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JVC HD-56ZR7J review: JVC HD-56ZR7J

The Good HD pictures look amazingly detailed; sound is great; price is very tempting.

The Bad Black levels aren't the best; pictures can look noisy at times; only one HDMI; no digital tuner.

The Bottom Line There's no doubt that the JVC HD-56ZR7J has its faults -- not least some underwhelming black levels and the provision of just a single HDMI. Yet it's still worth considering simply for giving you 56 inches of occasionally superb hi-def pictures for under £1,800

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7.5 Overall

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For many home cinema fans, the barrier to owning a really big screen is cost, not space. So on the surface at least, the rear-projection JVC HD-56ZR7J seems to have a huge amount of potential.

After all, how many flat TVs are there out there offering 56 inches of pictures for under £1,800? Exactly.

Even though this is a rear-projection TV, it doesn't look like one. The rear is pretty slim by rear-pro standards and the design cunningly gives the impression that there's actually no rear at all.

Inside the 56ZR7J resides a proprietary JVC technology called the Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier (D-ILA). This is a refinement of the more widely used Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology, with the advantages of being able to use very small pixels to reduce visible gaps in the image and produce deeper black levels.

Helping the D-ILA system hopefully deliver on its promise, meanwhile, is JVC's usually respectable DynaPix image-processing system, which, among other things, boosts fine detail levels and improves contrast handling.

When it's firing on all cylinders with some tasty HD source material, the D-ILA/DynaPix combination produces formidable results. Particularly remarkable is how scintillatingly sharp high-definition pictures can look, with levels of detail that not only shows off the HD glories of pristine Blu-ray transfers such as Casino Royale, but actually reveal some subtleties in the image that we hadn't noticed before.

It does no harm in this regard, of course, that the 56ZR7J sports a 'Full HD' pixel count of 1,920x1,080, enabling it to show the top-notch 1080p format.

The set's colours, meanwhile, thanks to an exceptionally high brightness output by rear-pro standards, are vibrant and strong, but also unusually expressive, natural and subtly blended.

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