JVC LT-42DV1 £1289.99

15th May 2009 | 08:45

JVC LT-42DV1

The company's second Super Slim TV marks a big improvement over its first

TechRadar rating:

3 stars

A curious mix of unusual features, bold styling and generally mediocre performance

Like:

Decent colour palette; Inventive features; Gorgeous design

Dislike:

Poor black level response; Wobbly motion handling

JVC's LT-42DS9 was the first really thin flat TV to appear in the UK. But it was also an award-winningly eco-friendly set for numerous reasons. Now the sequel is here in the shape of the LT-42DV1.

And although at 69mm at its deepest point it's not significantly slimmer than the LT-42DS9, the LT-42DV1 does deliver one or two extra green touches.

This JVC set uses a little less power, for instance – just 159W, typically.

Also, it's got a manual power off switch that reduces power consumption to zero, a radio mode that lets you turn the screen off if you're just listening to music, and an eco setting that reduces the image's brightness in response to dropping ambient light levels.

The LT-42DV1 also adds 100Hz processing, to improve motion, and promises a phenomenal contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, courtesy of a new backlight system – a figure unprecedented outside of plasmas and LEDs.

Next, it's got the latest, new generation of JVC's DynaPix HD processing, with its focus on boosting colours, contrast and fine detail response. Plus, it adds a new USB 2.0 slot able to play MP3 and JPEG files.

And then there's the HandClap function. Strangely, you can turn the TV on or off, or mute and unmute its sound, by clapping your hands. This is unhelpful at times, given that whenever the TV detects that the HandClap function might be compromised by ambient noise or even the racket from its own speakers, it generates a distracting onscreen warning logo.

Going for gold

The numerous picture improvements make this set another fine contender for group test gold. As usual with JVC TVs, colours are particularly striking, combining intense saturations with a wide palette, excellent blend finesse and natural tones.

The DynaPix HD engine, meanwhile, works wonders on standard-definition pictures, making them look much sharper without adding or exaggerating noise. HD pictures look extremely detailed and crisp too, and happily this sharpness doesn't break down badly when images contain lots of motion.

There are times, in fact, when the LT-42DV1's pictures are little short of spectacular, and certainly hold their own against the best in this test. It's just a shame that the LT-42DV1 struggles fractionally with black levels. For instance, without the dynamic contrast function active, dark scenes look slightly grey.

Turning the dynamic contrast system on definitely deepens black levels, but only at the expense of a little shadow detail and a tendency for brightness levels to jump around rather obviously. It doesn't help black levels, either, that the set's contrast reduces considerably if you have to watch from the side.

Sonically the 42DV1 is powerful enough to throw out prodigious volume levels. But you have to be careful, for a failure to appreciate the limitations of its own speakers can leave it sounding harsh and distorted if you push it too hard.

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