Pros 3 HDMI & 3 Component Video connections, Swivel base
Cons To much silver for my liking
Summary There seems to be a common theme here by the reviewers. I had done all my research... online, at the stores and consumer reports and was dead set on purchasing the 42"Panasonic. Nobody was going to sway me differently. I now can eat those words and glad that I can. I asked the Best Buy salesman if they had the Panasonic in stock and if so, bring it on out, cuz I wanted to purchase. No problem but Mr. Sales-guy said 'I know you like the Panny but would you mind if I show you a TV that we (Best Buy) really like. I almost said no but decided to go ahead and take a look see. This Hitachi is just as manificent in my home as it was in the store. The HD delivery is incredible and the picture literally jumps out at you. As other reviewers have stated, the standard defintion channels are good but the HD channels are exceptional. I can hardly stand to watch the SD channels anymore. I have never bought a product that I have enjoyed as much as this television. You wouldn't think that HD could make that much difference but it does and this Hitachi delivers! The universal remote is over simplistic and very easy to use. If you are ready for HD Plasma, this TV is for you. BTW, I bought my set 8 weeks ago for $2199 and I think you might be able to purchase this device for under $2K now.
Pros will review when delivered
Cons will review when delivered
Summary Like 70% of the people who have reviewed this product, I was also dead set on the Panasonic. However, (thankfully) I was told to check out this year's Hitachi by a friend I used to work with at Future Shop (Canadian big box store, owned by Best Buy). After checking out a comparison between the two at several different stores just to make sure that it wasn't a weak signal being sent to the Panasonic, I came to the conclusion that the Hitachi has a superior picture, especially handling movement WAY better than the Panasonic (better refresh rate maybe?). So, went to buy the Hitachi. I don't usually tell salespeople that I used to sell home theatre...I just don't like to get into it. So, I decline the warranty. Thank-you, but no thank-you. The sales associate proceeds to tell me that over 25 percent of plasmas need repair within the first 4 years (coincidentally it's a 4 year warranty). That is totally incorrect. Plasmas seem to have very favourable repair rates (see: Consumer Reports). Also, having sold plasmas for almost 5 years, I don't think I EVER had a customer have a defective "name brand" plasma. He also proceeded to tell me that they had shelled out MORE money in warranty work over the past year than they had brought in. Also a lie. Extended service plans run about an 80 percent gross margin (mark-up), and for the first year the store just uses the manufacturer warranty anyway. Sure, sometimes it works out for the best to have an extended warranty, but not very often. With a plasma your biggest problem will likely be burn-in, and that is considered "abuse or misuse," and is not covered by store warranties. Save your money people.
"Love this set."on by rhdx26
Pros Picture quality; elegant design; swivel a plus.
Cons None noted yet--don't anticipate any.
Summary There is a VERY long version about my quest to select a big screen TV. Here's the short version: I considered every size, shape and display type (LCD, plasma, etc.). This one was the best combination of features, quality and price.Updated
This set is da bomb...and the second one cost only $1700 from Circuit City ($1889 minus 10% additional). If there is television in Heaven it will be Hitachi.
Pros Great HD Picture, Stylish Look, QAM Tuner, PiP, Good Picture for SD/Analog Channels, Hitachi Customer Service Was Very Helpful
Cons PiP Requires Alternative Source, Remote Needs Some Refining
Summary I just picked this puppy up at BB for $1499. Been eyeing this Hitachi since it came out at the end of summer. Did all the reseach and compared it to the Panny, LG, etc... Was close to getting it at $1700 a few weeks ago at CC but held off. Glad that I did since at $1499, it's a no brainer!! If you are looking for a good quality 42" plasma TV with great connectivity and features that have been stripped out by other makers, this is the one to get.
I've had a 37" Panny EDTV for a few years and it has served me well. Held off on getting an HD plasma till now since I knew the technology would get better while prices came down.
I would say this Hitachi has almost the exact same features that my Panny has. Only real feature missing that my old Panny has is dual tuners for PiP. But Since I have an HD-DVR, this serves as my other tuner. PiP and the QAM tuner are features that most of the other makers have stripped out of their newer sets. Yes, they have the ASTC tuner for "Off Air" HD signals, so they can claim "Built-in HD." But I live in the hills where I don't have a straight shot to the TV tower. Plus with the ASTC tuner, you only get local channels in HD.
For those of you out there who are not familar with the QAM tuner, it allows you to get unscrambled digital channels from your cable provider WITHOUT using the Set Top Box. Just plug in the coax cable and do an auto scan, you'll get all the unscrambled digital channels. I have gotten the local ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC & PBS stations in HD with the QAM tuner. I used to get ESPN-HD, ESPN2-HD, Discovery-HD from the QAM tuner too, but Comcast started scrambling these channels.
Overall the picture quality is excellent and comparable to a Pioneer at an afforable price. I know that is a bold comparison but that is my opinion.
I haven't seen any of the "flicker" that others have noted. Yes, the blacks are not a good as some others. I have not see the issues with yellows and greens when I watched the NFL games in HD over the weekend. The HD programing from the networks have been excellent. (CSI Miami in HD is usually a good show for vivid colors)
I did call Hitachi Customer Service to inquire about the firmware upgrade. They were very helpful, no long hold time and the reps were in the US vs being outsourced. They are sending me the firmware upgrade so I'll update the review once I install the new firmware.
BTW: Latest firmware version is 115.001Updated
Ok, I got the software upgrade from Hitachi and installed it last night. It took several weeks to get me the upgrade but the support folks had indicated it might be a few weeks.
The software upgrade comes on a SD card so it's all in flash memory. The included instructions were step by step and easy to understand so no "technical" knowledge is needed. It took no more than 5 minutes to install the upgrade and I was ready to see what the difference would be with the new software version.
Overall, I saw improvement in color contrast. I tweaked my settings a bit and in general the picture quality is slightly better. I felt the PQ was excellent already so the improvement is noticable but not like "wow". The black levels are now better. I never saw any "flicker" that others had reported so I can't say if the upgrade did anything for that.
In closing, I think Hitachi has done a great job with their design and allowing customers to self upgrade software via a memory card is awesome. As I stated in my original review, their support folks were very helpful and friendly. I'm really happy with my purchase and would definitely recommend this plasma.
Pros sleek design, fantastic picture!
Cons poor owner's manual
Summary After doing a lot of research on plasma TV's of this size I was set on getting the Panasonic 42". It wasn't until I went to the store to actually check out the TV before I was swayed towards this Hitachi. The picture was more solid and the sound was better in comparison to the Panasonic. Now, I'm just an amateur when it comes to electronic equipment so I have to rely on other features as well. That said, hands down, aesthetically, Hitachi's design beats this year's Panasonic design. I realize that the Pioneer 42" has the best picture out there (not referring to the watered down 42" Costco version Pioneer has out) but if cost is an issue I'd have to say that this TV is bang for the buck! I'm really pleased with this purchase!