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LPX-510 Connections, Remote & Advanced Setup

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You can connect an array of devices to the Yamaha LPX-510 projector, however the manual does warn against having more than one active input simultaneously. Apparently there is a potential for interference between the inputs which could bleed over into the projected image.

LPX-510 inputs

As previously mentioned, we utilized the component video inputs as well as the HDMI input for our tests. We sent 576i signal from the Denon DVD-5900 to the Yamaha projector and allowed the DCDi to convert the signal to progressive scan, performing all deinterlacing functions as well as 2:3 pulldown DVD picture display. I did not bother with the s-video input (or the D4 input for that matter), but did test out the composite input just to see how well the projector handled the input signal. I was also able to connect a laptop to the projector via an VGA (HD-15) to RGBHV breakout cable supplied by River Cable. This allowed up to 1280 x 768 resolution to be displayed on the screen with perfect clarity.

If you're going to spend $5500 on a projector you will probably be utilizing the component, RGBHV (RGB TV as Yamaha puts it) or HDMI inputs. I was surprised at the clarity found by using the composite connection, so in a pinch it could work out well.

Remote Control

LPX-510 remote I'm always criticizing remotes for one thing or another - probably due to some repressed tragic remote control incident that affected me as a child. In either case, I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of both the remote control and the GUI interface that controlled most of the functions of the LPX-510 LCD projector. The thing that stood out to me the most was the "light switch". Just like a wall-mounted light switch, the LPX-510's remote has a center-mount switch that turns on the remote control's lighted 5 buttons: power, Menu, Escape, Aspect and Input. Simply flip the switch up or down and the buttons light up with a soft orange glow. I am not sure why all of the buttons don't light up, but I'm certain that an engineer at Yamaha would look disapprovingly down their nose at me and mutter something about not wanting to blind everyone in the room with a fully-lit remote control face. In either case, the only buttons that aren't lit are likely ones that you would never use "on-the-fly" except to demonstrate memory settings to your friends or perhaps to switch between sources. There's also no laser pointer, found on many consumer models, but unless you want to get into the light saber action with Darth Vader, you probably won't miss it. The 6 memory buttons on the bottom come in very handy and are well-placed. It would have been a travesty if they were buried in the Setup menu somewhere instead of front and center where they belong.

Advanced Setup and Configuration

Once you have the LPX-510 set up and correctly projecting an image you can move on to a host of features, options and configurations that are at your fingertips. I'll attack these options while sidestepping anything having to do with calibration since I'll be addressing that separately.

Absolute Color Temperature
One of the neatest and highly effective menu options of the LPX-510 is its ability to quickly adjust the absolute color temperature. This is the color temperature that will represent neutral gray on the projector. For ISF calibration you'll want this set to 6500K (this varies according to picture mode, but we'll assume light-controlled room and cinema use for now). ISF isn't rigid in its use of color temperature however, as even they realize that when used properly, color temperature can serve useful purposes outside of the typical 6500K setting. For instance, let's pop in a nice black and white movie, like The Longest Day - one of my personal favorites, though not the greatest DVD transfer:

Looks good, right? There is a nice clean representation of the picture and excellent contrast ratio and black levels (for the transfer, anyway). The trouble is, projectors used back in the days of black and white film had bulbs that ran at 5400K. So watch what happens when we set a memory setting containing an Absolute Color Temperature of 5000K:

The picture goes from good to excellent . In addition to looking more accurate to its roots, the 5000K setting is much easier on the eyes and makes for a more pleasing movie experience. Once set it's easy to see just how blue the 6500K looks on black and white film. Try A-B'ing this setting with your friends during a showing of Casablanca or a good John Wayne western and you'll be sure to get some pleasantly surprised reactions. This is how black and white is supposed to be viewed.

Picture Modes
Yamaha provides 6 picture modes that work well with different room settings and intended uses of the projector. There is Dynamic, Bright, Standard, Cinema, Cinema Black, and PC. This may sound confusing, but the way Yamaha arrives at the default settings for these picture modes is quite simple - and it makes sense:

Mode

Color Balance Filter

Gamma

Abs. Color temp

Iris

Flesh Tone

Lamp Power

Dynamic

OFF

-

7000K

100

5

100

Bright

OFF

-

7000K

100

5

100

Standard

ON

2.2X (basic)

6500K

100

3

75

Cinema

ON

-

6500K

100

3

75

Cinema Black

ON

-

6500K

75

3

75

PC

ON

2.2X (fixed)

6500K

100

3

75

In the Dynamic and Bright modes you are essentially setting up the projector to deliver maximum light output, so the lamp is at 100%, color temperature is set a bit "cooler" (towards blue), reds are enhanced, and the Iris is wide open. For all modes at Standard and below the projector is progressively optimized to produce a better image. Cinema and Cinema Black are both very excellent modes designed to get the best performance out of the LPX-510 and the two modes you'll want to use when watching DVDs or HDTV. If you do not have a light controlled environment you'll want to select Cinema over Cinema Black, however if you can get your room dark (or show movies at night like I do) then Cinema Black, with it's 75% Iris setting is the way to go for the most dynamic range and black detail. One of the neat things about the Color Balance filter is that it is an actual lens (you can hear it engage and disengage if you select a mode that doesn't use it). It extends black contrast by darkening greens and some blues (similar to the 7th segment on the newer HD2+ color wheels for DLP projectors). This is how Yamaha is able to eke out some additional contrast and black level detail.

Overscan
Overscan is becoming less and less necessary as we move towards better equipment and digital technology, but for the most part Hollywood and filmmakers are used to action-safe and so the default overscan for most systems is 92%. If you are using a PC for input, you can set this to Full (100% display). In addition, the HDMI input will automatically configure the overscan rate for you depending upon the input signal sensed (and it can be overridden if required.)

Motion Detection
This feature has settings from 1 to 5 and will basically alter the deinterlacer to work better with faster or slower moving images. Here's an idea - how about a setting that says "best". We found it - it's 3.

Memory Save
Boy is this a cool feature! Located right on the remote (and duplicated on my MX-700, I might add) are 6 preset memory buttons that will recall up to 6 color and picture settings for the projector. Remember that black and white trick we set in the previous section - I have that stored in position 6. Want to have a preset that changes between PC and Cinema Black picture modes? This is the place. Pressing the Memory button results in a temporary loss of picture (about 2 seconds) followed by the recalled preset - much easier than going through the menu each time you want to bounce back and forth between different modes.

Are there more features? Yes. Are they necessary for successful operation of the projector? Probably not - and to keep this review readable, we're going to stop there and say that if you want to play around with additional settings and configurations on your own, the LPX-510 makes it easy (and safe) to do so. Store at least one good configuration before venturing off into the unknown and playing with Noise Reduction , Progressive modes, Tracking and Sync. If you ever get lost, just recall your last configuration and you'll be in good shape.

 

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