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JVC LT-37DG8 review

JVC gets its gloves off and joins the budget bust-up

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Our Verdict

This may be a bit of a 'bare bones' TV but, despite some compromises, pictures impress and the price is right too

For

  • Decent pictures

    Impressive price

Against

  • Black levels a bit weak

Having often struggled to keep pace with the endless price-slashing antics of its rivals, JVC has finally got down and dirty with the budget boys with the LT-37DG8: a 37in LCD TV costing a mere £900.

Of course, achieving such a lowly price comes with compromises attached. For starters it's an HD Ready, 1366 x 768 screen rather than a Full HD one. Also, it has no 1080p support through its two HDMI sockets, and unusually doesn't sport any D-Sub PC connectivity.

Part of the process

In terms of picture processing, all initially seems well in the form of JVC's likeable DynaPix system. However, closer inspection reveals this not to be the full DynaPix HD processing found on sets further up JVC's range. It's a DynaPix Plus variant that lacks some of the HD processing power and contrast-boosting talents of its higher-spec sibling.

DynaPix Plus does still deliver, mind you, JVC's Digital Image Scaling Technology (DIST) for better scaling of different resolution sources to the TV's native pixel count, plus colour management tools.

The LT-37DG8's bland onscreen menus contain precious few tweaks and tricks, with really only a 'Digipure' automatic contrast optimiser catching the eye.

It's quite a relief then that, even without reams of fancy picture processing features, the LT-37DG8 produces some very likeable images for the price.

With a Blu-ray disc of Con Air, we are particularly struck by how effectively the JVC reproduces the film's extremely rich colour saturations during the external shots at Lerner Airfield.

Also extremely commendable is the amount of fine detail the LT-37DG8's images contain. The Con Air Blu-ray transfer is one of the sharpest and cleanest we've seen, yet the LT-37DG8 captures the full clarity of even very textured shots like those of the scrapped airplanes surrounding the big Lerner Airfield shoot out.

Surprisingly, the clarity only diminishes a little when there's lots of movement going on, as during the pursuit of Cyrus the Virus down the Vegas Strip. In other words, even without any 100Hz or similar processing systems, the LT-37DG8's does well at minimising LCD technology's common problem with losing resolution over moving objects.

Built for comfort

As final strengths, the LT-37DG8 is unexpectedly comfortable handling standard definition sources, and its sound is really quite powerful.

Traces of its low price do inevitably show through, though. Black level shortcomings, for instance, mean that the night-time backdrops to the movie's Vegas Strip scenes look rather grey and flat. Also, sometimes colour tones, especially during dark scenes, can look a bit artificial.

Still, while these flaws could tempt you to try and find a bit more money to spend elsewhere, if £900 is your maximum, they certainly shouldn't be seen as deal breakers.