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Toshiba MT500- Bodged 16:9

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Marty Williams, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Marty Williams

    Marty Williams
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    I've just taken delivery of an MT500.

    I, like others it would seem, was mistakenly sucked in by Toshiba's claim that this was a "True 16:9" projector. I project onto my living room wall (the Draper Luma I was using before was irritatingly wrinkly and I preferred the wall sprayed with matt white) and wanted a 16:9 DLP to replace my beloved PTAE100 (4 years of faithful service) and the Tosh sounded like a good bet.

    Whoops.

    The first unit displayed the 16:9 picture in a 4:3 grey box. Well, not 4:3 exactly, because there was a horrible internal shadow cast across the top left corner. I assumed that some kind of masking had slipped and this was a faulty unit, but the second one is even worse. This one has internal shadows across the the top left AND the bottom middle of the "lightspill".

    Basically, without a screen with a foot of black above and below the picture, this thing stinks. It looks like a faulty 4:3 projector displaying 16:9.

    I'm going to try and get my money back on the MT500 and go for a BenQ 7700, but I don't fancy my chances 'cos Toshiba are insisting the machine's within spec.

    Oh dear.

    How much is a good quality, unwrinkly screen with 12"+ of boarder top and bottom?
     
  2. squibbly

    squibbly
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    The MT500 uses a 4:3 chip with some of the lines turned off to give 16:9. Didn't think they were screened with a bit of card, which sounds like what you've got!

    Did you buy it over the internet/mail order? Aren't there distance-selling laws which allow you to return the product if you aren't satisfied regardless if it works or not (if you're in the UK, that is)?

    Squibbly
     
  3. Marty Williams

    Marty Williams
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    I seem to have a "7 day cooling of period" during which time I can cancel the order in it's entirety and apply for a full refund.

    I'm not sure where I stand, as I recieved the first machine almost 2 weeks ago, sent it back and recieved another last thursday.

    Mind you, apparently, I'm also entitled to a refund if the unit is not:

    * of satisfactory quality. This means that the good must be free from faults, including minor ones
    * accurately described
    * fit for their purpose.

    ....and it falls into all of these catagories from what I can make out.
     
  4. Marty Williams

    Marty Williams
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    Here you go. My "True 16:9" MT500 displaying a black frame from the opening of LOTR.

    I love widescreen. :)
     

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  5. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Marty, this may be a stupid question so apols in advance. Are you expecting LOTR to display without black bars? LOTR is a 2.35:1 film, so it will have bars top and bottom. Have you tried a 1.78:1 film yet, which is true 16:9?

    ...PJ :)
     
  6. Marty Williams

    Marty Williams
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    Hiya,

    Yes, I've tried 1.85:1 too and you get about 8 inches of black bars top and bottom. The "de-activated" areas of the 4:3 chip Toshiba have used seem to be emitting black until you hit the shadows around the edge.

    Maybe I'm just being fussy. It's just that I was expecting a proper 1.85:1 picture ratio. I assumed Tosh would have made some effort to mask the rest of the 4:3 area to substantiate the "True 16:9" claim.

    And even then, it would've been nice if they'd just squared off the area a bit better than that. It's kinda blobby.

    Come to think of it, it would've a better idea just to use the full 4:3 aspect of the chip instead of bodging it like this.
     
  7. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Amazing. If it were me the thing would be boxed and sent back for a refund. Don't accept any bull about that being normal or "within spec", I've not heard of any native widescreen PJ displaying such characteristics...PJ :)
     
  8. squibbly

    squibbly
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    Get a refund. It looks crap and it's wrong. You shouldn't have to view that for the money you've paid.

    Squibbly
     
  9. inzaman

    inzaman
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    I'd agree with that it does look fairly bad.

    At 1.85 though you may still well get lines at the top at bottom as 1.85 is not 16:9 you need 1.78, there would not be 8 inches of lines though (well depending on the projection size).
     
  10. PJTX100

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    0.78" on my projection size! (though I usually nip this off with overscan)...PJ :)
     
  11. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I was at RTFMs some time ago and we were shown the MT500, and Jeff almost immediately noticed that it was a 4:3 chip that just used the middle 16:9 portion.

    All is not lost though if you don't send it back - if you are after image brightnes levels close to what you would get in the cinema, you can reduce the 4:3 light overspill by using an ND2 lens filter - what size screen are you using? If the black level is as bright as it is judging from the picture, then the image is too bright for the screen size IMHO. You may also benefit from using Digital Video Essentials to set the black level so that you're only displaying as much light as is necessary when displaying black. If you have the brightness up too high, that will make blacks (and the 4:3 overspill) look much worse. There's a link at the top of the page for basic projector calibration so you can see if you think it's a necessary measure, though I think setting white (contrast) and black (brightness) levels are one of the most important things you can do on a digital display.

    I used to have an NEC HT1000 which was 1024 x 768 and I used that in 16:9 mode. Using a lens filter and setting the white and black levels, you would never know that it was a 4:3 projector. The 16:9 screen was against a dark carpeted wall so that helped hid all the overspill.

    Gary.
     
  12. Marty Williams

    Marty Williams
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    Hey, thanks folks.

    I was starting to think I was just too fussy, 'cos the actual picture it produces is very nice.


    The photo I've taken was on a 15 second shutter and it is exagerated. It's not that bright and you only notice that framing when viewing dark scenes but it is still annoying.

    I don't think the projector's brightness would be up to a filter. It produces a nice, balanced picture with the room blacked out, but it could never be considered bright. I think it's rated at 700 Lumens, producing only 300 in cinema mode.
     
  13. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Marty,

    When we saw it, we all liked the picture as well. It seemed to produce very natural skin tones etc so looked pretty good for the short time we looked at it.

    By the sounds of it, it's set-up quite well. The only time I ever saw a hint of overspill was like you say, when it was projecting a black image - the eye's iris opens wide to allow more light in so you have better night vision. At all other times you wouldn' know it was 4:3. In fact, during normal scenes, it was hard to tell the black bars in 2.35:1 movies so the black level was pretty good. Yours sounds very similar, and 300 lumens is great for cinema levels of light output. To eliminate it, some black felt would do the trick, especially if you wanted to use it as a masking system as well.

    Gary.
     
  14. Marty Williams

    Marty Williams
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    By the sounds of it, it's set-up quite well. The only time I ever saw a hint of overspill was like you say, when it was projecting a black image - the eye's iris opens wide to allow more light in so you have better night vision. At all other times you wouldn' know it was 4:3. In fact, during normal scenes, it was hard to tell the black bars in 2.35:1 movies so the black level was pretty good. Yours sounds very similar, and 300 lumens is great for cinema levels of light output. To eliminate it, some black felt would do the trick, especially if you wanted to use it as a masking system as well.

    Gary.[/QUOTE


    That's the problem with my set up. I don't use a screen and I have no effective way of masking the overspill. Well, not without screwing up the decoration, anyway and, er.......well.......that wouldn't be wise.

    I might get a clip around the ear if I start sticking carpet to the wall.

    :)

    Nah. I need a 16:9 PJ.
     

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