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JVC LT-42X899 42-Inch LCD HDTV

By: Rob Mead

If you have been looking for an HDTV that eliminates pesky motion blur while viewing action-packed Blu-ray discs, you should be very interested in what JVC is calling their "Clear Motion Drive III" technology. That technology is integrated into their LT-42X899 LCD HDTV and JVC states that this process eliminates edge blur and ensures an extremely clean image, no matter what type of movie or TV show you happen to be watching.

The impact that the LT-42X899's 42-inch flat-panel TV makes on everyone who comes into contact with it is one of immediate respect. This unit's black gloss finish, gun metal trim and anti-reflective deep black screen sends off a feeling of power that one does not get from the usual LCD TV's currently seen at your local home theater store. The front panel is designed with simplicity and does not feature any inputs at all on the front of the unit. The three HDMI (v1.3) digital inputs, the two component video inputs, along with the S-Video and three AV inputs are all situated on the back of the TV.

Looking closer at the unit's speakers that are attached to the side of the flat panel, you will notice that JVC has incorporated twin cone speakers that are designed with a bass reflex, thereby sending off a more powerful bass sound from these thin speakers than you would expect. The audio is rated at 20 watts of total power, but you will still need a complete surround-sound audio system to experience Dolby Digital in all its glory when watching the latest action-packed movie from the Hollywood studios, but you should have no problem with the clean and concise audio emanating from this unit when watching a typical TV program.

The main mode for viewing movies was the "Theater Mode", which produced more color saturation than the "Normal Mode" and will turn any action sequence into a much more cinema-like movie experience. This menu will allow you to adjust the TV's volume, brightness levels and surround-sound mode with ease. The HDTV's 1920x1080 resolution really brought out the action movie's deep blacks and penetrating whites, while never going too far with the vividness of the color saturation, keeping the action scene "natural" and not contrived or artificial-looking.

A Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player was connected to the JVC LCDTV and the Blu-ray of the movie "Eagle Eye" (Dreamworks) was popped into the player's tray during the demo for this review. This movie features a lot of deep blacks during the night action sequences, so the LT 42X899 was put to the test of displaying these scenes in true 1080p resolution, as well as eliminating any motion blur that these sequences could cause with a lesser LCD model. During the scene in which Shia LeBouf's apartment is practically decimated by an unknown force, the detail of the glass shattering out of his windows while his entire apartment's walls are collapsing in on him was breathtaking in its realism.

High Points
• Excellent anti-glare 1080p LCD screen that outshines most other LCD HDTVs in the market today.
• No motion blur during action sequences, which makes for an outstanding home theater experience if you happen to be an action-movie fan.
• 36-bit processing brings out colors brilliantly, further enhancing the color saturation levels, resulting in a much more 'natural' high-definition home theater experience.
• The three HDMI connections contained in this HDTV means that you can connect all of your high-def components easily.

Low Points
• The width of this model's frame should be thinner, as most consumers nowadays are looking for A/V components that naturally blend in with their living room or media room's walls.
• Bass emanating from the unit's speakers did not sound powerful enough during this demonstration, which means that if you are going to use the LT 42X899's main speakers as your only source of audio, you will be greatly disappointed while watching a high-energy Hollywood blockbuster on this unit.
• The lack of backlighting in the remote control results in a poorly designed remote unit that will be hard to find in your darkened home theater set-up.
• Not enough surround-sound modes that would allow a more fully encompassing sound stage while playing back a DVD that needs specific sound dispersion to enjoy, such as a sports movie, or while playing a video game on the HDTV that requires a more impacting, vibrant dynamic sound.

In the past, $1,800 would not have bought you an HDTV of this size or of this quality, but with the recession now in full control of our economy, JVC realizes that it must appeal to the average consumer who wants a true HD experience as soon as possible, but is also concerned about losing his job and is not willing to pay an arm and a leg to experience true HD.

That type of consumer does not have $4,000 or more to spend on a high-end HDTV, so JVC has taken the needed step of incorporating great design elements into a low-end price range when it comes to their LCD TV lineup, and I applaud them for doing so.
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