film frames are recognized and reconstructed, 60 Hertz video frames can be generated with minimal artifacts. Faroudja's Cross Color Suppression detects and corrects cross color artifacts that often appear as 15 Hertz flashing colors or rainbow patterns. Advanced motion detection selectively performs temporal filtering only where there's no motion in the image. This technology works on all sources recorded from a composite video signal. Faroudja refers to these algorithms as their DCDi processing. The performance of this deinterlacer and scaler was excellent. We didn't see any interlacing artifacts when feeding the projector 480i or 1080i video.

Performance
Watching high-definition material on the TDP-MT8U was an exciting experience. We could sit all day in front of this projector and not get bored. High definition content from DirecTV over-the-air came from our RCA DTC100 using the analog RGB interface. We also saw the benefits from the DVI-D interface when we took advantage of our Samsung SIR-T165 set-top box. The Tonight Show broadcasted in HD here in Los Angeles looked excellent. The advantage of using the DVI-D interface is that there is no need to convert the signal to the analog domain. The result is not only a decrease in low level video noise, but also issues that cause signal ringing such as impedance mismatches through cables and connectors are not a concern. Unfortunately, DVI-D cables do have length limitations, so this has to be factored into the installation of the projector.

Our JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS VCR was a great source for pristine high-definition video. HD-Net provided a tape from their Bikini Destinations series and the quality was truly reference material. Skin tones were very natural looking with subtle details revealed. Even though the video coming from our digital tape was 1080i, the TDP-MT8U did an excellent job of converting the video to the projector's native display resolution and scan rate with no noticeable artifacting.

Conclusion
The Toshiba TDP-MT8U is an impressive high performance projector capable of producing a stunning high definition picture. The design and features make it an attractive part of a high-end home theater system. The light output and contrast ratio of the TDP-MT8U works incredibly well in rooms that have some ambient light, especially when combined with a quality Stewart FireHawk filmscreen. The high performance, flexibility, ease of use and straight forward setup makes this projector an excellent choice for a serious home theater.
- Kevin Nakano


Review System

Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" diagonol FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
Scaler: Focus Enhancements CenterStage CS-2 Scaler
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box #1: Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
Set-top Box #2: RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
D-VHS VCR: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR<
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
DVI Cable: Monster Cable M Series M500DVI DVI-D Cable
Power Conditioning: Panamax MAX® 5500 ACRegenerator
Video Generator: Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer #1: Sencore CP5000 ISF Certified All-Display Color Analyzer
Color Analyzer #2: GretagMacbeth Eye-One Pro Colorphotometer with ColorFacts Software


Review at a glance
Toshiba - TDP-MT8U High Definition DLP™
Home Theater Projector

Specifications

  • DLP™Chip New High Contrast TI HD2 DMD, 16:9 Native with 12 Degree Mirror Tilt
  • New Dithering Algorithm for Improved Brightness, Contrast and Color Accuracy
  • 1000 ANSI Lumens
  • Lens System New High Focus Carl Zeiss All-Glass Lens System with Manual Focus Ring
  • 116 Degree Image Offset allows Higher Placement
  • Color Wheel New 6 Segment, 5X, 300Hz, 9000 RPM with Auto Calibration
  • 250 W UHP Lamp, 1500H Life with Anti-Flicker Circuitry
  • New Prism-Less Sealed Optical Architecture for Better Brightness, Uniformity and Contrast
  • Projection Distance 5'(short throw) to 32'(long throw)
  • Zoom Ratio 1.4:1
  • Throw Ratio .48 ~ .67
  • Operation Noise 35dB (low power), 37 dB (high power)
  • Scanning Frequency 21- 91kHz (H), 50 - 85kHz (V)
  • Dot Clock 135MHz
  • Colors 16.7 Million
  • Projection Modes Front, Rear, Ceiling
  • TheaterWide Modes (Enhanced, WideSreen, Anamorphic)
  • Video Input Signals NTSC, PAL, SECAM, 480p, 546p,720p,1035i, 1080i, 1080p
  • 480p input will bypass de-interlacer, 720p will bypass de-interlacer/scaler
  • Computer Input Signals VGA~SXGA+
  • One DVI with HDCP input
  • Two Component Video inputs ( Gold RCA -Y,Pr,Pb)
  • Two S-Video Inputs
  • One Composite Video Input
  • One 15 Pin HD-Sub Input
  • One D-Terminal (Component)
  • RS232 Control Terminal ( 9 Pin Male D-Sub)
  • Two 12V Screen Triggers for Screen Drop and 4x3 Aspect Curtains (3.5mm Mini Jack)
  • Picture Memory Settings Individual Settings by Input, Plus 3 User Memories
  • Complete Discrete I/R Codes Code List
  • Gamma Control 3 De-Gamma Levels: Film, Video, PC, Dynamic Gamma (On or Off)
  • Sharpness Control Sharpest, Sharper, Standard, Softer, Softest
  • Color Temperature Control 6500K (Default)/8200K/9300K
  • One User Mode with Gain and Bias Adjustment used for color tracking calibration
  • Cabinet Slim Pearl White (Low Light Leakage Design)
  • Power Consumption 350W
  • Power Source 100 - 240V (50/60Hz)
  • Remote Control Illuminated Remote Control

    Accessories

  • Optional Ceiling Mount Kit: PBL-MT8 - $299.99
  • Replacement Lamp (Bulb): TLP-LMT8 - $499.99

    Company Information
    Toshiba America Consumer Products, Inc.
    82 Totowa Road
    Wayne, NJ 07470
    Phone: 973-628-8000
    Source: Manufacture loan
    Serial Number: 7AN3080021

    MSRP: $9999.99

    Size: 13.9" x 4.4" x 12.3" (353mm x 112mm x 313mm) (WxHxD)
    Weight: 9.3 pounds (4.24kg)
    Warranty: 3 year parts and labor, 90 days on lamp

    URL: www.toshiba.com/tacp/

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