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JVC LT-55CF890 Fire TV Edition Review

Verdict

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If you’re looking for a TV with Alexa integration, the JVC LT-55CF890 is for you. Otherwise, the cluttered OS and a handful of issues with the image quality might just put you off.

Pros

  • Alexa
  • Colours appear natural and realistic
  • Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus apps available

Cons

  • The Fire TV OS is packed with Amazon ads
  • The latency is very poor

Availability

  • UKRRP: £499.99

Key Features

  • HDR supportSupport for Dolby Vision and HLG
  • Smart interfaceFire TV platform offers apps and streaming service
  • DTS HD and DTS Virtual XOffers more immersive audio
  • Voice remoteSupports handsfree control with Alexa
  • Alexa Skills and smart homeControl your smart home from the TV

The JVC LT-55CF890 Fire TV Edition is a 55-inch display that’s proudly Amazon. 

The Fire TV platform is packed with perks for Amazon users from Alexa suggestions to smart home control and Prime Video recommendations. 

The 4K display supports Dolby Vision and HLG HDR formats, and the speakers take advantage of both DTS HD and DTS Virtual X audio. But, how does it perform?

JVC LT-55CF890
  • Black and silver design 
  • Alexa support is built into the remote 

The JVC LT-55CF890 features a 55-inch screen bordered by a slim and shiny black bezel. that also features an accented silver finish at its bottom that matches the JVC’s silver stand, which helps the TV look a little less basic.

The stand offers a stylish touch, but it does jut forward, so if you need to squeeze a soundbar onto your TV stand you may want to double-check the measurements to ensure it will fit in front of the TV. 

JVC LT-55CF890

Included with the TV is a compact remote that resembles the Alexa Voice Remote available with Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, both in terms of the circular navigation button and the smaller playback controls. The remote also includes volume and channel controls, shortcut buttons for apps and streaming services including Netflix and Prime Video, and a microphone button to summon Alexa. 

Being a Fire TV, the LT-55CF890 can be controlled almost entirely by Amazon’s voice assistant. This includes launching apps, searching for shows, playing music, switching between inputs and controlling your smart home hands-free. You can even hold the microphone button and ask Alexa to find you something new to watch by asking her to search specific genres for you. 

JVC LT-55CF890

The TV features four HDMI ports (one ARC compatible), one composite input, two USB 2.0 ports, one optical port and a headphone jack. 

  • Amazon-centric interface
  • Plenty of apps, including Apple TV and Disney Plus 
  • Access to Alexa skills and smart home management 

One roadblock you might face with this TV is that you’ll need an Amazon account to set it up. The setup process and updates were also a slow and tedious process – but once you’re in, the TV and the features it offers are broad and easy to use. 

JVC LT-55CF890

The LT-55CF890 features the old Fire TV interface and not the all-new Fire TV experience available on some of its streamers. It’s large and straightforward to navigate with tabs for the home screen, live TV, your videos, movies, TV, apps and settings.

One downside to the interface is that it’s over-saturated with Amazon content, with ads for Prime shows, movie rentals and deals for other Amazon services, such as Audible. If you’re immersed in Amazon’s eco-system or a loyal Prime subscriber, you might appreciate the recommendations; but for everyone else, they’re likely to prove annoying. 

Unlike some smart TVs on the market, the LT-55CF890 supports the Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus apps. Other channels and streaming services available include Netflix, Amazon’s own Prime Video, ITV Hub and Channel 4, as well as broadcast TV via satellite and apps for YouTube, TED, Twitch, BBC Sounds and more. You can also access Alexa Skills and control your smart home from the TV. 

One place the JVC does trip up is in its latency. Even in its built-in Game mode, the TV displays a lag of 42ms. The result was even worse than the 33.8ms achieved by the Hisense A7100, which doesn’t have a game mode at all. 

  • The colours are dark and realistic 
  • Upscaling seems to wash out colours 
  • The latency is slower than average 

The LT-55CF890 offers a smooth picture quality with punchy and realistic colours. A scene from His Dark Materials played via BBC iPlayer demonstrates the TV’s natural grasp on colour, from the green in the grass to the orange tones in a ginger beard – a shot that looked comparatively washed out and yellow when tackled by rivals models such as the Hisense 50A7100FTUK.

The blacks are also deeper than those produced by the Hisense, which suffered an odd green tinge, and the skin tones are warmer and more textured thanks to the red tones that come through in the cheeks and lips. 

The colours are consistently dark and vibrant in other shows and movies, too. A 4K Blu-ray of Guardians of the Galaxy is packed with deep golds, blues, greens and blacks, giving it a bold and expressive feel that matches the tone of the comedic superhero movie.

JVC LT-55CF890

Upscaling is somewhat disappointing. While the image is sharp, colours appear washed out compared with the TV’s handling of native 4K content.

At first, I tested this feature on a 1080p Blu-ray of The Martian, before moving on to a 480p and then an HD version of Arrested Development. Colours looked rather drab, which made the image less lifelike, although the upscaling overall was smoother and less noisy than that I experienced with the Hisense 50A7100FTUK. 

  • The TV features DTS HD and DTS Virtual X audio 
  • Sound is large and balanced 
  • It could be improved with a soundbar 

The JVC LT-55CF890 features two 20W speakers that support DTS HD and DTS Virtual:X. Unlike the 50- and 65-inch models, there’s no Dolby Audio. However, DTS Virtual:X does a good job of creating a large, immersive sound. 

Unlike the Hisense 50A7100FTUK, the LT-55CF890 doesn’t need to be cranked up to high volumes to get the most out of its sound. The TV also presents a more balanced audio experience, with the background sounds remaining at a more suitable level behind the dialogue, rather than fighting for the spotlight in shows such as His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer.

JVC LT-55CF890

While the JVC offers decent audio for its price, it isn’t anything a soundbar won’t improve upon. If you’re looking for a large sound that doesn’t come across as cluttered or overbearing, you’ll be happy with this TV’s audio performance – but investing in a separate soundbar is the easiest way to boost the sound performance on offer here.

Should you buy it?

You love Alexa If you rely on Alexa in your day-to-day life, you’ll appreciate the voice assistance button on the remote, as well as the ability to control your smart home and access Alexa Skills right from your TV.

You’re not a fan of Amazon While you don’t necessarily need a Prime account to use this TV, if you’re not big on Amazon products then you’re likely to find the Prime Video and Audible ads cluttering the OS a little annoying.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a TV with Alexa integration, the JVC LT-55CF890 is for you. Otherwise, the cluttered OS and a handful of issues with the image quality might just put you off.

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FAQs

What is Fire TV?

Fire TV is the operating system Amazon uses for its TV line, allowing you to access TV, movies, apps and more.

Does the JVC LT-55CF890 support Alexa?

Yes, this TV offers built-in support for Alexa voice commands and smart home controls.

Specs

UK RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Size (Dimensions)
Size (Dimensions without stand)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
Resolution
HDR
Types of HDR
Refresh Rate TVs
Ports
HDMI (2.1)
Audio (Power output)
Colours
Display Technology

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