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Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
4
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Yamaha LPX-510 Projector Yamaha LPX-510
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1200:1 Contrast Ratio
1000 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Yamaha LPX-510

Evan Powell, August 13, 2004

Performance

Brightness. Due to variable lamp power, status of the color balance filter, IRIS settings, etc., the actual lumen output from the LPX-510 can range anywhere from about 200 to 760 lumens. Most users calibrating the system for optimal video performance will tend to experience results in the lower half of this range since lower lamp power reduces fan noise and increases lamp life, and the color balance filter lends much greater color fidelity to the image. This projector should be used in a viewing space that has no ambient light for best video results, or low ambient light if being used for computer games or for material like televised sports events in which image brightness is more important that perfect color balance. Use of the IRIS to obtain maximum black levels should be reserved only for fully darkened environments.

Contrast. Relative to other LCD projectors, the LPX-510 is among the best in contrast performance on the market at this time. Relative to DLP based home theater projectors in its same price range however, the contrast is lacking. This is the single most notable weakness of LCD as compared to DLP. With this in mind, a smaller screen size will allow you concentrate the fixed amount of light from the projector on a smaller surface area, thereby increasing image brightness and apparent contrast. So for optimum image quality we would suggest not going too large with this projector-say, no more than a diagonal image of about 100" to 110" or so. You can certainly go much larger with it if you wish, but the comparatively low contrast will produce a slightly duller image with each incremental increase in image size. This of course happens on all projectors, but it is more of an issue with the lower contrast LCDs than some of the DLP products.

Brightness uniformity. Almost perfect, with light falling off no more than 10% from center to the top right edge of the screen.

Overscan. The unit has two modes for overscan, standard and full. Standard loses about 4% at the edge of the image on all sides; full gives you 100% of the picture. This works perfectly with both interlaced and progressive scan signals, and is a very nice feature.

Color temperature. Color temperature can be adjusted via the menu from between 5000K to 10,000K. Many home theater projector do not have the ability to drop below the NTSC standard of 6500K as easily as this one does. However for classic black and white films, the ideal color temperature for viewing is closer to 5500K. The ability to drop color temp to this warmer setting for a viewing of Casablanca or Citizen Kane is another attractive performance advantage. Once you've viewed b/w films at 5500K, you won't go back.

Fan noise. Fan noise is very low when the lamp is in low power mode. Fan noise increases noticeably in Dynamic and Bright modes with the lamp on full power. However, in general this operating mode would be reserved for situations in which fan noise would not be as much of an issue as it would for quality home theater viewing, so we do not see it as a significant issue.

Overall image integrity. The LPX-510 produces a beautifully smooth, pixel free image on both standard and high definition material. Visible pixel structure disappears in subtitles and white text at a viewing distance of 1.3x the screen width, which is excellent, especially for LCD technology. The picture has a smooth, well integrated analog quality to it that some would call film-like. The best picture quality is achieved by using the HDMI input, followed by progressive scan input into the component/RGB ports. The image is slightly softer using interlaced inputs, but still quite acceptable.

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