The 42DV8’s colours win hearts and minds too, by combining an unusual intensity that really makes the image feel exceptionally solid with vivid but generally natural tones. Plus colour blends are unusually fine thanks to the TV’s full HD resolution.
This all adds up to a TV with colours as at home with the giddy excesses of Viva Pinata on the Xbox 360 as they are with the subtle moodiness of the endless dark scenes in Poseidon on HD DVD.
So why have we only granted the 42DV8 an overall score of 8? For the simple reason that while its 100Hz almost entirely negates one of LCD’s traditional technological shortcomings, the TV falls foul of two others.
The first of these, as we’d thought may be the case, is black level response. No amount of 100Hz magic can disguise the fact that during dark scenes you have to squint through a layer of grey mist at the action going on behind. Inevitably this also leaves dark scenes looking rather short of depth, and even produces the odd off-tune colour amidst the JVC’s otherwise exemplary palette.
The other area where the 42DV8 could be improved is viewing angle. For if you watch it from much of an angle to left or right, you’ll have to put up with some pretty drastic reductions in colour saturations and contrast range.
Where the 42DV8 is pretty much flawless, though, is with its audio. The speakers that jut out from the bottom edge are unfeasibly powerful considering how unassuming they look, pumping out a soundstage of exceptional size packed with detail, clarity, clear and believable voices, and even that rarest of flat TV commodities, a healthy dollop of bass.
With the right source material, the 42DV8 is a rival for any other flat TV out there right now. And its 100Hz engine is actually the best we’ve seen.
It’s just a pity that its black level problems mean that it only looks its best for some rather than all of the time.