Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

Hitachi 37LD8600 37in LCD TV

You’ve probably got a vague sensation already that something about this review just doesn’t quite add up. But if you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, let us help you: it’s the appearance of a £900 price tag alongside a TV model number that appears to describe a 37in LCD. Surely 32in not 37in is the biggest LCD TV you can get for this far south of a grand, right? Wrong.

For Hitachi really is officially selling the 37in 37LD8600 - through high street giant Comet, no less - for just £900. Which is, of course, absolutely fine by us. Especially if the wallet-bating price tag happens to be joined by something approaching a decent performance level.

First impressions certainly set the right tone. For where more typical budget brands like Goodmans and Bush would probably go for something blandly grey or depressingly plasticky – or both – the 37LD8600 feels robust, and looks more than a little attractive with its black bezel standing proud from a tastefully contrasting grey speaker section along the bottom.

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There are definite signs of the 37LD8600’s essentially budget nature when it comes to connectivity, though. The toughest limitation to accept is the inclusion of just a single HDMI input – hardly ideal in these times of HDMI-bearing Blu-ray/HD-DVD players, Sky HD receivers and, soon, PS3 consoles. Many people reading this review will have to consider factoring an HDMI switcher into the 37LD8600 deal – and you’ll do well to find one of these for under £100.

We’re also a touch disappointed – if hardly surprised – to find only two Scarts and no CI slot, with the latter absence instantly revealing that the 37LD8600 lacks a digital tuner.

It’s not unremittingly bad news on the connections front, though, as a component video input provides Xbox 360 HD compatibility. Plus there’s a dedicated D-Sub interface for connecting a PC. Neither of these things can be taken as givens at this sort of price level.

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