So far, so good. But of course, the picture mark for this TV reads ‘8′, not 10, for a couple of reasons.
For starters, motion doesn’t look particularly great on the 42DS9. There’s no 100Hz element built into the DynaPix engine, and so it’s no great surprise to find fast-moving objects or camera pans suffering with small smeary trails behind them. These were particularly evident during our Rainbow Six sessions, as turning round at speed caused smear trails as wide as a centimetre to emerge from any well-defined colour edge.
Thankfully, though, this smearing problem is not also joined to any serious extent by LCD’s tendency to lose resolution as objects pass across the screen. Also, the smearing issue intriguingly disappears almost completely while watching 1080p/24 Blu-ray feeds, leaving the 42DS9 delivering pictures that are among the very best we’ve seen from the HD disc format.
Our final issues with the 42DS9’s pictures concern some minor shimmering noise over some areas of fine detail, and the way digital tuner standard def skin tones look a bit noisy without MPEG noise suppression active, but rather plasticky if you turn the NR on.
Turning to the 42DS9’s sound, even though it doesn’t appear to have any speakers of its own, they ARE there, and they actually pack quite a punch. JVC’s MaxxBass system in particular earns its corn by delivering a really surprising amount of bass for an LCD of any sort, never mind a Super Slim one.
What’s more, the bass doesn’t overwhelm the mid-range at any point, so that vocals are always clear and believable. There’s an excellent amount of detail in the soundstage too; for instance, during ”The Italian Job” there’s a scene where Michael Caine is telling one of his crew off for worrying about his asthma, and you can hear a low-level voice on a radio in the background that many TVs don’t pick up at all.
There’s a fractionally ‘electronic’ feel to some treble information if I had to be really picky, but overall the audio results are impressive, and again give the lie to one of the performance concerns we’d had about slim TV technology.
The 42DS9 is not perfect, there’s no denying that. And we’re not convinced that the current manufacturing obsession with shaving a few centimetres off the depth of their already flat TVs is really that important. But what we can say with absolutely certainty is that the 42DS9 is a very good flat TV – especially with HD – that throws ground-breaking looks into the bargain without costing anywhere near as much as we’d expected.
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