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There’s no easy way to break this to you, so we might as well just get straight to the point: you’re going to have to get your head round yet another new TV technology. Yes, we know it’s already hard keeping up with all the CRT, LCD, plasma, DLP and rear projection stuff. But seriously: painful though it might be, you really owe it to yourself to get acquainted with HD-ILA technology, as represented by JVC’s new HD-56ZR7J.
The first thing you need to know about HD-ILA is that it’s a projection technology, which translates in TV terms to a rear projection set. And a big one at that; the 56ZR7J’s screen is, as its name implies, a ‘healthy’ 56in. Mind you, even this screen acreage pales next to that of this set’s bigger brother, the 70in HD-70ZR7.
From these dimensions it seems clear that JVC is nothing if not confident about what HD-ILA is capable of. And when you look at how it works, that confidence seems well founded.
HD-ILA is essentially a renamed (you’ve got to get HD in there somewhere these days, after all!) version of D-ILA, a JVC-developed technology based on the more widely known Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LcoS) optical system used in a handful of UK front projectors.
LCOS chipsets comprise three layers. First is a layer of liquid crystals that’s then placed on a layer of a pixel-based reflective substrate. And this reflective substrate is then set onto a layer of driver electronics capable of working each pixel individually. Naturally this ‘substrate sandwich’ is then bound together in a restraining panel.
What HD-ILA then additionally brings to the LCOS party is enhanced pixel density – something which has the potential to greatly reduce the distracting ‘grid’ effect, where your eye makes out the individual pixels in a projected picture.
When you consider the HD-ILA also completely does away with those DLP rear projection problems of the so-called ‘rainbow effect’ (stripes of pure colour in your peripheral vision) and fizzy noise over motion, it begins to seem surprising that nobody has done an LCOS-style TV before. Unless, of course, we uncover some nasty secret further down the line…