Hitachi Presents 55in Plasma

If you're having trouble keeping up with the Jones' you can shut them up for good with this 55in TV monster.

It’s fair to say that Hitachi is not a company to do things by half. Only recently we brought you news of its 42PD9700 plasma TV: the UK’s first to claim a native 1080-line pixel resolution. And now the company’s decided to play the ‘big’ card on us with the 55PD9700: a new TV boasting a huge 55in screen.

Before we get into all the cool things this new set CAN do, though, we probably ought to quickly cover something it can’t: namely, boast a native 1080-line resolution. Since it doesn’t use the same ‘ALIS’ technology that made such a resolution possible on the 42PD9700, the 55PD9700’s resolution is capped at 1,366 x 768.

It probably wouldn’t do to get too uptight about this, though, when you consider that you can buy its 55in images for just £3,500; a figure that compares very favourably indeed with the £6,000 Pioneer is currently asking for the UK’s first 50in plasma screen (the PDP-5000EX) to boast a native 1080 resolution.

And anyway, there really is plenty of compensation for the ‘mere’ 768 lines of pixels. For starters this is a ‘proper’ TV rather than just a screen, meaning it boasts a TV tuner – and a digital one at that. It’s also fully HD Ready, being able to handle all the necessary HD formats and boasting two HDMI inputs and one component video input.

Then there’s an SD card slot and a USB input you can use for viewing digital photos direct on the screen; the facility to rotate the screen up to 30 degrees each way via the remote control; an audio output of 36W delivered from no less than 10 speakers; and Hitachi’s Picture Master HD processing engine.

As well as improving detail and reducing noise as per previous Picture Master incarnations, the new Picture Master HD arrangement introduces a colour detection element that allows the TV to spot and work on colours individually, resulting – so we’re assured – in a more accurate colour tone overall.

Look out for Hitachi’s new plasma behemoth in stores any time now.


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