And there’s more. For the HDMIs can handle the 1080p format growing in importance with the arrival of HD discs. However, surprisingly this 1080p support only covers 50/60Hz, and doesn’t extend to the ‘pure’ 1080p/24fps format now being delivered directly from Blu-ray and HD DVD discs by one or two HD players.
More mundane but still useful other connections, meanwhile, include a D-Sub PC port, component video jacks, and a digital audio output for passing on soundtracks received via the HDMIs.
The 42DV8’s key screen specifications, meanwhile, kick off with a ‘full HD’ native pixel count of 1,920 x 1,080 – a figure that matches perfectly, of course, the native resolution of the vast majority of the UK’s HD sources.
Considerably less promising, though, is the 42DV8’s claimed contrast ratio of 1000:1. This really is very low by today’s standards, and is a result of the fact that the 42DV8 does not carry any form of dynamic backlight, whereby the screen’s lamp output is reduced during dark scenes to boost black level response. The omission of such a feature on such an otherwise ambitious TV is as disappointing as it is frankly bizarre. Only time will tell how badly it damages the 42DV8’s chances.
Certainly out to limit the damage, at any rate, is a high-spec version of JVC’s impressive DynaPix image processing engine. The DynaPix HD version used here includes Digital Image Scaling Technology (DIST) for adding extra detail and cleaner image rescaling, as well as extensive colour management systems and an automatic contrast adjustment dubbed ‘Digipure’.
As we settle down to watch the 42DV8 in action, one immediate plus that leaps out at you is how successful its 100Hz processing is. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that it’s the best 100Hz implementation we’ve yet seen – as you might hope from the company that first ‘invented’ 100Hz for CRT televisions.
And so objects really do move across the screen with a crispness and fluidity not seen with TVs that don’t have 100Hz. Also, crucially, there appear to be none of the common nasty 100Hz side effects such as ghosting, blocking or smearing. The JVC’s 100Hz effort just looks totally natural and unforced – which is exactly how we like it, and exactly how other manufacturers ought to be getting it.
Kudos must also go to the efforts of DynaPix HD in delivering both every tiny pixel of detail and sharpness from HD sources and also upping the clarity of standard definition sources – at least where those standard def sources are of a passably decent quality in the first place.