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JVC LT-42DR9BJ review: JVC LT-42DR9BJ

The Good Aggressively priced; retro design; exceptionally crisp HD pictures.

The Bad Standard-def pictures aren't the best; limited black levels; no 100Hz.

The Bottom Line JVC's LT-42DR9BJ is a perfectly respectable, but not spectacular, performer. With Panasonic's superb Viera TH-42PX80 plasma TV now available for under £700, some of the wind has been taken out of the 42DR9BJ's sails, even though it, unlike the Panasonic set, offers full HD resolution

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6.5 Overall

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You don't have to look far to spot the shelf appeal of JVC's LT-42DR9BJ.

At around just £750, it's exceptionally affordable for a 42-inch LCD TV with a full HD resolution. But has it cut too many corners elsewhere?

Positives
Besides its appealing combination of price and full HD resolution, the 42DR9BJ is also a rather attractive TV -- so long, at least, as your tastes run to retro. Its glossy black finish, harsh rectangular sculpting and elongated, bright blue power light look like something straight out of the 1980s.

There's good news concerning the 42DR9BJ's connections, too, as we uncovered three HDMIs and a digital audio output alongside most of the usual analogue-based stuff.

Given how cheap it is, we really didn't expect to find the 42DR9BJ sporting any image-processing technology of significance. In fact, however, it's the proud owner of JVC's DynaPix HD system, designed to work on colours, contrast and fine detailing.

Other noteworthy features include an MPEG noise-reduction system, a 'Digi Pure' contrast-optimisation system, and the ability to play 1080p/24 sources -- something that some recent JVC TVs have notably lacked.

The best news of all about the 42DR9BJ, however, is that its unexpected bag of video-processing tricks really does help it produce some very good pictures. As anticipated, their single greatest strength is their sharpness with HD material, as the DynaPix HD engine helps the full HD screen bring out every little pixel of detail from even the most precise and textured of HD sources.

The processing also helps standard-definition pictures look much sharper than usual, while colours with standard definition and HD alike are terrifically vivid and richly saturated.

Turning to the 42DR9BJ's audio, the set manages to produce a really powerful, bass-strong and dynamic sound stage -- thanks in no small measure, we imagine, to the TV's use of JVC's sterling MaxxBass audio system.

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