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JVC LT-42DS9 42in LCD TV
You've heard the hype, you've seen the pictures, you've probably thought ‘ooh, yes, one of those would look great in my living room'. But now at long last the first of the new generation of Super Slim TVs is finally here, in the oh-so-svelte shape of JVC's LT-42DS9.
We used the words Super Slim back there deliberately, as this is the name JVC itself gives to its skinny TV technology. Other variations on the theme include Ultra Thin (Hitachi) and Super-Thin Profile (Panasonic). But no matter what you call them, skinny TVs all ultimately stack up the same. Which is to say they all reduce the size of their rear ends to either fit even more snugly against your wall than they would otherwise, or to elicit coos of admiration from anyone who beholds one sat on a desktop stand.
Which brings us right away to a philosophical point about the 42DS9 before we even get anywhere near to testing its performance: does being ‘Super Slim' really matter all that much?
Those of you seduced by the clever marketing images of slender screens will probably all be shouting ‘of course it matters! We want TVs that take up as little of our living rooms as possible!' But let's put some numbers on this, shall we?
Right. At its thinnest, the 42DS9 is just 34mm deep. With ‘normal' flat TVs tending to come in at around 90mm deep, you don't have to be a mathematical genius to figure out the 42DS9 is barely a third as deep as a standard flat TV.
However, that difference only really amounts to 6cm. Get a ruler out, look at 6cm, then imagine if that is really going to make a substantial difference to your living room life. Somehow we doubt it.
What's more, while the 42DS9 is only 34mm deep across around two-thirds of its width, there's a section in the mid-rear where the addition of a tuner module makes the rear end extend to 74mm - only a couple of centimetres less than a normal flat TV.
Still, while the 42DS9 might not be the genuinely life-changing phenomenon the Super Slim marketeers might want you to imagine it, there's no avoiding the fact that it helps the TV look both really striking and really, really attractive. Especially as the slenderness around the back is matched by an unusually slim gloss black bezel that makes an impact even when you're sat right in front of the set, unaware of the skinny rear end. Heaven only knows where JVC has hidden the speakers on this TV…
What's more, while design purists might rue that chunky tuner addition, it makes the TV a hell of a lot more practical to your average man in the street than totally skinny models - like Hitachi's imminent Ultra Thin range - that don't come with tuners.