Toshiba 52HM94 DLP RPTV Calibration and Testing
Out of the box, the Warm color-temperature setting was the closest to the D65 standard (see the accompanying graph), but still too high. After calibration, the result was closer to D65, though the actual x,y coordinates of the white point was too green at the extreme bottom end (20 IRE). This could be compensated for with additional tweaking, but only by making the white point less accurate (further from D65) elsewhere in the brightness range. Either setup was a slight compromise, but both were definitely superior to the as-delivered Warm setting.
When you arrange for a professional calibration for this or any other video display, keep in mind that even a slight green shift will be more visible than either red or blue errors, particularly in dark scenes. Our eyes are relatively insensitive to blue (which is why television manufacturers can get away with excessively cool color temperatures), and too much red (within limits) merely turns flesh tones a little rosy. But green-skinned people are a plus only to Pepto-Bismol stockholders and lovesick aliens.
The Toshiba's red and green color points were about average in accuracy for a digital display. Red and blue were just a little too rich, and green was a little minus yellow. (The standard color point for green is actually slightly yellowish green.) Overscan measured a bit high in component at 4% top, 5% bottom and left, and 3.5% right, but improved to 0% left, 1% right, 2.5% top, and 1.5% bottom with an HDMI input.
Toshiba's deinterlacer-scaler, working on a 480i component input, turned in good results on most of our standard tests. On the Faroudja test DVD, there were few jagged edges visible, and the set did well with film-over-video and video-over-film material. Its bad-edit detection was good. It fell down only on the unflagged 3:2 pulldown test, where it never achieved a solid lock. On the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD (version 1.4) it also did a good job on the jaggies and detail tests, failing only the bleacher/racetrack scene (the most difficult test we have for video scalers).
The peak contrast (100 IRE full field/video black) measured 414, with a full white field output of 32.8 foot-lamberts (Low Power lamp setting) versus a black level of 0.079fL.
In a new range of sets for 2006 launched at their recent line show (and scheduled to begin showing up in stores next month), Toshiba announced some important new features that potential buyers might want to consider. These new sets will include a replacement for the 52HM94, the 52HM95 ($2800), which will include Toshiba's new Xtreme BLAC automatic aperture control for deeper blacks and an improved contrast ratio. More details are available in our Toshiba 2005 line show report.—Thomas J. Norton