updated 12:45 pm EST, Sat January 5, 2008
Hitachi Ultra Thin HDTVs
Hitachi's presence at CES will be dictated by a new series in its Director's and UltraVision HDTV catalog. Dubbed the Ultra Thin 1.5 line, the new LCD screens stress a thinness that lets them fit into exceptionally tight home theater environments. Regardless of display size, each earns its namesake through a cabinet which is just 1.5-inch deep. Every set is also quiet and stylish, even at the back where many companies neglect their sets, Hitachi says. All models include support for HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color, while all 1080p models also have 120Hz panels that eliminate most traces of motion blur.
Based on the Wooo line already available in Japan, the American line ships in 32-, 37-, and 42-inch sizes split into three core models. All 32-inch screens run at 720p and use a standard 60Hz panel, while the larger screens run at 1080p; the base UltraVision V-series and higher-quality Director's Series sets all come with single HDMI 1.3 and VGA ports for digital input, while the UltraVision S-series extends the V to include a breakout box with three extra HDMI ports, an ATSC tuner, and two component inputs. No prices are yet available, though Hitachi promises the 32-inch Director's Series set in the first quarter of the year and will follow up with all other Ultra Thin 1.5 models in the spring.
An Ultra Thin 1.5 plasma series is also in development, Hitachi says. Currently sitting at 50 inches, the screen achieves the size using "secretive and highly competitive" technology that allows plasma's quality without the accompanying bulk. The company does not expect shipping plasma versions until the end of 2009 but notes it may have other sizes with the eventual launch.