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InFocus Screenplay 7200 / Toshiba TDP-MT8U

Evan Powell, February 28, 2003
Review Contents
In the $10,000 and up price range, the home theater market has recently seen a variety of new projectors featuring the Texas Instruments Mustang/HD2 DLP chip, which delivers high resolution widescreen 1280x720 performance at high contrast ratios. New models based on the Mustang/HD2 chip are now or soon will be available from DWIN, Faroudja, Runco, Marantz, SharpVision, Sim2, and Yamaha, in addition to the Infocus and Toshiba models that are the subject of this review.

The Toshiba TDP-MT8U is in fact the InFocus Screenplay 7200 being sold under the Toshiba label. The only physical difference between the two units is the case color-the Toshiba edition is off-white and the Infocus is medium silver-gray. Both carry an MSRP of $9,999. At this price they are the least expensive of all of the Mustang/HD2 machines released thus far. We brought samples of both the Screenplay 7200 and the TDP-MT8U into the lab for testing.

Product Overview

The 7200/MT8 is rated at 1000 ANSI lumens and 1400:1 contrast. It features a 5x speed, six segment color wheel rotating at 9000 RPM. The unit weighs 9.5 lbs, and with a solidly constructed handle integrated into the casework it is suitable for both portable applications as well as fixed home theater installation.

Connectivity: The connection panel on the rear of the unit offers a wide variety of input options including an M1-DA port, a 15-pin VGA, two sets of three RCA component jacks, two S-video ports, a composite jack, and a D5 video input. There are also two 12-volt triggers to control other features such as lighting, drapes, and screen deployment.

Compatibility: Signal compatibility includes DVI-HDCP, component and RGB HDTV 1080p, 1080i, 720p, EDTV component 576p, 480p, standard component video 480i, 576i, S-video and composite. Color systems include NTSC, NTSC 4.43, PAL B, G, H, I, M, and N, and SECAM. Computer compatibility includes digital and analog PC and Macintosh up to SXGA 1280x1024.

Lens: The 7200 and MT8 have a manual 1.38x zoom and focus lens. This is a longer zoom range than we find on most digital projectors these days. It throws a 100" diagonal 16:9 format image from a distance range of about 11 to 15 feet. Ideal placement for this screen size would be at a throw distance from lens to screen of about 14 feet-as far back as possible without hitting the extreme end of the zoom range. Why? When you have the lattitude to do so, it is advantageous to keep the angle of the thrown image as narrow as possible so that it bounces off the screen in a more uniform manner. Very short throw distances will cause light hitting the outside portions of the screen to bounce off at more oblique angles than the light with strikes the center of the screen. However, we also like to avoid the extreme ends of zoom lens, especially those with longer zoom ranges, since they tend to be optically more precise toward the middle.

Picture control: One of the selling features of the 7200 and MT8 is that is comes fully calibrated for optimum video right out of the box. We can definitely say this--the picture out of the box is impressive indeed and no adjustments at all were needed to get what most people would consider to be a great picture. Yet we still found some room for improvement, and slight adjustments to brightness, contrast, and color brought it to where we thought it was ideal. The projector has an assortment of image adjustment controls and three user programmable memories.

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Performance
Review Contents: Overview Performance Performance and Conclusion

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