Hitachi introduced its fall 2007 TV line this week (June 26). According to the company, it is stepping forward in executing on its visionary strategy of providing all 1080, all flat panel, all large-screen (42-inch -60-inch). Hitachi is offering HDTVs with patented, innovative features and never-before-seen technology reported breakthroughs that deliver the most captivating, sharp and clear visual experience, no matter what viewers are watching. In turn, it has dropped all rear projection TVs including the recently announced 3LCD 1080p models that were previewed at CES 2007. As well, all smaller screen sizes have been dropped. Last year, Hitachi offered 32-inch and 37-inch LCD displays.
Hitachi's TV product line spans a total of 14 feature-rich flat panel displays:
Breakthrough Technology Features
- An appealing 60-inch plasma display from Hitachi's legendary Director's Series, for consumers with the sharpest eye, a cultivated design aesthetic and highly discriminating tastes
- Two new 55-inch plasma displays, one H-Series and one T-Series, offering 1.3 million pixels and best-in-class resolution (1280 x 1080) that renders sharper detail than conventional plasma displays
- A selection of three 50-inch plasma displays, one S-Series, one V-Series and one Director's Series model, offering consumers a range of features and options to satisfy their feature requirements and price-point
- Four new flat panel LCD displays: 47-inch and 42-inch S-Series and 47-inch and 42-inch V-Series models, that afford customers an entry point to experience the unique power, design and picture quality that epitomize the Hitachi brand
Boasting 1920 x 1080 line resolution in the vast majority of its new line, these Hitachi HDTVs deliver more than 2 million pixels which represents the highest resolution standard in the industry today. This advanced resolution, combined with Hitachi's PictureMaster IV and V digital video processors, developed and refined throughout Hitachi's 50-year legacy of invention and innovation in image processing, provides the most realistic images ever displayed on a television. And while this might have been enough to satisfy some HDTV
manufacturers, Hitachi added another breakthrough technology element called Reel60 that makes the picture performance truly unparalleled.
Hitachi's Exclusive Reel60 Technology: A Breakthrough in Film Processing
Hitachi R&D also unveiled a technology breakthrough called Reel60, which is a key feature in its Full HD 1080 50-inch HDTV (model P50V701) and its Director's Series Full HD 1080 HDTVs in both 50-inch (model P50X901) and 60-inch (model P60X901) screen sizes. With Hitachi Reel60, a technique is applied that accurately and automatically eliminates the jittery or stuttering visual effect called "judder" which results from outdated methods for 3:2 pulldown correction.
Movies provide the illusion of motion by showing a series of still images over time. In fact, all Hollywood movies flash 24 individual images each second. However, Hollywood's 24 frames-per-second do not match our television systems, which show 60 frames each second. A conversion technique called "3:2 pulldown correction" is used to make the 24 frames of film fit the television's faster 60 frames. As this conversion is done, the viewer can often observe a jerky, troublesome visual effect that is called "judder." It appears as if the image is jittery or stuttering and is especially noticeable when the picture pans or makes sweeping, side-to-side movements.
In conventional approaches, 3:2 pulldown correction is done simply by repeating original film frames every 1/8 second. These repeated frames are what cause "judder," the stuttering, jerky movement that can be observed in motion pans. With Hitachi Reel60, a patented new technique is applied that accurately and automatically eliminates the jerky motion. By creating interpolated frames based on the original film images, the Reel60 processing technology smoothes out the movement and correctly matches the original motion. The result is extremely smooth, pure motion, whether it's a passing vehicle or a camera pan from across the screen or side-to-side. This process is called Motion Vector Interpolation.
Hitachi's Reel60 technology applies sophisticated algorithms to assess and accurately interpolate missing picture information during rapid motion interlaced video sequences. The patented Hitachi processor references various film frames to predict motion at any given space and time to increase detail and correct for motion artifacts in those sequences. The result is an ultra-fast technique, available in Hitachi's new HDTVs, that is designed to replicate the original motion of objects and make corrections in real time for the smoothest viewing experience possible.
According to Daniel Lee, Vice President of Marketing, "Along with the rest of the industry, this problem of judder is one we at Hitachi have been working to solve for quite some time. We are incredibly proud and excited about our Reel60 breakthrough because we want our customers to be able to fully experience movies, not just watch them. To foster that immersive experience, the motion in movies needs to be smooth and uninterrupted. That's how we all see it in the movie theater and now this innovation, by perfectly replicating the image the content creator intended, allows consumers to have that same amazing movie experience at home."
Elegant Details Make the Difference
In all of its new models, Hitachi provides elegant details that enhance convenience and make a real difference in the viewing experience. For example, in some models, Hitachi's Power Swivel capability allows viewers to alter the angle of the display 30 degrees right to left, in seconds, all with a simple press of a remote control button. Additionally, in its V-Series and Director's Series models, the remote control includes glow-in-the-dark keys, another convenience feature for consumers, particularly since the displays are often viewed in dimly lit or dark rooms, as consumers seek to replicate the theater environment at home.
Pricing and Availability
The 60-inch Director's Series plasma (model P60X901) and 50-inch Director's Series plasma (model P50X901) will be available in August for a Manufacturers Advertised Price (MAP) of $7,999.95 and $4,299.95, respectively. The 55-inch H-Series (model P55H401) has an MAP of $2,999.95 and the 55-inch T-Series (model P55T501) has an MAP of $3,299.95; both of these new plasma displays are available in September. The 50" S-Series (model P50S601) will be available in July for an MAP of $3,499.95. The 50-inch V-Series (model P50V701) will be available in August for an MAP of $3,999.95.
The LCD displays are all available in September and are priced as follows:
47-inch S-Series (model L47S601): MAP $2,999.95
47-inch V-Series (model L47V651): MAP $3,199.95
42-inch S-Series (model L42S601): MAP $2,299.95
42-inch V-Series (model L42V651): MAP $2,499.95
Hitachi America, Ltd., Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division, produces and markets a wide variety of digital products for business and consumers. The division's Consumer Group markets high-definition plasma televisions and monitors, LCD projection and flat panel HDTVs, LCD projectors, and DVD camcorders. The division's Business Group markets LCD projectors, professional plasma monitors, interactive panels and whiteboards and security and observation system products through value added resellers, system integrators, distributors and OEM. For consumer products, please visit www.hitachi.us/tv.
For more information on other 2007 TVs introduced, please visit Digital TV DesignLine