JVC LT-32DA8BJ review

The price is tempting; pity about the black levels

TechRadar Verdict

Above-average pictures and a good price, but black levels are the bugbear


  • +

    Strong list of features


    Produces sharp, crisp images


  • -

    Weak black levels

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If we've grumbled at the price of JVC LCD TVs in the past, we're eating our words right now. The LT-32DA8BJ weighs in at a slender £700, which is exceptionally good value. Exceptionally good value, if this 32in model cuts the mustard against some stiff competition, that is.

The LT-32DA8BJ's specifications include a resolution of 1366 x 768, accompanied by a claimed brightness output of 500cd/m2, but a worryingly low contrast ratio of 1200:1. Whether that low contrast ratio will have a negative impact on this 32in LCD TV's picture performance remains to be seen.

Connectivity improves matters, featuring the, now standard, two HDMIs (for hooking-up hi-def kit to your HDTV), followed by component video jacks, two Scarts (both RGB-enabled) and the usual minor AV suspects (except for S-video).

Also worthy of note is the digital audio output, for sending digital audio tracks received through the HDMIs to an AV receiver, and a CAM slot, alerting our attention to the TV's built-in digital tuner.

There's no PC VGA connection, however, which means a HDMI will have to be used if the LT-32DA8BJ is to work as a PC monitor.

Apart from the digital tuner (complete with seven-day EPG support), another important feature at the LT-32DA8BJ's disposal is JVC's latest bundle of picture-processing cleverness, huddled under the DynaPix umbrella.

Digital Image Scaling Technology (DIST) stands tallest here, a sophisticated scaling system that adds extra fine detail as it processes, and is supposed to work particularly well with standard-def material. Black level correction routines, noise reduction and colour management are also part of the DynaPix package.

Once we get through the onscreen menus and grimace at the remote control, we soon discover that the LT-32DA8BJ is capable of a great many things, but it can't nail all the key areas.

Dynamic DynaPix

The positive aspects of the picture start with sharpness: using our test HD DVD of Hot Fuzz, we were impressed with the crispness of the pictures. Standard-def pictures also look sharper than we're used to on many a screen of this size, thanks, no doubt, to DynaPix strutting its stuff.

The LT-32DA8BJ is also a capable handler of motion, evidenced by the hilarious scene where Nick Frost tumbles through the garden fences, with images clinging onto a decent amount of resolution.

Other strengths number good brightness levels, richly saturated colours, likeable pure peak whites, and the LT-32DA8BJ's ability to suppress grain and dot crawl from analogue and digital broadcasts.

The black levels, yet again, trip up this 32in HD-ready LCD TV. Areas of the picture that should look black are afflicted with greying over, reducing the dramatic impact of pictures significantly. Because of these black level problems, colour tones can also be unconvincing during dark scenes.

Too much grey

The LT-32DA8BJ redeems itself a little with a robust audio performance, but black levels have scuppered this TV's chance of a medal today.

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