October 18, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
We complain a lot about the poor sound quality in flat panel TVs. For the most part, we recommend that every TV should be accompanied by a separate speaker system or at least a good soundbar. JVC is releasing a new TV that might change people’s minds about that.
The JLE55SP4000 is a 55-inch, edge-lit LED LCD TV with a new sound system built-in which the company says will rival most sound bars. It includes one 15 watt subwoofer and two main drivers with 15 watts of power each. The speakers are complimented with a system called XinimaSound 3D (pronounced : cinema sound). Electronic House got a demonstration of the system recently in New York. As promised, the audio had much more bass and depth than you’d expect from a TV that’s a bit more than an inch thick. In some robot stomping scenes from Transformers 2, the bass effects were palpable, but dialog remained clear.
In addition to the audio features, the TV includes several streaming apps: Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, Hulu Plus and Youtube. JVC says that additional apps will be automatically downloaded. However, the most interesting of the new apps is a first for any TV: SlingPlayer. Anyone with a Slingbox or compatible Dish Network system can use the SlingPlayer app to watch their content on the JVC TV. Previous to this announcement, the only way to play Slingbox onto your TV was with a separate device such as Boxee, WD TV or Logitech’s Revue (Google TV). This could be especially great for people with vacation homes who don’t want to pay for a separate TV service at each house.
Of course, Wi-Fi is built in. There are two USB ports for playing media from external drives, and the remote includes a QWERTY keyboard on one side to make it easier for you to input text on screen.
Finally, this is a 3D TV using the passive 3D system, and ships with four polarized 3D glasses.
The new JLE55SP4000 is the first model in JVC’s new “BlackSapphire” line of HDTVs, the second line introduced since JVC merged with Kenwood and licensed by AmTRAN.
The TV is being launched this month for $1,299
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.