JVC intros 55-inch BlackSapphire LCD TV with 45W virtual surround sound, SlingPlayer

Every TV maker trying to avoid total commoditization has a special trick to keep its designs unique and worth a higher price. For JVC, that trick is sound. It's launching the BlackSapphire line of LCD-based 3D TVs with the 55-inch, edge LED-lit JLE55SP4400, whose signature is an unusually powerful built-in audio system: the 45W system and 3D processing supposedly produces surround sound without having to line the living room with extra speakers. Odds are that the set won't provide much competition for dedicated speakers, although JVC is promising more integration beyond this with rare built-in SlingPlayer TV streaming, just in case there's a Slingbox in another part of the home. The all-in strategy could make the inaugural BlackSapphire more of a bargain than it looks: that $1,300 you'll pay when the screen ships this month might be all you need to start watching.

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New JVC 55" XinemaView 3D HDTV Delivers Powerful Sound & Connectivity

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- JVC-TV, the legendary brand in audio/video electronics, has announced the introduction of the new 55" JLE55SP4000 3D HDTV featuring XinemaView 3D™ (complete with four pair of battery-free 3D glasses), built-in WiFi and Internet applications, 120Hz CrystalMotion™ screen, and a remote control with QWERTY keypad.

The new JLE55SP4000 is the first model in the venerable JVC brand's new "BlackSapphire" line of HDTVs, the second line introduced since JVC merged with Kenwood and licensed by AmTRAN Video Corp., with more BlackSapphire models coming soon. Featuring an ultra-thin bezel design (less than 0.5" thick) and 1080p Full HD resolution, the edge LED backlit JLE55SP4000 stands out from comparable models with its superior sound quality (no external soundbar needed) and advanced connectivity.

The sound system boasts 45-watts of total speaker output power, including a built-in woofer and enhanced by JVC's proprietary XinemaSound™ 3D acoustic and post processing technologies, which also allows consumers to achieve a surround-sound experience without any additional speakers.

"The JLE55SP4000 delivers sound that is a cut above HDTVs at any price, let alone those at such an affordable price point," said Drew Pragliola, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at AmTran Video Corp. "The typical HDTV's sonic output is weak, so we set out to change the landscape with this model. Looking ahead, our new BlackSapphire line will continue to bring consumers a superior level of audio performance, along with a brilliant 3D picture, and Internet connectivity at a price the average consumer will appreciate. It's a high performance HDTV selling for an everyday price."

The JLE55SP4000 incorporates the Internet Connected Experience (I.C.E.™) with preloaded and downloadable ICE apps™. The preloaded apps include Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, and Pandora. WiFi 802.11n is built in for easy wireless Internet connectivity. The remote control makes searching and other text-entry operations easy thanks to a built in QWERTY-style keyboard located on the back of the wireless remote.

For easy viewing of photos, home videos and music, two USB input ports are provided. There are also four HDMI inputs, one antenna input, component and composite video inputs, one VGA/RGB PC input, one 3.5mm music/pc sound input, one digital audio optical output and one stereo audio output. All HDMI and USB ports are conveniently located along the side.

The 55" class (54.6" diagonal) screen has edge LED backlighting and 120Hz CrystalMotion frame rate for maximum clarity during fast-moving action. The built-in XinemaView 3D employs battery-free 3D glasses (the movie-theater style glasses many viewers prefer over the bulkier "shutter glasses" 3D technology used by others.) The screen has 20-million: 1 contrast ratio with dynamic processing, and CrystalColor™ Enhancement and ambient light sensing for maximum picture quality.

JVC-Kenwood has licensed AmTRAN Video Corporation (AVC) to manufacture and market the BlackSapphire line of high-performance, high-value HDTVs in North America. The JVC brand is legendary in consumer electronics for many innovations, including the VHS videocassette format of the 1970s and 80s. "Our BlackSapphire TVs are consistent with everything JVC stands for," Pragliola noted, "which is great performance, great cutting edge technology, and exceptional value."

The JLE55SP4000 will ship this month for $1,299.99 SRP.