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The motion handling improvement comes courtesy of new panel circuitry – dubbed ‘overdrive’ – which makes the LCD crystals go through their necessary open-to-closed cycle faster, so that they keep up better with the demands of an object moving at speed across the screen.
Regarding contrast, the improvement is down to advances in controlling the IPS Alpha panel’s backlighting. So during dark scenes the lamp reduces its output to boost black levels, raising it again during bright scenes.
Finally, when it comes to boosting ‘real’ viewing angles, Hitachi reckons that thanks to innovations in the pixel structure you can watch the 32LD9700 from as much as 176 degrees without suffering any significant loss of colour or contrast. And you know what? Based on a couple of minutes spent strolling around the TV, we think that 176 degree claim is far less optimistic than you might think. Excellent!
A search for other key features of the 32LD9700 uncovers a digital tuner with all the usual electronic programme guide and ‘Top Up TV’ subscription channel support. Plus the attractive onscreen menus play host to an exceptionally long list of unusual picture tweaks, such as a 3D comb filter option, a line transient improvement option, a colour transient improvement option, both chroma and ‘normal’ noise reduction routines, and the facility to tweak the backlight manually if you’re not happy with the TV’s automatic system.
As experienced TV testers who at least like to think we know our way around what makes a TV picture tick, we actually quite enjoyed having this level of flexibility available to us. But from a normal consumer’s point of view we can’t help but think that the options actually go a bit far, and have the potential to be more confusing than helpful. So our message to you would be that if you’re not sure what one of the features does, leave it well alone…