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Hitachi Director’s Series P60X901 Plasma HDTV Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 April 2008
ImageThe Basics:
Hitachi was one of the first manufacturers to introduce 1080 plasma models to the market in 2007. Some of them, including this 60-inch model, have a 1920 x 1080 resolution; however, the use of a special panel technology called ALiS (Alternate Lighting of Surfaces) causes these TVs to perform more like a 1080i panel. Only alternate rows can be illuminated at the same time, so you never see the full progressive 1080-line signal on the screen.

The Director Series signifies Hitachi’s highest-end models, and this TV is loaded with features. It employs Hitachi’s Reel60 technology, which functions similarly to 120Hz to reduce the appearance of judder and render smoother movement with film sources. The connection panel includes three HDMI inputs (including one on the front panel), two HD-capable component video inputs, both RS-232 and IR blasters for more advanced control, and a CableCARD slot with the TV Guide on Screen program guide. The front-panel SD card reader allows you to view JPEG photos on the 60-inch screen.

The menu includes an extensive amount of picture adjustments for plasma, including access to advanced white-balance controls, multiple color spaces, and advanced color management and color decoding. You can set the TV’s timer to automatically switch between day and night picture settings. The TV features PIP and split-screen viewing modes, as well as numerous aspect ratio options, including a mode that allows you to view 1080i/1080p sources with zero overscan. Automatic aspect ratio detection is here, and Hitachi has added several features to prevent or counteract short-term image retention.
This TV has a simple but elegant design, with an all-black frame and a horizontal speaker bar along the bottom panel. The package includes two remote controls: a simple model for everyday use and a complete model for more advanced control.

The Upside:
This TV does a nice job rendering both high- and standard-definition content, with pleasingly natural color and good detail. Reel60 successfully minimizes film judder. The TV does not suffer from motion blur or viewing-angle limitations.

The Downside:
The TV’s black level is not on par with comparably-priced high-end plasmas. While the anti-reflective screen does minimize light reflections, this TV isn’t as bright as an LCD and may not be the ideal choice for a really bright, sunlit room.

The P60X901 has an excellent complement of features and offers solid performance. However, its higher price tag has it competing with true 1080p plasmas from companies like Pioneer, and its black level and overall performance don’t quite measure up.

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