Pros Great overall picture quality with HD, DVD, and with non-HD content
Cons Menu is complicated, changing video sources is slow
Summary I have only had the TV for 5 days, but after 4 HDTVs and nine months of looking I found the HDTV I’m going to keep.
I had wanted the Sony KDS-X50XBR1 since they came out. However at $4000 I wanted to wait until clearance. At the end of July I was able to get one at Circuit City for $2100. I had it had home for 2 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, the picture is awesome Sony KDS-X50XBR1. However, I felt like I always had to adjust the picture to get the best picture and colors. I returned it waiting for the new models came.
When I saw new Sony SXRDs I thought would be HDTV that I would buy. However, it uses version 1 (DRC-MFv1.0) of the Sony processing engine and the KDS-X50XBR1 used version 2 (DRC-MFv2.0). This is important when you want to look at non-HD content. The XBR2 models will use version 2.5 (DRC-MFv2.5). I’m sure the picture will be sweet but starting at $4,300 for the 60” I decided to look into JVC.
According to what I read online the major drawbacks of JVC were going to be resolved in the new TVs. I noticed online that my local Best Buy had the 56” into stock. When I went to the store they didn’t even have one on display yet.
I decided to take one home to see how it looked. Let me start off with the two negatives. First, The Menu system and going through the initial setup on it was way too complicated compared with the Sony. Second, switching between sources is slow and you have to pause at each source as you go through them. Neither of these is an issue for me. First, after setup the picture is awesome and you don’t need to keep tweaking it. Second, I have a Media Center PC which up converts all my content to 1080P so I don’t need to keep changing sources.
The picture is awesome. I pretty much just use the Theater Pro mode. I only watch over-the-air HD content and DVDs. The HD content is awesome. With the DVD content I can tell a little difference from HD but you really need to be nit picky (like me) to see it. Even the non-HD content looks the best I’ve seen on a HDTV.
The reason I’m keeping the TV is great all around picture regardless of the source and I don’t need to tweak the picture settings. Some of the HDTVs I looked at had horrible images when it was not HD content. The movies I watch have plenty of dark scenes and it handles them great. I heard that was a drawback on the previous models.
This is a great TV if you are looking for TV that acts like a TV should. Basically, turn it on and have a great picture without having to constantly tweak it.
Pros Fabulous picture, two true HD inputs, good anti-reflective coating, reasonable angle of view
Cons JVC's traditional hateful non-direct input selection process
Summary Unfortunately, CNET goes not all for .5 ratings, or I would have rated this 9.5 deleting the .5 for the tedious input selection method.
After having lived with a two-generation-older JVC 52-inch 720p for a year, I was pretty certain I wanted to stay with JVC, but I did research and look at everything I could.
As it turned out, nothing in the world of RPs came close to this in color fidelity and clarity (all sets have some color issues, with JVC it's green), but I'm more concerned with skin tones than grass, and JVC has the best skin tones in the biz (you can also almost disappear the green issue by going into the service menu and turning the green drive down from 124 to 118 or so.)
The only set I saw close to this in performance was the 50-inch Panasonic industrial plasma (I don't need speakers or a tuner), which prices out stripped at only $100 or $200 more than the JVC.
Unfortunately, stripped is really stripped and by the time you add HDMI ports and a stand you're looking at about $600 more than the JVC and a smaller screen and 720p resolution.
Personally, I think, given the nature of available content, the resolution issue is bogus sales bilge and plasmas have that glorious ability to deliver the exact same color and brghtness at any viewing angle.
Also plasmas have glass screens that can be cleaned with Windex and such, RP's plastic screens -- including JVCs -- cannot be scrubbed.
However, my wife hates watching TV in theater-like darkness and the very glass that makes plasmas cleanable makes them reflection pigs -- thus the decision to go with the JVC RP.
I also like the fact that you can restore full brightness on an RP just by changing the bulb. All TVs get dimmer as they age and on a plasma it is uncorrectable.
Anyway, the JVC picture is superb -- no block noise like RP lcds and no rainbows like DLPs.
The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise so far is the separate per-input color setting memories. Both CNET and most other reviewers have criticized JVC for not including the in the FN models apparently because earlier models (like my old 52-inch set) did not offer it.
However, the owners manual for the FC, FN, and FH series clearly states that this feature is available and I verified it by using different settings for the HDMI 1(DTV PVR)and the HDMI 2 (Oppus DVD) inputs and checking to make sure they were both retained in memory.
One other thought, if you own a surround sound system and don't plan on doing your email or other computer tasks on the TV, you can save a few hundred bucks and get a free stand if you can find an FC unit left at Costco or other big box stores. The three models (FC, FN and FH) are identical except for some cosmetics and the addition of a center channel speaker and PC input to the FN and the center channel speaker, PC input and gold connectors to the FH.
Pros Excellent picture, even from severe angles. 2 HDMI Connections.
Cons Picture quality so good, I spend way too much time watching.
Summary I bought the JVC HD-61FN97 about eight months ago, after I had read about and viewed just about every HD television on the market.
I concluded that rear projection was the best value among the different technologies and quickly narrowed the choices to three sets that were superior to all others IMO ... This JVC, a Samsung HLS6088, and Sony KDS60A2020. These had the best picture quality, most compact design, and the most inputs and outputs for my home theater.
I insisted that the stores hook up a standard DVD player to each one and had them play several DVD's, including my own "Terminator II" DVD. I viewed them connected to DirectTV on several different channels. The JVC upconvert and picture quality was far better than the others.
I had read so many reviews on the internet, I was a little concerned about the few negative comments about each one of these brands. Someone had said that the JVC had unnatural greens. Another had said he had trouble with his after a couple of days. I can tell you that I have had no problems and that the greens appear very correct to me. I spent about an hour reading the manual, then easily hooked everything up and can easily operate all the features.
Based upon my experience, I highly recommend the JVC HD61FN97! I can't imagine any other set being better.
"Freekin awesome"on by dbd977
Pros GREAT price, Huge, Awesome picture.
Cons S;low fliping through inputs.
Summary This is my first HD set. I was in Bestbuy to spend 1100.00 on the bigest\best thing I could find. I did massive research on diffrent LCD\Plasmas TVs and was told to take a look at the rear projection TVs. I was just about to buy a 42 inch LCD when I walked past the JVC. It had been returned, probably by a crybaby for one reason or another. I got it for 1300.00 without a remote or manual. I got the maual off the internet and the remote from JVC for 58.00. So what. It replaced a 12 year old 27 inch that was still working fine. Man its like I walk into a movie theater every time I walk into the room. I also purchased a cheap upscale-to-hd dvd player for 69.00. I watched movies all weekend. I got the full factory warranty, 4 more years from BB and they assured me the bulb would be covered. This turns me around on Bestbuy and JVC. I also see no problems with green or anything, and I watched everything from disney to movies produced in the 70s. PERFECT.Updated
I was able to pick this TV up for 1300.00 bucks because it was a return with no remote. within 4 days I had the remote delivered from JVC for 50.00. I have a pretty big tv room and this tv rocks from all angles, even upstairs over the balcony. I watched the tv for 2 weeks and was blown away. Yesterday I got hooked up w\hd and I am permanantly stuck to the tv. It blows my stepfathers 42 and 46 inch sonys away.
Pros Small Housing, Plenty of Inputs
Cons GREEN GREEN GREEN
Summary My story starts on May 12th, of 05. I purchased the JVC HD-56Fh96 set from Video Only for $3500 wich included a glass/shelved component stand. Right out of the box this set was fantastic. Perfect colors, excellent detail. Magnificent! DVD's to Video games were meant to be played on this set. My joke was that I would watch a show about the history of doorknobs on HD, just because it was so incredibly pretty!
One month and a week later, the brown spot came. It started on the left side of the screen, then moved to the center. Being that Video Only's return policy is thirty days, they wouldn't touch it. So, I set out to have my brand new set repaired.
I found a local JVC authorized repair center amd set up a date to have it fixed. The tech came out, gave it a look, then decided that it needed a new $1800 optical engine. This took about two weeks for the part to arrive, and be installed. Once installed, it went downhill from there. What was once a brown haze, was now a blue or green tint, with spots that looked like sparklers. The tech had left before we discovered this, so it took another couple weeks to get him back for a another diagnosis, which lead to another couple weeks to get and install the new part.
This went on for EIGHT months. Within that period, I had contacted JVC about just replacing my set, as it was obviously a lemon, and each time I was given the run around. After the last replacement had failed, I had had enough and was ready to file a complaint with the attorney general, regarding JVC's return/lemon policy, or lack thereof, when JVC finally relented to send me a new set. Because my set was last years model, I was "Gifted" with the HD-56FN97.
I must say that I was ecstatic with this prospect; JVC was giving me a newer model instead of just replacing the old model. I figured it was a nice gesture considering the hell I had just endured over the past eight months.
I was sadly mistaken.
It's just about identical in the setup and inputs as the JVC HD-56FH96, but there it ends. I realize that it's supposed to be newer, better technology that my original set, but honestly, I don't see it. If this set was sitting in the store when I made my initial purchase, I wouldn't have looked at it twice.
The picture in HD is pretty nice, actually the picture overall is decent; it's the green that I cannot get past. My wife is has dubbed it "Disney Green". Anything and everything remotely green, is flourescent. It's like a cartoon, and is extremely unnatural. And no, you cannot adjust just the green. There's a red/green tint slider that really doesn't help. It's there and that's it. Who in the JVC design department did this get past? I can't look past it to finally enjoy my new set, something I've been trying to do since May 12th of 05.
I suppose if you're color blind to green, or perhaps this is your first HD set, you may find it as exillerating as I did for that first month and a week I had my very first HD set, otherwise, I'd walk past this one without a second look.