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We bought this television for our living room when the old block finally packed in. It was the first time we'd gone for one of these brand new flat-screen plasma televisions and is still currently the only one in our house of its kind. Dad has always believed that spending as much as possible on technology works out better in the long run, and although I often dispute this (especially with phones, which seem to get replaced faster than shoes these days!), I can see that this television has lasted the last few years well. It has proved great for having friends over to watch DVDs, which as you might know, I love to review!
Set up and Connections
It was fairly easy to set up and use, although I admit I left the setting up to dad. But he's famous for technical disasters so that must be a good thing. Once you know what you're doing, the connections are also very easy to use. Just one thing.. be careful with laptops, as connecting them
wrongly can damage them as well as cause some confusion.
We don't actually have a DVD player so we connect up our laptops to the computer using the ports provided and our own leads for connecting a monitor to a computer and sound speakers. It works really easily and the picture is not bad.
There is a way around anything these days.
Our old TV was fat and starting to look dated - it was only 37" but took up more room than the new flat screen. I protested against the size of this new TV. saying it would make our living room look too small and probably not fit against the wall. Funnily enough, our living room looks about the same with more carpet space and the window isn't blocked, so actually it looks ok. I still think a smaller screen would be just as good, but I suppose there is a novelty in practically having a little cinema in your living room.
My other worry is how fragile this thing looks. It’s not that easy to turn to get around the back (to plug something in, for instance) and I am a tad overweight and terrified to knock it over. It has wobbled a couple of times on its stand. The TV was originally balanced on the old TV stand, which was quite small and perhaps not ideal. We have now bought new furniture and it is on a large sturdy cabinet, yet still it makes me nervous!
We have noticed that the picture can be affected by brief knocks and wobbles, but so far this has not caused any ongoing damage. I don’t think we’d be so comfortable having this precious device if we had highly active kids or pets about.
Hitachi have not compromised quality for size. There are three options for the type of view you get - 'natural', 'dynamic' and 'cinema'. You can guess that natural has no enhancements and just looks like your average t.v., probably there for you to compare how great your t.v. is hehe. Dynamic is a tad on the bright side but it strengthens the colour - personally I don't like it. Cinema is not quite as bright but improves the colour and brightness as well as sharpening the view. Basically, whichever you prefer, the screen is easily visible from quite a distance - say if you are in a large room. Light doesn't reflect off it as badly as older TV’s which is always useful to know if your tv is stored in a sunny room.
I wouldn't say the sound quality was fantastic. I'd probably prefer to invest in some more speakers, or have kept our old ones. We tend to keep the volume as low as possible but its not so easy to do with this one. However, we've not had any problems with the sound so far that cannot be blamed on reception or something else, so it is acceptable, just not as good as it sounded as advertised.
I thought this telly came with freeview. We already had a freeview box, so since we couldn't figure out how to tune the television digitally (or it simply isn't working) we just added that. It is fairly compatible. I would appreciate anyone letting me know if the tv does have freeview and how to get it working(?), but to be honest looking at the size of the manual we didn't exactly bother to try. < I will update this bit if there are any changes. >
Which brings me to the great big fat A4 book included that is the user handbook/manual thing. Oh, my God. I am hopeless with these things. I know the basics, I just want something I can refer to easily, to quickly find what I need to know and without too much technical blah. In my opinion this thing could have been written for an engineer. I tried to look a few things up, for instance when we originally connected up the DVD player. It’s actually a simple job, but it took us about 2 hours going through this thing trying to figure out just where the right information is. The diagrams are clearly labelled and fairly helpful however. But there is far too much in technical jargon when at least each chapter could introduce to us what it intends to tell us. Oh well, I have to admit we haven't had to consult the book more than a couple of times anyway.
We did notice that for a few months we had problems with the screen blacking out for a second or two every 20 minutes or so. This seems not to be happening anymore, although we have not had any repairs done. It has never been bad enough to affect whatever we were watching, cause us to miss something important or be put off, but I can understand why this may deter some buyers as it can be a nuisance if it is an ongoing problem. Unfortunately we have no idea what caused this as it has now stopped happening, but it may be worth taking note of.
My overall impression of this tv so far is good. Better suited in larger rooms, but does not take up tons of space. It works well, serves its purpose, is fashionable, attractive, has extra quality features and at a fair price is a worthwhile buy. There are probably other features I haven't really commented on because we don't know enough about it, or don't really use all the features, so it might be worth pointing out that there seems to be a lot more to this tv than most people need!