Tohsiba has done an excellent job in putting together a slick, and very practical all-in-one projector, that really does the job. Overall, I was much impressed, with my biggest concern being that at the time of this writing, the street price seems to be a tough higher priced than Epson and Optoma all-in-ones, which seem to come bundled with subwoofers and/or screens. Still the Toshiba is an extremely attractive offering, and has the advantage of truly being all in one, able to push out some base without a fair sized external subwoofer.
What is particularly attractive about the Toshiba ET20 (besides it's sleek looking spheroid design, is its ability to sit extremely close to the screen, compared to the competition, like the Moviemate 30s and 33s from Epson or the Optoma MovieTime DV10.
Since All-in-one projectors are frequently set up, and taken down, in a variety of rooms, it seems logical that being able to put the projector only 3-5 feet from the screen to fill it (or a large chunk of white wall), is going to be far more convenient than having to place the projector 7-12 feet or more back, and that should be a real plus.
As mentioned above, nlike the competition, the Toshiba ET20 has a built in sub-woofer. And while it can't match external subwoofers offered up by Optoma and Epson, it certainly kicks out more base than those guys do, if you don't use their separate subwoofers, thus making the Toshiba, by far the smallest of the three, and most portable, while still being able to produce some really decent full range sound that you want for movies and music. But, no, it won't shake the foundations of your house.
A similar projector, the ET10 is supposed to be available without the built in DVD player, although I personally doubt it will attract the interest, and may die a quiet death.
Here's some of the basics:
Toshiba ET20 All-in-One home entertainment projector - core specifications:
MSRP: $1399 (less $200 rebate at this time 3/15/07)
Technology: 1 chip DLP type not specified
Native Resolution: 480p (854x480)
Brightness: 1100 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: None
Lens shift: Vertical: None
Lamp life: Up to 3000 hours (low power)
Speakers: 2Watt Front (2) speakers, 2 Watt Center channel speaker, 5 Watt subwoofer, and 1 Watt Rear (2) speakers
DVD player: single player, slot loading, compatible with DVD, Video CDs, Audio CDs, and CD-R/W disks
Weight: 10.3 lbs.
Warranty: 2 Year Parts and Labor
Toshiba ET-20 Physical Tour
Fist thing to decide, is which is the front. In this case like with all stand alone projectors, we'll consider the front, to be the side with the lens.
I only raise this point, because, like with the Epson MovieMate 33s, the DVD player is at the back, and the input area for hooking up devices, is in the front, rather than the back or sides on almost all other projectors. OK, we've got that out of the way.
The front of the ET-20 sports a resessed lens, with no zoom feature but there is a focus ring on the top of the projector, over the lens. The lack of zoom isn't a big deal for a portable projector that will sit close to the screen. In fact, the ET20 will fill a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen from only 3.9 feet away.
Underneath the lens area is the input panel, starting from the left, with the power cord, and a "hard" Off/On power switch. The Toshiba ET-20 has a HDMI input, component video input (the usual 3 RCA jacks), S-video, composite video, and a computer input (with accompanying stereo mini jack audio input). Also present is a coaxial input and output for audio. Lastly, there is a service port, and an RS-232 port for computer command and control of the ET20.
Moving to the top along the curved back of the unit are a large number of buttons shown here, which control everything from Power off/on, to DVD/CD eject, and control of the DVD player, volume control up and down, a Menu button, Enter button and up/down navigation controls. Lastly, and hard to see, is an infra-red sensor for the included remote control.
The two left most buttons for DVD controls double as aspect ratio selection and picture mode selection, when not using the DVD player.
On the back, below the control panel, is a rear facing speaker for the Center Channel, and the DVD slot. Additional speakers are on the left and right sides of the Toshiba ET-20. There is a "Front" and a Rear" speaker on each side, facing out at different angles, and also in the same area with horizontal grates, are the air intake and exhaust.
Underneath the projector, are four screw thread adjustable feet, and perhaps more importantly, the porting for the internal subwoofer.
For the EU crowd there is also a SCART adapter included with the ET-20.
That covers the layout of the hardware, except, of course for the remote control, which will be closely looked at in the General Performance section.
Next is the always important Image Quality section.