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In more general terms, the 46DZ7’s pictures veer between looking really quite sublime and looking slightly disappointing. When they’re sublime it tends to be with bright, colourful and largely static HD images, such as pretty much any daytime sequence in Brokeback Mountain recorded in HD from Sky. At such moments the TV delivers a knockout combination of immense clarity and fine detailing, outstandingly vibrant but also subtly blended colour tones, and enough brightness to give you retina damage.
So good are the detailing and colour blend talents we’ve described that there seems no doubt the TV is delivering on the promise of its full HD pixel count.
These core qualities of the JVC’s pictures also make it a great friend of such colourful, bright Xbox 360 HD gaming fare as Viva Pinata and Virtua Tennis.
Where the TV can look slightly disappointing is during darker scenes where there’s a lot of motion going on. During just such a scene in the superb Casino Royale Blu-ray transfer, where James Bond charges around a sinking Venetian building beating up bad guys, it’s impossible to ignore two key weaknesses in the JVC’s presentation. First, black levels aren’t all that deep (as we worried they might not be after seeing the set’s uninspiring claimed 1200:1 contrast ratio); a common LCD problem certainly, but one we’ve seen tackled more successfully by rival LCDs from Sony, and Philips, plus various plasma models.
Second, it would appear that the 46DZ7’s LCD response time isn’t the best, since there’s rather noticeable blurring over Bond’s rampaging fists and feet. This problem is exacerbated while watching the standard definition DVD version of the same scene.
A third more minor quibble apparent during dark scenes is that some colour tones don’t look 100 per cent authentic, possibly because there’s a slight bluish undertone to the screen’s attempts to render a true black colour.
The inconsistencies of the 46DZ7’s pictures are certainly not replicated with its sound. For even though its speakers look rather ineffectual thanks to an obvious attempt to ‘hide’ them in the TV’s design, they’re actually terrifically powerful and deliver the sort of frequency range, especially at the bass end, that most flat TVs can only dream about.
JVC’s 46DZ7 full HD debut gets so many things right that we have no doubt the brand will one day – probably fairly soon – turn in a truly outstanding full HD TV. But for now there are just enough concerns about a couple of common LCD flaws to leave the 46DZ7 as a good TV rather than a great one.