If this screen were a catwalk model, it would probably be described as being of the anorexic variety – which is spot on for this roundup. Why is it so thin? One of the reasons is that there's no built-in tuner – something of a no-no in today's added-value obsessed buyer's market.
Browse Plasma and LCD TVs brands
- August International
- Bang and Olufsen
- John Lewis
- Pacific Digital
- Packard Bell
The UT prefix of Hitachi's UT42MX70 stands for Ultra Thin. And, unlike similar descriptive monikers from certain other brands (see the Sharp elsewhere in this grouptest), in this case Ultra Thin really means something – the UT42MX70 is a mere 35mm deep/thin.
The flatscreen gospel according to Hitachi has always been dominated by one idea: plasma. But the news that the manufacturer has finally abandoned gas technology at the key flatscreen size of 42in is indicative of how the market is going. And on the strength of the Hitachi L42VP01, we're not sure just how much the brand believes in LCD technology.
Plasma TVs with built-in hard disk drives for making recordings are a rare breed. To our mind there are only a few other flatscreens TVs in existence that offer the same capabilities – LG's Freeview Playback LT75 LCD TVs and Loewe's rather expensive Individual Compose 40.
The catchily-titled Hitachi UT32MH70 is remarkably slim. At only 35mm thick, this 32incher is in danger of gliding away on the faintest of breezes.I exaggerate, of course, but it's still as thin a production screen I've ever seen up close. It's impressive. Yet once the 'wow' factor has worn off, you have to wonder whether its girth, or lack of, is simply a gimmick. And is there a performance compromise to be paid?
Once one of plasma technology’s staunchest supporters, Hitachi is increasingly edging towards the LCD camp. So it comes as no real surprise to find ourselves faced with a new largescreen in the shape of the L37X01.
The Hitachi P50XR01 isn't what you'd call a bargain. At a cool £2,300 (although we spotted it for as little as £1,600 online), the P50XR01 builds-in a massive 250GB hard drive (around 100 hours) behind a panel that's pixel-packed, all atop a motorised swivel stand
TVs with built-in hard disk recorders are like buses: you wait an absolute eternity for one to arrive and then loads turn up at once. Hot on the heels of Loewe's Individual Compose 40 comes Hitachi's new giant, the P50-XR01, complete with 250GB hard-disk drive.
Hitachi has always been better known for its top-class plasma screens than for LCD TVs, but the Japanese company has put a great deal of effort into developing this 37in HD-ready model.