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JVC Goes Blu, Adds New Thin LCD TVs

1/19/2009 02:00:00 AM Eastern

JVC is use its showroom in Caesar's Palace at International CES to formally kick off its entry into the Blu-ray Disc market this year with the introduction of its first stand-alone BD-Live-ready model and an LCD TV/Blu-ray Disc combo player.

The company is also showing a revamped 2009 television line, which will be highlighted by a 360-degree-designed, 42-inch second-generation, super-slim LCD monitor, an expansion into combo LCD/video players and smaller screen size LCD TVs for greater placement options.

Craig Geiger, JVC of America executive VP and COO, said the combos and smaller screen size LCD TVs are expected to draw interest from people looking to transition from older analog models as the analog TV broadcasting cutoff draws near, and from digital TV owners looking to add flat-panel sets to secondary rooms in their homes.

The new stand-alone Blu-ray Disc player, model XV-BP1 (shipping in March at a $299 estimated retail), is BD-Live compatible, but will require additional memory (1GB minimum) to perform most BD-Live functions. The flash memory can be added using a USB thumb drive connected to the player's USB port. An Ethernet port is added to connect with an in-home broadband network.

Other connections include HDMI 1.3 inputs with Deep Color and x.v.Color; component and composite video outputs; and analog, optical and coaxial audio outputs.

The player will support standard- and high-definition video output, including Full 1080p/24 fps and will playback video files encoded in the AVCHD format used in many HD camcorders available today.

In addition to AVCHD, other playable formats are JPEG, MP3, WMA, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, DTS and DTS HD.

Supported disc formats include: BD-ROM, BD-R/RE, BD/DVD Hybrid, DVD-Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, Audio CD and CD-R/RW.

JVC also unveiled the LT-42B300 combination LCD TV/Blu-ray player, offering a 42-inch screen size with Full 1080p resolution and a built-in Blu-ray Disc player with BD-Live support. The company said it wasn't sure at this time if the model will include 1GB of built-in memory for the BD-Live system or if add-on memory will be required to meet the full Profile 2.0/BD-Live spec. The Blu-ray combo set is due to ship in June at a price to be announced, said Karl Bearnarth, JVC marketing senior VP.

Key features in the combo unit include: JVC's new picture improvement technology, Smart Volume technology, three HDMI-CEC inputs, one set of component-video inputs, a SPDIF audio connection and an analog video output.

JVC will also offer a pair of LCD/DVD combo players in March. The units will feature 19- and 32-inch screen sizes, 720p resolution and are part of the company's D series. Both models target placements in bedrooms, dormitories and other locations where space is limited.

In total, JVC's 2009 TV line announced to date includes 18 models across five series. Screen sizes include: 19, 32, 42, 46 and 52 inches.

Among the highlights is a 42-inch super-thin LCD monitor with 1080p resolution, 120Hz Clear Motion III technology and enhanced black-level performance using a special JVC-developed CCFL backlighting system. The latter is said to reduce power consumption and heat from traditional CCFL systems.

The monitor, model LT-42WX70, measures 1.7 inches deep and has a new 360-degree cosmetic design that adds a leather-textured trim to the front of the panel, while completing the look with a smooth full-finished back without air vents. The look is said to allow placement in areas where the set may be viewable from all angles.

"In consumers' homes that have a grate room, where a living room and a dining room are together, you can actually put this between the two rooms, and since it has a full-finished back, it will look great in that application," Bearnarth said.

The display is designed as a worldwide monitor, meaning it will accept 100 volts to 240 volts of power input, and supports the PAL, SECAM and NTSC broadcast video formats. It is slated to ship in April under JVC's high-performance Procision line. Pricing will be announced later.

JVC said it has targeted the monitor at digital-SLR camera users and imaging enthusiasts by incorporating circuitry to display subtle colors, details and textures of their images.

JVC said the expanded color space capacity encompasses 100 percent of HDTV broadcasting's (sRGB.904) color space and a coverage rate of 96 percent for Adobe RGB — a color space for still photographs taken on high-definition digital-SLR cameras — to provide accurate reproduction of both video and still photographs.

The LT-42WX70 also features 52 picture-quality adjustment properties for both still and video sources. JVC's 12-bit Genessa Picture Engine also reduces blur, color bleeding and noise in video images.

The LT-42WX70 monitor offers a matching tuner box (TU-CX100), which links to the panel with an HDMI cable, and can be used to expand the number of source input connections. The monitor alone has several input options including three HDMI CEC terminals, D-Sub 15-pin, component video, and audio input jacks. The monitor will also ship with 15-pin/component/composite, audio and HDMI cables.

JVCs P300 LCD TV line, which is due to ship in April at prices to be announced, will include three 1080p models in the 32-, 42- and 46-inch screen sizes. All include JVC's TeleDock feature — first introduced last year — that adds integrated iPod docking support. This year's line features more integrated control features for playback from the connected portable A/V players.

JVC is also adding TeleDock support to a pair of 1080p models with 120Hz Clear Motion Drive III circuitry in the P500 series, which is also slated for April. The line offers the 42- and 46-inch screen sizes.

Connections in both the P300 and P500 models include three HDMI inputs, two component inputs, two S-Video inputs, PC input (D-sub) and an analog-video output.

For appeal to a wider consumer audience, JVC's J-series LCD line offers four 1080p models in the 32-, 42-, 46- and 52-inch screen sizes. All will ship in March except the 52-inch unit, which is due in August.

All feature a dynamic backlight for improved black level, JVC's Smart Picture technology that analyzes source brightness to deliver the best possible image, and a timer for powering up the TV at a scheduled time.

Connections include: three HDMI-CEC inputs, two component inputs, two S-Video inputs, PC input (D-Sub), SPDIF input and an analog video output.

Looking to the future, JVC showed a prototype 32-inch super-thin LCD TV featuring a significant reduction in thickness and weight, and a unique magnetic wall-mounting system that will reduce the gap between the wall and the display to more close resemble a wall-hanging picture. Users need only mount a flat metal plate to the wall where the TV is to be placed.

The display uses edge-placed LED backlighting to reduce thickness and heat. The panel depth is said to be 0.28 inches thick and weighs 11 pounds. The monitor panel is designed to connect to a modular tuner box for source input connections.

The company said it could not say when the technology will be ready for a market introduction.

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