JVC TH-BD50 review

It may look a little old fashioned, but the JVC TH-BD50 system is nevertheless an adequate performer Tested at £600.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

We can’t get too carried away with the JVC – it’s a decent system, but it won’t have you on the edge of your seat…


  • +

    Twin HDMI inputs

  • +

    clear dialogue

  • +

    weighty sound


  • -

    Speaker integration

  • -

    tubby bass

  • -

    average picture quality

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Some Blu-ray set-ups look svelte and stylish out of the box, but it must be said that this JVC system isn't quite so glamorous. Rather, the TH-BD50 looks conservative and relatively sedate – dare we say, a little bit dumpy.

The satellite speakers feel reasonably weighty, but their design is pretty ordinary. Even the Blu-ray receiver unit looks dated when compared with rival machines.

Acceptable features for the money

It's not all about the looks, though. Connectivity and features are adequate, but not overly generous for the money. The twin HDMI inputs are useful for connecting additional high-definition sources, while the system also comes with an iPod dock.

Unlike some systems there's no built-in wireless connectivity. If you want to enjoy the added benefits of BD Live, you'll have to use the wired ethernet connection on the rear of the main unit. And JVC doesn't have any online content service to provide to consumers.

The remote control and on-screen menus are clear and easy to navigate.

Installation is a tad fiddly
Set-up proves a bit tricky. There's no automatic calibration system, and the test tone is ridiculously quiet. You need to do a lot of tinkering with the surround speakers and subwoofer settings to get the system performing at its best.

And its best is just about good enough at this price point. Dialogue from the centre channel sounds clear and precise, while the subwoofer launches low frequencies with impressive power – even if they're lacking definition.

But the speakers don't knit together especially well and the subwoofer sounds disjointed. Play music through the iPod dock and you're soon aware of how unconvincing and vague the sound is compared with the top systems here.

Decent images in SD and HD

Picture quality is passable with both Blu-ray and DVD playback. Colours are handled well, but the JVC is still found wanting when it comes to outright image clarity and resolution.

Spin the DVD of Wolfman and the JVC struggles to show off the finer details of the dark, forest scenes. Other systems, too, offer superior upscaling.

We're a little underwhelmed by this JVC system. It's functional enough, but more entertaining all-in-one packages can be found elsewhere.

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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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