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Yes africandiscus, you have sure got a bee in your bonnet about this 1024x1024 thing. You need to have a reed up on alis panels and if you don't like the idea buy a panna or pio. However you can not get 1366x768 on a 42" plasma you would have to buy an lcd to get this reso on a 42" or smaller display.

For what it's worth the hitachi specs. sheet are one of the few that disclose which input resolutions/frequencies are accepted. With a htpc all you have to do is set the output to anyone of these stated inputs.

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I am telling as it is. Just giving people a heads up. Below is a quote from the MCE forum.

I've (just) got a Hitachi 7800, 42" HD Plasma at 1024X1024. The pixels are rectangular so the aspect ratio is 16:9. Windows looks just fine, and so does my MCE content. I watch 16:9 TV and movies in MCE's 3rd zoom mode. 4:3 content looks better in the 2nd zoom mode as the blask bars on each side are "removed".

If you are happy with zooming and fiddling, each to there own.

If you are never planning on using MCE, it is a fantastic panel. I am looking ahead

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If you are going to watch 4:3 content on a 16:9 display what do you expect to see in the side areas not used by the 4:3 content? This you might realise is due to the aspect ratio and nothing to do with the resolution. Watching 4:3 material on a 16:9 1366x768 display would have the same result.

People either have the bars either side, stretch the picture to fill the screen (people look at bit fat/broad), or zoom in (letterbox) (thereby deleting some of the top and bottom of the picture and so filling the widescreen).

Why would you buy a 16:9 widescreen display to watch 4:3 material?

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sounds strange to me I remember hooking up to my pc the first time year and a half ago via dvi-d and also later tried it via RGB dsub both ways my pc recognised it straight away (the panel must be plug and play) and loaded a whole bunch of custom resolutions I could choose from.

I found htpc a pain in the bum from useability and other factors even though I outlayed a fair bit on the pc and video card etc. Anyways the hitachi has remarkable flexibility with formats I could run at 50hz/60hz even tried 100hz for the fun of it.

I put some professionally taken digital photos up on screen and it was god damn gorgeous !

Also tried some dvd through and also via my usb fusion hdtv as well - can tell you 1080i with the 9 loop that was running at the time was jaw dropping.

perhaps depends on the video card your using but really I don't think theres a more flexible panel out there in regards connectivity and pc formats and freq you can run on it.

As far as blacks I'd be suprised with blacks being washed out. I've watched stuff onscreen and compared shadows with the black surround on the panel and honestly don't know how much blacker it can get. Perhaps your comparing to the pana in which case perhaps the pana has blacker blacks I havent done a side by side with the 8800 and pana as yet.

We also have to remember that the Pana has been displayed on the showroom floor for awhile now and has had its 200 hours as opposed to the 8800 which is straight out of the box and both are set at factory defaults which isnt the ideal calibration.

I like both panels however the flexibility with the Hitachi as you correctly pointed out wins me over.

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If you are going to watch 4:3 content on a 16:9 display what do you expect to see in the side areas not used by the 4:3 content? This you might realise is due to the aspect ratio and nothing to do with the resolution. Watching 4:3 material on a 16:9 1366x768 display would have the same result.

People either have the bars either side, stretch the picture to fill the screen (people look at bit fat/broad), or zoom in (letterbox)  (thereby deleting some of the top and bottom of the picture and so filling the widescreen).

Why would you buy a 16:9 widescreen display to watch 4:3 material?

Minor adjustments will be required no matter what panel is used with STB,PC. or DVD player.

Long gone are the days whereby the old CRT is a plug and play and we have to put up with 1/3 of the picture and the rest black bars while watching a movie.

Those who think otherwise are in for a shock and should spend $15 at the cinema.

It is important that a panel has the capability for the correct adjustments to suit the viewer otherwise its going to be a waste of money :blink:

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great to hear lasty given the effort you put in great to hear your getting one. Any chance once you get it you can do us a favour with a review ?

Yes I will be happy to give a review once all set up.

I know these things are going to dump in price after xmas.

Someone suggested these will be $3500.

Even though I have a good price now it will cost me an extra $500 for 4 years warranty which is quite expensive.

The big question remains can I hold off for another month or so and get that piece of mind. :blink:

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Ah Lasty, the eternal question! If you do hold off too long something better will come along in the meantime. You have to jump in eventually :P

I went and had a look at it today at JB and came away very impressed. Straight out of the box, it looked more natural than the Pio and sharper than the Pana (which I thought you were a big fan of, is that right?). I'd pretty much settled on the Pana, but may do the same thing as you and wait a month or so until the price drops on the Hitachi and snap one up.

For a laugh I went next door (literally) to Hardly Normal and asked them about the new Hitachi. "Salesman" said he didn't have them yet and told me they were no good anyway as they were 1024 x 1024 and then proceded to try and sell me a SD NEC for about the same price. Classic! :blink:

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Ah Lasty, the eternal question! If you do hold off too long something better will come along in the meantime. You have to jump in eventually  :P

I went and had a look at it today at JB and came away very impressed. Straight out of the box, it looked more natural than the Pio and sharper than the Pana (which I thought you were a big fan of, is that right?). I'd pretty much settled on the Pana, but may do the same thing as you and wait a month or so until the price drops on the Hitachi and snap one up.

For a laugh I went next door (literally) to Hardly Normal and asked them about the new Hitachi. "Salesman" said he didn't have them yet and told me they were no good anyway as they were 1024 x 1024 and then proceded to try and sell me a SD NEC for about the same price. Classic! :blink:

Your right about having to bite the bullet :P

Yes I like the Pana as I think its the best value for money.

I think if the Hitachi falls in price so will the Pana so its a catch 22 there.

I suppose I can always get the extra warranty later on.Will check.

I think the salesmen are hard pressed to sell these days.

With house prices falling and the equity in the house diminishing, the refinance on the mortgage to get an extra few grand as many people seem to be doing wont be an option anymore.

This could put pressure on the retail industry which in turn could lead to lower prices in most goods especially after xmas which isnt too far away :P

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Agreed,

I actually had a guy at JB in the city tell me to come back and buy from him in February. His exact words were, "Why would you buy it now when I can sell it to you for $1500 less in three months" Pretty compelling argument.

The catch 22 of prices dropping still leaves you with a decision of what to buy and when to buy it. With any luck this will push the 50" Pana into my price range by the time frame suggested by the JB guy.

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Agreed,

I actually had a guy at JB in the city tell me to come back and buy from him in February. His exact words were, "Why would you buy it now when I can sell it to you for $1500 less in three months" Pretty compelling argument.

The catch 22 of prices dropping still leaves you with a decision of what to buy and when to buy it. With any luck this will push the 50" Pana into my price range by the time frame suggested by the JB guy.

I dont think I can wait for February :blink:

But it does make you think where the HD panel at the lower end will be.

Sub $1500 ? :P

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Guys, I have just recieved some news from a contact of mine from a leading retailer that the 880TA is in stock and available. If anyone is interested in a group buy, PM me as i have already been given $4250 as a preliminary price for a group buy of the Hitachi's through this retailer!

May be able to get better pricing than this, just depends how many people are interested

let me know

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Hi Guys,

I'm newly registered but have been on here for while and have found a lot of interesting information.

I have been comparing and thinking about buying a 42' Plasma for about a year now. From what I can see, the Hitachi's have great picture quality and not many other brands will beat it. The new Viera is good value, but not quite right for looks inputs and noice concerns reported by some.

Today, I saw the 8800TA for the first time at JB Hifi Warringah Mall and I must say it looks much better than the old 7800TA (I did not buy the 7800 because of the looks). The Plasma had obviously default settings and too much red as a result. But colour can easily be adjusted and compared to the Viera and Pioneer next to it It looks at least as good if not better, but with more connections and motorised Swivel stand it is taking advantage. Advertised price was $4495, but I did not talk to anyone about it.

However, I went in to Bing Lee as well and they quoted $3900 if I pre-ordered today. He had 100 on order but they were not confirmed yet, so I did not close the deal. If he had them in stock I would have got it there and then.

Well, I do believe when they start getting stock these will sell for a couple of hundred more than the Viera, I would expect $3700-3800 in the beginning of December.

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When is stock expected to arrive?

That is what he couldn't say and this is why I did not put a deposit down, as it may take into December and I think prices may have dropped even further by then. Hitachi will compete with Panasonic for sure.

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I'm having an 8800 delivered to my home this Saturday. After a lot of comparing, researching and general dithering and dathering my mind was made up that it's the right panel for me. I currently have a 2 yr old LG 42" SD plasma display and believe now is as good a time for an upgrade as any. You could always wait I suppose but there will probably be some killer Pioneer or Fujitsu model (or something) in another 3 months time, and you'll never end up buying anything cause there is always something better on the horizon. Plus there is a certain excitement in being one of the 1st owners of this fantastic display in this country. Fingers crossed I don't a get a dud with pixel problems or something.

I purchased the 8800 from JBs in Osborne Park, Perth for those interested. They had it set-up with the Panny 500A on one side and the 7800 on the other which made visual comparisons easier. The depth and future proofing of the inputs was the main seller for me plus a number of small things, the remote apparently has buttons assigned for each of the inputs...may not seem like a big deal but after cycling through the inputs on my LG a gazillion times that will be a welcome change, along with the motorised swivel...the number of times I've had to manually tilt the LG from side to side...those days be gone! I also agree with other posters to this thread that the 8800 looks so much more cleaner and stylish than the 7800 aesthetically speaking. I would've preferred no inbuilt speakers or detachables but at least they kind of blend in with the overall look of the display and CNet seems to rate them as possessing fairly decent quality, as much as an inbuilt speaker can have I guess.

If anyone is interested I'll post my first impressions on day 1 and/or a more extensive review after a week of operations and testing. I plan to hook it up to my PC for both gaming and movie watching as well as connect it through the usual home theatre set-up. I also plan to marry it with a DVD player with upscaling capabilities, although I haven't settled on a brand or model as of yet...open to other member suggestions on that one. I currently have the LG wired to my PC via DVI and the 1080P samples from the Microsoft website look nothing short of stunning on the lowly 853 x 480 display. I can only imagine how breathtaking the more highly spec'd Hitachi will look with the same content pumped through either the VGA and/or HDMI inputs.

Pricewise I paid bang on $5,000, but that included 5 years extended warranty, 12 months interest free and delivery. Not a great deal perhaps but I don't believe I was exactly fleeced either. Anyhow this was certainly better than what I could haggle from any of the local HN or Retravision stores, plus I would have to wait until they had stock which could've been another couple of weeks. I can barely wait til Saturday as it is.

Only 3 more sleeps!!! :blink:

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Bing Lees stock arrives on the 26 of november I was told.

I was also told it would be in the low 4's at least but if it looks like it will drop into the 3's well I will get one as soon as that happens.

This guy will discount the pana $700 - $800 off rrp so should be same for the hitachi if I haggle hard enough

cheers

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I doubt it, I am told the cost of those panels are around $4400

I think that is pure salesmen talk.

There are big margins on these things.

I have a fixed price already at $4100 ( as a favour ) so I doubt vm the retailer will be taking a $300 hit.

I will be negotiating further with him to throw in extra warranty otherwise I will hold off until the price tumbles which I think wont be too long given the state of the retail climate.

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You could always wait I suppose but there will probably be some killer Pioneer or Fujitsu model (or something) in another 3 months time, and you'll never end up buying anything cause there is always something better on the horizon.

Funny you should mention that. I spoke to the guys at e-home yesterday and they said that the new NEC is about to be released next month (queue massive thread http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?act=Forward&f=6&t=9554 style!) and it is supposed to be killer. Don't suppose anyone out there has heard anything about it? Can't seem to track anything down on it. :blink:

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I am telling as it is.  Just giving people a heads up. Below is a quote from the MCE forum.

If you are happy with zooming and fiddling, each to there own.

If you are never planning on using MCE, it is a fantastic panel.  I am looking ahead

Well, I bought a 6000 on Tuesday.

I had a serious case of buyers remorse, then last night tweaked the settings and I am extatic about the PQ now!!!

As far as HTPC use goes..... I have never heard of as much bollocks in my life.

I have been running a mythtv box for about 12 months on my crappy 4:3 68cm tv.

I took the same htpc box, with NO ADJUSTMENTS, plugged it in via RGB to the hitachi, fired it up and the panel recognised and adjusted res to suit.

Went into live tv or dvd or recorded programs and it is full screen, 16:9 perfect goodness.

No zooming, no switching modes no advjustments, nothing.

If anything is at fault here MCE should be being blamed.

Andrew

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Not actually having the full amount of cash for a unit I tried the following at JB HiFi Mt.Gravatt. $4000 for the plasma. $600 cash deposit and $3400 on 2 years interest free.

They came back with $4200. $600 deposit and $3600 on 2 years interest free.

Then tried if $700 deposit would help which it didn't. I know this is a great deal but I'm in no rush. It's just now finished doing up my lougeroom and on Saturday my new TV cabinet arrives....

The salesman actually told me there cost is $3900..

Arghhhhhhhhhhhh.

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Well, I bought a 6000 on Tuesday.

I had a serious case of buyers remorse, then last night tweaked the settings and I am extatic about the PQ now!!!

.

Andrew

had the same unit also for a week. If you look carefully you will notice that when the scenes changes from dark to bright the unit self adjusts contrast does the same thing going from bright to dark by brightening the screen. Does it slowly and in segments...very annoying.....took it back.

Has something to do with a "black enhancement" option that in this model you cannot turn off.

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had the same unit also for a week. If you look carefully you will notice that when the scenes changes from dark to bright  the unit self adjusts contrast does the same thing going from bright to dark by brightening the screen. Does it slowly and in segments...very annoying.....took it back.

Has something to do with a "black enhancement" option that in this model you cannot turn off.

Hello everyone, just joined the site but have been an avid reader of this forum for many months . . .

I am looking at buying a 42" plasma sometime in the next month, and was reading through the information above . . .

It seems the new Hitachi (42PD8800TA) will be the best on the market, closely followed by the Panasonic (TH-42PV500A). Cost is not an issue here, and I don't mind paying full price for either television (although a discount would be nice . . :blink:

Wondering if the problem mentioned above (the time it takes to go from bright to dark etc) occurrs only on the 6000 model or on the 8800 model as well . . .

Also, if anyone has any recommendations as to what plasma to purchase?

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Not actually having the full amount of cash for a unit I tried the following at JB HiFi Mt.Gravatt. $4000 for the plasma. $600 cash deposit and $3400 on 2 years interest free.

They came back with $4200. $600 deposit and $3600 on 2 years interest free.

Then tried if $700 deposit would help which it didn't. I know this is a great deal but I'm in no rush.  It's just now finished doing up my lougeroom and on Saturday my new TV cabinet arrives....

The salesman actually told me there cost is $3900..

Arghhhhhhhhhhhh.

Got the 8800TA today at JB Hifi in Castle Hill, $3900 for unit and $299 for 5 years extended warranty for a total of $4199. Excellent price and paid with visa.

I have been testing it all night and am stoked about the quality of this panel, all from finish to PQ is A1.

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Hello everyone, just joined the site but have been an avid reader of this forum for many months . . .

I am looking at buying a 42" plasma sometime in the next month, and was reading through the information above . . .

It seems the new Hitachi (42PD8800TA) will be the best on the market, closely followed by the Panasonic (TH-42PV500A). Cost is not an issue here, and I don't mind paying full price for either television (although a discount would be nice . . :)

Wondering if the problem mentioned above (the time it takes to go from bright to dark etc) occurrs only on the 6000 model or on the 8800 model as well . . .

Also, if anyone has any recommendations as to what plasma to purchase?

The 8800TA does not have this problem as you can turn of Black Enhancement under the picture menu.

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The 8800TA does not have this problem as you can turn of Black Enhancement under the picture menu.

Yeah you have 3 options under the picture mode sub menu, 'dynamic', 'cinema' and 'natural'. The black enhancement only appears to happen in dynamic mode in my 2 days of viewing/testing. Thank god you can turn this effect off by switching to either of the other 2 modes as it was really bugging me. Of course the other members of my household didn't know what I was talking about and to be honest the effect is fairly subtle on most occasions, although when you zip between a very dark scene and a very bright scene and vice versa the effect is very noticeable and quite annoying, at least to me. In fact I think I would probably consider retuning it if I couldn't turn it off and that would've been a shame as it's a brilliant display in most other respects. Seems funny to me that the display ships with dynamic mode as the default setting but I guess a lot of people don't notice it as much as I did and it supposedly can enhance the picture in some instances. I must admit I've been analysing the PQ intensely over the past couple of days and not really watching the shows themselves!

When I set it up on Saturday morning I was actually a little disappointed at first. This was because I was assessing just SD and Foxtel content and didn't have the time to connect my digital tuner properly. To me the PQ overall looked no better in many respects than my 2 yr old LG 853 x 480 plama and perhaps a little worse in some aspects (sic)! Whether this was because I was use to watching the LG picture or the higher spec'd attributes of the Hitachi highlighted the shortcomings of the Foxtel broadcast more I don't know. Perhaps it was just that my expectations of what the lower res broadcasts would look like on the 8800 were too high. But what I did notice as an immediate positive was the brilliant colour of the 8800's images even in these lower res formats and more so on HD broadcasts. The colour is perhaps the single most impressive attribute of the picture and the thing most pleasing about this display to me along with the wide array of inputs. The colours are vivid and natural without being warm or artificial, although of course you can adjust the picture to a warm setting if you like that kind of thing.

Where this baby really sings is HD of course. Both 720p and 1080i look excellent running over component and my somewhat average monster cables. Not absoloutely perfect but very very good. I still notice some banding on the Ch 7 HD loop but it is fairly minimal and could be more a deficiency in the broadcast or my cabling rather than the screen itself. In fact this screen displays the Ch 7 HD loop the best I've seen of any screen in the stores, and I've seen a fair few in recent months in preparation for this purchase. Did I mention the colour looks sensational and puts my poor LG panel to shame. The shot of the coloured boats on the shore almost burnt out my retina with gorgeous vibrant colour. I know Hitachi marketed the display on its colour depth...all 68.6 billion of them...but it's no marketing hype on this occasion...Hitachi really delivers on that one.

I've also tested the VGA input with my PC. Gaming on this thing is fantastic in the couple of hours of playing so far. Both F.E.A.R and Battlefield 2 looked nothing short of stunning and in fact embarassed my PC's display (Dell 2001FP 20" LCD) which looked dull and washed out in comparison. Game images looked sharp, detailed and blacks looked...well...black! There was no ghosting or other motion artefacts noticeable either. I also ran the 1080p IMAX samples from the microsoft website and they looked jaw droppingly good through the analogue VGA connection. Web surfing also appeared fine although text is not quite as sharp as on a good LCD monitor but certainly a dramatic improvement over the LG plama which was quite grainy and pretty ugly when viewing text in comparison. I have an NVidia 7800GTX graphics card incidentally so not sure if there will be any difference in PQ to say an ATI card.

The motorised swivel mechanism works perfectly and is completely silent in operation. In fact I've noticed no audible sounds from this display so far such as a fan whirring. When I put my ear right up close to the rear of the unit you can hear the electromagnetic buzz that most electronic devices exhibit. But certainly nothing you would hear sitting on the couch even with the sound off.

There are still plenty of aspects of the display I haven't fully tested and I'm yet to properly calibrate the screen using either DVE or Avia discs. For instance I haven't checked out the quality of the inbuilt speakers yet nor really set-up DVD playing to my liking. Nor have I given the HDMI inputs a workout although I also purchased a Denon 1920 DVD player with HDMI output which I plan to connect to the 8800 in the coming days. If HD FTA over HDMI looks any better than the picture I'm currently getting over component I would be absolutely stoked. Even if it doesn't I'd still be extremely satisfied with the PQ I'm currently getting. I'm purchasing a DVI to HDMI adaptor this week and will be able to observe if there is any noticeable improvement with a completely digital connection from my PC versus VGA. Again I'd still be very happy if there wasn't any appreciable improvement but will be blown away if it does looks any better through HDMI.

All in all this is a VERY GOOD display. Of course I can't comprehensively compare it against say the Panny 500A or a Pioneer or Fujitsu display which I'm sure are all very nice screens too, and perhaps the 8800 is not a major improvement on these. But I can say that if you do buy this unit I think you will be very happy if not flat out amazed by this screen as I have been so far. However if you watch a lot of Foxtel and don't want to connect it to your PC nor watch much high def content then you probably won't get the most out of this display in comparison to say a less expensive SD panel. If you do buy it then a HD digital tuner is mandatory and it would be a crime to hook it up to a SD tuner or PVR imho. Unless something goes drastically wrong in the next week of viewing and playing with it...this baby is a definite keeper, and $5G well spent (incl 5yr warranty and 12mths int free from JB Hi-Fi in Perth). Did I mention the colour, oh glorious colour!

If anyone has any questions about the 8800 I'd be happy to answer them as best I can so either PM me or post them to this thread. Now back to play some more F.E.A.R. on this beauty. :blink:

EDIT: I should mention that I just discovered there is actually a dedicated option for black enhancement as Taido mentioned with 4 choices, 'off', 'low', 'middle', 'high'. The picture modes I described above just have different choices for the black enhamcement level. There are actually 2 and 1/2 pages of picture menu selections on the OSD and the black enhancement selector is on the 2nd page so I didn't notice it initially.

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felix, great post. I have the 7800TA and am very stoked with the pq till this very day. And yes, that power swivel, cannot live without it. A mate of mine recently got the Sony Bravia LCD. And each time I visited, he would need to get up and turn the tv around a bit so that everyone can get better view. With the Hitachi, it is such a bliss to just swivel from where you sit. And yes, you will find the Hitachi dead silent operation a bliss too.

Since you only have your display for only a few 'hours', you will find that once it has settled, the pq does improved markedly. As for sq, I find my Hitachi sound quality is fantastic. Just a couple of nights ago, I watched this movie on Foxtel World Movie called 'Scent of a Papaya' or something like that. When the cicada was chirping, it sounded so real like my room has got a few cicada doing a symphony until I mute the speaker to be met with dead silence. Very nice sound.

All in all, I agree that Hitachi is a very good tv.

Cheers and enjoy... :blink:

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Hi all, nice to meet  everybody on this forum, after my initial period of hold back on this forum I have decided to make my first post and needless to say I need as many suggestions and opinions as possible from you fine people  :blink:

To begin my enquires I would like to possibly explain my situation and clarify it as simple as it should. now I have begin looking around for an Hitachi display for sometime now and has finally decided to go with the 42inch 7800series, incidentally I went down to my local JB and begin my hunt for the display,  to my disappiontment I was adviced from the JB sales rep that this model was no longer available due to an replacement (the 8800 series) and he has left me with his name and detail to come back in roughly a fornight time (NOV10-15th) to check out the newer models of Hitachi plasma. namely the 8800 series. so far I have only obtained some relative infomations in regards to the 8800 from the HONG KONG and SINGAPORE Hitachi websites  (I must admit though, the newer 8800 does indeed impress me with its sexy aesthetic appearance and the DUAL HDMI future is also looking very promising), however I wouldnt mind at all seen one in real life.

My question is

1. Is it definitely worthwhile to hold back and wait for the newer version?

2. has anyone seen it in real life? if so, then how good does it compare with its predecessors?

3.  Is there somewhere I can get a detailed brochure or leaflets on the 8800 series? and is there any other electronical stores (apart from Jb) who has the 8800 on display?

so any suggestions and opinion in regards to the Hitachi plasma's would be much appreciated  :P  :P  :P

Bing Lee in the city has this panel at $3999 without a haggle but none in stock yet.

100 on order.

My $4100 is looking expensive now. :D

Ive looked at both the pana 500A and the Hitachi 8800TA side by side.

The major difference between these two in vision is the Pana draws you into to the picture with its glass its like a 3d effect.

The Hitachi is more like going to the cinema with its mat like finish by comparison.

I think the Pana has the edge slightly on PQ and maybe smoothness.

Definitely the Hitachi wins on inputs, remote and looks although when the screen is off the panel is grey as opposed to black with the pana.

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Yeah you have 3 options under the picture mode sub menu, 'dynamic', 'cinema' and 'natural'. The black enhancement only appears to happen in dynamic mode in my 2 days of viewing/testing. Thank god you can turn this effect off by switching to either of the other 2 modes as it was really bugging me. Of course the other members of my household didn't know what I was talking about and to be honest the effect is fairly subtle on most occasions, although when you zip between a very dark scene and a very bright scene and vice versa the effect is very noticeable and quite annoying, at least to me. In fact I think I would probably consider retuning it if I couldn't turn it off and that would've been a shame as it's a brilliant display in most other respects. Seems funny to me that the display ships with dynamic mode as the default setting but I guess a lot of people don't notice it as much as I did and it supposedly can enhance the picture in some instances. I must admit I've been analysing the PQ intensely over the past couple of days and not really watching the shows themselves!

When I set it up on Saturday morning I was actually a little disappointed at first. This was because I was assessing just SD and Foxtel content and didn't have the time to connect my digital tuner properly. To me the PQ overall looked no better in many respects than my 2 yr old LG 853 x 480 plama and perhaps a little worse in some aspects (sic)! Whether this was because I was use to watching the LG picture or the higher spec'd attributes of the Hitachi highlighted the shortcomings of the Foxtel broadcast more I don't know. Perhaps it was just that my expectations of what the lower res broadcasts would look like on the 8800 were too high. But what I did notice as an immediate positive was the brilliant colour of the 8800's images even in these lower res formats and more so on HD broadcasts. The colour is perhaps the single most impressive attribute of the picture and the thing most pleasing about this display to me along with the wide array of inputs. The colours are vivid and natural without being warm or artificial, although of course you can adjust the picture to a warm setting if you like that kind of thing.

Where this baby really sings is HD of course. Both 720p and 1080i look excellent running over component and my somewhat average monster cables. Not absoloutely perfect but very very good. I still notice some banding on the Ch 7 HD loop but it is fairly minimal and could be more a deficiency in the broadcast or my cabling rather than the screen itself. In fact this screen displays the Ch 7 HD loop the best I've seen of any screen in the stores, and I've seen a fair few in recent months in preparation for this purchase. Did I mention the colour looks sensational and puts my poor LG panel to shame. The shot of the coloured boats on the shore almost burnt out my retina with gorgeous vibrant colour. I know Hitachi marketed the display on its colour depth...all 68.6 billion of them...but it's no marketing hype on this occasion...Hitachi really delivers on that one.

I've also tested the VGA input with my PC. Gaming on this thing is fantastic in the couple of hours of playing so far. Both F.E.A.R and Battlefield 2 looked nothing short of stunning and in fact embarassed my PC's display (Dell 2001FP 20" LCD) which looked dull and washed out in comparison. Game images looked sharp, detailed and blacks looked...well...black! There was no ghosting or other motion artefacts noticeable either. I also ran the 1080p IMAX samples from the microsoft website and they looked jaw droppingly good through the analogue VGA connection. Web surfing also appeared fine although text is not quite as sharp as on a good LCD monitor but certainly a dramatic improvement over the LG plama which was quite grainy and pretty ugly when viewing text in comparison. I have an NVidia 7800GTX graphics card incidentally so not sure if there will be any difference in PQ to say an ATI card.

The motorised swivel mechanism works perfectly and is completely silent in operation. In fact I've noticed no audible sounds from this display so far such as a fan whirring. When I put my ear right up close to the rear of the unit you can hear the electromagnetic buzz that most electronic devices exhibit. But certainly nothing you would hear sitting on the couch even with the sound off.

There are still plenty of aspects of the display I haven't fully tested and I'm yet to properly calibrate the screen using either DVE or Avia discs. For instance I haven't checked out the quality of the inbuilt speakers yet nor really set-up DVD playing to my liking. Nor have I given the HDMI inputs a workout although I also purchased a Denon 1920 DVD player with HDMI output which I plan to connect to the 8800 in the coming days. If HD FTA over HDMI looks any better than the picture I'm currently getting over component I would be absolutely stoked. Even if it doesn't I'd still be extremely satisfied with the PQ I'm currently getting. I'm purchasing a DVI to HDMI adaptor this week and will be able to observe if there is any noticeable improvement with a completely digital connection from my PC versus VGA. Again I'd still be very happy if there wasn't any appreciable improvement but will be blown away if it does looks any better through HDMI.

All in all this is a VERY GOOD display. Of course I can't comprehensively compare it against say the Panny 500A or a Pioneer or Fujitsu display which I'm sure are all very nice screens too, and perhaps the 8800 is not a major improvement on these. But I can say that if you do buy this unit I think you will be very happy if not flat out amazed by this screen as I have been so far. However if you watch a lot of Foxtel and don't want to connect it to your PC nor watch much high def content then you probably won't get the most out of this display in comparison to say a less expensive SD panel. If you do buy it then a HD digital tuner is mandatory and it would be a crime to hook it up to a SD tuner or PVR imho. Unless something goes drastically wrong in the next week of viewing and playing with it...this baby is a definite keeper, and $5G well spent (incl 5yr warranty and 12mths int free from JB Hi-Fi in Perth). Did I mention the colour, oh glorious colour!

If anyone has any questions about the 8800 I'd be happy to answer them as best I can so either PM me or post them to this thread. Now back to play some more F.E.A.R. on this beauty.  :blink:

Great feed back Felix!

You seem to be very happy with your new panel!

Excellent.

I have the previous model and am nothing but happy with it too - I'm having trouble upskilling myself to take advantage of the as yet unused features.

I guess that's all part of the reward you get when you do the research , pay the money, start enjoying, and the enjoyment can be taken to higher levels as the features are put into service.

Have another great day!

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Great feedback Felix. Just as I am considering the Pana 500 and the Hitachi 8800 myself. Love to hear more on these two TV's from people who have one.

Keep the feedback coming...excellent stuff for all who are researching as to which one to purchase.

Thanks and enjoy

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PQ is very similar b/w the Pana 500 and the Hitachi 8800TA, when you have it at home without being able to compare, this will not matter much anymore, both have top PQ.

On the other hand, what struck me when standing there comparing those two side by side was that the Pana looks really cheap in comparison, to me it is quite important that the furniture it really is also looks good in the stand or on the wall. Here the Hitachi has few competitors in my opinion. In fact, my wife refused to buy the Pana for its cheap looks.

Another thing that I thought I did not need was the motorised swivel stand, this is a top feature, I have used it several times already in the few days I have had this TV, and to me this is much more valuable than the two HDMI inputs.

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Very good review Felix, even though I also have got one it is good to hear new perspectives and also how to adjust the TV for an even better PQ. I do not have much time to play around with it right now, but using the Cinema preset is giving very good picture as it is, I think.

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Wow what an endorsment .. thanks Felix for your review.

Now I am 99% convinced on which panel to buy the Hitachi ofc.

Just gonna wait a cpl more weeks to see if the retailers drop prices any more due to a pre xmas panic .

I went to JB's on weekend with wife to show her one and they didn't have one in stock but did have a 7800 instead for about 4 grand, wife liked the look of that.

I have a JB's catalogue and they have the 8800 for $4495 rrp I am sure we can do better than that.

Damm i'm starting to get antsy.... hope shops don't run out of stock in next few weeks :blink:

cheers

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UPDATE:

OK I've just hooked up the 8800 to a Denon DVD-1920 player through HDMI and I've set the upscaling to 720p. The set up of the HDMI connection went without a hitch and the PQ is extremely nice. There is no flicker whatsoever and the images are quite sharp and colours accurate with no observable motion blur. I watched Predator which is not not the best mastered DVD and a little grainy but the jungle greens were still detailed and colourful, and the scene with the upside down skinned corpses showed off a vibrant red....disgusting but beautifull at the same time! Blacks were perhaps not as great as I hoped but I think that had more to do with the particular disc and the limitations of the DVD format itself rather than the Hitachi screen. Turning up the black enhancement levels helped but then you got that effect. I watched a more recent DVD which was better mastered, a French movie entitled "And Now Ladies and Gentlemen" and that looked very fine indeed. Skin tones appeared extremely natural on the Hitachi's 'cinema' setting and there was no graininess to be seen at all. The black levels also looked much better too in this film. Of course the results were not true 720p but very close to it and certainly the best PQ I've seen on any plasma for DVD playback. I can only imagine how sensational good digital transfers to DVD will look such as the recent Star Wars movies or the LOTR trilogy. I'd certainly be keen to see how the space scenes in SW look in particular as they appeared a little poor on the Predator disc. How much the excellent PQ is due to the Hitachi and how much is due to the Denon I can't say but the combo is very pleasing. Again I should state that I still haven't properly calibrated the screen yet so further improvements and tweaks to PQ may still be possible.

I should also mention that the remote is a real winner too. It feels well weighted in the palm and is nicely laid out. I really like how it has dedicated buttons for each off the 8 AV inputs at the top of the remote (2 component, 2 HDMI, 3 composite/s-video plus the RGB/VGA input). This is much better than having to cycle through all the inputs with just one AV selector button which I had to do on my old LG plasma remote and should be an absolute god send for those who plan to use a universal remote as it should be easy to program in each input. It also has a feature so you can use the remote to control both DVD players and STB boxes from popular manufacturers by punching in a couple of button combinations. However so far I've been unsuccesful to get this feature to work for me. Perhaps it just doesn't recognise my particular models for STB and DVD player which are now both getting on in age.

Another comment I have is that although I'm extremely satisfied with the PQ of both 1080i and 720p FTA broadcasts, the few 1080i programs I've watched have exhibited some minor flicker hence I slightly prefer 720p broadcasts at this point. I have a 1st generation Panasonic HD tuner that is a couple of yrs old now which may be partially to blame for this. However I'd be interested to hear what other 8800 or 7800 owners have experienced with their viewing of 1080i content, and importantly any picture settings that have helped mitigate the flicker factor if they have any flicker that is. Obviously an interlaced signal is never going to be quite as smooth as a progressive one but it would be nice if there was something more I can do to minimise this effect. Don't get me wrong I'm nitpicking a little but when you have a pretty much gorgeous picture you want it to be as perfect in every respect as technically possible.

Another comment that is also in the nitpicking category is that I'm a tad disappointed in the Picture in Picture options. You can only seem to do true PIP when it involves the RGB (VGA) PC connection. Component and the other AV inputs can only be displayed side by side and the HDMI inputs can't be used in any PIP configuration whatsoever. I'm not sure why that is, as my ageing LG panel has much better PIP options. Again this is not a major issue as I use PIP only occasionally, like to keep an eye on the cricket score whilst I'm watching a Foxtel program etc, but I just thought others who may be planning to buy this display should know in case it is a consideration.

Overall the Hitachi 42PD8800TA has a provisional score of 9.5/10 from me after 3 days of ownership and I'm normally a fairly harsh marker when it comes to technology products. It will be another couple of weeks before I give it my official score but I'm just luving it and it's 68.6 billion colours so far!

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felix, great post. I have the 7800TA and am very stoked with the pq till this very day. And yes, that power swivel, cannot live without it. A mate of mine recently got the Sony Bravia LCD. And each time I visited, he would need to get up and turn the tv around a bit so that everyone can get better view. With the Hitachi, it is such a bliss to just swivel from where you sit. And yes, you will find the Hitachi dead silent operation a bliss too.

Since you only have your display for only a few 'hours', you will find that once it has settled, the pq does improved markedly. As for sq, I find my Hitachi sound quality is fantastic. Just a couple of nights ago, I watched this movie on Foxtel World Movie called 'Scent of a Papaya' or something like that. When the cicada was chirping, it sounded so real like my room has got a few cicada doing a symphony until I mute the speaker to be met with dead silence. Very nice sound.

All in all, I agree that Hitachi is a very good tv.

Cheers and enjoy... :blink:

Yeah the Vietnamese flick "The Scent of Green Papaya"...I've seen it and know what you mean re: the cicadas. Sadly I don't think I'm ever going to be able to take full advantage of the inbuilt speakers as good as they are, as I've invested in a nice 5.1 speaker solution which I plan to utilise at all times. Bit of a waste I suppose but I guess it's good to know they are there if I need them.

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Another comment I have is that although I'm extremely satisfied with the PQ of both 1080i and 720p FTA broadcasts, the few 1080i programs I've watched have exhibited some minor flicker hence I slightly prefer 720p broadcasts at this point.

Felix, I watch my FTA on 1080i and does not experience the minor flicker that you described ever since I turned off all enhancements. I also set everything to Normal or Natural mode. EDIT: My stb is the LG 4100

Regarding dvds, I am using the Pioneer 969 and again on 1080i using HDMI and I must say, the PQ is jawdropping. I find the best test of the PQ are either 'The Fifth Element' to test all the funky colors and 'Lord of the Ring - Part 1 on the Cave of Moria' to test dark scene. Again, all my settings are Natural/Normal with all enhancements off.

I don't know about the 8800TA, but I am sure its tech is basically the same as 7800TA. If so, you should even be able to manage its individual colors, eg, red, green, magenta, cyan, blue and yellow. Once tweaked properly to your liking, you will find the colors so vibrant and the pq smooth.

Looks like you are having lots of fun mucking about. And I believe this is the fun part so enjoy it slowly and keep on tweaking and keep on reporting your findings... :blink:

Cheers.

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