Also pretty good – though not, it must be said, outstanding – is the 37LD6600’s black level response. Dark picture portions certainly get black enough to give pictures a sense of dynamism and scale, and there’s just about enough subtle detailing in dark areas to stop them looking hollow.
Motion is reasonably well handled by the 37LD6600 too, with little of the smearing that might suggest a poor LCD response time.
Now for the bad news – starting with the way the 37LD6600 fails to do full justice to the lovely extra sharpness and detail in our beloved collection of high definition sources. In fact, we’d even say that HD pictures on this Hitachi actually look a touch soft. Not so much so that you can’t still tell the difference between HD and standard definition, but enough that your mates might not quite get what all the fuss is about HD if they just saw it running on the 37LD6600.
We also felt that the picture seems a little noisy at times, especially during standard definition viewing. And as we hinted earlier, while black levels aren’t bad, they’re certainly also not the best in the LCD world.
The 37LD6600’s sound is more consistent than its pictures. The fears we voiced earlier after spotting the subwoofer output prove unfounded, as the TV manages to deliver quite considerable amounts of bass from its own speakers. Furthermore, it does this without sounding rough or distorted, and without shunting trebles too far into the background. The only thing keeping the sound score down to an eight is the fact that people’s voices can sound a bit unnatural and muddy, especially during raucous action scenes.
If Hitachi could perhaps find its way to knocking £200-£300 off the 37LD6600’s price, it might start to grow on us. But as it stands the most exciting word we can think of to sum it up is ‘solid’…