There is no doubting the provenance of this model, which proclaims 'data projector' in large type on the cover of the instruction manual. Indeed, the Toshiba is available in an alternative version, the TDP-SC25,which can project using a supplied camera on an outrigger arm.
The feature count, such as there is, is very computer centric, with no less than three computer style D-Sub sockets, two of which are inputs. Light output is impressive at 1,800 Lumens, but there are few obvious concessions to home cinema. The inputs can be connected to sources with component outputs, but only by adaptor leads. There are no digital inputs, such as DVI, but of course, S-video and composite video sockets are fitted.
The TDP-S25 is a blocky and fairly compact design very pedestrian in build and control layout. It is supplied with a simple palm-size remote and an even more wide angle lens than usual, which makes it easy to set up in smaller rooms.
The menu system has few surprises and just basic colour adjustments and a handful of nonessential features to spice things up - auto or manual input search, fan mode (normal and high - but why?), some basic picture presets and so on.
The optical processor is a 4:3 device, with the lowest resolution currently available from the TI DLP stable and even with the DLP's intrinsic advantages in reducing the visibility of pixelation, viewers with any degree of visual acuity will need to sit about three screen widths back, before the visible grain structure of the image, due to pixelation, ceases to be an issue.
It is unusual to be able to detect obvious lens limitations with relatively low-resolution DLP chips. The pixels are so large on screen that the lens is not normally a limiting factor. In this case, though, it clearly suffers from flare, and the result is rather soft and smeared.
Another all too obvious limitation is fan noise, which is high in level, even in low output mode and unusually intrusive in character, with a very prominent high frequency component to the noise spectrum. If nothing else, this illustrates the folly of relying on simple non-frequency weighted SPL (Sound Pressure Level) number for noise. However, this is one of the few projectors in its class that doesn't spill light from the inside.
Notwithstanding the limitations already identified, picture quality turns out to be surprising good, even without any special set-up. Contrast is moderately good and black levels satisfyingly dark, though it doesn't set standards. Colour reproduction is simply excellent. The Toshiba produces bold, vivid and above all surprisingly accurate colour values, which make viewing a pleasure.
This is backed up by an optical engine that has plenty of power and produces a bright, clean and punchy picture.
Image processing is on short shrift, most likely due to its data-centric origins. It does just what it has to do and no more, but on the whole it makes a very presentable show with a selection of DVDs.