Flagship Home Theater - Part 1: Anthem LTX-500 LCoS Projector and SI Black Diamond II Screen


The Projector and Screen In Use

In the time I spent evaluating the LTX-500 I watched quite a few movies on both Black Diamond screens and my Carada screen.  They pretty much fell into two categories:  those with stylized color and those with natural color.  Many modern films have an interpreted color palette.  Since so much of movie-making is done in the computer realm, the possibilities for color rendition are pretty much endless.  Here is a sampling of some of the content I viewed.

Taken Blu Ray

The action film Taken uses a fairly natural color palette that has been punched up a bit.  The result is a pleasingly high level of saturation without the overblown cartoonish colors of some other films.  Flesh tones were rendered pleasingly and it was easy to see the different types of lighting used for the various indoor scenes.  Dark material showed superb contrast and shadow detail without a hint of noise or other artifacts.

The World is Not Enough Blu Ray

The Lowry Digital re-masters of the James Bond films are a benchmark for film-to-video transfers.  As an ardent 007 fan, I have been quick to add these Blu-rays to my collection when they hit the market.  The later films starring Pierce Brosnan have a very natural color palette and The World Is Not Enough is no exception.  The LTX-500 faithfully reproduced this.  The projector’s 96Hz refresh rate made action scenes very smooth without any noticeable judder or motion blur.

Twilight Blu Ray

Twilight is a shining example of the interpretation of color.  If you watch the bonus features, you will be amazed at how some scenes look before the post-production process.  Most outdoor scenes have an obvious blue tint making it look overcast and mysterious even in the middle of the day.  Many displays exaggerate this stylized color making it fatiguing to watch; not so with the LTX-500.  The director’s vision came across clearly in all respects.  Once again, dark scenes showed a high level of contrast and dimension.  The excellent shadow detail helped to retain the depth of the image.  Monotonal scenes with colored highlights were also very effective.

Underworld:Rise of the Lycans Blu Ray

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is a tough, tough movie to render well on any display.  The color palette is extremely muted.  In fact it’s almost a mono-chromatic blue throughout.  Nearly all scenes are dark with lots of detail.  Most displays would have a tough time showing all the low-level detail present in this film.  Not so with the LTX-500.  Fine textures like stone walls or rooms lit by candlelight were presented beautifully.  The dynamic range of this projector was tested to its limit and it passed with flying colors (or color in this case).