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Kicking off the hot stuff is the screen’s exceptional way with colours: a talent that sees it delivering saturations so rich they should buy a yacht and live in Monaco. These colours inevitably play their part, too, in making the picture look so solid and three dimensional you feel you could pack your bags and go and live in it.
Not that this impression is down solely to the colour vibrancy, of course. The DynaPix system is also clearly on top of its game when it comes to fine detailing, as the set delivers at times outrageous sharpness and detailing from our HD sources.
The claimed high speed of the DynaPix processor, meanwhile, seems borne out by how little motion smearing there is in the picture – even during sporting events. And last but not least in the plus column, dark parts of the picture are packed with the sort of subtle brightness differentiations that make them look like layered, textured, integral parts of the picture rather than hollow holes.
Black levels also kick us into a look at the 40DS7BJ’s bad points, though, since really dark parts of the picture seem to adopt a slightly distracting blue undertone. The set is also a little unhappy with standard definition sources, making them look less sharp than we’d like.
Next, pictures sometimes look rather noisy, especially with SD and especially if you’re not careful with how you use some of the TV’s contrast-affecting settings. Finally, people’s skin can look a bit smooth and plasticky from time to time.
Happily our fears about the JVC’s skinny speakers prove unfounded. By using Oblique Cone technology, where the sound is delivered upwards from an off-centre voice coil to fight distortion, they actually sound more powerful than most. The soundstage gets spread far and wide, and there’s some decent extension at both the bass and treble ends of the audio spectrum. Only a little harshness with high frequencies keeps its sound score down to an eight.
Fed the right pictures, the 40DS7BJ has the raw talent to leave your mouth hanging open in astonishment. But it’s a touch too inconsistent – and perhaps a touch too pricey – to earn a totally unreserved recommendation.
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