The Yamaha LPX-510 is probably the most elegant LCD projector we've yet seen in terms of looks, features, and user interface. It is easy to install in a wide variety of room layouts due to its long zoom range and lens shift functions. And most importantly, image quality is as good as it gets with LCD technology.
We tend to judge most projectors on a strict "image value for the money" basis. It is not fair to assess this unit entirely on those terms. The reason is that this unit is being sold through custom home theater installers and high-end home theater specialty retailers. That means that it is typically not being offered at substantial discounts below its MSRP of $5,495. Thus on a strict price comparison basis, there are other projectors that deliver better overall value for the money. Examples would include the Sony VPL-HS20 which carries a retail price of $3,495, which is a full $2,000 less. The HS20, also a widescreen LCD projector, has higher physical resolution, similar lumen output and contrast features, comparable image integrity and lack of pixelation, and an HDMI-HDCP interface. It does not have an equivalent zoom adjustment, and it has no lens shift function. So it does not have the installation flexibility of the LPX-510. But for the money it produces an image that is entirely comparable to that of the LPX-510. For the do-it-yourself home theater hobbyist, the Sony HS20 is the better value.
This is not the end of the story however. Not everyone wants to spend the time and effort learning how to install a high-end home theater system on the fly just to save some money. For those who wish to pay an expert for a fully installed, turnkey professional home theater system, the best option is to retain the services of a trained professional custom installer or specialty retailer. These folks are good at matching projectors and screens to the environment. Not only do they install an optimally calibrated projector and screen, but they install and balance the surround sound audio system, the indirect ambient lighting, acoustic treatments, and control systems. Then they wire it all together for optimum performance. They will program the universal remotes and teach you how to use the system you've invested in. It is more costly than doing it yourself, but it is the easy way to get a great system installed with no muss or fuss.
Thus when you buy the Yamaha LPX-510 you are usually buying a whole host of components and services along with it. We believe the LPX-510 is an excellent value for the buyer who wants to invest in this entire package, and who wants the services of professional installers to take care of the entire creation of their home theater. In this situation the projector becomes part of a larger solution, and cannot be evaluated strictly on the simple basis of price vs. image quality. Thus as a component in a total solution being provided by a professional installer, the Yamaha LPX-510 is a terrific value and is highly recommended.