The Hitachi L37X01 makes a good first impression courtesy of a reasonable £800 price tag, classy looks and superb connectivity.

Its screen features a full HD resolution, from which it produces a good-looking 8,000:1 claimed contrast ratio with the help of a dynamic backlight system.

Plus the electronics include Hitachi's Picture Master full HD image processing system, an impressive engine designed to improve colour, contrast and sharpness.

An LCD with a lot of features

What's more, it's joined on the L37X01 by Movie Frame Rate Conversion (Movie FRC), a further processing element that adds extra carefully calculated transitional image frames to what you're watching, in a bid to counter LCD's traditional blurring problem when showing moving objects.

The onscreen menus, meanwhile, feature prodigious user tweaks such as MPEG, chroma and luminance noise reduction settings, line and colour transient adjustments.

The L37X01's pictures are a classic example of mostly good work set against a single disappointing flaw, which concerns black levels. For despite the 8,000:1 contrast ratio claims, we found dark scenes looking distinctly greyed over and flat at times.

This means that one or two colour tones during dark scenes look slightly off-key, too.

Hitachi's picture processing

Now for the good stuff. Starting with the Movie FRC processing, which provided you stick with the 'Smooth 2' setting for most sources and the Smooth 1 setting for 1080p/24fps material, genuinely makes motion look impressively crisp and clear.

The Picture Master HD processing, meanwhile, also helps the L37X01 produce every dot of information in an HD sources, and upscales SD to the full HD screen resolution very effectively too.

As for colours, aside from the occasional off tone during dark scenes, they are in general unusually natural and enjoy some pretty immaculate blends.

The L37X01 is a decent enough audio performer, meanwhile. It lacks that extra bit of raw power that distinguishes the very best flat TV audio, but voices sound rich and distinct, treble details are reasonably clear and there's even a solid attempt to inject a little bass into proceedings.