First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Excellent colour Reproduction, Bright image, Good Contrast Ratio,
- Slight Flyscreen, Long throw distance
There isnt much to complain about with the MT200, If you are looking for an excellent projector for a large room this is the best option, but the short throw distance might put people off who want a giant screen.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
DLP projectors have recently begun to appear in homes around the country, as they become ever more popular due to their price. Unfortunately, in many cases, low cost usually means low quality. The Toshiba TDP-MT200 however, dispenses with this adage, as it has remarkable image quality for a DLP projector at this pricepoint.
DLP technology has many issues, the most prominent of which is the dreaded "rainbow effect" where some people with sensitive vision experience flashes of the colour spectrum whenever their eyes move quickly over the image. The colour wheel in the MT200 is vastly superior to most DLP projectors as it is a 5 speed 6 segment colour wheel. This is twice as many segments as other DLPs and translates to less delay between colours meaning reduced rainbow effect and superior image quality.
In addition to the reduced rainbow effect the MT200 also projects a remarkably bright and colour-rich image. When the projector is first booted the screen displays a splash page at a low brightness. Don't be alarmed, it gets much brighter, and quickly. As the lamp gears up to full output, the image becomes rather bright, even in a room with a reasonable amount of ambient light. With overhead lighting turned on the image could still be made out, although we don't recommend you watch your movies with the lights on. Sunlight streaming from the lounge room window affected the image, as would be expected, but it still passed this test well with a clearly visible image.
Colours were reproduced effectively with rich flesh tones and the contrast ratio of 1000:1 successfully produced deep blacks. However, there were times when DVDs appeared a little pixilated on the edges of the screen. A closer inspection at the screen level revealed a slight screen door effect on the image.
If scores were only based on image quality this projector would have scored highly but it does have a few flaws here and there that detract from its overall quality. The first of which is the customization and menu options. There are quite a few options to customize but not all the ones a home cinema projector needs. There is no overall gamma or hue correction and while the overall brightness and contrast of the image can be adjusted, a more thorough adjustment each colour channel is not possible. There are also no presets for colour temperature and no way to adjust it outside of the preset picture modes. The MT200 comes with various picture modes such as Vivid, Dynamic, Theatre and while they do alter the colour temperature, they also tend to change the saturation, hue and gamma of the image as well, resulting in undesired image changes.
There is also a rather meagre selection for adjusting the aspect ratio of the image. It only has three options to choose from. If you want a proper 16:9 image then "full" mode will do the trick. While "4:3" will project in standard television resolution. "Zoom" mode will crop the sides and top off a 16:9 image to simulate 4:3 but this scales the image and you not only lose the cropped sections but quite a bit of quality as well. A few more image modes would have been much better with a consistent labeling method for each.
The design of the unit is much the same as the Toshiba T90 except this one is white. The cooling vents are on the side of the unit and produce an incredible amount of heat as it is drawn away from the lamp. While all projectors produce heat, the amount coming from this one seems excessive. This limits where you can place the projector in the room as it needs to be away from any audience members since it is quite uncomfortable to sit near. Thankfully, there are also various modes for mounting the device on a ceiling which seems to be the best way to experience this projector. Bookshelf use is also an option but the power and input cables are inserted at the rear of the device meaning you will need a bookshelf with very deep shelves to make this a viable option. In our tests we also found the throw distance to be slightly annoying. This projector is perfect for use on a coffee table but in most lounge rooms, using it on the coffee table wouldn't produce a large enough image as the MT200 projected a roughly 100cm image at a distance of about 3 metres. Many people who purchase projectors do so because they want to achieve a size larger than is available in panel displays and this throw distance doesn't provide that. Why the throw distance is so large is puzzling, but the high quality image may tempt a user to opt for a good quality over a larger size.
When installing the MT200 you should also note that projecting at any angle or tilt other than directly in front of the screen will result in an image that will need to be keystone corrected. The keystone options work very well and do a great job of getting the image back to a perfect rectangle. However, once the projector is turned off all user settings disappear. This means that every time you turn on the projector you will have to manually set the keystone. Having to do this after each reboot of the machine is enough to drive you mad.
The fan in the TDP-MT200 is fairly quiet in normal mode but it has an adjustable speed setting which can get a little noisy if set to high. The normal setting isn't distracting in any way during movie playback and can barely be heard even in the quieter moments of the film. However, the fan continues to run even when the lamp has been powered down, so when the projector is not in use it is advisable to switch it off at the power switch on the back of the unit as the fan consumes power while in standby and also creates unwanted noise pollution in the home.
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