An interesting announcement was posted yesterday. JVC has released a new 42″ 1080p LCD TV, except that it’s not really a TV; it’s a monitor. What’s the difference, you ask? The difference is that a TV has a tuner that can receive a broadcast signal and extract the sound and images from it, but a monitor has no tuner. And the new JVC Xiview LT-42WX70 has no tuner.
What the “TV” does have is an extended color gamut that is designed to meet the needs of digital photography enthusiasts. According to JVC, it covers 100% of the sRGB color space, and 96% for Adobe RGB. The set also is just over 1.5″ thick, making it attractively thin. And should you need a monitor, a separate controller box with a tuner is available.
The fact is that many people don’t need a tuner in their TV at all. If you have a set top box for your cable or satellite service, and do not use an antenna for over the air broadcasts, then you don’t need a tuner. Now, this new JVC model has a list price of about $2,400 which is about three times the cost of some other 42″ LCD HDTVs with tuners, so clearly you’re not going to save any money by choosing this tunerless model. But it is interesting to see if this is the start of a return of monitors for home entertainment systems. My guess is that enough people need a tuner and that it costs relatively little to included one, so I expect to see tuners in most flat panel TVs for some time to come.