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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.