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JVC LT-42DS9 42in LCD TV - JVC LT-42DS9
As well as the full HD resolution we alluded to a moment ago, the 42DS9's other key specifications include a more than respectable looking 7500:1 contrast ratio claim (achieved via the inevitable dynamic backlight system) and the inclusion of the latest generation of JVC's usually reliable DynaPix HD image processing engine.
This comprises various elements targeted at improving colour tones and saturations, black levels, noise reduction, motion handling and, most strikingly of all, detail levels via JVC's venerable Digital Image Scaling Technology (DIST).
It's nice to find, too, that you can tinker around with some of the DynaPix elements, such as the MPEG noise reduction and Colour Management utilities.
It doesn't take long in the company of the 42DS9's pictures to realise that the introduction of slim technology doesn't appear to have had a negative impact on JVC's LCD picture quality at all. In fact, the 42DS9 is in many ways JVC's finest flat TV performer to date.
The set's black level response in particular is in a different league to anything JVC has managed before. The darkness of the night skies in the new Chinatown Call of Duty 4 map, for instance, actually looks deep and convincing rather than grey and flat. As a result you don't find yourself getting picked off as often by enemies you couldn't actually see because they were hidden behind some nasty LCD ‘veil'. Naturally the same strength helps the set deliver the goods very nicely with dark film scenes such as those in the projection room as Charlie watches the film of his old friend describing The Italian Job during Sky's recent HD premiere of this Michael Caine classic.
Another string to the 42DS9's bow during HD viewing is the sharpness and detail on show. All the remarkable detailing present in Call of Duty 4's scenery is present and correct, while particularly sharp Blu-ray discs such as Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix look full of texture and HD clarity.
Colours, meanwhile, are fulsomely saturated when required, doing justice - if that's the word - to the rather odd cartoon-like palette on show at times during Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on the Xbox 360, or the glorious floating LED ‘billboards' in Bladerunner. There's plenty of the customary ‘full HD' subtlety in colour blends too, and the tonal range available during HD viewing is such that skin tones look impressively differentiated but also very natural
It's great to note, too, that neither the colour tone nor the black level drop off significantly until you watch from a really quite extreme angle, and brightness levels really do seem uniform over every inch of the screen.
Turning to standard definition, for the most part this looks good too, with DynaPix HD doing a better job than many rival engines of scaling digital tuner fare up to the set's full HD resolution.