televisions

JVC LT-32J300 LCD HDTV Review

32 in.

The JVC LT-32J300 is a pretty vanilla set. Other than the USB port, there isn't a lot to draw users in.

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Blacks & Whites

Blacks & Whites Summary
{{article.attachments['jvc-lt-32j300-vanity.jpg']}}• Has dynamic backlighting that can't be turned off, which contributes to a poor black level and white falloff. • Capable of a bright display. • Testing done with DisplayMate.
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Calibration Page 4 of 16 Color Accuracy {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

Black Level*(5.16)*


The LT-32J300 has a black level of 0.37 candelas per square meter. This isn't a particularly deep black level, even for an LCD. In most instances, a high black level means you'll lose a lot of detail in dark scenes, since you lose granularity amongst the different shades of black.

The LT-32J300 is actually capable of a black level of 0.1 cd/m2, but obtains it through questionable means. If about 85% or more of the screen is black, the backlights begin to dim dynamically. This could be done as a power-saving precaution, or it could be done as a means of cheating on contrast ratio. Either way, users should be able to turn it off, but they can't.

Dynamic backlighting is bad for the same reasons any dynamically changing picture adjustment is bad: it never ends in an unquestionably good result. Sure, a dynamic backlight will allow you to get deep blacks in a very dark scene, but the area that isn't dark will look noticeably muted.

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Peak Brightness*(8.58)*


Peak brightness is very important, as anyone who's ever had a TV near a light source can tell you. Brightness helps prevent the picture from looking washed out when external light is shining at the screen. In general, you want a TV with 250 cd/m2 or higher to help the picture remain unaffected by most. Typically LCDs have an advantage on this test (versus a plasma TV), since they use backlights.

The LT-32J300 was capable of outputting 323.4 cd/m2, which is a good level. This is an above average peak brightness; you should have no troubles with external light washing out your picture.

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Contrast*(5.82)*


Contrast refers to the ratio of brightest white to deepest black. Since the TV wasn't capable of producing particularly low black levels, it didn't come out with a great contrast ratio. In fact, the LT-32J300's contrast ratio result was quite a bit below average. Poor contrast is definitely something the average consumer would notice. If you plan on watching movies with the audacity to put bright colors next to dark ones, the LT-32J300 will balk.

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Tunnel Contrast*(7.69)*


For this test, we display a screen that's part solid black, part solid white, and alter the percentages of each. What we're looking for are any changes in the black level.Theoretically, black levels shouldn't waver, regardless of whether it's taking up 10% or 90% of the screen.

For the most part, the JVC LT-32J300 did well. When the majority of the screen was black, however, the black level dropped significantly. This is because of the dynamic brightness issue we discussed in the black level section above. Other than this issue, which will only manifest itself in specific circumstances, there isn't much to complain about.

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White Falloff*(3.03)*


This test is about the same as the tunnel contrast test, only we're looking at the white's levels instead of the black's. This test is a great example of why dynamic brightness is bad. Look at what happens to the white when most of the screen is black. See how it just kind of dwindles down to incredibly low levels? If you're watching a bright object against a dark background, you'll end up losing a lot of detail.

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Uniformity*(8.5)*


A screen that is uniform will be free from blemishes and uneven lighting. On the LT-32J300, as with most HDTVs, the corners were dim when the screen was white and bright when the screen was black. There was a bit of cloudy blotchiness to the screen, but it was very, very faint. Overall, we thought the LT32J300 did a good job on this test. 

Greyscale Gamma*(7.29)*


This is the section where we talk about greyscale and how the TV handles it. Ideally the greyscale gamma should be logarythmic, since that's how our eyes perceive things: we notice relative differences. For example, if we had a series of greys, where each one was twice as bright as the one before it, it'd look linear: grey 2 is twice as bright as grey 1, grey 3 is twice as bright as grey 2, grey 4 is twice as bright as grey 3, and so on. Of course, relative to the starting point, you can see the progression isn't linear: grey 2 is twice as bright as grey 1, grey 3 is four times as bright as grey 1, grey 4 is eight times as bright as grey 1, etc.

In the graph below, the blue line is the best fit. The black line would ideally follow this line. As you can see, it does for the most part. Towards the bottom the blacks start to fall off quickly, but otherwise the line remains pretty true.

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Resolution Scaling*(8.37)*


There are a bunch of different formats your TV could display. The HD input from your Blu-ray will be 1080p, standard def is 480p, and you might just run into 720p content in your travels as well. We therefore test how the TV can scale different formats to its native resolution. The best TVs can upscale and downscale without any noticeable differences to users. If the TV does a bad job, however, chances are you'll notice. Quickly.

480p*(8.8)*

As mentioned above, you'll get 480p input from standard definition content. The LT-32J300 had some issues with overscanning, chopping about 2% of the screen off each side of the screen. In spite of this issue, we didn't see any other problems. All of the font we put up on the screen was very legible. 

720p*(7.8)*

We ran into the same overscanning issue here as well: 2% of the screen lopped off on each side. Here we actually had slightly more problems than with 480p, however, because small text wasn't as clear. This being said, the TV still did an above-average job with 720p content.

1080i*(8.5)*

Some of you are probably wondering how 1080i is different than 1080p. The little 'i' means interlaced, which means the TV alternates between showing only 540 alternating lines, then showing the remaining 540. Due to quick refresh rates and our human eyes' poor ability to detect quick changes, the effect is full HD resolution. The little 'p' on the other hand means progressive, which doesn't do any of this wussy 'alternating lines' garbage and just shows the entirety of the image.

Overall, we thought the 1080i content was good. We didn't see any major issues here. There was some minor green tint present in areas with think, alternating black and white lines. This was barely perceptable, however, and shouldn't be much of an annoyance.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Tour & Design
  2. Calibration
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Remote Control
  8. Audio
  9. Connectivity
  10. Menus & Interface
  11. Formats & Media
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Conclusion & Comparisons
  14. Series Comparison
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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