Sadly the UT32MH70’s problems continue. For I also found myself a little underwhelmed by its black level response, which bottoms out into a bluish grey tone rather more readily than the black levels of some of our recent favourite LCDs. This additionally – inevitably – affects the TV’s presentation of the shadow details that help give dark scenes depth, as they kind of get lost in the blue-grey clouds.
On the plus side, the UT32MH70 produces some knock-out colour tones despite its black level shortcomings, showing plenty of richness with colourful fare such as ”Racedriver GRID” on the Xbox 360, but also a natural touch with ”Blood Diamond’s” frequently tricky skin tones that’s exceptionally rare in the flat TV world.
We’ve praised the noise reduction aspects of Hitachi’s Picture Master HD system before, and it’s great to report that these talents are to the fore again with the UT32MH70, as its HD pictures look wonderfully polished and fizz-free.
Its pictures are also relatively untroubled by LCD’s traditional motion blur problems, though the lack of the 100Hz engine found on the set’s 42in sibling does mean motion looks a touch less distinct than it did on the larger model.
The UT32MH70 deserves praise, too, for its standard definition performance. Picture Master has long shown a real knack for the tricky business of upscaling standard definition to HD and even full HD panels, and here that knack helps standard def pictures appear notably sharper than usual. Yet crucially this leap in apparent resolution is not joined by anywhere near as much video noise or colour tone slippage as is still common with standard definition in the LCD world.
Unlike its bigger brother, the UT32MH70 ships with built-in speakers. Predictably though, given the lack of simple chassis size Hitachi is having to work with, these speakers really prove pretty improverished when it comes to those key movie requirements of bass and volume. The gunfight during the first action scene in Sky’s recent HD broadcast of Die Hard 4.0 thus sounds more like a firecracker party than a life-or-death shoot-out.
The UT32MH70 is sufficiently distinctive aesthetically and just about good enough in performance terms to justify its £900 price. However, it’s not as accomplished a performer as its own bigger, Ultra Thin brother, and perhaps more importantly, it also isn’t as accomplished a performer as some of its fatter 32in rivals.
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