Another strength of the 32DR1BJ’s pictures is their colour response. For the set achieves a really likeable combination of aggressively full saturations and surprising tonal expressiveness and subtlety. This helps pictures spring to life and hold your attention much more readily than is common on affordable 32in TVs.
It helps, too, that the rich colours just described are given a strong counterpoint by a black level response from the 32DR1BJ that’s far, far better than I’d expected to see. JVC has traditionally struggled to get past the grey clouding issue common with LCD sources, yet here, while it hasn’t been completely, miraculously obliterated overnight, it’s kept in check sufficiently well that it only becomes a concern – and a minor one at that – during the very darkest of scenes.
I guess if I was to be picky I would like to see a little more shadow detail in the picture’s darkest areas, for sometimes they can look a little hollow and one-dimensional versus the strikingly three-dimensional appearance of bright image elements.
The sound accompanying the 32DR1BJ’s pictures is, well, a bit odd, frankly. The speakers are to some extent very powerful, able to pump out far more raw volume than the majority of other small to mid-sized LCD TVs. The problem is, this focus on power shows no understanding of or care for other key audio elements whatsoever. And so the extreme volumes you can achieve leave treble information sounding painfully exposed and harsh, bass muddy and prone to causing the speakers to distort, and vocals frequently overwhelmed by the general messiness of the rest of the soundstage.
This wouldn’t all be so bad if the TV provided more finesse and control over the set’s volume, but the set seems to go from too quiet to too loud bizarrely quickly as you press up and down on the volume control.
It’s great to see JVC making real strides forward when it comes to black level response – especially as this new improvement joins forces with JVC’s traditional strengths when it comes to resolution. When it’s at its best, the 32DR1BJ really can deliver some pretty spectacular pictures.
It’s just a shame there are signs of motion blur and judder together with a rather cheap-sounding audio system to keep our feet on the ground.