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JVC HD-Z575 review: JVC HD-Z575

Editor's note: The information below is based on the last of three review samples sent to CNET, which JVC says now accurately represents the models currently on the market (hey, third time's the charm). Given our experience, you should be aware that HD-52Z575s with earlier manufacturing dates may exhibit different performance from that of the model reviewed below.

Our first impression of the JVC HD-52Z575 was, "Damn, that's bright." Its light output outdoes that of any TV we've tested, which means that the set should do very well competing with ambient light in brightly lit rooms. Unfortunately, even its Theater Pro 6,500K mode looked extremely blue before calibration. Afterward, the TV's grayscale was much improved (see the geek box below).

We set up the JVC next to a couple of competing microdisplay televisions, the DLP-powered Samsung HL-P5085W and the LCD-powered Hitachi 50VS810, to evaluate its image quality. We turned first to our trusty Alien disc to check out how the JVC handled darker material. The JVC's deepest black looked a bit lighter than the Hitachi's and significantly lighter than the Samsung's. On the JVC, the darkness of space also exhibited some video noise, which appeared as small, crawling motes in the black. This noise increased substantially when we watched with 480i sources and was significantly reduced when we fed the set an HDMI image via Sony's DVP-NS975V.

The lack of uniformity that we noticed on the first and second review samples, which caused certain areas of the screen to appear discolored, was largely gone from the third. Fields of white and gray still weren't quite as even as they were on the Samsung, but they evinced less discoloration than when displayed on the Hitachi.

A big plus in the JVC's favor was that it delivered accurate color with very little red push. For example, we were able to fully saturate the image and still achieve accurate-looking skin tones on Ripley and her crew as they emerged from hibernation. We also noticed that even when examined closely, white areas showed less signs of visible pixel structure than on the other two sets, making for an image that looked smoother from close seating distances.

On the other hand, we saw that the white text on the black background had a blue fringe, which was also evident on vertical edges and other lines when examined closely. In addition, yellow fringing occurred along the bottom of horizontal lines. The set's geometry suffered from noticeable vertical pincushioning, which made 4:3 side bars, for example, appear wider at the bottom than at the top.

Turning to high-def material, we watched a little of the video montage from the D-VHS version of Digital Video Essentials at 720p. Detail was quite good, although just a bit softer than on the other two sets. For example, links in the chain on the ferry as it motored across New York Harbor appeared a tad less distinct. Multiburst test patterns from that tape backed up our findings; the set could barely resolve a 14MHz pattern, while the other two sets could. The differences were minor, however, and only visible in side-by-side tests. HDTV on the JVC, particularly via HDMI (which again cleaned up video noise considerably), generally looked excellent, and here too colors appeared accurate and well saturated.

Before color temp (20/100)8,584/8,336KPoor
After color temp (20/100)6,511/6,502KGood
Before grayscale variation 20 to 100 IRE+/- 1,851KPoor
After grayscale variation 20 to 100 IRE+/- 60KGood
Color decoder error: red0%Good
Color decoder error: green-5%Good
DC restorationAll patterns stableGood
2:3 pull-down, 24fpsYGood
Defeatable edge enhancementYGood

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