JVC HD-52G886 Rear Projection

JVC HD-52G886 Rear Projection 


  • Digital TV Standard
  • Projector Technology
  • Built-in Tuner
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Rear Input Connectors


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[Apr 05, 2006]
Audio Enthusiast


Vibrant, natural colors,
Smooth and punchy picture
Brighter than the sun
Very close to ideal calibration straight out of the box.


Slow to turn on.
Difficulty in switching between inputs
Blacks aren't are deep as DLP's or Plasma
Didn't forsee the price drop before I bought it.

This is a review of the 52G786, which is identical to the 886 except in black instead of silver.

Wading through the alphabet world of video displays can be daunting to the uninitiated...and that's putting it mildly: DLP, LCD, CRT, RPTV, LCoS, SED, Plasma. Ugh. If you thought going from two channel to multi-channel was confusing, wait until you tackle this morass of technologies. All have their strengths and weaknesses, from LCD's dreaded screen door effect (SDE) to DLP's rainbows to Plasma's burn-in questions and inclination to devour power. The only technology that doesn't have issues is CRT, and of course it's almost a dead technology at this point. The market has chosen cool and sleek flat panels over absolute picture quality. Figures.

JVC's version of Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) is termed HDiLA. It is a three chip, fixed pixel display sporting 1280x720 resolution and what could be the brightest display of all the flat panels. I'm not kidding. Set this monitor to "kill" and you'd better start slathering on some SPF 100. If your application is in a room with a lot of ambient light (like mine) then it's hard to imagine a more suitable solution.

But you wanted to know about the picture, right? In a word, it's astonishing. Straight out of the box, I noted the picture to be very smooth and punchy with very few, if any, artifacts. It's very cinematic, much more so than the Sony Wega's and Mits DLP's I compared it against. The blacks aren't as good as DLP or Plasma, but it's certainly good enough to still provide excellent definition in darker scenes or movies such as Seven. Later calibration with a Datacolor Spyder proved the factory settings to be very close to ideal although there was a very slight red push and the contrast and brightness were a tad hot. The ability of the display is simply magnified by a good calibration. If I thought the picture was good from the factory, now it simply blows me away.

Like all fpd's, SD is not this set's forte. The internal scaler is decent, and in fact better than most. Sony's Bravia XBR set is the best direct view LCD I've seen and yet it still lags behind the JVC in minimizing artifacts for SD. Mits and LG's DLP sets are about equal in SD and in fact, if your room is relatively dark you may prefer DLP. I dunno, there's just something about the spinning color wheel in DLP's that just spells "problems" for me.

Switching over to HD and 720p sources really brings the 786 into its element. Color saturation is excellent with no signs of bleeding and tone is very natural. Combined with the superior white levels, you are presented with a smooth, punchy, and wholly satisfying picture. It's very convincing in its 3D dimensionality.

Downsides are few. Switching between inputs, say between HDMI and component, is a pain as you are forced to cycle through all of the options. A hot button would have been nice. The set also takes a fair amount of time to warm up. Figure 20-30 seconds between turning it on and the picture actually appearing. The blacks aren't the equal of contemporary DLP's or Plasma's, but I understand the new 887 series are better in this respect. Finally, you can't hang it on a wall.

Picking a video monitor is a lot like picking a speaker; it's highly subjective. When choosing your display, you should not only consider which picture looks best to you, but also which picture is going to look best in your room. My room has picture windows the entire length of the side wall and also along the back wall, just for good measure. "Bright" is an understatement of mythic proportions. For my room, a set like the 786 or Sony's equally stunning SXRD series were the only real option. Because I'm wary of Sony's questionable quality issues the past few years, I took a chance on the JVC.

So far, I haven't been disappointed.

Similar Products Used:

Compared against the usual suspects: Panny, Pio, Sony, Mits, Toshiba, Hitachi

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