on November 21, 2007
JVC's HD-58S998 58" Ultra Slim 1080p HDILA Projection HDTV was the first to actually exceed my expectations and meet my needs for brightness and detail for use in an all glass sun room. The only other TV I found to provide slightly better natural colors, but not better details, were the latest Pioneer/Elite plasmas which can only be used in rooms with no reflections. However, the plasmas have potential problems of longevity and burn-in (the screen can retain impressions from scrolling stock quotes for example, such as those on CNBC; and computer games that display frozen or semi-permanent images.)
Also on hand I have a 32 inch top line Sony Bravia and a 20" Vizio, the last a terrific value and performance in its price range.
LCDs, unlike the plasma variety, have far less reflective screen surfaces, meaning that light from windows and lamps will not reflect back at the viewer and interfere with his viewing.
Among the alternatives for plasma, even the top performers like the aforementioned Pioneer/Elites, are the DLPs (Texas Instrument's "Digital Light Processing" engine.) Most of these use a color wheel, creating rainbow effects that will bother some viewers, but not others. Also, DLPs have far less brightness ability and in well-lit rooms the colors may seem washed out. The LcOs chips in the JVC were developed for high-resolution space imaging, and in many respects I believe they can vastly outperform the DLP variety, even the multi-chip DLP sets.
This new technology JVC RPTV uses three chips, not one, but still, under the best conditions I could see a few motion artifacts and pixelation on shadows. I recommend viewers to reduce and adjust many of the color schemes in the menu (very easy to use); reduce contrast, brightness and sharpness; and set to "On" the NR settings in all the aspect ratios provided by JVC to get the best and most natural "feel" to hi def films and shows. You will find the factory settings far too high (and rich in colors.) If you get a brown out, even momentarily, you'll have to redo the settings, and you'll know when that happens by the overly bright technicolors you'll see when you turn the TV on. However, this is the case for other TVs too. A brownout will reset the settings to the factory settings.
This JVC provides a very realistic see-through viewing experience, very highly detailed, superb blacks and vivid colors. It can appear on the VooM channels as if there were no glass between the viewer and the scene. This effect can be startling, even breathtaking, and very realistic, as if you're viewing the scene through an open window, not through electronics. On some scenes there are pixelation effects in shadows, but not in others, so I cannot resolve whether these are from the TV or the hi def recordings.
On non-hi def films, the video processor shows excellent results, converting NTSC to a very viewable picture -- these on good broadcasts and good film. Overall, the JVC's video processor performance is among the very top of today's offerings.
It does use a heat lamp, so I do recommend getting an extended warranty. I have owned this TV for about six months and have had no problems with it. It provides a fantastic picture under difficult conditions (in an all glass sun room.) Considering the flatness, I expected some barrel distortion from the extended projection angle (as a few have reported using test gear), but I could detect none with the naked eye. It appears that the mirrors JVC uses are truly excellent and the TV provides a great value in this price category...and a performance far above this price category.
I use NORDOST component video cable instead of HDMI for my home theater system. I found the results improved over HDMI.
on October 30, 2008
I purchased this product over six months ago and waited to review given reported problems with JVC HDILA and related products in the past. I did purchase it refurbished and had a problem right out of the box (would only turn on when it felt like it). However, JVC and authorized service techs were very responsive, making 3 visits before they found a loose cable fitting that caused the issue. It has been trouble free ever since.
Picture quality is excellent - - - no "green edges", no bowing, sharp clean picture. Menu is not exactly intuitive or easy, but neither is it the most difficult I have ever experienced. Lamp has been going strong and I have teenagers, so its been getting more than its share of use. Its not a flat screen, but you know that, and having this narrow profile for a projection TV is wonderful.
One thing to note - the cabinet has a light intrusion sensor that will lock out the hdmi inputs, so DO NOT use a flashlight shining on the inputs to hook things up - it will trigger the light sensor (believing that the cabinet back has been removed) and lock out the inputs. I have stumbled upon the secret code for reset of the hdmi's as have others and it is posted various places on the internet - so, if this happens to you, spend some time on google rather than a $50 service call.