capsule review

JVC HD-56FH96

At a Glance
  • JVC HD56FH96 56" LCOS ProjectionTV (16:9, HDTV)

    TechHive Rating

    Won�t accept 1080p inputs--not a big deal when such sources don't exist, but image quality was just okay.

JVC HD-56FH96
Photograph: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

In contrast to the DLP TV sets we tested it against, the JVC HD-56FH96 uses three 2-megapixel LcoS (liquid crystal on silicon) chips. This 58-inch set offers full 1080 progressive resolution--however it does so only by upconverting signals to 1080p--it can't accept native 1080p sources.

The JVC's image looked pretty sharp in spots, but in some programs, we found areas of sparkling color distracting, especially when watching standard-definition programming (or when sitting close to the set). Colors looked very deep, but the image was too dark (even after calibration), especially in shadows. The angle of view, especially vertically, is pretty narrow.

The HD-56FH96 ($4000 as of 1/20/06) has relatively few image controls compared with some sets; for example, it will not let you control color levels independently--not even red, green, and blue. As on other JVC sets, the menus are opaque, obstructing the image you're trying to adjust.

This set comes with a functional but bland-looking gray remote. The buttons are lit and easy to push, but if you accidentally push the channel-up or channel-down button while you're watching a digital source (such as HDMI), the remote will switch the input to standard-definition TV. It then requires several button pushes to restore the digital input, which takes a while because you must scroll through each input as the set attempts to display video, regardless of whether a cable is connected.

The set has an adequate number of inputs, including two HDMI ports and two sets of component inputs; you can connect a digital-VHS deck or camcorder through the TV's two FireWire ports. You can export audio through a rear-mounted optical port, but the built-in speakers are pretty powerful, with good bass quality and clarity.

As far as rear-projection sets go, the HD-56FH96 has one of the sharper images we've seen, but it doesn't have enough image controls to compensate for overly dark images. Considering that this set also won't accept 1080p sources, it doesn't offer enough for the money.

Set offers 1080p resolution, but won't accept 1080p sources; image quality with existing content was just okay.

Alan Stafford

This story, "JVC HD-56FH96" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Won�t accept 1080p inputs--not a big deal when such sources don't exist, but image quality was just okay.

    Cons

    • Doesn't accept 1080p inputs
    • Just-okay image quality
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