Product Reviews (10)
Perfect HDTV for my budget...
Strengths: Price, size, Toshiba's quality and performance, decent attached speakers (40 watt total)
Weakness: Not fully compatible as a computer monitor. Does not have picture in picture.
Before I finally made the jump to a HDTV, I have done months of research using stores, magazines, and online tools. My wife and I have had our 27" Toshiba CRT TV for about 10 years now, but we decided it could be time to upgrade. However, the cost really never coincided with our limited budget of $2000 to include the TV, extended warranty, stand, cables, taxes, shipping, etc. If you wanted good quality, this price total was unrealistic. I actually had salespeople look at me like I was on something.
My requirements along with $2000 limit:
1. Must be HD/HD-compatible widescreen TV.
2. Since we wanted to sit around 8'-10' from the TV for optimal viewing (using 2X-2.5X screen size rule), the screen size should be 40"-48". This rules out CRTs (max screen size of 38" plus very heavy) and LCDs (max screen size of 42" but very pricey).
3. Good quality and performance. This rules out plasmas. Too many plasma owners I know have had some problem within 2 years. Also, I did not trust 1st generation DLP technology.
Conclusion: a 46" DLP with HD2+ from Mitsubishi, Samsung, and Toshiba.
Once I got down to these 3 makes, I was able to do in-store side-by-side comparisons and read plenty of online reviews. The winner was the 46HM84 and the cost was still under $2000 for all accessories.
After watching HDTV and widescreen DVDs with a progressive player (with HDMI and/or component connections), I don't even enjoy watching regular broadcasts. The clarity is unreal and almost 3Dish. Watching sporting events in HD gets me choked up sometimes.
Note: The quality of the picture is highly dependent on the quality of the source. This TV will "enhance" the defects/errors of poor TV broadcasts and highly-compressed DVDs. The difference in picture quality is like night and day.
By pobre - Aug 23, 2005
Any Toshiba DLP will give you an...
Strengths: Price/performance. HD2+ .8" chip. Built in speakers rock. Contrast, brightness. User-friendly remote and setup.
Weakness: need more inputs! I wish there was one more component input, and one more HDMI input. Not as computer friendly when used as a monitor.
Any Toshiba DLP will give you an outstanding picture that is at least equal or better than a Samsung DLP. I think Toshiba was smart and wait and then release a killer DLP line. Toshiba has done it right with these sets, while Samsung has been through several revisions to compete with Toshiba's initial quality. I am very pleased with the HD picture quality I receive. The SD picture quality is good as well, but when purchasing these sets, remember these were meant for HD content, so make sure you have HD cable, and a upconverting DVD player. I think the 46" is plenty big enough, but the price difference to the 52" is not much... so consider it. In retrospect I would have gotten the 52" since it's not much more, but 46" feels about perfect in our current abode. For the price as low as it is for this set... this is truly the way to go for a DLP set.
By fudgebrown - Apr 14, 2005
I have only had this set for a few...
Strengths: HD picture quality Variable lamp settings Ease of setup
Weakness: Remote Control Color saturation adjustments
I have only had this set for a few weeks, but already I love it. The HD picture (I have digital cable with HD) is superb--superior to any other set I previewed! DVD playback (especially widescreen movies) is awesome. My kids hooked their PS2 up to the TV and the games come alive without ghosting or rainbows! "Normal" TV is just OK--about the same as the other sets I previewed. I could have done without the large speaker panels on either side of the screen--this set screams for a home theater setup, but the two-level lamp settings was a great idea! The low setting in my basement room is more than enough and is very quiet. I only have two negative comments thusfar. First, the remote has a toggle switch on the side for switching between innputs. The switch is rather flimsy and too easy to change--one more button on the face would have been a much better approach. Second, I am having difficulty balancing the color to the point where I can get natural skintones without throwing off the rest of the image. My old CRT TVs are still better at color contrast adjustments.
By mtoohill - May 20, 2005
I'm blown away.
Strengths: Amazing picture quality, nice design, solid internal speakers
Weakness: Slight pincushioning when viewing SD (4:3) unstretched
I simply could not be more impressed with this TV. The picture quality, especially with HDTV, is just stunning (I'm using Comcast digital cable with HD). Blacks are very dark; colors are extremely vibrant - just stunning. Viewing angle is very good from side to side, but limited vertically.
I've also noticed that this TV does an admirable job handling standard definition signals. One of the 'TheaterWide' stretching options, in particular, results in a widescreen picture with minimal visible distortion.
The only (slight) problem I've noticed is a slight inward bowing of the picture at the sides, which is only really noticable when viewing standard definition (4:3) signals with unstretched, centered, with vertical bars on the side. Otherwise known as a slight pincushioning. In addition, this is not a factor when viewing SD programs in the TheaterWide 1 stretch mode (see above). I've heard that it's an issue common to all DLPs anyway. Regardless, the HD picture is so amazing that I'm easily able to overlook this minor issue.
The built in speakers produce a nice sound. I also appreciate the ample audio-out options.
Finally, a key advantage to this TV in comparison to traditional rear-projection models (in addition to the more vibrant picture quality) is its weight - at 75 pounds or so, it's much easier to move than many other 46-inch sets. It's also only 16-inches deep or so. Both of these issues are key for me in my one-bedroom apartment.
In summary, I could not be more pleased. Can't wait until football season!
By gkrykewy - Aug 10, 2005
Strengths: Size, weight, price
Weakness: Time it takes to warm up and turn on, should use HD tuner to make the picture more ideal if you are picky.
Great tv for my second story apartment. A regular projection tv of this size could have never made it up the stairs. So far the picture is good and the stock speakers aren't terrible. I plan on getting a cheap home theater system sometime soon though. Overall great value.
By rextastic - Aug 2, 2005
Great TV and Picture/Problems out of the box
Strengths: I love this television. The sound is great the picture is great. Great value for the price.
Weakness: Had a problem out of the box. Vertical pinstripe lines 3/4 inch apart across entire television.
I got a great price on this television from digital 1234 dot com. It was new (not a refurb). Out of the box the television had vertical lines across the entire screen about 3/4 inch spread out. Yet, the picture behind these lines was perfect. Had to deal with toshiba directly as I did not purchase this tv from a store but from a web site. Basically it took about three to four weeks and a bunch of headache with the toshiba authorized repair vendor before the problem was fixed. The engine lamp was replaced finally and I have not had any problems since. The picture is fabulous for sports, movies, etc. Aside from my problems, which happen occasionally, I would recommend this TV as a great value and a great picture. DLP is the way to go.
By adamthelakerfan - Nov 22, 2005
Let me begin by saying that I'm...
Strengths: Cost vs Picture Quality, Styling, quietness (there are motors inside), best anti glare screen
Weakness: Speakers on the side rather that below
Let me begin by saying that I'm not a typical couch potatoe, living my life around a TV. The TV that's being replaced is a ProScan 27-inch. I have wanted a big screen TV for a long time, but never felt the price to image quality ratio was quite right for how much I watch it. But when the plasma/LCD introductions... image quality became real, but not the price. With the introduction of DLP technology, I finally made the jump. I was looking/waiting for about a year. In Jan '04, Intel announced they would jump into the biz and create a sub-$2k TV by X'mas. In Oct they bailed. In my opinion, the technology they were attempting (LCos) would have been the best choice. LCos is similar to DLP projection technology except the image is directed through the "controlling pixel matrix" rather than reflected off of the matrix. At the time of this writing, I believe JVC is the only company that's got a production model (HD-ILA). The way I see it, if Intel thinks the chips are tough to produce, this technology may be doomed long term. Fortunately during my waiting period, more players entered the field... noteably Toshiba. Their first one used the TI HD2+ DLP chip (yes better than HD3 chip) and immediately leap-frogged Samsung (their HLPxx74 series now has this chip). I was hesitant about buying the first of their DLP TVs (work the bugs out sort of thing), but Toshiba was one of the company's pursuing LCos and therefore (I assume) had already delevoped and tested the "light/optics engine." I waited for the best internet price, and finally ordered the TV ($2000 delivered). This was the first time I ever dished out more than $100 on an internet transaction, and it went very smooth. From New Jersey to California in 7-days.
First Impression: The home I'm in has a niche wall built in for a big screen TV. This limited the size I could get for my particular room. I could fit a thin bezel 52", but with Toshiba's speaker on the side model I was limited to 46-inch. When deciding on a TV size, the rule of thumb I've seen quoted is that your sitting distance to screen size should be 2.5-to-1. Go by this rule. I'm glad I got the 46-inch now. At less that 8-feet away, the video processing on diagonal lines is noticeable, but sitting a 10-feet, your eye blends the pixels together smoothly. The remote is easy to use, but the screen settings require a two-button keyin (button X and then ENTER). The unit has multiple screen modes: standard 4:3 mode turns the TV into a 38" diagonal TV with annoying gray side bars. WideMode 1 is stretch fit and crop mode to best fit a 4:3 to widescreen with minimum distortion (very well done) and the the other modes are other "fitting type modes" A standard definition signal on this TV is like watching a movie where you want to yell to the projection operator "focus". But again distance makes a difference. From 20-feet away, the image looks pretty darn good. I don't have an HD receiver yet at the time of this writing, but the in store demos can give you a good look at it. The TV has an upconverter built-in which will take a 480p progressive scan component signal and take it to 720p. It looks fantastic.
The speakers, what to do. The speakers are fine for watching the news, but they don't fit into the home theatre setup. Or do they? I wired my system so when I watch a DVD with surround, I send the DTS center channel audio to the TV audio inputs (you need a Y-connector). The TV speakers work great for this purpose.
The projection bulb: $250 consumeable item. Unlike others, I don't believe this thing will come down in price much. Its in a sealed box, custom made type thing. If Toshiba doesn't allow after market manufacturing, they may have price leverage. I bought a 500VA UPS for the TV for this reason ($60). On a power outtage, the bulb will have 20-minutes of power to go through its normal "cooldown" cycle.
I highly recommend this television
By 916gregd - Jan 17, 2005
Strengths: Very good picture
Weakness: Bulb poor
We had our tv for less than 3 months and the bulb blew. To replace it, they said it would be approximately 3 week wait. Apparently this is a common problem. Not too happy about paying a lot of $$ and being without for so long. On the PLUS side, they said if we were a business, it would be about 10 weeks for the bulb! This model is already discontinued, probably for a good reason. I have another friend with the same tv...it has been in the shop more than it has been at her house.
By vc911girl - Nov 18, 2005
"No Stock" Toshiba
Strengths: Great picture. We love the picture and have greatly enjoyed having a wide screen TV.
Weakness: Reliability & Toshiba's lack of customer support
We've had our tv for just over 2 months and the bulb has gone bad. Toshiba, as I have learned, does not keep these bulbs in stock. They are the manufacturer and yet don't have them in stock. I've read numerous posts on many websites and this is a common problem for every Toshiba DLP model. Tried going back to HHGregg for a replacement since Toshiba says it will be 2-3 weeks but they don't have this model in stock anymore (even though several models use the same bulb and I'm willing to take the bulb from a floor model - it's almost Christmas and we have family in town but NO TV). So frustrated- would never buy another Toshiba.
By angelbischoff - Dec 23, 2005
Strengths: Good picture clarity.
I love this TV. The size is adequate for our living room. The picture quality is great. We have had great comments from guests in our house. Also love the sound quality. We recommend this TV to anybody interested in buying a DLP projection TV.
By ajabraham07 - Oct 24, 2005