Review date:  June 17, 2005
December 13, 2012

DLP Rear Projection HDTV sets
'xxHM94' Toshiba Projection TV Series

Product Review

The latest slim-styled DLP Toshiba projection TV sets represent a possible alternative to the more expensive Plasma monitors. Surely, they are not as slim, but in comparison to other flat TVs on the market, they are relatively inexpensive.

Mitsubishi WD-82840 3D-ready Internet-connected DLP TV
Mitsubishi WD-82840 3D DLP TV

For less than a 65-inch LED TV, this 82-inch DLP HDTV features 3D, Internet-TV, is ISFccc-ready for professional calibration, and includes a 16-speaker soundbar for one of the best sound experiences you will enjoy direct from the TV speakers.

Introducing the Toshiba 'xxHM94' Series of RPTVs

The 'xxHM94' series of DLP rear projection TVs from Toshiba come in three different screen sizes - 46", 52", and 62", all in 16:9 wide screen format.

These sets include an integrated HDTV tuner that is capable of receiving over-the-air broadcasts, as well as digital cable TV; there is also a cable card slot, a memory slot to view your digital camera pictures, and a HDMI™ interface as standard.

Thanks to the use of the latest developments in DLP micro-display projection technology, the Toshiba 'xxHM94' series of HDTV sets are capable of delivering exceptional picture even in dark shadow areas, with deep blacks that lacks nothing in comparison to the picture quality from flat screen direct-view CRT TVs. In addition, though not as slim as a wall hanging Plasma TV, these Toshiba projection TVs are stylish, lightweight, and slim - requiring no more than 15 to 18 inches in depth. For example, the Toshiba 52HM94 52" Theater wide rear projection TV takes no more than 15.3" in depth - which is practically the same as a 15" CRT computer monitor!

However, the real big seller for these feature-packed Toshiba projection TV sets is the price.  The 52" 52HM94 DLP Toshiba Projection TV w/ Cable Card Slottoshiba 52HM94 sells at around $2,200 online. Similarly, the other 46HM94 46" within the same series of Toshiba projection TVs is selling online at around $2,100 while their bigger 62" Toshiba 62HM94 DLP HDTV is selling for less than $2,800 at amazon. These prices contrast heavily with the prices of plasma TV sets, which at $5,000 and up for a new 50-inch HDTV plasma TV, renders plasma still out of reach of many households budgets. The truth is that though plasma TV sets cost much less today than they did a few years back, yet plasma is still a relatively expensive big screen option.

The 'xxHM94' Product Specs - A Detailed Analysis

But the list of enhancements and features of the 'xxHM94' series of Toshiba Projection TVs does not stop here; there is much more!

Toshiba 52HM94 52" DLP rear projection TVAll three models in the series of 'xxHM94' DLP Toshiba projection TV sets come packed with identical features and specifications except for a different screen size; more specifically, the 46HM94  comes with a 46-inch 16:9 wide screen, the 52HM94 has got a 52-inch screen, while their big brother, the 62HM94 comes with a 62-inch wide 16:9 wide screen.

Texas Instruments HD2+ DLP Chip: To start with, these Toshiba HDTV sets make use of the latest generation of micro-mirror digital technology DLP chip from Texas Instruments -  using the HD2+ in place of the HD3.

Though both HD2+ and HD3 DLP chips have got a native resolution of 1280x720p (progressive), yet the HD2+ is  physically larger than the HD3 chip - offering increased switching speed and a reduced pivot point for a higher reflective surface area. The result is improved contrast and brightness. The Plus version  also utilizes double mirror speed for a 9-bit system that significantly reduces any dithering noise. The result is a bright, deep, clear, and true to life image.

TALEN™ DLP Engine: This stands for 'Toshiba Advanced Light Engine' and is designed to maximize the brightness and contrast of the Texas Instruments HD2+ DLP chip used in these Toshiba projection TV sets. Thanks to this DLP technology, Toshiba projection TVs challenge direct-view CRT TVs when it comes to reproducing deep blacks and crisp details in dark or shadowy scenes.

HDTV Tuner: Next on the list is the built-in dual HDTV tuner, which can receive both over-the-air broadcasts as well as digital cable broadcasts (ATSC and QAM). This means that with these Toshiba projection TVs, there is no need to spend a few hundred dollars in an external HDTV decoder to feed in high definition signals.

It is worth mentioning here that these Toshiba HDTV sets are also capable of making a good show out of a standard-definition video signal, thanks to Toshiba's multistep PixelPure video processing system, which optimizes the picture resolution, contrast, and color.

Further more, all incoming signals are unconverted by the built-in 'scaler' to match the DLP chip's 720p resolution. Toshiba proprietary TheaterFine HD Super Fine Pitch screen feature reduces the physical space between the lines on the lenticular screen, resulting in a finer, sharper, more detailed picture.

Cable Card Slot, FireWire ports, and User Control: In addition, a 'CableCARD' slot gives you the option to connect to cable TV without a set-top box, giving you access to analog, digital cable, HDTV, and premium cable channels like HBO and Cinemax (if supported by your cable company). Included are two FireWire ports with industry standard DTVLink capability enable digital networking and recording.

These Toshiba projection TV sets also include a 'TV Guide On Screen', an interactive program guide that offers simple, user-friendly channel surfing.

The TheaterNet IR/1394 control system enables effortless analog and digital external device control.

In addition, a Memory Card Slot - compatible with Secure Digital, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, CompactFlash, and MultiMediaCard - together with a built-in JPEG viewer, allows quick, easy viewing of digital photos.

Use of Advanced Video Technology: The 'xxHM94' Toshiba projection TV sets are capable of excellent picture quality - thanks to the use of a number of Toshiba proprietary advanced video processing circuitry.

Among these is the use of HD Dynamic Contrast - where intelligent circuitry analyzes both the dark and bright areas of the picture, and separately optimizes the dynamic range in each area. This results in sharper, deeper image with rich colors and more life-like pictures.

PixelPure™ - makes use of a suit of eight different digital video processing circuits that combine to create a consistently clearer, deeper, and more accurate picture. Used in Toshiba Plasma, LCD, and DLP™ TVs, it also allows Toshiba to have consistent picture quality across different display technologies.

Other interesting video features worth mentioning from the never ending list of specs found on these Toshiba projection TV sets include:

CableClear DNR+ digital noise reduction which optimizes poor NTSC signals from antenna or cable, by minimizing video noise - often referred to as snow - for a clean, crisp image.

Cinema Mode circuitry (3:2 pulldown), which identifies original film-based content from DVDs, to reassemble the frame sequence to more accurately reproduce the original 24-frame-per-second material.

A 3D Y/C (4 MB, 10-bit) digital comb filter with Vertical Contour Correction - this helps eliminate dot crawl and color bleed and significantly reduces detail noise, seen as shimmering or flicker, in complex or intricately detailed scenes.

Color temperature controls allow you to adjust white balance. The 'Warm' setting reduces the color temperature to an NTSC-standard 6,500 degrees Kelvin and delivers a redder image that is ideal for display in a dimly lit room. 'Medium' and 'Cool' provide a progressively bluer image for the best picture as light levels are increased - e.g. when viewing under day-light.

These DLP Toshiba projection TVs make use of a high quality 120-Watt DC lamp which supports instant restart allowing the TV set to be turned on immediately after shutdown. In addition, the use of Toshiba Radiance Lamp feature helps extend the lamp life by allowing the user to easily shift between a high brightness mode and low power 100W mode - suitable for viewing in a darkened room.

TV Audio: For those who would not be using a dedicated home theater receiver, these DLP Toshiba projection TV sets come with a 20-watts-per-channel stereo speaker system, and offers a number of enhanced audio features.

'SRS WOW' combines SRS 3D (simulated surround sound) to create a wide virtual three-dimensional sound field, while TruBass boosts bass frequency perception for a more dramatic low-frequency effect; the Focus feature helps raise the perceived sound image vertically to clarify voices - thus greatly enhancing home-theater sound.

StableSound maintains television volume within a preset range regardless of the source signal - this eliminating drastic volume spikes e.g. when changing channels or during a commercial break.

The Toshiba HDTV 'xxHM94' series uses Multi-channel Television Sound (MTS) standard for stereo sound and SAP (secondary audio programming) for receiving a second audio track in another language.

Inputs and Connections: In addition to the already mentioned memory and cable card slots, the 'xxHM94' series of Toshiba projection TVs come with plenty of inputs for connecting all your audio and video components. Rear connections include two RF, two composite, two S-video, and two HD ColorStream components, as well as a HDMI digital input. HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is an uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface that supports standard, enhanced, or high-definition video, plus 8-channel digital audio - all on a single cable. A set of front composite and S-video inputs make hooking up a game console or camcorder a snap.

Other Features: Other features include HD Window dual-tuner POP (picture-on-picture) with PIP sound for listening to two programs simultaneously, individual audio/video settings by input type, sleep and wake timers, Real Speed progressive scanning to create smoother diagonal lines, channel labeling, multi-language (French, English, Spanish) menu, and V-chip support.

These Toshiba projection TV sets come with an illuminated universal remote supporting TV, VCR, Cable box, and DVD player, standard manufacturer's warranty, and a user's manual.

Product Dimensions and Weight

As already indicated earlier on, all products in this series of Toshiba projection TV sets share the same technical features and specs, except for product dimensions and weight; the latter are being summarized in the table below:










  46HM94 46" 16:9 DLP Toshiba HDTV 53.1" 31.8" 15.3" 78
  52HM94 52" 16:9 DLP Toshiba HDTV 58.4" 35.1" 15.3" 83
  62HM94 62" 16:9 DLP Toshiba HDTV 67.1" 40.9" 18.2" 99

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