CES 2008: Hitachi 1.5 TVs

De La Soul may think that three is the magic number, but Hitachi disagrees.

Pretty much every manufacturer at CES is talking about ultra-slim TVs, with the stands spilling over with prototypes. However, Hitachi went one step further, by filling its stand with actual retail ready ultra-thin screens.

The big message from Hitachi was 1.5, referring to the 1.5in thickness of its latest LCD TVs. Having already launched in Japan a few weeks ago, Hitachi announced that these cutting edge LCD displays would be hitting US shores this month. Based on In Plane Switching (IPS) LCD technology, these TVs should offer superb viewing angles.

Hitachi said that when its ultra-slim TVs were in the design stage, the components needed to build them simple didn’t exist. The answer was simple – create the components necessary to build TVs like this. Lined up all over the Hitachi stand, these TVs looked absolutely stunning and it’s clear that the effort Hitachi put in has definitely paid off.

The 1.5in TVs are available in 42, 37 and 32in sizes, with the latter available in a range of colours. I have to say that I probably wouldn’t have listed Hitachi if I was asked for a list of the most stylish LCD TVs out there, but I would now. If there’s one worry though, it’s that connectivity is very limited, with just a single HDMI port on offer, but even that couldn’t take the shine off. Unfortunately there’s no information on when these TVs will hit UK shores.

As if seeing a range of full production TVs that are only 1.5in thick wasn’t impressive enough, Hitachi also unveiled two prototype plasma displays, both of which were also only 1.5in thick. The plasma screens won’t be available until 2009, but that didn’t make them look any less impressive. With Pioneer and Panasonic both showing off similar ultra-thin plasmas, it looks like there will be a race to see who brings their technology to market first.

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