Hitachi UltraVision 42HDX60 Plasma Monitor
For conventional video source material, the additional data generated by the 1080p processing is used to check for noise in both the black and white and color domains. According to Hitachi, the technique is also more precise for converting 480 sources to match the 1080 display, with the same advantage to calculating discrete 540 odd and even fields. For film based sources, the VirtualHD circuitry provides 3:2 film correction and a "motion adaptive interpolation" feature that references 26 points in time to ensure picture in-tegrity during quick motion. The monitor is framed with a very slick-looking titanium finish, dark enough to be unobtrusive, light enough to have the requisite "modern" edge. The screen itself has a deep black look, and is relatively non-reflective—in all, the package is quite handsome. One feature that's noteworthy is the included pedestal, which features a motorized swivel function, accessible from the remote. I thought this was a superfluous feature until I used it. In my living space, the dining area is off to the side of the home theater seating and screen. With the touch of a button, I was able to face the plasma toward the dining room table, where we could watch the baseball playoffs and enjoy the game-time victuals without moving the food to the screen area. For some customers, this will be a real selling point—if you don't mount the display on the wall, you can effectively have the screen face several seating areas.
SOFTWARE AND CONTROL
In terms of configurability, the 42HDX60 is a real pleasure. Each of the inputs can have its own memorized picture settings, and there are plenty of picture tweaks for the enthusiast. In addition to the usual criteria, there are four color temperature settings, including one for black-and-white material; extensive color decoding and management options, adjustable black-level enhancement, a three-way automatic contrast mode, a day-night room illumination setting, and variable video noise reduction. There are six different aspect ratios for 4:3 and 16:9 material, and the two internal NTSC tuners allow for a variety of PIP and POP functions.