JVC's LCD TV Reaction Time Shootout

JVC showed us an impressive demo of its Procision (yes, that's the way these guys spell it) line of LCD monitors announced a couple of months ago and shipping this month. JVC lined up its 47-inch LT-47X898 (second from the left) against contenders from Sony (at left), Toshiba (third in the row) and Sharp (on the far end). Here you can plainly see the JVC monitor responding quicker to a controller of this Madden '08 football game on a Sony PS3.

Next, the demo showed the Sony panel in Game Mode, but then its color didn't look nearly as good and still couldn't quite keep up. Yeah, the JVC clearly beat the other three, but only by a couple of frames. But still, when you're hard-core gaming, every frame counts.

JVC showed a second demo (which is impossible to see on this 30fps video) that was also impressive, demonstrating how its 120Hz interpolation can smooth out artifacts in an image. JVC's now in its second generation of this double-framed 120Hz goodness, where they actually create extra frames in between each of the normal 60 frames, estimating where objects would be in between and literally creating something out of nothing.

In person, there was a noticeable difference between the brands, all of which were running 120Hz frames, especially in scenes with lots of movement. Of course, in this demo JVC's TV looked the smoothest by far. Whether this demo is rigged or not (and that wouldn't be that hard to do), this 120Hz capability is getting to be a must-have feature.

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Affordability really doesn't have anything to do with it. ALL the companies at trade shows like CEDIA, CES and CEATEC can and do go all out to show off their equipment in the best light possible. Rather than cost, it often comes down to keeping things as simple as possible so a screw-up by a sales rep or attendee doesn't end up making your product look bad. When you have literally thousands of people coming in and trying out your product, you really don't want to waste time switching out multiple source devices when one will do. As far as a higher-end player is concerned, living in Japan I've personally tried a number of high-end BD players (including the new Pioneer LX-70 and Sharp players which aren't even available in the U.S. yet) as well as the PS3 in my own HD front-projection system. While the standalones have some nice features that the PS3 doesn't, none of these would be relevant in a CEDIA-type situation. In terms of HD picture quality I haven't seen anything yet that offers more than a minor improvement over the PS3 (and many are actually inferior). Most importantly for a show like this, the PS3 is still the fastest loading and operating HD disc player (HD-DVD or Blu-ray) on the market. In an environment like CEDIA, this makes all the difference. And if it's not obvious by now, I used to work in this business (on both sides of the demo booth).