JVC LT-40DS7BJ

30th Jun 2006 | 23:00

JVC LT-40DS7BJ

Is this high-def LCD TV a knock-out?

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

A decent HD TV but its poor standard-def skills let it down

Like:

<p>HD signals are solid</p><p>Colours tend to be very good</p>

Dislike:

<p>Standard definition footage suffers</p>

From the first look, the LT-40DS7BJ impresses. JVC had given it the standard black-and-silver chassis of high-end flatpanels, but it's the extra thought the designers put in that makes us smile.

There are two HDMI sockets and the standard set of analogue links (composite video, component video, S-video et al) positioned along the side of the TV. A thoughtful gesture that provides easy access to them.

Skimming down the specifications and features list reveals an impressive product: HD-ready, digital tuner, common interface slot (for accessing Top Up TV), Freeview EPG, event timer, and the impressive Dynapix suite.

This system of picture-processing systems promises to reduce motion smear and noise, improve contrast ranges, smooth curved edges, optimise colours and deepen blacks.

There are some tweaks you can make, including the noise reduction, backlight, contrast control's levels.

Shaky SD

While the pictures can be stunning, the performance is variable. Colours are rich and dynamic, with subtle graduations, giving the anarchic world of Tyler Durden realism, without becoming vivid.

What is remarkable is the set's HD performance. We've come to expect Fight Club's picture to stand out, but the high-definition picture seems even sharper and more detailed than on any other display in this round-up.

This is appears to be due to the Dynapix system which sharpens the high-definition feed. This can add a touch of dot crawl, but this won't be noticed if you sit at the optimum distance from the TV.

Motion smearing is negated - there were no stray pixels or blurring as the Narrator's plane exploded in midair - and black levels are deep and detailed. Though sometimes when watching Freeview, some of the blacks had a blue tint.

There is drop in quality standard-definition sources: motion smear, softness in the detail, and plastic skin tones are all in evidence. While Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) is hardly rosy-cheeked, this set did make her a touch cadaverous.

Care must also be taken with the DigiPure settings - they can add high level of noise to the source material.

The set's speakers performed extremely well, providing high volume levels across a wide area without the high tones or bass breaking up. On occasion the trebles do seem a tad harsh, but this is a rare happening.

With the LT-40DS7BJ JVC has made an LCD that will suit anyone who's primary interest is in watching high-definition footage. Yet we can't give this TV an unqualified recommendation, due to its shaky performance with standard-definition sources.

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