Hitachi Intros Ten Plasma, LCD HDTVs

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Electronics manufacturer Hitachi has announced no fewer than 10 new high-definition plasma and LCD televisions, ranging from 42 to 60 inches and featuring a number of Hitachi-exclusive technologies designed to enhance the viewing experience.

At the top of the line is the company’s new 60-inch Director’s Series plasma display, intended for series home theater and film buffs, along with a 50-inch Director’s Series plasma, both of which feature Hitachi’s new Reel60 frame interpolation technology to eliminate “judder,” that twitchy, stuttering effect which sometimes happens when converting 24fps content to 60 fps. Both models will be available in August at suggested prices of $7,999.95 and $4,299.95, respectively.

Hitachi also announced two new 55-inch plasma displays, one each in its H-series and T-series, offering 1,280 by 1,080 resolution; both should be available in September at suggested prices of $2,999.95 and $3,299.95. Two other 50-inch plasma displays are in the works—one each in the company’s S-series and V-series—which should land in July and August at $3,499.95 and $3,999.95, respectively.

Although these systems push Hitachi’s plasma lines forward, that news doesn’t come as much of a surprise to industry watchers: Hitachi has always been a major player in the plasma televisions market. What is surprising is that this September the company is also rolling out 42-inch and 47-inch LCD televisions in its S-Series line and V-Series line at prices ranging from $2,299.95 to $3,199.95. Hitachi is positioning the LCD sets as an “entry point” to get customer acquainted with the qualities of the Hitachi brand. Although Hitachi offers LCD televisions now, the company’s decision to offer higher-quality LCD panels may be seen as a nod to the technology’s increasing price pressure on plasma displays, even in the high end of the market.

Few other details on the new units are available; presumably, Hitachi will publish specs and detailed feature listings as the systems get closer to consumers.

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