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JVC BlackCrystal JLC47BC3000 Review
47" LCD HDTV, $950
RedLine

Out of the Box

The front of the JLC47BC3000, with its 1 1/2" wide glossy black bezel, could easily get lost in a lineup at a big box store. If you look more closely, you'll notice the grille along the bottom that covers the twin front firing speakers.

Since this LCD is not LED edge-lit, its a little thicker than those pancake thin models, more like a double stack.

JVC JLC47BC3000

Even when the TV is turned off, I can only notice a very slight dull reflection. When the TV is on, glare is not an issue, which is good because the TV does not rotate on its stand.

Inset on the left side, JVC has placed the operational buttons. Just below them are a USB port and an HDMI input.

On the 42" and 47" models, the USB port will playback photos, music and videos stored on a USB drive or device. The two smaller sizes only handle photos.

JVC JLC47BC3000

On the back, with the connections facing out, is a large panel that furnishes three more HDMI Ins, (just one more on the 32" and 37" TVs), one Component Video In (with matching stereo Audio Ins), one Composite Video In (with matching stereo Audio Ins), one RGB (PC) In (with matching stereo mini-jack Audio In), an Optical Digital Audio Out, and a stereo analog Audio Out.

On these JVCs, the PC Audio In serves double duty as a Music input, a feature that I'll discuss in a moment.

The antenna connector links to integrated ATSC/QAM tuners in the TV. Since the tuner system is Clear QAM compatible, you can attach your cable TV signal directly into the antenna adapter and tune in unscrambled cable stations.

With the ATSC tuner and the proper antenna, you also will be able to tune in digital signals broadcast over-the-air.

Since this BlackCrystal 3000 series does not offer Internet connectivity, it does not supply a LAN port or a built-in wireless adapter.

Instead of fussing with Internet content providers and apps, the JVC designers decided to focus on the audio quality of their TVs. They label the child of their labors, XinemaSound and their efforts have paid off handsomely with audio fidelity that I can't believe is emanating from a TV.

JVC JLC47BC3000

And realizing what they begot, JVC added a few audio-centric features. One is called simply Music. Basically, if you connect an MP3 player or an iPod to this mini-jack input on the back of the TV, you can select the Music button on the remote and the audio will be directed through the speakers.

After using iPod specific docks, I was a bit skeptical of plugging a mini-jack (3.5mm) cable into my iPod's headphone out and then into this Music in. But as I am typing this, I am witnessing the results as Aaron Neville is singing "My Brother, My Brother" and it sounds great, my brothers and sisters. (Of course, this method will not recharge the iPod like many docks can.)

And if you hit the Audio button on the remote, the TV's backlight turns off while the speakers keep pumping out the music. You extend the lifetime of your video display while saving a little electricity.

This Audio feature also works if you are playing music through the USB port or from a connected DVD player. I really like this capability.

To turn the backlight on again, you can punch any button on the remote. Though it would make more sense if you could adjust the Volume without reactivating the backlight.

JVC has designed this TV to substitute for a home theater sound system. And within the limitations that I will discuss later, the JLC47BC3000 indeed can serve as a worthy surrogate.

With the 42" and 47" models, you can also add music to a slideshow of photos loaded into the USB port if the songs are also on the USB drive.

The slideshow menu offers seven transitions (including a Dissolve that is regrettably not a smooth gradient) and six speeds (from 5 to 30 seconds).

Since this JVC is not packed with apps and other extras, the designers of the dark gray, non-backlit remote control had the luxury of wide open spaces and fewer buttons.

I like the simple layout and the dedicated buttons for inputs like Music and Media.

Power Consumption

The EPA is publishing a list of ENERGY STAR qualified TVs. (You can find it here.) The JVC JLC47BC3000 is on the list.

Energy Star Logo

The EPA states that this JVC's On Mode Power is 92.4W and Standby Power Consumption is .3W. Based on the formula that the TV is on five hours a day and in Standby for the other 19, the Estimated Annual Energy Use is 170.7 kWh/year.

JVC JLC47BC3000

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) now requires those yellow-and-black labels that show the product's estimated annual energy cost to be attached to all TVs.

JVC displays that label on their website.

Setup

Let me state this point again, this TV is easy to use. If you are the type that just wants to plug in their TV and forget it, then during the initial two minute setup, you are asked if you using the JLC47BC3000 in a Home setting.

When you reply, yes, the TV will default to the Standard Picture Mode. The JVC representative that I talked to said that Standard is what he suggests for normal viewing.

After you have connected your antenna, set top box, A/V receiver, game console or DVD player, you are done.

Of course, if you are a non-conformist who has to find their own path, JVC offers a number of Picture Modes. I eschew Vivid to protect my refined sensibilities, but the Movie mode most closely approximates the coloring associated with films.

And if you are a tinkerer, then JVC provides enough tools to keep all but the professional calibrators happy. JVC touts two, CrystalColor and CrystalMotion (only on the 42" and 47" 120Hz TVs).

JVC JLC47BC3000

In their literature, JVC describes, "CrystalColor technology produces brilliant colors, sharp & vibrant images, and lifelike pictures for an unbelievable viewing experience."

For me, "unbelievable" is the key word. When CrystalColor is activated, I find the colors too saturated to seem believable.

Also, I'm not a big fan of the unnervingly sharp images the motion interpolation techniques like CrystalMotion produce. But adjusting a TV is a personal decision. Experiment and see what appeals to you.

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