With a slightly over-designed look that's at odds with the sleek, black look that's become so popular, the LT-26DA8BJ is not the best looking of the LCDs out there.

That said, it may be in the upper echelons when it comes to its price, but as far as features are concerned, the company isn't offering anything extra over the more affordable LCDs around.

Connections are reasonably extensive though. The screen is accompanied by a couple of HDMI inputs, component video inputs and a digital audio output, so three hi-def sources can be attached to it at any one time.

Pictures are treated with JVC's own DynaPix HD processing suite. Its digital image scaling technology (DIST) is responsible for increasing the amount of detail in the images, but this proves of most use when you are watching Freeview pictures from its built-in tuner.

DigiPure also plays its part, increasing contrast levels and enhancing edge sharpness constantly, while colours are generally boosted and images smoothed.

Black isn't black

A backlight can be adjusted manually, but this doesn't have the outcome JVC intended because a run-through of Hot Fuzz is partially ruined by some really quite poor black levels.

But there's still a lot to like about the LT-26DA8BJ. Its skill at reducing motion blur, where a moving image leaves a smear behind it, is one of them. Another is its ability to make standard definition pictures look far better than on most other sets of this kind. Sure, the future's hi-def, but for many people, the more mediocre visuals of SD will be their main viewing fare for some time hence.

But happily, what it offers in high definition doesn't let us down either. There's a sharpness to these pictures that's outstanding, with every iota of detail clearly visible on its 1366 x 768 pixel screen.

Even better, the well above average speakers also make it worth a listen.

If you're only going to watch the odd HD DVD or Blu-ray disc, the JVC LT-26DA8BJ could be the best all-rounder you'll find on the shelves. Movie fans might worry about those black levels though.