Hitachi 32LD7200: test and review

Now well established in the market for plasma TVs, Hitachi treats its own competition with the 32LD7200 32 inch LCD screen with enticing features: resolution of 1366×768 pixels (HDTV), HDMI interface, brightness of 500 cd / m2, contrast 600: 1 and slab called “IPS” supposed to ensure both a wide viewing angle and a constant response time between colors.

Right out of the box, the 32LD7200 intrudes. Certainly, these are not simple lines, black plexiglass frame imitation lacquer surrounding the screen and the apparent lack of buttons that will revolutionize the aesthetics of flat screens, however, the elegance of the whole is unquestionable and rivals that of plasma TV. The screen is seen flanked by two detachable speakers, theoretically able to deliver 2×8 watts. They fit smoothly to the TV so that once in place, the fault line is almost invisible. Everything is provided for wall mounting but it also comes with a motorized base allowing rotation of more or less 30 degrees. The stability of the whole is not necessarily obvious at first, but maliciously dealt out some jerks have not uprooted so far.

This TV allows you to detach the speakers and deport them.

In terms of connectivity, it is spoiled. At the rear of the main unit, are three Scart inputs compatible RGB, a set of component jacks (YUV), a component terminal and the corresponding two stereo inputs, two computer inputs D-SUB 15 and DVI, as well as’ a composite monitor output. Moreover, the device comes with a small remote box that plugs into the screen, and provides S-Video, composite and additional stereo. The latter, rough around the edges plastic, slice a bit with the set, but offers a very fast way to connect (or disconnect) a game console or camcorder, for example. The great strength of 32LD7200, however, is the presence of an HDMI port, which allows to transit a digital audio signal and video directly from the source to the screen without using any converter.

A simple control panel (volume, access the menu and the various entries) is at the top of the screen, but will be difficult to handle once it hooked. However, it is the remote that really calls the shots. In this regard, it must be recognized as the 32LD7200 is not a model of ergonomics. As often with Hitachi, it is a bit dated and rather obscure icons. it is done, but not without first studying the austere manual. The selection of sources, for example, is fairly simply, but by pressing the buttons whose primary purpose appears to be to control any player: so we always a little hesitation before pressing. No backlight, alas, but the indispensable volume knob has a sufficiently ergonomic shape to be found in the dark.

The TV, by default, turns back to the last used input. If the source connected to it is disconnected, or simply turned off, the screen will simply display an alert message rather than automatically switch to another active input: nothing serious for which already has a minimum of experience in this area, but a little unsettling for neophytes. Setting the menus offer a clear and convenient navigation and to judge live the changes. However, the wording of some options not clear: we are happy to learn that “YNR” and “CNR” act on reducing digital noise and color, but it will be first necessary to delve into the record. But if a quick TV grip immediately offer a rewarding result, it is essential to look a little further into the settings if you want to fully enjoy the product.

The rear prove less aesthetic than the front and houses all the connectors.

Hitachi, obviously designed primarily for home theater lovers and, in general, thrills: in fact, our first tests were carried out in this direction, taking advantage of the best available inputs. Fed with the HDMI DVD of “Incredibles,” the 32LD7200 immediately showed the extent of his talent. A palette of rich colors, vivid, and stable, with a nice consistency in the rendering of flat tints, very short response time, ensuring a smooth and dynamic reproduction of motion, high definition quality, with an apparent detail. Even in dark scenes, there have been no unsightly ghosting. The perfect anti-reflection treatment of the slab provides extra comfort of vision more significant. Moreover, the viewing angle is spectacular wherever one looks, the loss of quality and visual comfort is negligible. An excellent first touch, then, but an animated film is not however a sufficient test regarding the general definition of the image. So, still HDMI, we launched “Attack of the Clones” on the 32LD7200. A choice that is far from innocent as the DVD copy directly from the original digital master. No surprise on the program: if blacks are not as deep as some plasma screens, the image will nonetheless has a real relief and the large face of plans, for example, are not short on subtlety .

With DVD to the more traditional genesis (a copy film transferred to digital telecine) as “The House of Flying Daggers”, the Hitachi confirms its color science (one billion anyway), his mastery of contrast and, it displays more overt defects in defining contours and details in general, continues to stand above the fray of LCD TVs. The successive passage of the RGB to YUV and HDMI, shows the high quality converters and embedded scaleurs. In terms of pure detail, the difference between the progressive YUV and HDMI nothing overwhelming for first. In contrast, the colors appear more realistic and delicate (less warm, too) with the second. Behind this performance hides the Picture Master technology which constantly analyzes every scene and adjusts brightness and color matching in real time. Two processors work together to achieve this result. These are perhaps the backgrounds, in the case of sequences with shallow depth of field, which are worse off in RGB or YUV: the aspect of “computer” of the image is revealed more readily, with a rather brutal treatment of blur. This detail aside, those who do not have HDMI output on their DVD player can sleep: the processing of analog signals is really high quality.

At this point, it is almost essential to look further into the many picture options, with the share of subjective that the company has. The enigmatic YNR mode, assumed reduce digital noise, must be handled with care: low speed, it softens the image without erasing too much detail, however, in a high position, the image becomes fuzzy and imprecise . Increasing the black level works fine, except that the overall brightness suffers. Different picture modes (natural, dynamic, cinema) provide the results to the quite marked differences, and need to play together with conventional settings, failing to get a picture with extravagant colors, with bright parts. These adjustments are delicate, therefore, but far from being useless in some effort, we arrive at a picture in the whole net, precise, dynamic and beautifully contrasted.

This flat screen has a depth of 12.3 cm without foot and 32 cm.

Above, we mentioned resolution (1366×768) and HDTV compatibility 32LD7200. Remember that when playing a DVD, for example, a high resolution is not necessarily assured of a better picture, since it is higher than that of the original signal: in contrast, it becomes necessary with the high definition, which requires the display of at least 720 non-interlaced lines (or 720p). Meanwhile HDTV programs (end of 2006 if all goes well), Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, is currently connecting the monitor to a PC that can measure the contribution of the high definition. The numerous demonstrations available on the internet give pretty amazing results with the 32LD7200: gain vitality, precision and contrast is remarkable. The investment for the future is assured.

With sources of lower quality (composite antenna signal), the Hitachi TV is no miracle. However, even if we do not turn lead into gold, it is possible to hide the misery for the price of a few settings, piecemeal. But let it be said: the primary purpose of this screen is definitely not to watch TV programs broadcast by radio.

Let’s finish this overview with the sound aspect, often the poor relation of flat screens. The record is overall okay with a reasonably wide and deep soundstage. The spatial mode “Matrix” gives a real dimension to a DVD soundtrack with acceptable differentiation of each sound plan. However, bass sounds are lacking safe and as mixes, dialogues tend to be swallowed by the higher frequencies (there is also no medium setting available). That will not forget a real 5.1 set, but will troubleshoot if necessary.

In reality, there is nothing that the Hitachi 32LD7200 make really bad: it demonstrates the responsiveness of LCD technology, given a little early loser. More than a home television set, the Hitachi 32LD7200 is a solution to consider closely by DVD fanatics about to succumb to the lure of flat screens.