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Hitachi 32LD7200 v Panni TX32 LXD500 test

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by daz1976, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. daz1976

    daz1976
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    Hi all

    As there seems to be so many posts here about these two models and since I have now had the chance to test them in my home side by side I thought I'd post my findings. Also I'll try to cover as much as poss, inc some questions some of you may have asked over time and not got answers too.

    Both sets tested in same enviroment with same DVD player (pioneer 575), disks, leads etc within a day of one another.

    Buzzing: Certainly and issue that concerns many.

    Hitachi: Buzz was audible from across the room on any setting below +20 on the backlight at reasonable volumes. Was annoying but obviously very dependendent on the listener and also some sets seem to not suffer from this at all.
    Panasonic: Was a buzz without question but one somewhat less that the Hitachi and only audible if you listend out for it at low volumes very carefully.
    I would guess that you would have to be one picky sod for this to be a
    problem.

    Picture:

    Hitachi: After using posted settings the picture was truly fantastic. The depth and three dimensionality was filled with wow factor that made you want to sit and watch it no matter what movie was on. Also induced that annoying illness of saying to your partner every 5 minutes "wow look at that!"
    Smearing was almost non existant on all but the bigest scenic pans and only then very slightly. Blacks were averidge but the set seemed to cope well in a darkish room and the picture lost none of it's sparkle.
    Panasonic: Using DVE to set it up, the picture again was fantastic but somehow didn't have that wow factor. For sure it was top rate, clean, detailed etc but didn't have the pulling power of the Hitachi which seems more cinematic and grander. Also an issue asked here was not being able to adjust the backlight and this is where things were somewhat different. In a room with the curtain open everything looked probably 98% that of the Hitachi but as soon as I shut the curtains to me it went down to 90% at least. Was more bland and boring. Tried it in auto mode also (supposedly self adjusting) but saw no benifit at all. In good light though blacks were slightly better but it was marginal. Picture also showed a less natural looking skin tone with more noise that had a compromise of less detail with the sharpness level notched down.

    Sound:

    Hitachi: Sorry but this was a no contest. The Hitachi sound was on par with the picture in my room. Ambient mode was convincing to a degree and enjoyable. Bass was very good for a TV with no creaks or bad sounds coming from the speakers. Definition, voices, music were first rate and seperated with a clarity that supprised me no end (being a really picky audiofile of at least ten years).

    Panasonic: Can only say it was TV sound. Good for Easteneders (never seen it in my life though, really!!) but for movies was a no go. Ambient mode was less convincing although did give a wider soundstage at the expence of detail and speech clarity. At anything above a setting that gave "Bass" and a decent volume the speakers quivered with fear.

    Build: Both were built well with a different style to each that I'm sure would appeal to different tastes, with the Hitachi being more sleek and flat panel looking and the Panasonic giving off a look of slightly bullish sexy (sorry what am I talking about!!) In terms of actual build quality, again I must say the Hitachi has it, seeming another league higher for the feel when trying to connect stuff.

    Conclusion:
    Both sets were very nice and worthy of a great LCD but I must say that I initially swapped the Hitachi because of the buzzing but after trying the Panasonic I have contacted my local store and asked if I can wait for the new batch of Hiatchi's to come in and swap again (probably moaning like hell about me now though) and am willing to take the risk of a buzzer and even live with it because already I miss it after one day. Make you own conclusions from that but please remember these are my opinions and not fact and your eyes and ears may be different from mine.

    Oh almost forgot. Watching of angle the Panasonic was very poor and lost contrast no end where as the Hitachi showed little difference.

    Any questions like what is best for PS2 then please feel free and I'll try my best.

    Daz

    PS. I don't work for Hitachi ;)
     
  2. matt_p

    matt_p
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    Very interesting read, Daz.

    I never got to compare the Hitachi to the Panasonic- I bought my Hitachi before the Panasonic came out.

    Regarding the viewing angle, I assume this is to do with the In Plane Switching (?) system on the Hitachi, which is specifically for keeping colour and contrast constant. It works great, you can stand almost at right angles to the screen and it still looks perfect!

    With the buzzing, my set only suffers from very slight buzzing (well, more of a tone than a buzz), only audible when I'm a foot away. +20 backlight on mine makes it totally silent.

    Good luck if you decide to get a new Hitachi set, fingers crossed you'll have better luck next time!
     
  3. daz1976

    daz1976
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    Thanks Matt, I have more than my fingers crossed that it will be ok.
    Something I also forgot to mention was that the Hitach handled poorer feeds better, like freeview and not so great DVD's. Not sure why this is but must say the adjustment options on the Hitachi are amazing compared to many tv sets I have come across.

    Daz
     
  4. matt_p

    matt_p
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    Don't mention the menu options to my girlfriend. All she had for the first two weeks was me adjusting this setting, that setting... I drove her mental! It is indeed perfect for calibration with DVE or similar. Unfortunately, it's also perfect for making a pig's ear of your picture if you don't know what you're doing. Discovered that one many times over... Thank god for the Reset button! :D
     
  5. scrapbook

    scrapbook
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    Interesting review.....I am testing the Panny myself at home tomorrow so I will be able to let you know if I concur with your views or not on it.
     
  6. daz1976

    daz1976
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    Hi Scrapbook.

    I am sure you will like the set as while I prefered the Hitachi, the picture on it was still first rate, but certainly would be intrigued to know how you find it in a darkened room.

    Cheers

    Daz
     
  7. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    Aw, Daz. Now I don't know what to do again. I know, I'll go on holiday for a couple of weeks and see how things are buzzing when I get back.
     
  8. daz1976

    daz1976
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    Is a good idea rhubarbe. I'm off on hols in two weeks, so can forget about damn TV's for a bit. Sorry to add confusion to your choice but realised today how fab the Hitachi was after the comparison. Oh well, got to speak to the manager of my branch tomorrow to persuade him to let me swap tv's. :lease:

    Daz
     
  9. VurtHed

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    Great review daz! :smashin:

    Been flirting with the Panny as the Hitachi's been playing 'hard to get', but I think I'll probably be faithful to the Hitachi after reading your review.
     
  10. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    Yes, I guess my brief fling with the concept of having a Toshiba will remain in my imagination.

    Where're you going, Daz?
     
  11. daz1976

    daz1976
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    We're going to an island off Croatia called Hvar, apparently was voted in the top ten most beautiful islands in the world, so should be fantastic. Let's hope it doesn't buzz!!

    Daz

    "Addition"

    Just got off the phone from my local Hughes and wow what service. I'm getting the set back that I had initially and when the new ones come in I can go in and unpack one to see if it's buzz free and then swap it if I want. Must say is the best service I've ever had and I've been to them on and off for the last ten years and never been disappointed.

    Daz
     
  12. camorra

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    Hitachi, Panasonic and Toshiba will soon be producing LCD panels together. This means a lot of good brains forming together in a big coupe'. I guess they will be both up there (hitachi & pana) to seal top spots for this technology.

    Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  13. DanH

    DanH
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    Nice review Daz. I got mine before the Panny came out also, so never got to see them side by side. Mine also has the buzz. I didnt notice it at first and was convinced it only started after about a week, but i think i must have tuned into it. It does seem very listener dependent, as a couple of people who have listened to mine cant hear a thing.
    Also, when my main PC is on in the other room (its fairly noisey) you cant hear the buzz at all, even if you stick your ear right up against the top left of the LCD. Its the same with a little HTPC ive just set up, although its near silent the small amount of fan noise seems to completely mask the buzz/tone, and as the PC is so quiet it no longer bothers me. Its odd. It was the tone of it that annoyed me, not the volume and now the tone seems to get cancelled out.
    My girlfriend thinks ive gone insane, moving around the room listening for buzzing. :D
     
  14. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Thanks for the test daz. Currently trying to get my replacement from Comet and some numpty in their local store was telling me the Hitachi is no longer available (it's an end of line model he said! They really know their stuff in Comet you know.) and tried to palm one of these Panasonics off on me. Thankfully I had already seen your post so you can tell what my answer to him was.

    Also I know these are just gimmicks maybe, but the Hitachi wins again on the unique(?) motorised stand and the Panasonic only has picture in text, whereas the Hitachi has numerous Picture in Picture options, from most sources, including a cool 12 frame freeze picture with the 12th frame still showing the live image.

    Also the buzzing is not present when you switch to the two PC inputs. Just do a test and switch from a buzzing AV to AV 5&6 and you will see what I mean. I'm hoping if the buzzing just can't be fixed by Hitachi that watching through HDMI will remove the buzzing.
     
  15. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    @daz: Croatia, eh? We get the really short haul to Alicante on one of the "pedal yourself" specials. Still, it's a friends brand new villa with pool in the country and costs us a whole £50 for two weeks :D

    Saw both Pannys today in Manchester, along with a Sony or two TixyLixy500 marked up at £1799!. Low WAF on any speakers bigger than a fag packet though, so one of us is in for a disappointment.
     
  16. daz1976

    daz1976
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    Thanks all I'm glad I could be of help. Greg, I had the buzzing though HDMI when I tried a Samsung HD850 for a few days so not hopefull there. I'm hoping that Hitachi will come up with a fix also if the new one I'm waiting buzzes also.

    Cheers

    Daz
     
  17. Mackem

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    Re the 'buzzing' issue. Until I read these threads, I would never have noticed a thing. Of course, once you do read this stuff.. then you go looking for it.. and is this not the main issue here? I have to say, that if I stand over the top of the set, with the sound turned off and the backlight down, yes, I can hear a slight transformer buzz. But hey, that's not the way I'm going to watch it, is it! Under normal viewing conditions, I notice nothing but a superb picture and fantastic sound. Are people just being really picky or are their differences between sets?

    If you're trying to decide which LCD to buy, I wouldn't let this 'problem' put you off because the Hitachi is the best set I've seen by far. I wasn't even intending buying an LCD, as I've always thought their pictures were terrible. I'd gone to look at the Panny 37PV500 plasma but the Hitachi's picture jumped out at me as I walked by. Also, comparing it side by side with the Panny TX32 LXD500 in both John Lewis and Curry's, the Hitachi blew it away imho. The Panny just looks like an 'LCD picture' to me. ie, like looking at 'oil on water' as Faust, a frequent poster to these forums said. The Hitachi for my money, is the first LCD to have a true to life picture.

    One question. I haven't played around with the picture settings much yet, so I've just left it at the default at the mo' which still looks great to me. The default backlight setting is +20 (at which I can confirm there's no buzzing what so ever), which I happen to like but is there a downside to that, in that it perhaps reduces the lifespan of the light? Haven't seen any comments on that so far.
     
  18. matt_p

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    I think, from the variety of responses on the subject, that there must be pretty large variations between sets. Like you, I can only hear it when I stick my ear next to it, but others seem to be driven mad by it...

    Having said that, I DJ quite a lot so I'm probably deaf!
     
  19. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    You must be one of the lucky ones. For those of us with a bad buzzer, even with the backlight on +20, on dark scenes you can hear the buzzing above normal sound when sitting in normal viewing position.

    Well you can on mine anyway.
     
  20. Mackem

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    Has it been like that since you bought it GregHook, or has it developed over time?
     
  21. daz1976

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    Must admit Greg that the one I had seems to be pretty much the same buzz level as yours, on +20 it went away antill a dark scene. I do wonder also to peoples perceptions of it but a look over this forum sugests otherwise as the "My Hitachi buzzes" prob can be found quite a few times on threads compared to any other set. I hopefully will have a chance to replace it at some point soon so will have to wait and see.

    Daz
     
  22. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    I have only had it since 28th August, i'm sure it was there straight away but didn't notice it until after a couple of days.

    Really pleased with the set though as it has an excellent picture for DVD and Xbox. Can not get my Sky right though, the picture is shocking sometimes.
     
  23. daz1976

    daz1976
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    Oh Forgot to mention Greg. Notice you're a BF2 fan. Started playing myself when it came out but been off it for a few weeks but wow what an awesome game!!

    Daz
     
  24. emu

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    i must be one of the lucky ones or just deaf :thumbsup:

    never heard a buzz on mine
     

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