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Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV review

John Archer

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Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • Hitachi UT42MX70 42in LCD TV
  • UT42MX70 42" ULTRA THIN LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

While Hitachi's UT42MX70 might not be the first of the new generation of ‘mega thin' flat-panel TVs through our doors, it's definitely the thinnest. It's just 35mm deep across its entire rear end, compared with the 90-110mm depths found on normal flat - now to be known as fat - TVs.

Regular readers may remember our review of JVC's 42DS9 - the very first really thin LCD TV with a bezel only 34mm deep - a whole 1mm less than the UT42MX70. But actually, while the JVC's depth really was marginally thinner than that of the new Hitachi over around two-thirds of its body, there was a rather significant section in the 42DS9's middle where the girth suddenly expanded to a relatively hefty 74mm. The UT42MX70, however, has no such ‘spare tyre' to worry about, allowing it to generate an achingly gorgeous, almost ethereal impact as you walk around it.

The groundbreaking skinniness of the UT42MX70 has been achieved with the help of a cluster of key technological innovations. For starters, the LCD layers in the screen have been made more compact. Also various components have been replaced by chipsets, the power supply unit has been reduced to barely a third of the size of normal flat TV power supplies, and the ventilation system has been completely redesigned to improve heat dissipation and improve air-flow.

There's one other rather important reason why the UT42MX70 can be so slim - it doesn't have a tuner. If you're surprised by this, you really shouldn't be. For the fact is that tuners are remarkably bulky things - indeed, it was the tuner that forced JVC's 42DS9 to jut out more over its central third.

Obviously, though, not having a tuner makes the UT42MX70 a slightly complex proposition for your average TV buyer. For, starters, if you want to get pictures into the screen, you're going to have to depend on an external video source, such as a Sky HD or Freesat receiver.

This isn't too troublesome, I guess, but adding a further layer of complication is the rather surprising fact that the UT42MX70 only has a single HDMI socket for video duties. Yikes.

On reflection, however, this apparent dearth of video connections isn't quite as crazy as it initially sounds, for two reasons. First, a TV so outrageously minimal really doesn't want to have its sultry good looks spoiled by spools of cables hanging out of its bum.

Second, being able to make do with just a single cable running between your sources and the screen is a much more likely scenario for the AV installation market Hitachi openly admits it's targeting with the UT42MX70. After all, if the screens are merely the video centrepieces of wider AV systems, it's very likely that their owners will be able to ‘route' video sources through, say, an external HDMI switchbox or an AV receiver.

Matthew Bunton

July 7, 2008, 9:12 pm

1 HDMI input is a joke what on earth were they thinking especially considering the lack of an internal tuner. Price is very high also you could by the class leading Pioneer Kuro 50" 508XD Plasma + a free Sat box and still have over 𧸖 left.





I must admit I wouldn't touch another Hitachi product after all the problems I had last year with one of their LCD TV's and Hitachi's terrible customer care attitude.

Ironduke

July 7, 2008, 11:40 pm

most hitachi products are inferior or lack class to their competitors, its obvious this tv is for the style over Value for money ala Macbook Air, However if you have a hdmi Reciever and want something uber slim for the wall (My 56" sharp LCD was one of the thinest a year ago at 89mm), It appears this hitachi has the picture quality to go with it.

DEB

July 9, 2008, 1:55 am

Looks like a stunning piece of design and engineering from what I have seen and read. The price is high but not unreasonable for what is arguable the most cutting edge display on the market.

David Walker

March 9, 2009, 2:27 am

So am I missing something...How is this a television and not a monitor?

Ian 13

May 15, 2009, 2:26 pm

I just bought one of these from RicherSounds for £499 inc VAT. Pretty good price considering spec. It is more like a monitor than a TV - no Freeview, Tuner etc. but will be a perfect match for my V+ box. One HDMI is an issue but a switchbox will sort that. Also, it does have speakers unlike some reviews mention on the net.

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