The second JVC LCD TV to arrive in our test rooms in as many weeks potentially looks less interesting than the last one. After all, there’s no sign of the built-in hard disk drive and Freeview recording capabilities that made the 32E9BJ set so intriguing.
But on the upside the 42DR9BJ does up the screen size to a more movie-friendly 42in and the pixel count to a full HD 1,920 x 1,080, while it keeps its price pleasingly low at just under £750 if you know where to look.
It wears its extra size pretty well too, thanks to a tastefully retro finish comprising a sharply angular gloss black bezel and a hip strip of blue LED light under the JVC logo.
Connections are a bit strange. For starters, while the component and SCART jacks sit flat on the TV’s rear, all the HDMIs and the RF input are tucked away in extremely fiddly fashion under a ledge along the bottom of the TV’s rear. It’s disappointing too, that in aggravatingly typical JVC style there’s no dedicated PC port. But the three HDMIs are at least all built to the v1.3 specification, and there’s a digital audio output that can send PCM or Dolby Digital audio from the built-in digital tuner to a suitably equipped receiver or amp.
Joining full HD resolution on the 42DR9’s list of key screen specifications is a fairly standard brightness of 500cd/m2, a fair to middling claimed response time of 6.5ms, and an actually slightly disappointing dynamic contrast ratio of 7500:1. This latter figure is many times less than the figures numerous rival screens are boasting these days.
Putting a smile back on our faces, though, is the appearance of JVC’s DynaPix HD picture engine. While previous incarnations of this system have certainly not been without their flaws, we’ve generally liked what it’s done with HD footage and in terms of adding detail to standard definition, so we look forward to seeing how the latest generation of it fares on the 42DR9.