It’s fair to say that prior to today, at least, Hitachi’s main area of flat TV expertise has been plasma. Two plasma models from the company have already impressed us during our pre-World Cup TV review bonanza, and as one of the few companies that actually researches and builds its own plasma screens, it’s clearly got a vested interest in pursuing plasma over LCD.
But like many other plasma supporters, Hitachi has come to realise that you ignore LCD at your peril. In fact, also in line with many other plasma supporters, it’s increasingly realising that LCD has a part to play at ever bigger screen sizes. So it is that we find ourselves staring at Hitachi’s biggest LCD TV yet: the 37in 37LD6600.
And a very pleasant eyeful it is too. In keeping with many LCD rivals it sports a mostly black fascia, but unusually Hitachi has gone for a matt rather than high-gloss finish – and in our opinion it looks all the better for it. Especially as the matt black makes a stronger contrast with the neat metallic strip of the set’s outer trim.
In an ideal world the desktop stand supplied with the TV would be a little less chunky, and the HD Ready logo in the bottom corner would be a bit less in your face. But these are only minor blots on an otherwise pristine appearance.
The 37LD6600’s connections get the job done without exactly setting our pulses racing. Which is to say that you get the bare HD Ready essentials of single HDMI and component video inputs, along with a VGA PC input and two SCARTs. The only connection ‘extra’ is a subwoofer line out – though ironically this merely serves to make us suspicious about how bad the built-in speakers might be!
We made no mention of any slot for adding a pay-TV digital subscription card in our discussion of the 37LD6600’s connections, and with good reason: the set doesn’t actually carry a digital tuner! This would be disappointing in any circumstances, but it’s especially so here on a TV that’s certainly not particularly cheap by 37in LCD standards.