Pros: Fantastic image quality, tight blacks, great colour, amazing resolution
Cons: Factory settings are a little colourful (easily fixed)
I purchased the AV-32F703, but this review could also be for the AV-32F803 - which is the same television, just with picture in picture (whereas the 703 does no have PIP).
First off, I went into the TV store as a die hard Sony loyalist. I've always bought Sony, but as I was going in to drop over a thousand bucks on a television, I'd been reading a lot of reviews. Some of the reviews on the 32" Wega and 36" Wegas had some disturbing comments, which appeared in more than a few reviews. Basically, it sounded like some of the 32" and 36" Wegas sometimes suffered from weird geometry problems and were prone to breakdown. There's a couple of reviews on Epinions that suggest that Sony repair crews had to come multiple times to people's homes to effect repairs! Yikes, those reviews made me a little nervous. I needed a new TV, as my old Toshiba had died (after fifteen years) but I didn't really know what to buy.
Even after reading about Sony's recent quality problems, I went into the store still believing that Sony had the best picture.
Then I saw the JVC I'Art, and it totally changed my mind.
Wow. Sitting side by side next to a Wega, the I'Art was far and away a better television. Better, tighter blacks, incredible clarity, fantastic colours. No dot crawl. No bleeding colour at all. Loads of options, more inputs, better sound (I don't have a surround sound system yet, so this is a bonus). The I'Art has over 800 lines of resolution, which is more than the Sony. Essentially, the I'Art is the top of the JVC line where as the Wega for the same price was one of Sony's mid-to-low-range models. Both models were the same price - $1399.00 Canadian.
I popped a series of DVD's back and forth from the I'Art 32" to the Wega 32" and tested everything after using remotes on both TVs and returning all the settings to "zero". The JVC I'Art was the sure winner.
Even as I lined up to pay, I was still nervous. Perhaps I should have bought the Sony? They were the same price. How can this be right? How could a JVC be better than SONY? Something must be wrong! Nope. I was living a lie! JVC has been charging ahead while Sony's been resting on it's reputation.
The I'Art was delivered the next day (the box is HUGE, and freaking heavy - you WANT to go with the delivery). I had pre-assembled the stand (which is designed to support this behemoth). The 32" looked far bigger in my apartment than it had in the store - which is great! I had considered buying a more expensive widescreen HD ready model from Samsung - a 30" widescreen - but a 32" I'Art was giving me a 28" widescreen mode (I measured a few DVD's in the store, drawing a line from letterboxed corner to letterboxed corner with a measuring tape). And a 4:3 image on the 30" Samsung widescreen was only 21", since it added grey bars on the sides! So I opted for the 4:3 I'Art, which was a great decision. I still get a nice big letterbox area,without losing size on the 4:3 broadcast channels.
Image clarity on the 32" I'Art is STAGGERING. I watch a lot of movies in widescreen, and the I'Art has this cool "widescreen mode" which isn't really touted in the manual, it's only briefly explained on the website. Basially, you set your DVD player to output to a 16:9 widescreen mode (if it has the option, it's usually found in the players "setup" menu). Then you hit a little button on the TV's remote that reads "16:9/4:3". The DVD player sends the TV an anamorphic "stretched' image of the film, and the TV compresses it down into the letterbox area. When you hit the button, the TV knows not to scan and refresh the black bars, and instead it OVERSCANS the picture area, increasing resolution within the bars. Fantastic. Images are freakishly clean, it's like the picture is being carved by a laser.
One review I read suggested that the I'Arts have "too much colour". I agree, the factory setting on the colour is a little generous. Two clicks in the video menu in the other direction made the colours perfect. Additionally, the I'Art has a colour temperature selector that allows you to change the colour temperature, which cools the colour down a bit. I used one of those "calibrate your TV" DVD sets and after fifteen minutes I had really great picture settings that I haven't changed since.
I heartily recommend the JVC 32" I'Art, without a doubt the finest television I've ever seen. I WORK in television production, and I've spent many long hours staring at professional video monitors and let me tell you, I'd rather look at the I'Art.
As far as i'm concerned, JVC has grown up and kicked Sony right off the video throne.