What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 25 Jul 2008, 12:00pm

JVC LT-32DA9BJ

Tested at £400
80100
4

This is someone’s perfect LCD TV – someone who values Freeview convenience over all else

Write your own review

For

  • 160GB HDD is a specification highlight
  • good TV reception
  • decent DVD and Blu-ray playback
  • listenable sound

Against

  • Not a native 1080p panel, and consequently can’t outdo the best for HD playback

It's was only a month from the First Test of this JVC LT-32DE9BJ's to this test but, as Harold Wilson nearly observed, a month is a long time in LCD TVs.  Because a little VAT was shaved off how did a £550 recipient of a four star First Test stack up as a £520 screen in an eight-way Supertest?

Something of a Curate's egg
'Pretty well' is the short answer. It's an unobtrusive set in a generic kind of way, and it's simple to set up  thanks to clear and logical on-screen menus.

Specification is a mixture of the humdrum - the 1366 x 768 resolution means the JVC must downscale 1080p images from Blu-ray player or games console - and the noteworthy: this is the only TV in the test with a built-in hard-disk drive, 160GB no less, allowing recording of one Freeview channel while watching another.

Built-in hard-disk drive: 160GB no less
Performance is a similar combination of so-so and spectacular. Freeview pictures fall into that latter category. Pictures are stable and clean, with good colour gradation and strong contrasts (though low-light detail is sacrificed for the punchy white tones) and recordings to the HDD are just as impressive.

Switching to DVD pictures via one of three HDMI inputs, neither the marginal edge-definition nor the lack of the finest detail is enough to cause concern; a shortage of truly deep black in pictures doesn't either.
Taken all at once, though, these traits are every bit as noticeable as the fine colour balance and secure motion tracking.

The story is the same when viewing this month's default Blu-ray, The Dark Knight. Scaled 720p images are doggedly stable and solid, and performance is obviously upped across the board compared with DVD pictures, but at the same time, there's a lack of detail and a hint of softness that precludes the JVC from the top table. 

Add in clear, robust sound with no hint of fizziness and you've a hugely convenient and mostly very enjoyable LCD. And that price will only get lower.

Latest offers