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JVC LT-42X788 LCD HDTV Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 November 2007
Article Index
Page 2
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The Downside
The LT-42X788 is an above-average performer in all the big categories, but it does have some issues that merit a mention. My DirecTV set-top box allows me to output 480i, 720p, and 1080i natively, and this TV was quite slow to switch between resolutions when I channel-surfed. It’s fairly common for a TV to struggle when jumping from 480i to 720p to 1080i through the HDMI inputs; however, the JVC is just as slow through the component video inputs, and it flashes a “No Program or Weak Signal” message on the screen while it tries to move from one resolution to another.

Through the component video inputs, the TV’s deinterlacing and upconversion of 480i content is not as good as I’d like. Standard-definition TV and DVD signals looked a bit soft, and I saw a fair amount of jaggies and other deinterlacing artifacts in demo scenes from my Gladiator (DreamWorks) and Bourne Identity (Universal Studios Home Video) DVDs. To work around this, you might want to mate the TV with a good upconverting DVD player and set up your cable or satellite box to upconvert 480i sources.

The LT-42X788 also suffers from some common LCD issues. Its viewing angle is average at best, so you should be mindful of where you plan to sit in relation to the TV. Screen uniformity is generally good, but there were a few times, while I viewed darker content, when the right side of the screen seemed a little brighter than the left. I recently acquired a great test disc to evaluate motion blur, filled with text, maps and resolution patterns that move at different speeds, and the LT-42X788 clearly struggled to retain fine detail with moving images. This was also evident during the many sporting events I watched, as well as text crawls in sports and news tickers; some detail was lost in faster-moving scenes.

The LT-42X788 is simply an easy TV to like. Its picture quality may not dazzle the way the best high-end displays can, but it will make an excellent general-use TV, especially if you watch a lot of HDTV programming through the component video inputs. Even videophiles need all-purpose TVs, and this one offers the versatility of an LCD with a more accurate color palette. I often found myself forgetting about my review duties and just enjoying the everyday viewing experience, and that says a lot.

As I mentioned in the intro, the LT-42X788’s $2,100 MSRP is on the high end for 42-inch LCD TVs, which brings us back to the 1080p question. If your motivation for spending more money on the LT-42X788 is solely to get the step up in detail that 1080p affords you, then you’ll be disappointed. This TV’s screen size, motion blur and general level of detail will not exploit that 1080p spec. However, if your motivation for spending more money on the LT-42X788 is to get an attractive, high-quality image with a variety of sources, then you will get your money’s worth.

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