All a blur
We say 'apparently' because, unfortunately, we have to kick off our assessment of the LT-42WX70's picture quality with some very bad news: it suffers noticeably from motion blur, regardless of whether or not you've got the 100Hz engine engaged.
This is made all the more infuriating by the fact that the LT-42WX70's pictures would actually be extremely sharp if they didn't smear whenever something moves across the screen. Every pixel of high-definition sources is lovingly rendered during relatively static footage, while the DynaPix HD system works its customary magic on Freeview broadcasts and DVDs, filling them with extra detail.
There's plenty more positive news too. The LT-42WX70's colours are really quite stunning, benefiting from extreme vibrancy, exceptional range and breathtaking subtlety of tone and blend.
The LT-42WX70 also produces easily the most credible black levels of any JVC LCD TV so far, providing the set's rich colours and general brightness with a perfect counterpoint, and making dark film scenes look entirely believable. As with most LCD TVs, the depth of the LT-42WX70's blacks reduces if you watch it from an angle. But the extent of the contrast reduction isn't disastrous by any means.
Having secured one of JVC's optional sound bars, we're happy to report that it produces slightly better audio than you usually get from an ultra-thin TV. That said, it doesn't have enough bass and power to rival a specialist separate sound bar, or even the separate tweeter and woofer speaker system employed in Philips' latest.
We ought to add a word of caution. At the time of writing, we couldn't get JVC to confirm any launch dates for even one of its proposed external multimedia box combinations. Even the box that was supposed to be coming out first, with a built-in Freeview tuner, seems to have disappeared from view. This makes us wonder if JVC will really be able to deliver on the LT-42WX70's claimed modular functionality.
JVC's decision to develop the high-powered, innovative and flexible LT-42WX70 seems admirable on paper. But, if a company's going to charge £2,000 for a 42-inch screen, it really needs to ensure that the accessories are available at launch, and that its pictures aren't blighted by such a fundamental flaw as motion blur.
Edited by Charles Kloet