Large pale spots (5 inch diameter) started to appear at about 6 months. The book says it's a characteristic not a fault so I didn't act under the one year warranty period. It's now done just 520 hours in under two years on the original and only lamp and the spots have multiplied like flies (20 - 30 depending on black level). They are quite visible (intrusive) on normal flesh tones but at least some don't show quite so bad now that there's also a huge pale discoloured area to one quarter of the screen. I'm told it sounds like the LCD panel is breaking down and it'll cost about £950.00 (minimum) to repair (original purchase price was £1,000). Sadly, despite much pleading, Hitachi are unable to offer any assistance in this matter so if you're thinking about owning a Hitachi you may seriously wish to consider buying an extended warranty but check first that it will in fact cover this unique characteristic.