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The Toshiba TheaterWide 62HM196 is an 1080p (”Full HD”) Rear Projection DLP HDTV. Many people prefer the LCD or Plasma technology for their HDTV as it offers a more compact size, but when these HDTV start to get bigger and bigger screen sizes the prices start to get up very quickly, there is where Rear Projection DLP HDTV’s come into the game.

The Toshiba 62HM196 ($2,999) offers an impressively large 62″ screen. And for those absolutely convinced that size matters, there’s an even larger set with the same features and 72″ of big screen real estate, the 72HM196 ($4,499.99). Even the smaller model reviewed here is bulky, but it’s a lot less so than earlier designs of the same size. At 103 lbs. it’s much lighter than it looks. The cabinet only extends a few inches below the bottom of the screen and is clearly intended for table or stand mounting. And its matte-finished screen lets you watch the picture without being distracted by room reflections.

The Toshiba has a specified resolution of 1920 x 1080p. As with all 1080p DLP rear projection sets to date, it uses a single Texas Instruments’ SmoothPicture Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). This imaging device has a native chip resolution of 960×1080. It produces 1920×1080 pixels on the screen by using an additional mirror that shifts the entire image by a half pixel every 1/120th of a second.

The Toshiba 62HM196 provides a well-balanced set of strengths and excellent all around performance. Its few quirks keep it from making more upscale displays pointless, but the set is a prime example of just how good the picture quality is getting in modern sets, even as their prices continue to drop. The high standard it sets in overall picture quality should make more than a few buyers think twice about paying a lot more for a smaller, flat panel television. It may lack the flat panel’s up-to-the-minute ability to impress your friends with 21st century, hang-on-the-wall coolness, but turn it on and all of a sudden that handicap will be quickly forgotten.


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