updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue March 20, 2007
Hitachi Wooo 01 TV
Hitachi this morning launched the new Wooo 01 line of flat-panel TVs. Focusing primarily on recording, most models come with an internal 250GB hard drive as well as dual sets of analog and digital TV tuners to record one show while watching another. The flagship XR models in each line also add support for Maxell's new iVDR removable drives: designed to be interchangeable between TVs, PCs, and other devices, the hard disks slot in without any cables to add as much as 160GB extra storage or to copy unprotected videos to and from the set. Studios such as Warner Home Video are even offering limited-run 40GB drives preloaded with protected movies, Hitachi says.
Each range varies by size as well as by recording options: for the plasma Wooo, the 50-inch P50-XR01 tops the line with true 1080p output, a 10,000:! contrast ratio, and both the 250GB and iVDR drive slot; the 42-inch P42-HR01 and 37-inch P37-HR01 keep the 250GB hard drive, while the similarly-sized P42-H01 and P37-H01 are traditional driveless models.
The LCD Wooo models, in turn, see a near-identical pattern: the 37-inch L37-XR01 manages true 1080p with 7,000:1 contrast and has all the storage choices of its 50-inch plasma equivalent, while the two 32-inch LCDs (P32-HR01 and -H01) revert to 720p and shed the iVDR slot and 250GB hard drive respectively.
Prices and launch dates for the new Hitachi screens are unavailable. However, Maxell expects to ship the iVDR drives first in Japan on April 10th, suggesting a closely-timed release for the Wooo sets in the country. A US launch remains unknown.