I made a special trip to see the Hitachi at the Magnolia section of BB. The Panasonic was turned off for some reason and right next to the Hitachi but I am not in the market for Plasma. The Hitatchi grabbed my attention because it has 120hz. I did see a Samsung 720P on the Main floor running clips from a BlueRay player. It was like 1080P who? Incredible image quality. I checked with a rep if they could order the Sharp 37" LC-37D90U and it came up in the computer but they could no longer order it. Whats up Sharp? Your only 1080P 37" is not available in the big box stores anymore?
I wonder if we are all hyping ourselves over 1080P and in reality watching only SD programming. I'm into future proofing to and I just to walk into a store and buy a TV that looks better than what I watch today which is SD and not feed into a marketing hype of unfinished products and standard that will change tomorrow.
Anyways.... the Hitachi. In my image view there was the Hitachi, Panasonic Plasma (turned off) and the XBR3 46" on the same row. From a distance of 6-8 feet the Hitachi seemed more crisp and detailed than the XBR3 which had a very blurred overcast on everything displayed. The one note was that the XBR3 produced more realistic color. Everything I did to adjust the Hitachi did not come to close to the Sony. I noted that the Hitachi has a very high white balance in combination with the Contrast. Their picture modes for Day and Night didn't help the situation either. I could see where it would be helpful at night since I don't want high contrast images blarring at me in the middle of the night giving me headaches.
After tweaking the Sony mind you it was the large 46" 1080P model comparing to a 37" 768P, I turned DCR off and a few other blurry producing features. The Sharpness of the Sony then shined through or at least a good compromise. However the Hitachi was uncompromising showing every grain of the Discovery HD broadcast which was the prime cause for its grainyness. Also the feeds were on the component input side. It seemed that the Hitachi has no way to combat bad broadcast or at least that I could tell from the settings and what was being displayed. At a distance of 7+ feet, this did allow for perceived additional image detail as compared to the Sony. I also noted from scenes with heavy black levels that the Hitachi could go completely black and I had to adjust it to be able to see the shadow details up to that of the Sony and I back off of it to make the scene/shadow detail dark.
The Hitachi did a good job of displaying color but some colors were very bright like red and blue which led to an unnatural appears at times. For example if someone was wearing a red t-shirt it would appear almost neon red. I tried to adjust for this which there was red adjustments. I guess I should have put it on 50 since 75 percent wasn't enough to compensate to match the Sony. The Sony XBR had very natual colors in comparison.
I did catch some macroblocking on one scene and it was very quick and I happened to be within 3 feet of the screen from the Hitachi even with its 120hz. This leads me to believe that until we see Micronas in action on the upcoming Sharp displays, that no one out there right now is able to effectively handle it even the Sony XBR's.
Conclusion, if you were going to sit at a distance of 7-8 feet, the Hitachi was one of the best smaller displays they had (without tweaking) in the Magnolia section for PQ using its "Day-Automatic" mode. The Hitachi allowed the detail to come through which did allow you to perceive it had a higher resolution but within 3-4 feet the story began to change which is a concern for any SD content. I thought the Pioneer and other plasmas seemed washed out in contrast and some cases color. Now outside of this, the Samsung 1080P on the main floor running a Blue Ray feed was also outstanding.
What I need is a store that shows regular SD channels on all their sets and then we could see which one truley performed. With all this attention to 720P and 1080P you would think that Analog was dead now and not in 2009+ which even then will probably just be upconverted broadcasts. The truth being I only get what 10+? channels of HD from Comast. Best Buy does have a no questions return policy under 30 days, I'm very tempted to become like most people and bring it home and see what happens.
Originally Posted by nornet
I agree with your general statement about the Hitachi being overpriced but I don't think the Sharp or JVC are alternatives as they don't come close to the Hitachi in terms of PQ. Yesterday was crunch day and it came down to the 37HLX99 and the Panasonic 37PX60U. On pure PQ, the Panasonic won as much as I liked the Hitachi colour management, the pannasonic produced great colour out of the box. The bottom line was the Panasonic was $500 cheaper. At home, the panny is far better than I expected and makes my XBR1 and the Sharp 37D90U I returned look like sub $1000 sets.
I couldn't go for the Hitachi as much as wanted an LCD due to lack of information and price.