The almost complete lack of noise lets you forge a fantastically direct connection with what you’re watching, which surely has to be a key starting point for any truly satisfying viewing experience.
Making this general lack of noise all the more remarkable is the fact that the 56ZR7J’s picture is almost frighteningly sharp. In fact, we’d go so far as to say the screen renders every almost infinitesimal detail of an HD picture in a way that we’ve simply not seen before on a rear projection TV. If you think we’re exaggerating, just stick an HD showing of Planet Earth on and see how long it takes for your jaw to raise itself back off the floor.
A final plus of the 56ZR7J’s pictures are its colours, which are both stunningly vibrant and solid but also almost perfectly natural in tone – something that few rival DLP and especially LCD rear pro TVs can claim.
Remarkably it’s not just the 56ZR7J’s pictures that impress either, as its speakers also produce truly excellent sonics. Bass levels are rich and deep enough to leave most flat TVs for dead, the soundstage is dispersed far and wide without becoming incoherent, stupid volumes can be reached before speaker distortion sets in, speech always sounds clear and credible, and treble effects are pristine without becoming harsh.
We’re not saying the 56ZR7J performs perfectly, though. Black levels, for instance, can leave really dark movie scenes looking a touch greyed over. Also, while HD pictures for the most part look breathtaking, standard definition ones can look slightly messy, presumably due to shortcomings with the set’s image scaling engine.
Although we finished the main review on a down-note, we must say that it would really have been little short of miraculous if JVC had made HD-ILA rear projection perfect at the first time of asking. And anyway, the problems described are nowhere near serious enough to deter us from the heartfelt opinion that, as technological debuts go, the 56ZR7J is an absolute doozy.