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More good news finds the 32WX50’s processing stopping judder from becoming any significant distraction, and that rather unassuming-looking speaker bar producing a well-rounded, detailed and startlingly potent soundstage. In fact, the audio performance is in a different league to the sort of tinny nonsense heard with many screens much bigger and deeper than the 32WX50.
None of this chimes at all, of course, with the image quality score of 6. This, alas, is explained by an uninspiring contrast response.
The problem, as you might expect from what I’ve said before, isn’t with the bright end of the contrast spectrum. The screen does rich, pure whites and bright colours very well indeed.
Where it struggles is with the darker end of things. Particularly annoying is the pretty obvious occurrence of pools of light which spill onto all four corners of the picture when watching any night-time or dark room sequence. I always find the appearance of such backlight inconsistency seriously annoying, as it routinely distracts me from any dark sequence I want to watch.
I’ve seen similar problems on a few TVs of late, and it’s really starting to bug me. In fact, with edge-LED LCD screens like this JVC seeming to be the worst culprits, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m not going to fall out with quite a few other edge LED designs before this year’s out.
The general depth of the 32WX50’s black colours is also pretty unspectacular, with obvious greyness hanging over anything that’s supposed to look black. In fact, the only really good news here is that unexpectedly, the black level response doesn’t diminish as badly as we often find with LCD screens if you watch the 32WX50 from a wide angle.
Another, perhaps more surprising weakness of the 32WX50’s pictures is their lack of sharpness. For while the colour processing does a great job of trying to boost colour detail, the detail levels the 32WX50 can produce with static or relatively static HD material are sadly damaged during typical video viewing by noticeable motion blur.
The set also proves below par at upscaling standard definition pictures, leaving them looking flat and uninvolving. This is really unexpected given the presence of JVC’s usually dependable DynaPix HD scaling engine, but I can only tell you what I’m seeing. And it isn’t good.
I admire JVC’s guts for having the audacity to even launch a custom install product like the 32WX50. And I also admire JVC for delivering such a stunning design, for packing its screen with so much set-up flexibility, and for delivering a colour palette that actually does go beyond anything I’ve seen before on a flat screen, at least during bright scenes.
But it seems that lovely slimness has come at quite a heavy price when it comes to black level response. And the extent to which the screen’s problems with motion blur can take the snap out of HD really doesn’t seem acceptable on a £2,500 screen.
All in all, this screen is ultimately a potent reminder that adding all the bells and whistles in the world won’t save you if you don’t get the basics right.
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