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Vizio JV50P Jive Plasma HDTV Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 April 2008
ImageThe Basics:
Vizio has established itself as one of the leading providers of reasonably priced LCD and plasma HDTVs. The JV50P is a unique product in the company’s line, as it combines a plasma panel and 5.1-channel audio system to create a more complete home entertainment package for just $1800. The trade-off for that low price is that you don’t get 1080p resolution; this is a 1366 x 768 panel.

The JV50P plasma has a healthy connection panel with three HDMI, two component video, and one PC input. The menu includes most of the desirable picture adjustments, such as preset picture modes and color temperature settings. It also includes advanced white-balance controls, which isn’t a given at this price point. There are four aspect ratio options (normal, wide, zoom, panoramic), numerous PIP and POP viewing options, and an image cleaner to counteract any effects of short-term image retention. As for the 5.1-channel audio system, the TV itself holds the left, center and right channels, which run discreetly along the bottom of the panel, and the packages includes two surround speakers and a subwoofer that receive the audio signal wirelessly from the TV over the 5.8GHz band. The TV’s back panel has an optical digital audio input that allows you to feed audio from an external source, like a DVD player, for playback through the 5.1-channel system. The menu includes the ability to set the volume and distance for each speaker. Stereo sources can be output as Dolby Pro Logic II.

The JV50P has a glossy black frame, while the speakers (both the attached and detached models) and subwoofer have silver grilles. A detachable stand is included.

The Upside:
The manual says the HDMI inputs do not accept 1080p, but reports suggest otherwise; obviously, 1080p sources are scaled down to the TV’s 720p resolution. The JV50P renders an attractive HD image, with good color, black levels and detail. Plasmas generally offer better viewing angles and less motion blur than LCDs.

The Downside:
The JV50P doesn’t have a 1080p resolution, which isn’t a huge issue at this screen size. This TV’s up-conversion of SD signals is only average. While the 5.1-channel speaker system is a nice idea and an easy solution, you can get better performance from an external 5.1 ensemble.

The JV50P Jive offers a complete home entertainment package that’s easy to set up and easy on the wallet. Performance-wise, this system isn’t a home theater substitute, but it makes a fine living room or bedroom solution. It’s a good fit for the person who primarily watches high-definition material, as that’s the TV’s forte.

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