I just wanted to break the news for anyone out there interested in Hitachi LCDs. Looks like Hitachi has rereleased the 32" and 37" panels (32HDL52 and 37HDL52) with HDMI.
A couple weeks ago I ordered a Hitachi 37HDL52 37" LCD panel from the local Circuit City (Colorado Springs). I researched it for a while and, unfortunately, never found a whole lot of info on it, except that everyone that had one seemed to love it. About the only real knock on it was that it had DVI - not HDMI. Well, my cable box has DVI too, no HDMI, so I figured what the heck. Once my wife and I saw a 32" version in the store, we were sold, end of story. I took advantage of CC's 24-month 0% interest deal, but the scary part is that they could not even provide an estimated ship date. I even poked around the web and could not find a single one available anywhere in the U.S. Kind of made me wonder if Hitachi wasn't having some manufacturing problems or something. And I realize now that my willingness to accept the lack of HDMI was perhaps a little shortsighted in the face of the upcoming high-def DVD players that won't ever do DVI for copy protection reasons (arghhhh!).
Well, the mystery of the unavailable Hitachi LCDs has been solved. I finally got antsy and called CC yesterday and, coincidentally, they said that my panel was due to arrive that afternoon. I brought it home last night and discovered that the model number was slightly different:
37HDL52A (note the added "A" designation)
Once I pulled it out of the box the light bulb went on. "HDMI" stamped in big letters on the back of the chassis. The manual references the 32HDL52A and 37HDL52A, so I guess Hitachi went back and upgraded both sized panels, dumped the DVI and put in HDMI. The delays in availability must have been so Hitachi could switch over their inventory or something.
I guess this is breaking news since I googled on "32HDL52A" and "37HDL52A" and came up with zilch. It's not up on Hitachi's website yet either.
Anyhow, it's late (for me) and I'm going to bed now (I'm totally worn out from oggling my new TV for the last 24 hours). My initial impressions are... WOW. Totally impressed. Has exceeded my expectations. Of course, I also discovered that my new Motorola Moxi DVR has... let's just say "issues" (noisy like a jet engine, for starters). But the panel is a dream.
If anyone wants me to write down a more detailed review on the panel, let me know and I'll get back in a few days.