- Pure flat CRT with Invar Shadow Mask. - Dual component video inputs. - Two-tuner picture in picture. - Illuminated super command universal remote with DVD control capability. - Two years picture tube, one year part and labor warranty.
This is my first new set in 10 years (upgraded from 27" Mitsubishi). I was limitted to certain models because of the widths of the tv's and the width of my entertainment center (otherwise I would have risked divorce and gotten the Sony 40" XBR WEGA). After endless hours of painstaking research I finally narrowed it down to either the Sony KV32FV27 or the Panasonic CT32SX31, and after deciding to be cost conscious for the first time in my life, I chose the Panasonic. Finally, it's time to pick up my set and they just sold the last one the day before. My luck. Throwing all the research I did out the window, I asked my friend/salesman which set he had in stock that was comparable and he showed me the JVC. Since it was more $ than the Panasonic and he was giving it to me for the same amount he was going to sell me the Panasonic for, I threw caution to the wind and bought it on his recommendation (without measuring the width, thank God it fit). What a set! The picture is terrific, the sound is better than good enough, and there are plenty of inputs to hook up all your goodies. I hooked up my Sony DVP-S550D DVD player to one of the two component inputs and the picture quality is just unbelievable. I noticed the "geometric" problem, but only after reading the reviews that stated the problem existed. On my set the problem is extremely minor and I'm going to correct it by accessing the service menu (which can be entered via the directions in a review above, just make sure the 2 switches at the top of the remote are both to their leftmost positions). The only drawback to this set is the input button on the remote. There are two component inputs, two either s-video or red/white/yellow rca pin inputs, and a coaxial input. With so many inputs, it would have been more convenient if you could scroll up or down through the inputs. Instead, once you accidentally pass the input you want to view, you have to scroll all the way around again. Also, it would have been nice if you could lable the inputs (ex: "DVD" instead of "VIDEO-4" and "CABLE" instead of "VIDEO-1"). But that's just me looking for something nagative about this set. For the $780 I got it for (sticker was $1100, remember, I said "FRIEND/salesman") this set is an unbelievable value. Even if I paid full price for it I'd say it's a great set, but at this price, it's definately a homerun. I guess I'll just have to get the 40" XBR for the basement! By the way, if anyone knows what the correct settings should be in the Service Menu to correct the geometric problem, please post. Thanks in advance.
Well after one cancelled appointment and almost three weeks since having the exchanged set, the tech finally made it out. He hooked up an external device to display a grid pattern for convergence testing (similar to the THX optimode setup without the color bars) and you could see the bowing along the bottom and sides. He didn't know anything about JVCs and had to call the office for help, and I had to show him how to enter the service menu! Anyway, after messing around for a while, he was able to straighten out the sides and slightly reduce the bowing on the bottom. As I previously discovered but was hoping to be corrected, JVC does not have any way to adjust the horizontal pin cushin. The tech did say that if it was a Sony or rear projection TV he could "fix it right up." He confirmed what I had read through more extensive research since buying this set, that Sony has the most control options for correcting the picture (as is apparently always needed if anyone has read how bad Sony's come calibrated out of the factory).
So after all this, we actually decided to keep the set. The bow is not that noticeable unless you look for it, and even so the picture looks great. And when going back to look at the competition we just didn't see anything that compared (Sony's are too grainy; Panasonic's looked great but I question their long-term reliability due to other products of theirs), and although I long for an HDTV/HDTV-compatible set, we can't afford it. So I've updated my value rating, lowering it by one star because being a JVC and costing this much it shouldn't have these geometry problems. But if you can live with the slight bowing, this TV delivers an excellent picture with brilliant colors and clarity along with great sound.
And for anybody else who has this or another newer JVC and wants to access the service menu, here's how: 1. Press the Sleep Timer button and set the timer to zero (if not already set to this). 2. While the sleep timer display is still on the screen, press the Video Status and Display buttons at the same time. The service menu should appear, go into the Picture menu, and scroll down to the settings in the 60-80 range. Play with these while using the THX Optimode setup or Video Essentials DVD so you can see the effect on the lines. Remember to write down the original settings so you can set them back if need be.
I did a lot of research before I decided to purchase this television. I kept going back and forth between this t.v. and sony's KV-32FV27 (also a flat screen and about $100 more). I read both consumer and profesional product reviews, both of which recommended the JVC. The main source I used was consumerguide.com which highly recommended this television. Another good thing about this t.v. is that is has 2 component inputs, where the sony only has 1. So that was another factor that persuaded me to purchase the JVC besides the price.
As soon as I turned the t.v. on I was amazed at how great it looked...the picture was colorful, bright, and detailed. Then I turned the channel to watch ESPN and I couldn't believe it!!! There was a noticable bowing in the bottom of the screen, so I turned it to MSNBC and noticed the exact same thing. I called sears and they sent someone out to service the t.v. and they fixed the left and right sides of the picture which also bowed a little bit, but the bottom of the screen could not be fixed...there was still noticable bowing. While this t.v. had an awesome picture and great features, for a 1000 bucks I figured a t.v. should not be doing this. So I took it back and got another one.
I had no problems whatsoever in working with Sears to exchange this t.v. with another. I decided to take a step up and get the 32 in. Panasonic HDTV flat screen (CT-32HX41) which looked UNBELIEVABLE in the store. It should get here in a week and I think I'll go ahead and write a review for that t.v. as well when it gets here.
Overall, the JVC is a great t.v. I read Paul's review (right above this one I believe) and I was having the exact same problems. With letterbox dvd movies you can notice a slight bow in the bottom portion of the screen. The picture looked outstanding on my PS2 but also had bowing. Since he was having the same problems I decided not to exchange it for another JVC and risk having the same problem. Don't get me wrong it's a great t.v., and if you don't mind a slight, but noticable bow go ahead and get it. Who knows, your's might not have any problems at all.
One thing I can definitely recommend is working with Sears. Sears does price matching, even with internet sites!!! I found this JVC for over $100 cheaper than the advertised price. And I got the Panasonic for over $250 less than the advertised price (around $1340 total)! If Sears has a t.v. you want, I would recommend spending an hour or two looking around the interent for lower prices. If you do the price matching you must show what the price is WITH shipping and handling for them to accept it. Most internet stores will be about the same but you can find much cheaper prices. Check out bizrate.com as well as epinions.com. They both list stores with different prices and is a fast way to go. Or just enter the manufacturer number (ex. AV-32F802) in a search engine like yahoo and just look at all the stores seperately. You will save lots of $$$...it's definitely worth it. Hope this helps...
I decided on this TV because of the JVC brand reputation for quality, it was less than a Sony flat screen, and the picture quality looked amazing in the store even with HDTV compatible sets right next to it. Hooked up through the component inputs from DVD and Xbox, pictures are very clear, bright, and colorful. White is white and black is very black. However, I didn't notice in the store but there are mulitple instances of bowing in the picture.
I first noticed it when watching a news channel and the ticker at the bottom bowed up in the middle. Then I started looking harder and noticed it on letterboxed movies as well, only slightly less so because the horizontal line is further from the bottom of the set. Upon closer inspection the top is also bowed but less noticeable. I thought I could live with it but then I pulled up the on screen guide through Direct TV and on my God! What was supposed to be a square box looks like a flag waving in the wind! There wasn't a straight line to be found, either horizontal or vertical. So I exchanged it and this one has the same problems. I went back to the store, had them change inputs so I could see something with lines, and the display unit is also faulty. And just for sh!@s and grins, I went to a different store and noticed the same thing there.
I called JVC support and they didn't have any knowledge of the problem for this set. They couldn't help me any further and connected me to their automated service center locater. Turns out the one found per my zip code does not offer in-home service. After looking through the yellow pages I found another authorized service center that does and I have an appointment for next week. On the phone they said with flat screens in could be something with the yoke assembly because it's hard to get the picture correct. When asked if it's fixable, he said probably.
After some research I found out how to enter the service menu and was able to adjust the top, side, and bottom pin cushion settings so vertical lines are almost vertical now. However there is still the "bump" on the bottom that I can't figure out how to get rid of. I don't have the service manual and don't see anything related to horizontal geometry, only size and position.
At this point I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it and wait for the tech, or just return it for something else. I'll update my post later on what comes of this. As for potential buyers, if you can live with the slanted text at the bottom of the screen, this TV delivers an excellent picture otherwise. Would've been nice if they had channel labeling and a fully illuminated remote for this price as well.