There is nothing like more competition within the realm of 4K to help shake the prices a bit. JVC entered that realm last year and set a goal to launch 4K at a price anyone could afford to compete along side popular brands like Sharp and Vizio. With that idea in mind, they brought the DM65USR 65-inch 4K TV to the table. The screen, actually developed by AmTRAN in Taiwan (also known for providing screens for companies like Vizio), puts on quite the picture for the price (as long as you don’t compare it to brands like Samsung or LG) and proves that 4K is even closer to becoming a standard format for today’s living rooms.
The picture isn’t going to beat out the bigger names, thus properly placing it within the near-generic range, but the image is by no means horrible. It actually sports a full-array backlit screen with local dimming (32 zones), which is great for the price and provides detailed blacks (ie, shadows).
Out of the box, the JVC doesn’t deliver the greatest image until you start digging through the menus and applying your tweaks. We used out standard calibration disc to help balance things and then applied a few custom adjustments from there. Eventually we got an image we were pleased with. JVC should have spent a little more time dialing in the default values in our opinion as it shouldn’t have required so many adjustments, but at least we were able to find the positive end result (which effects most of a TVs rating in our conclusion).
We weren’t able to look into 3D content as the JVC 4K TVs do not support 3D. This isn’t a big deal as most 3D content isn’t worth straining your eyes over (yet) anyway. However, we were slightly surprised that JVC didn’t attempt to venture into 3D as it would have only pushed for an even bigger shock when starring at the price tag. It is what it is and since JVC is new to 4K, they may be playing it safe.
Throwing in both a Sony and Canal 4K demo we had laying around, the TV produced impressive results. The detail was there and the colors were rich (again, after we adjusted everything). A few brighter color ranges seem to blend a little, but the detail for everything else was noticeable, picking out strong details of pedestrians walking deep within the background of a scene or appreciating the clear separation and depth between the tiny hairs on someone’s skin.
We also got a bit of a kick out of it’s 4K upscaling, where it didn’t do so bad with DVDs. It didn’t do so well with TV depending on the channel though. Most HD channels were upscaled pretty well, but it didn’t do any justice for the SD channels.
We watched portions of How to Train Your Dragon 2 on Blu-ray to focus on detail to color and were very happy with what we saw. The colors were rich and there wasn’t any jitter or blur to high motion scenes. We did find enabling JVC’s “Clear Motion Pro” was fun during the animation, however we typically recommend disabling this on any other media in order to prevent that Soap Opera Effect (common to every TV with such a refresh rate).
Throwing in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, we found that the shadows and other dark regions of the game were very pleasing, really taking advantage of the 32 dimming zones. Although 32 is a low number compared to some of the competing brands, we were surprised to find the spec at all for how much it costs. We did not however test for lag this time around while playing online. This was our fault for leaving that out of the tests. Looking back at it now, we feel it would have been more important to worry about than the level of blacks. If you have acquired the TV yourself, please do share your opinions about such below in the comments. We would like to hear about how well it does.
Sound was average but left nothing out. It feels like a repetitive topic, but we always bring up that a flat TV is a flat TV. There really isn’t a lot of space to work with. Some consumers find the sound coming from such TVs to be lacking and not worthy enough for watching movies. However, the thing they leave out is the fact that it is a TV with basic speakers meant for casual TV watching and not a all-in-one theatrical sound experience. For everything else, there are soundbars and AVRs. We found nothing wrong with the sound coming from the JVC. It sounds similar to an average Samsung or LG. Great for news, weather and Sunday morning cartoons.
It offers both Wifi and wired access to the internet. There are no apps built into the TV, but it does include a Roku stick instead that is controllable from the TV’s remote. The Roku plugs into the USB port and provides all of the necessary apps. We found this to be an odd approach, but also expected this as we had already written a preview before the TVs were launched, where JVC had explained this to us.
We didn’t experience any lag while streaming video, but we did notice that if you are too far from your wireless source, you tend to be limited to standard definition streams, telling us that the built-in Wi-Fi isn’t that strong. Wired ethernet however showed no troubles.
The TV supports HEVC H.265 decoding for both streaming media and files. HEVC is the future of MPEG compression allowing resolutions as high as 4K and greater to be streamed at today’s bandwidth limitations.
On the backside of the TV, you will find 5 HDMI ports (4x 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2 and 1x 1.4 port), along with the typical RCA and coax options. There are two USB inputs, one of which is USB 3.0. Also, you will find an optical out on the back as well for sounding digital to an external AVR or soundbar.
The remote is simple. By simple, we mean really simple—at least the front side is. I guess they wanted to make sure it didn’t provide any confusion, as the front side offers very basic controls. However, turn it over and you will find some of the missing buttons you would normally look for on a remote for a TV today, as well as a full qwerty keyboard. We always love to see qwerty keyboards on remotes. Enough to say that it helps a tad in our final score of the TV.
There have been reports of the stand being slightly wobbly. These reports seem to be true in our experience as we noticed the slight wobble front to back. It wasn’t anything terrible but something that should have been noticed during production before shipping out the final design. This of course wouldn’t be an issue if you remove the stand and hang the TV (which is becoming the popular option in most homes anyway).
The JVC is a formidable TV for its price range and offers the great feature of local dimming and a good picture. It does take a little attention to calibrate it to the best looking picture, but the end result is a good picture and that’s quite obviously the most important factor. The Roku approach to providing apps is an odd one but at least it works. Finally the wobbly stand, albeit doesn’t feel unstable, is something that shouldn’t be present. The latter alone drops the score by a whole number as there should be no reason for them to not have seen that in production. In the end though, the TV is solid for the price and we foresee it following the price drops while maintaining a comparable price position to the others. It has its flaws but packs a good punch for the price. We decided to go with a score of 7 out of 10.
Size Class (Diagonal) 65″ (actual viewable size: 65″)
Resolution / Aspect: 3840 x 2160 / 16:9
Refresh Rate / Frame Rate: CM240HZ
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
Color Enhancement: Yes
Built-in NTSC / ATSC / Clear AQM Tuner Yes
Close Caption: Yes
Parental Control: Yes
Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) No
Picture Modes: Yes
Audio Technology: MTS Stereo Decoder
Dolby Digital Plus Decoder
(5.1 Ch Pass Through)
Graphic Equalizer: Yes
Speaker Output Power: 15 Watts x 2
Wall Mount Pattern: 400mm x 400mm
Without Stand (WXHxD) and Weight
(Approx.): 57.4″ x 33.4″ x 2.7″ / 52.4 lbs
With Stand (WXHxD) and Weight
(Approx.): 57.4″ x 35.1″ x 14.7″ / 59.5 lbs
Ambient Sensor: Yes
Interactive Setup Guide: Yes
Input Port Naming: Yes
Audio Only Mode: No
USB Multimedia (Picture Viewer) Yes
Energy Saving Features
Auto Power OFF (DPMS) Yes
Energy Star: No
Input / Output
Antenna In: 1
HDMI: 5 (4 HDMI 2.0 / 1 HDMI/MHL)
Composite (RCA): 1 (shared with component)
VGA / RGB: 0
Music Port: 0
USB: 2 (1xUSB 2.0 / 1xUSB 3.0)
Optical Digital Audio Out: 1
Stereo Audio Out: 1
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.