JVC HD-52Z575 52-inch Rear-Projection HDTV

The venerable CRT - a fixture of TV since its first days - is now being edged out by brighter, lighter, thinner technologies like plasma and LCD panels. There are also front- and rear-projection TVs with light engines that magnify images from LCD and DLP microdisplays.

Fast Facts

DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 49 7/8 x 36 x 16 1/4 inches WEIGHT 84 pounds PRICE $4,500 MANUFACTURER JVC, jvc.com, 800-526-5308

Key Features
• 52-inch (diagonal) 16:9 screen • Three-chip D-ILA projection system • 1,280 x 720 native resolution • HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) input • side inputs composite/S-video with stereo audio • rear inputs HDMI; 2 component-video, 2 S-video, 3 composite video, all with stereo audio; antenna/cable; center-channel audio • rear outputs stereo analog audio; subwoofer

But there's yet another technology vying for your video dollar: LCoS, or liquid crystal on silicon. LCoS is a relative newcomer, and it's had a few growing pains. As in Digital Light Processing (DLP) TVs, light is reflected from the surface of the LCoS microdisplay, through magnifying optics, and onto the screen. LCoS has advantages like high brightness and a seamless image because of closer spacing between pixels.

LCoS-based light engines are tough to manufacture, though. Several companies that tried making them - including Philips, RCA, Toshiba, and Intel - have thrown in the towel. Still, JVC is convinced that LCoS (which it calls D-ILA, for Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier) is the future. (When we noticed color problems on the first set we received, we were ready to pin them on an unperfected technology. But we swapped that set for a second sample, which worked fine. We later learned that our early-production model had a technical problem, since resolved, unrelated to LCoS.)

JVC's 52-inch HD-52Z575 rear-projection HDTV monitor uses three imaging chips, each with a native resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels - the same as competing DLPs but slightly less than competing LCDs. On paper, this TV seems as capable as any in its class.