Not long ago JVC impressed us with its 26-inch LT-26DX7 LCD, which costs around £100 more than this larger 32-inch model. This makes us wonder what's missing from this set. A sense of style to start with. Compared to the DX7's sleek black finish, this set's grey chassis is just dull. So the LT-32DR7's hardly a thing of beauty, and it holds more disappointments.
JVC has only fitted one HDMI and two Scarts (albeit both RGB-enabled). For HDTV watchers a single HDMI is limiting, as it only provides a digital link to one HD source. The set does have component video jacks which can be used to feed HD signals, but this analogue connection is not as versatile as to a HDMI. This TV does have a common interface slot for Top Up TV's pay-TV CAM and smartcard combo.
The LT-32DR7 lacks JVC's excellent MaxxBass and Parametric Equaliser audio features. These sound like gimmicks, but provide a realistic simulated surround sound from two speakers. These are two of our favourite things about JVC's TVs, so they're missed here.
JVC hasn't cut back everything though. The LT-32DR7 has two powerful 10W speakers, and the excellent Dynapix picture-processing system. That said the company has cut back in one other thing: the TV's panel.
Feed this LCD with 1080i TV and the HD picture isn't bad: detail is good and colours are bright, but aren't unrealistic. But motion causes break ups, and noise and grain appear in dark areas. Nightwatch's DVD, upscaled to 1080i, revealed more break-ups and an annoying level of picture noise. We're sure this TV's LCD panel is a leftover from last year's ranges, because it isn't capable of letting Dynapix do its job.
Speaker performance is also mixed: good midranges give sharp dialogue when watching TV, but poor bass levels leave movie soundtracks lacklustre. While £900 for an HD-ready TV is a good price, this LCD can only handle one digital HD feed, and the picture quality falls short of the JVC LT- 26DX7. But if you want a bargain HD-ready TV, you could do worse.