Hitachi will launch a new 55 inch HD Ready plasma TV next month. Priced at around 3,500 pounds, the 55PD9700 has an integrated Freeview tuner, twin HDMI inputs, and a programmable remote control.
The screen uses an E-ALIS (Alternate Lighting of Surfaces) plasma panel, with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels. Picture processing is via the latest version of Hitachi’s Picture Master HD chipset, which now incorporates colour detection. This enables the TV to identify and analyse individual colours, to deliver more accurate colour adjustment, including pure red, which is, says Hitachi “traditionally, the hardest colour for a plasma TV to reproduce.”
In addition to the twin HDMI inputs, there’s also three Scart sockets, S-VHS and composite video inputs and a 15-pin PC DSUB. Less techy but rather cool is the powered swivel stand, which enables the viewer to rotate the huge screen by 30 degrees either side of centre.
Other tricks include an SD card reader for viewing JPEGs and a USB input for the connection of a multi-memory card reader, for other types of memory card. The set also has a split-screen mode.
Two viewers can even watch two different AV sources. In Picture and Picture mode, a TV programme is shown on one half of the screen, with the sound delivered through the TV’s speakers, while content from a connected source device, such as a DVD player or set-top box, is shown on the other half of the screen, with the sound delivered through the headphone socket.