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Connections on the 56ZR7J are acceptable rather than outstanding, in that while they include HDMI, component and PC jacks, there’s only one of each when we’re increasingly starting to look for at least two HDMIs as standard.
You might be surprised to learn that this set doesn’t carry a built-in digital tuner. But to be fair this is actually by no means unexpected, since cutting edge products like this usually start life in R&D with a distinctly international flavour, and thus struggle to integrate such a region-specific feature as a Freeview tuner in their first generation.
Probably chief among the features the 56ZR7J does have is Dynapix video processing; a proprietary JVC system designed to improve motion, greatly enhance sharpness and detail levels (especially with standard definition), reduce noise, and automatically improve contrast based on an ongoing and automatic assessment of the picture content.
The great fear with the first products to use any new technology, of course, is simply that they turn out to be rubbish. So it comes as a huge relief to find that the 56ZR7J is so phenomenally accomplished in nearly every way that you’d swear JVC had been making HD-ILA TVs for years.
The first thing you notice as you instinctively reach for a pair of shades is how phenomenally bright the picture is. There’s simply not another rear projection TV out there that can touch the 56ZR7J in this key respect. Needless to say this has a particularly dramatic effect on the cartoonish joys of an HD Xbox 360 picture.
The 56ZR7J is also peerless in the rear pro world when it comes to video artefacts – or rather, the lack of them. We’d hoped the HD-ILA technology would get rid of the nasties associated with rival DLP and LCD systems, but nothing could have prepared us for the sheer impact of seeing 56in pictures unaffected – during HD viewing, at least - by noise of practically any sort, be it grain, visible pixel structure, colour noise or even smearing or buzzing over motion. In fact, until we saw this JVC in action we hadn’t realised just how noisy the pictures on our reference DLP rear pro set really are!