This is a flat plate carrying an inorganic reflective polarising surface along with aluminium strips positioned along the top that hugely reduce the angle dependency of the polarised light that hits the plate, resulting in far less contrast-ruining light being ‘spilt’ into the rest of the optical array.
The second innovation is a new ‘smoothing’ manufacturing process JVC has developed to reduce imperfections in the alignment of liquid crystals, further reducing the amount of light that seeps into the optical system rather than finding its way to its proper home: on your home cinema screen.
The HD1’s connections are conspicuously HD friendly, as you’d expect, and include two HDMIs and a component video port. There are also S-Video and composite video options for anyone silly enough to use them, plus, crucially, a nine-pin jack that allows the projector to fit into a full home automation system – just the job for the custom install market JVC is doubtless keen to court with the HD1.
There are a couple of jacks the HD1 lacks that we would have liked to have seen: a D-Sub PC port and a 12v trigger jack for driving a powered screen. But the lack of D-Sub is at least made bearable by the fact that the HDMIs can take PC feeds.
The HDMIs can also take every HD format we can think of, including the 1080p/24fps one commonly used to master movies onto HD discs. But JVC has also gone the extra mile to ensure that the HD1 isn’t only HD’s friend by equipping it with Gennum’s acclaimed GP9351 video processor, which should prove very handy when it comes to upscaling non-HD material to the HD1’s high pixel count.
If your brain is struggling to keep up with some of the rather technical stuff we’ve inevitably been going over so far, fear not: the HD1 is actually remarkably easy to set up and use for such a sophisticated unit. The on-screen menus are attractive and logically presented, and helpful features like an x2 optical zoom, horizontal/vertical image shift and keystone correction all make the HD1 pretty easy to adapt to a wide variety of room shapes and sizes.
In fact, arguably the HD1’s biggest obstacle to easy living room integration is its sheer size; it’s really quite a large unit, a fact which not even its reasonably glamorous black finish can disguise.
Once you’ve seen what the HD1 can do for you, though, we reckon you’ll be willing to do just about anything necessary to accommodate one in your home. For its picture quality is nothing short of stunning.