|JVC XV-BP1 Blu-ray Player Review|
|Home Theater Video Players Blu-ray Players|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Wednesday, 24 February 2010|
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The XV-BP1 also utilizes its processor to upscale DVDs to 1080p, which offers highly agreeable results. Running Universal’s discs from Season 2.0 of Battlestar Galactica renders sharp, clean lines, considering the source, while adapting to the digital grain of standard-definition well for its upscaling. The Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks thundered forward with immense satisfaction, powering through the soundstage with clear vocals and a few ship-exhaust-driven lows. Along those same lines, the Collector’s Edition of Serenity also exercised the player’s capacity for legacy tracks, only focusing on DTS instead of Dolby Digital. The robustness is admirable, especially when considering the excellent HD sound from its Blu-ray counterpart. Its visual transfer also stood tooth-and-nail with the Blu-ray rendering, noticeably a few steps behind but still very clear. Also, it’s worth noting that the layer changes were very discretely handled in this player, seemingly less noticeable than with others.
As a pleasant benefit that usually finds mention in my Blu-ray reviews, this player happily comes with an internal zoom feature for standard-definition material. This enables non-16x9 DVDs to be zoomed in for full-screen viewing, and the quality of both the upscale image and the zoom can be very pleasant. As tested with a copy of Grosse Pointe Blank, the fluidity of movement and grain structure both looked astounding. Naturally, the XV-BP1 is locked to Region-1 DVDs, as tested with a copy of Memories of Murder from Korea, but it can access PAL-encoded region-free discs – as annotated by spinning a copy of A Bittersweet Life from the UK. The quality of displaying progressive PAL material is actually quite fluid, and appeared less jerky than that of other processors.
Pros: Fast, Great Audio/Video Quality, PAL-enabled, Streamlined GUI, USB 2.0
JVC’s XV-BP1 does a great job of delivering hearty, very classy Blu-ray quality, but its biggest draw easily comes in its speed. Being able to power on a player and have access to the disc almost instantaneously is a very welcome addition, matching the likes of Oppo’s BDP-83 and Sony’s Playstation 3 in expedited quality. In terms of audiovisual quality, though, it’s pretty safe to drop this player firmly above the PS3 and barely below Pioneer’s BDP-320. Its level of sharpness and sound clarity wavers just slightly lower than some of the middle-upper ranged players, but only by a pace or two that make it tolerable for some of its other attributes. These earmarks include an NTSC to PAL converter inside, which allows access to PAL DVDs and PAL-encoded special features, as well as an easy-to-use yet pleasing media interface when accessing files on a USB storage device.
Cons: Blue Light, No Multichannel Analog, Lacks Internal Fan, Next to No A/V Adjustment No Wi-fi
With a player that’s as easily recommendable as JVC’s player, you’ve got to dig a bit deeper when attempting to find something negative about it. However, the player’s biggest fault is an aesthetic one that’s instantly seeable, being the somewhat attractive yet highly distracting blue lights at the front of the player. These have been brought up a few times already in this review, which should be an indicator of their intensity. It’s something that’ll eventually fall into an ignorable misstep, after the eyes have adjusted and the player has found a decent spot for eyesight avoidance, but it’s something to consider. And, naturally, the player doesn’t come with some of the advanced features available on other models, including analog jacks or IR/RS232c remote capability, or the ability to fine-tune video and audio. Furthermore, other players within its price range – notable LG’s 370, Sony’s PS3, and Panasonic’s DMP-BD85 – are equipped with on-board wireless connectivity, though their audiovisual performance isn’t quite as good and they lack a few features that the XV-BP1 carries.
JVC’s XV-BP1 receives enthusiastic approval for its aural and visual quality and relative versatility, sure, but more for its capacity to sprint beyond its competitors in regards to loading / boot-up times. Though there are players that perform ever-so-slightly better in terms of cinematic prowess, its speed, ease of accessing multimedia files, and overall capacity to handle standard-definition material as well – including zoom for non-16x9 DVDs, an NTSC-PAL decoder, and quality 1080p upscaling – are what set it apart from others within its price-point hemisphere. If you’re prepared for a very bright blue light upon powering the unit up, one that can’t be dimmed, then you’ll be ready to operate with one of the better values on the market to this point.