Turning to other matters, the 32DE9BJ provides a reasonably attractive home for its Freeview Playback functions, thanks to a slightly retro style wrapped up by a distinctive little blue light stripe underneath the JVC logo.
Connectivity is passable, I guess, thanks to the provision of three HDMIs and a digital audio output alongside all the other TV essentials. But I have to say I was rather surprised to find no D-Sub PC jack provided; pretty much every other TV around now supports PC as well as video use, so this has to count as quite a strike against the 32DE9BJ.
There are a trio of disappointments lurking in the TV’s specifications, though. For starters, its maximum contrast ratio of 5500:1 looks significantly lower than the sort of figures we’re now coming to expect from 32in LCD TVs. Though as ever, it’s worth pointing out that such figures can be measured in different ways, and so are notoriously unreliable.
Another thing some folk might hold against the 32DE9BJ is the fact that it doesn’t have a full HD resolution, instead topping out at an ‘HD Ready’ 1366x768. However, we reckon there’s actually sense in this resolution decision given the TV’s obvious Freeview bias, since 1366x768 panels commonly deliver better picture quality with standard definition digital broadcasts than full HD ones.
One rather less forgivable factor in the 32DE9BJ’s makeup is that it can’t take 1080p feeds. Setting our Sony Blu-ray player to 1080p resulted in a depressing blank screen, with the image only appearing when we switched the output down to 1080i. We guess JVC might argue that 1080p just isn’t necessary on a 32in screen, and they might have a point. But we’d still like it to be there, all the same!
Probably the main potential plus point for the TV’s pictures is its carriage of JVC’s DynaPix Plus Picture Engine. This contains elements for enhanced upscaling of standard definition sources, boosting colours, and improving contrast - though it’s a level down from the DynaPix HD system JVC saves for its full HD LCD TVs.
Starting our tests with a look at the 32DE9BJ’s simple picture performance, we find a lot of good work undone by a single aggravating problem, which I'll come to in a moment.
Probably the most significant strength of the TV’s pictures is their sharpness and detail. The DynaPix system really does a great job of making standard definition sources look crisp and surprisingly noiseless, while HD sources are stunningly full of texture and fine detail. In fact, during a run-through of test-room favourite Casino Royale on Blu-ray, detail levels during the early free running sequence are as high as I’ve ever seen them on a 32in TV.