updated 11:55 am EDT, Thu April 9, 2009
Hitachi ultra-thin HDTVs
Hitachi Japan recently announced the upcoming release of no less than 11 new HDTV models in two series, including four LCDs in the Wooo UT800 series as well as four plasmas and three LCDs in the Wooo 03 range. The ultra-thin UT800 LCDs are all about 1.4 inches thick and all sport 1080p resolutions. Their thin profile is achieved thanks to the use of Ultra Wideband wireless tuner boxes, called Wooo Stations, that sit away from the HDTVs. Apart from dual tuners, the Wooo Stations also house a 250GB hard disk drive, an iVDR-S slot for removable DVR recordings and an SDHC memory card slot. They are available in 32-, 37-, 42- and 47-inch sizes.
The four HDTVs also share 120Hz panels with 500cd/m2 brightness ratings. Compared to their predecessors, the new TVs have a built-in sensor on the front of the panel that automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen depending on the ambient lighting conditions and the media type to reduce power usage accordingly.
The TVs can record programs in HD resolution or download content from a TV network. The dual tuner and DVR features allows users to watch one program while recording another. The sets also support Yahoo Japan, allowing users to post on the service's message boards. Thanks to their Ethernet connections, the sets let users view photos or videos from their PCs. DTCP-IP client equipped PCs can even access recordings from the TV sets' hard drives.
The panels themselves have one each of HDMI and D4 inputs, as well as an auxiliary stereo input and headphone output. The Woo Stations, meanwhile, have three HDMI, two DR, 1 composite and three analog audio inputs. Outputs include one HDMI, one optical audio jack and a telerecording output.
The Wooo 03 range is made up of four plasma sets, with the 50-inch P50-XP03 1920x1080 set acting as the flagship and the 42-inch P42-HP03 at the entry-level end with a 1024x768 resolution. The LCDs range from the 32-inch, 1366x768 L32-WP03 to the 42-inch L42-XP03 with 1920x1080 resolution. All share the same built-in 250GB hard drive, iVDR slot and SDHC memory card slot, with program recording capabilities on the twin tuners as well as downloading abilities.
The three 1080p plasma HDTVs have a 40,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio while the P42-HP03 has a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. Hitachi says the new plasma panels are between 40 percent and 50 percent more efficient than their predecessors. No similar specs were published for the LCDs.
All seven of the more conventional sets have a new automatic picture adjusting feature that detects the type of content being played and adjusts brightness and color setting accordingly. An "Eco-degree view" display gives users real-time status of how much power the sets are using up.
A range of recording options lets users strike a balance between storage space and quality. Like the UT800s, there is Yahoo support and the ability to synchronize with PCs and media servers.
The UT800s will begin shipping in October, with prices ranging from the equivalent of $2,400 to $4,300. The Wooo 03 LCDs will start arriving in Japanese stores starting on April 25th, while the four plasmas will begin shipping late in May. Pricing ranges from $2,000 to $3,200. [via Impress]