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JVC XV-BP1 Blu-ray Player Review Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Article Index
JVC XV-BP1 Blu-ray Player Review
Blu-ray Performance
DVD Performance and Conclusion


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. 


JVC’s XV-BP1 sports a USB 2.0 port at the front of its unit, and it’s not simply for the purpose of firmware updates.  This port can access a decent array of files from the contents of a jump drive / external HDD, which included MP3/AAC, WMA and JPEG playback.  Putting an external storage device in the port brightens the “Music” and “Photos” icons on the Home Page and makes the available for selection, which allows for an easy-to-navigate interface to be accessed for each.  It doesn’t require the user to put them in any specific file, as it comes with a Folder Hierarchy navigation to access any of the specific files on the drive.  

Music Navigation offers a simply hierarchy access system, allowing for the time lapsed, file type, and other elements to be displayed while the file is being played.  Sound quality is pretty solid, though the player takes a second to handshake with the receiver; once it does connect, it can run down the entire folder without having to phase in/out again.  Photo Navigation is similarly easy to weave through, making each file available to be selected and display on-screen.  As with the player’s other capabilities in the speed department, it also loads media files extremely quick – a lot quicker than most others we’ve tested, even coming close to matching the speed of Sony’s Playstation 3 for media access.  As an aside, you can also sync music to Photo Slideshows very easily, simply by accessing the file and playing it during playback.

JVC’s player cannot, however, access SACD or DVD-Audio discs, and as a standard CD playback device, the XV-BP1 is little beyond serviceable.  Sound quality powering through it sounds just fine, as tested with a copy of Explosions in the Sky’s “The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place”, with controlled bass and pleasing high-level punch.  Accessing the CD pops us the same track listing GUI as the MP3s, which is simple but very fluid.

Front Top View


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.

Final Thoughts:

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. 

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