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Toshiba TACP TDP-MT200 Projector Toshiba TACP TDP-MT200
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2000:1 Contrast Ratio
700 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Toshiba TDP MT200Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, May 12, 2005

The number of options for home theater enthusiasts on a budget is increasing steadily every month. With the recent influx of sub-$2000 854x480 DLP projectors, the high-quality big-screen experience has become more affordable than ever. Following this trend, Toshiba has released the TDP-MT200, a powerful little machine that has been getting a lot of attention from home theater enthusiasts seeking the best picture quality for the least investment.

Specifications. 700 ANSI lumens, 2000:1 contrast, native 16:9 widescreen format, 854x480 resolution DLP chip with a 5x speed six-segment color wheel.

Compatibility. HDTV 1080i, 720p, 576i, 480p, 480i, and computer resolutions up to 1024x768. Full NTSC / PAL / SECAM.

Lens and Throw Distance. 1.20:1 manual zoom/focus lens. Throws a 100" diagonal image from 13'7" to 16'4", depending on zoom.

Lamp Life. 2,000 hours in standard mode, 3,000 hours in low mode.

Connection Panel. One composite video, one S-Video, One set of standard YPbPr component inputs, one 15-pin VGA port, DVI-D port with HDCP, and one RS-232C port for an external control.

Installation Options. Table mount, rear shelf mount, ceiling mount.

Warranty. Two years, 90 days for lamp.

Performance

The MT200 is rated at 700 ANSI lumens; by our measurements it is capable of outputting about 580 ANSI lumens maximum, so there is not a large gap between theoretical and measured output. Optimized for home theater (in Theater mode with the lamp set to low) lumen output was about 330 ANSI - which, in a light-controlled viewing environment is plenty adequate. However, due to the relatively low light output of the MT200, we would recommend a maximum image diagonal of about 100".

The MT200's contrast performance is excellent. Black level is impressively deep, and shadow detail is clearly differentiated. There is seldom any dithering in dark areas of the image.

Out of the box the MT200 needs a little calibration to reach its peak color performance. Our test unit was biased towards green and slightly undersaturated. However, with a few minor adjustments the problem was corrected, and the MT200 produced a combination of deep, rich colors, realistic fleshtones--overall a beautiful image.

Scaling is quite good for the most part. The MT200 downscales 720p and 1080i signals with precision, delivering a clean and clear image that looks like it is coming from a much more expensive projector. Furthermore, keystone adjustments are clean, with a bare minimum of blurring at image edges. The only time that the MT200 seemed to struggle was when the "zoom" aspect ratio control was used, as it tended to produce some image instability and edge blurring.

Deinterlacing is, in a word, excellent. Even the most difficult scenes (such as the opening of Star Trek: Insurrection, with some nearly-impossible haystacks) were handled exceptionally well, with very little breakup or image degradation. If you own a progressive-scan DVD player, you may wish to see if the MT200's onboard deinterlacing is superior to that of your player. You may be pleasantly surprised.

The bottom line is that the MT200 delivers an impressive image that is highly competitive with the best of the 854x480 class projectors.

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