Unique styling doesn't make up for the average picture quality, and the EPG isn't as user-friendly as other TVs.
42in, Freeview, analogue, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 3D: , 3x HDMI
JVC’s LT-42DV1BJ has a refreshingly idiosyncratic design that looks like it was lifted from the set of a 70’s sci-fi movie. The rear and sides of the case are finished in an off-white matt plastic, while the bezel has a leather-effect black plastic finish. The luxury look is finished off by the chrome-effect stand, which is in the shape of an X – quite unlike the solid plinths that other TVs use.
The rear of the case is well laid out, with the most commonly used ports – TV aerial, HDMI inputs and S/PDIF output – facing downwards so cables won’t get in the way of a wall-mounting bracket. A separate compartment, hidden under a removable flap, contains inputs for SCART and component video, which face sideways. So while the LT-42DV1BJ has the prettiest rear we’ve seen on a TV, it’s also one of the most convenient to mount on a wall.
The remote control is made of the same black and white plastic as the TV, with metallic controls for volume, channel and menu navigation. It’s actually a universal remote – a Mode button lets you choose between controlling the TV or other devices such as set-top boxes, optical disc players and AV amplifiers, and the manual includes a huge list of device codes for popular models.
We were less impressed by the EPG, which shows 10 channels at a time but only lists the programmes for the currently selected channel. You can filter by genre, browse seven days into the future and set reminders, but there’s lots of wasted space on the screen. The interface is clunky and relies on an ambiguous selection mechanism that confused us at first – when we tried to change channel to watch a programme, it prompted us to set a reminder even though the programme had already started.
Image settings are thin on the ground, with basic image controls presented alongside meaningless names such as Super Digipure and Smart Picture. In most cases we didn’t see a difference by turning these on. Image quality in our Blu-ray tests was superb though with great colours and good contrast. Our only concern was with the excessive edge sharpening which made everything look over-processed.
The great colours extended to Freeview broadcasts, but the LT-42DV1BJ’s noise reduction didn’t do a good job of removing the compression artefacts that are noticeable when watching Freeview on a large TV. DVD upscaling was much better, with no ghosting and good anti-aliasing. In our PC tests (using an HDMI cable), we had to change the aspect ratio to Full Native to get the TV to show the entire desktop, but colours were accurate and text was readable.
There’s a USB port on the left side of the TV that accepts flash drives but not external USB hard disks that require power. The picture viewer supports only JPEG files and the music player only MP3 files, but it’s handy if you have a camera or MP3 player with a USB attachment and want to quickly preview a song or photo.
We really liked the LT-42DV1BJ’s stylish case and well thought-out design, and there’s no doubt it would look great hanging on anyone’s wall, but unfortunately the picture quality isn’t as good as other models here, and tended to look over-processed. Toshiba’s Regza 42XV635DB may be uglier, but it’s better value.
|Contrast ratio||1,400:1 (1,000,000:1 dynamic)|
|Stand size (WxD)||489x280mm|
|Audio outputs||optical S/PDIF out|
|Other||headphone output, CI slot, USB slot|
|Tuner type||Freeview, analogue|
|Power consumption standby||0W|
|Power consumption on||221W|
|Warranty||one year RTB|