JVC LT-46FN97 46-inch LCD HDTV Page 3

JVC LT-46FN97 46-inch LCD HDTV RemoteOne area where I was pleasantly surprised by the JVC's picture quality was in its unusually good rendition of colors. Measurements confirmed its accurate primary colors, color decoding, and grayscale (see Test Bench), and these were borne out beautifully onscreen. The skin tones of Helen and Paris appeared natural and vibrant in the bright sunlight, and when Thetis (Julie Christie), the mother of Achilles (Brad Pitt), prophesies about his fame and death in the battle of Troy, the range of color on her skin - the sunburn on her freckled shoulder, her pale forehead - looked realistic and nicely saturated. Colors throughout the film, such as the rich blue-green of the Aegean water, the browns and green of the hillsides, the beige of the buildings, and the brilliant costumes of the Trojan court, appeared as good as I've seen on any LCD, at least in bright areas of the picture.

However, as is often the case with today's HDTVs, picture quality fell off slightly in dark scenes. During one of Achilles' trysts with Polydora (Siri Svegler), for example, I noticed that the shadows around his tent, along with the black letterbox bars, were tinged somewhat bluer than I'd have liked, although the blue wasn't as objectionable as I've seen on some LCDs. When I sat a bit to the right or the left during this scene I also noticed that, as with many LCDs, the dark areas lost brightness when viewed from the side. Dark scenes also revealed that the screen's upper right and left corners were subtly brighter than the rest, which could especially be seen when the picture faded to black. These kinds of uniformity issues are common to flat-panel LCDs and can vary set to set, but on this sample they were more noticeable than usual.

Blacks on the JVC were relatively dark, although not the depth of the best LCDs I've tested. For an LCD, shadows were well detailed in predominantly dark scenes. I could discern details in the edge of Achilles' blanket or the depths of Polydora's brown hair, for example, though when some areas of the screen were bright and others dark, some of that shadow detail in the dark areas was lost.

BOTTOM LINE On many fronts, the JVC LT-46FN97 46-inch LCD HDTV can compete with the best plasmas for home theater viewing. Its modest issues in dark scenes certainly aren't enough to spoil its appeal for most viewers, and its excellent color, detail, and TheaterPro preset will appeal to both video nuts and everyday Joes who don't want to spend hours tweaking the picture. Overall, this is a great example of the recent progress in LCD flat-panel technology.

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