There are additional controls on top of the ET1 that allow you to access all the main features of the projector. Toshiba has also positioned infrared receivers on both the front and back of the unit to make sure that the ET1 will always respond to the remote. The supplied manual is one of the typical multi lingual affairs that you’ll find with any consumer electronic device these days but it is fairly thorough and covers everything you need to know. It also contains some advice on how to set the ET1 up and information about the different menus.
The one thing that has always been a big issue with projectors is the cost of replacement bulbs. The ET1 has a bulb life of some 3000 hours which is pretty good if you consider that a feature length film is about two hours long which means that you could watch some 1500 films before needing a new bulb. To change the bulb you have to remove the stand at the bottom of the ET1 and open a small hatch. The bulb comes mounted in a caddy to avoid it being damaged during installation and transit.
The standard resolution of 854 x 480 pixels might not sound impressive compared to high resolution DLP projectors, but the ET1 has digital scaling functionality for higher resolution inputs and the result looks more than acceptable. You can also set the ET1 to 4:3 mode if you are using it for something that’s not widescreen. One of the more useful features is the adjustable projection size. You can digitally shrink the size of the projected image by up to 20 per cent. This is really handy if you can’t position the projector perfectly in relation to the screen.
The ET1 does of course feature digital keystone correction as well as having manual focus. On top of this there’s a digital zoom function if you want to zoom in on a specific detail of the image projected. You can also store your own user profiles if you have different settings for different inputs for example.
In use the ET1 is quiet, it’s not silent, but very quiet and Toshiba rates it at 28dBa in operation. You will hear it during quiet scenes in a movie if it’s close to where you are sitting, but otherwise it’s pretty unintrusive.
There isn’t much in the way of accessories in the box as all you get is a power cable and a composite video cable combined with a stereo audio lead. As the ET1 has a SCART connector it would have been nice to see a SCART cable bundled, but the chances are that you’re going to have to buy long cables anyway if you’re going to mount the projector on the ceiling.
The ET1 is very reasonably priced for a projector with a 16:9 panel and features more connection options than you can shake a stick at. The only issue is that you need a pretty dark room to get the best out of it, especially if you’re watching anything with dark scenes. On the whole though, it seems churlish to criticise the ET1 too much on brightness considering the price.
Sign up for the newsletter
Get news, competitions and special offers direct to your inbox
Personally I spent £700 on a new 32in widescreen TV last year, which really shows how affordable the ET1 is.
The Toshiba ET1 is a good entry level home cinema projector that offers a wide range of inputs and decent image quality as long as you’re aware of its limitations. When you look at the design, solid build, features and most importantly, price, the ET1 is a serious bargain for the budding home cinema buff.