HD Projector Project Update - The Anthem LTX-500v

      Date posted: June 17, 2010

Anthem LTX 500V
Anthem  has just introduced its second gen projectors, with a “v” appended to the model number. I’ve spent a few months with the LTX-500v, and there are quite definite improvements. First, though, let’s enumerate the differences and new features.

One significant improvement is the reduction in fan noise to 19 dB. Though the previous model was also so rated, this new one is definitely quieter. With the projector just behind my right shoulder, this is a very good thing, and I don’t find it intrusive, even when listening at night with the volume quite low. Another is the improved remote control, which makes operation easier, especially in the dark. It has a centrally located Light button that saves battery wear from automatic backlighting, and the major improvement is a group of buttons at top for the 6 inputs; the previous remote required scrolling through repeated button presses to change inputs. Beneath these are buttons for Lens and Aspect, which allow direct control of these important features. Near bottom are the buttons, also logically arranged, for Picture Modes, which include Cinema 1, 2, and 3, Natural, Stage, Dynamic, User 1, User 2, and THX. There are also, in the menu selection, new ISF Night and Day modes, which can be programmed into the User memories, for instant fully calibrated pictures. You can also directly access Gamma, Colour Temperature, Lens Aperture, and Picture Adjust with 4 buttons beneath the Picture Mode ones.
Projector Remote
Another improvement one might not notice for a while is the extension of lamp life from 2000 to 3000 hours. I’m lucky enough to have a well-controlled light environment, so can use one setting, Natural, with a bit of tweaking, but many users will appreciate the immense flexibility of this projector in picture adjustment for different ambient light conditions.

Yet another improvement is what Anthem  calls Clear Motion Drive, which interpolates video frames at a rate of 120 per second. This will smooth motion artifacts, and remove some of the effects of 35mm film, but can be defeated if you really want to see the wagon wheels go backwards in your favourite cowboy movies.

I also found the picture quality slightly improved in sharpness and depth of colour, with outstanding blacks and grey scale reproduction. And the somewhat annoying loss of sync that made the screen go blank for a few seconds with off-air HD (mostly during commercials and station break transitions) was much curtailed, for whatever reason, in the “v” upgrade model. There was no such problem with satellite reception, and I’m starting to think that my now ancient Zenith off-air HDTV receiver may be a part of the cause. In other words, I suspect you won’t encounter it with a modern receiver if you wish to go the off-air reception route.

In sum, the Anthem  v-series projectors, specifically the LTX-500v (still based on JVC’s LCOS video platform), now have significant user and general ergonomic improvements for future buyers.

Andrew Marshall

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