JVC LT-26DE9BJ review

The JVC's built-in PVR is the headline, but this set is a solid picture performer, too Tested at £465.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The built-in PVR is the headline, but the JVC is a solid picture performer


  • +

    160GB PVR

  • +

    straightforward operation

  • +

    stable, detailed and naturally coloured pictures


  • -

    Can’t quite achieve a satisfactory balance between punch/vibrancy, and depth of colour

  • -

    not the deepest blacks

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Even with an impressive 160GB PVR built-in, the JVC still manages to hit that golden sub-£500 price point.

Unlike the feeling you get from some TVs at this level, it's obvious from the moment you turn the JVC on that the company has really made an effort. The menus are bold, clear and sharp, and following them through set-up is exceptionally easy.

Calibration is straightforward, but this TV does ask you to make a choice with backlighting. The higher the backlight is set, the punchier the picture will be – but the trade-off is paler blacks and less depth of colour.

Turn the backlight down, on the other hand, and the picture is less punchy, but we feel it makes the colour balance a bit more natural.

With Forgetting Sarah Marshall on DVD, using our favoured settings, the JVC offers balanced colours, particularly where skin tones are concerned, but the Hawaiian scenery and bright shirts appear a little more subdued than they might.

Still, detail levels throughout are admirably high, and the upscaled image is clean and stable. The JVC is also an accomplished performer with motion, keeping any ghosting to an absolute minimum.

Solid with Blu-ray and Freeview
The 'DE9 won't handle a 1080p signal, but it's still a decent Blu-ray performer. Outside scenes lack some vibrancy, but the overall picture is detailed, clean and natural, and insight into blacks is fairly impressive, though not hugely deep.

Freeview performance is perhaps the most important aspect of a TV this size, and the JVC once again proves itself to be solid.

From BBC1 to Dave, the 'DE9 produces a clean, sharp and natural picture. Operating the EPG and scheduling recordings is simplicity itself, and recorded programmes are faithful to the original broadcast.

Sound is typical flatscreen fare; a bit brittle at the top and lacking at the bottom, but it's certainly acceptable.

If you're in the market for a Freeview PVR, the JVC could be the set to get.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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