Making this two grand saving look even more attractive is the fact that the X55 manages to deliver a startlingly wide-ranging suite of set-up tools. As well as motorised zoom (to an impressive x2 optical level), motorised image shifting (vertical and horizontal) and motorised focus, the TV’s menus include a wealth of calibration aids – right down to gamma fine tuning and a full colour management system.
JVC has saved a few quid by not pursuing the ISF and THX endorsements you get with the new X75 and X95 models, but don’t imagine from this that it’s in any way short of calibration tools.
The X55 uses the latest iteration of JVC’s D-ILA projection technology – a technology that has delivered brilliant, contrast-rich pictures for more than five years now. The new version delivers a better combination of improved brightness (1200 Lumens is quoted) and contrast (a remarkable native 50,000:1 contrast ratio), with 3D brightness in particular increased by a claimed 120% over last year’s JVC projectors.
Now that we’ve mentioned 3D, it’s worth adding that JVC also claims that a combination of improved optics and processing will significantly reduce the crosstalk ghosting flaw noted with last year’s D-ILA models.
So intrigued were we to put this claim to the test that we kicked off our main tests of the X55 by donning JVC’s 3D glasses (two pairs are included free) and sticking on our tried and tested Tangled and Avatar 3D Blu-rays.
It very soon became apparent that the X55 is far, far better with 3D than its predecessors. The pervasive amounts of crosstalk witnessed on the X30, X70 and X90 are almost completely eliminated, leaving the image looking much sharper, much more natural, and much less fatiguing.
Crosstalk hasn’t completely gone; every now and then – such as during the 3D Disney logo that runs before Tangled starts – you can see the faintest of ghostly echoes of very dark objects. But as well as only cropping up occasionally, the crosstalk issue is sufficiently faint that you don’t really notice it unless you’re specifically looking out for it.
The sense of 3D space is enhanced by the elimination of crosstalk too, and you also get a much better appreciation for the Full HD nature of active 3D playback from Blu-ray. In other words, the X55’s 3D pictures look impressively detailed and sharp. They also look richly coloured and decently bright. The latter achievement is a particular boon given the difficulties D-ILA technology has traditionally had with brightness when watching 3D.
The only thing stopping the X55 from being a delight from start to finish in 3D mode is its motion handling. Camera pans and motion across the frame can occasionally stutter momentarily, and there’s a little distracting double imaging (a sort of lag effect as opposed to 3D crosstalk). Overall, though, the X55’s 3D pictures get it off to a seriously strong start.
In some ways, though, good as they are, the X55’s 3D pictures are merely a taster for its main event: its spectacular 2D images. There are so many good points about the X55’s 2D images that its hard to know where to start breaking down what makes them tick. Given the key e-shift 2 feature, though, we guess the image’s stunning sense of sharpness and detail is as good a kick-off point as any.