Hitachi 43UWX10B delivered Friday

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by davepr, Nov 10, 2001.

  1. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    Sears delivered a Hitachi 43UWX10B Friday.. Price on price match minus 10% was 1660 for the TV + 162 for the matching stand +45 delivery + tax. These are my short initial impressions. I am not a videophile.
    First this set is more than big enough for the room.. 14' x 16' and it had to be corner placed. Stand is very useful as it is holding the Panasonic VCR, Sony DVD player (NOT progressive scan), and cable box. My Sony 50ES will also fit in there if I decide to move it. My B&W cc6 center speaker is stable on top of the TV with a little overhang on front and back.
    All equipment connected rather easily. Only glitch as I tried things out was that I connected the 'audio out to hifi' to my 50es and found out that it was attenuated by the TV volume controle. Reconnected to monitor audio out and all was fine.
    I first checked out the initial setting across the various inputs. The only disorderly setting was the contrast at 100% which I brought down to 50%. Brightness was already at 50%. Out of the box alignment and focus is very good. Turning off velocity scanning (which is user controlled on this set) was the only other initial adjustment. My initial impressions of the ergonomics are also positive.
    I was prepared for really bad cable stations but was pleasantly surprised. The TWC analog channels, while not any where near perfect, are certainly viewable. The digital channels were very good.
    Watched a DVD (Billy Elliot which enticed my spouse to sit down and watch) and it was all I expected it to be and more. Colors seemed very true. (I lived in England for a couple of years ages ago).
    I will be utilizing the Avia disc in a few days (may not be until next weekend. Work is interfering with pleasure)and try to tune it up and will report.
    Meanwhile, I am happy with the set. I know that Hitachi does not get the play that the Tosh's and Mits do on this forum but for many reasons thought this set was better for me. Hope this is mildly useful for someone even though Hitachi is not is not part of one of the mainstream religions. [​IMG]
    Dave
     
  2. Dennis_L

    Dennis_L Auditioning

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    Hi Dave,
    I'm in the market for a new RP-TV and would like to hear your reasons for choosing the Hitachi. I agree that these don't get as much discussion on this forum as Toshibas and Mits (personally, I've been leaning towards the 42H81 which doesn't appear to be available in my area yet) but seem to be comparable.
    Thanks for any advice,
    Dennis
     
  3. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    Dennis, the 42H81 was my second choice. I briefly considered the Mitz 46 but I am somewhat space constrained and I believe it would have been third or 4th choice. I liked the new Sony's but they did not come in my size.
    The main reasons I chose the Hitachi are as follows:
    1) I thought the Hitachi picture for DVD was equal in picture quality to the Tosh although the Tosh had to my eyes had a marginally better NTCS picture. Tosh was slightly on the plus side here.
    2) The 43" Hitachi is a table top. With the stand, I was able to put components underneath the TV, which made a better fit for my family room. The Tosh '42 is a floor standing model.
    3) I talked to a tech I know who has looked at both insides and thought that the Hitachi RPTV was a better build quality than Tosh RPTV. (Thinks Tosh build quality on direct views are just fine).
    4) When playing with the both sets I felt more at ease with the ergonomics of the Hitachi over the Tosh.
    5) People claim that the Tosh is a tweekers delight. While I plan to adjust things to the best of my ablity. The out of box experience on the Hitachi may be better but from what I understand one can tune the Tosh to the point of perfection. However, I am not a tweeker.
    Thats about it... You will have your own priorties. Choose the rptv that best fit that set after considering all the advice. A sure way to be dissatified with any purchase is to buy according someone elses priorties.
    Dave
     
  4. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    I have now had some time to play with this set. So far it has been pretty easy to deal with.

    Connections:

    Cable.. I have the cable connections from the wall split to both antenna A on the TV and the Cable Box. From the cable box I have a coax connection to the VCR and then from the VCR to Antenna B on the Hitachi. I also go with a S-video and audio line channels from the cable box to vid-1 on the TV.

    VCR.. My Panasonic VCR is audio line and composite video connected to VID 2 on the TV. (and is capable of going through the Coax RF connection to the TV.

    DVD.. Sony non-progressive scan DVD is component video and

    Along with audio line connected to the TV and Coax digital connection to the receiver.

    TV.. Audio line output of the TV is connected to Sony receiver. Note that there are separate audio out connectors specifically to go to 'hi fi' but it does not bypass TV volume controls. The audio lineouts do bypass volume control but will any connections trough the TV's 2 component inputs will not be passed through the lineouts.

    Out of the Box:

    As I said in my beginning post, out of the box, I took the contrast down to 50% from 100%, and turned off the SVM. Brightness was already at 50 as was color. There were variations for each of the modes. TV looked pretty good on most things. The analog cable channels varied with the quality of the specific channel but overall were quite viewable. Digital channels were all good. DVD was superb. VCR input was ok but it is a VCR...

    AVIA:

    With my daughter here for the Thanksgiving holiday. I was able to enlist her help in calibrating the Hitachi with the Avia dvd. She has much better color perception than I. After it was all over we had the following.. Contrast at 56 (this one surprised me), Brightness at 36, color at 45, tint remained centered. Sharpness is at 43. With these settings the Avia showed between 10 and 15% red push and 5% green push.

    Cable.. As I said earlier, Cable channels were variable but viewable. I had decided to call Time Warner in to see if they could do a better job. I asked them to send their most skilled as I had them out earlier this year without results. This guy was much better. He actually new what he was talking about and was able to isolate several of the problems. He got rid of the hum bar and did some improvements at feed at the street. He was running out of time. Said some of the problems were in the feed to the neighborhood and someone would be fixing those. There was a truck out the next day doing just that. There has been much improvement but I still think it could be better. He said he would be coming back but I have to reset on a time.

    Overall, I am pleased with the Hitachi and have not experienced some of the problems I have been reading about. I am on the waiting list for a HDTV cable box and hopefully will see it in the next couple of weeks.

    Dave

    PS.. forgot 1 problem. The Smooth Wide mode overscans the screen too much. From the documentation including the service manual, I do not believe it is suppose to do that.
     
  5. Bill_S

    Bill_S Auditioning

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    Davepr,
    I have mine connected to Dishnetwork and you should see the Hitachi at its best in HD![​IMG]
     
  6. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill, I am on the waiting list for a HDTV cable box from Time Warner.. Should be here in the next couple of weeks.
     
  7. Dennis_L

    Dennis_L Auditioning

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    Dave,

    Thanks for your comments regarding your choice to go with the Hitachi. I had a chance to view the set you have along with a Sony (43HT20).

    In my opinion, both were quite comparable. I didn't get to do any detailed evaluation that day, but picture for picture with the same feed, I didn't notice that much of a difference.

    What I did notice, however, was that the Hitachi was much slower when switching channels than the Sony. Horizontal viewing angle seemed to be better with the Sony as well. Both were similarly priced - $2899Can.

    As a result, I've leaned away from the Hitachi; I've yet to compare the Sony with the Toshiba 43HX71.

    This certainly is not intended to rain on your parade - I'm sure you are/will be happy with the Hitachi; this was just my two cents worth.

    Again, thanks for the info,

    Dennis

    Addendum:

    I've decided to go with a 4:3 instead of a widescreen, so my comparison of the Hitachi unit was with Sony's 4:3. Perhaps this influenced the horizontal viewing angle.
     
  8. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    Dennis, Had I been in the market for a larger TV, I also think I would have chosen the Sony over the Hitachi. I do recall the viewing angle was a bit better. However, I wanted a 16:9 and in the size range I purchased. That left essentially a choice of 2.. the Tosh 42 or the Hitachi 43. I did briefly consider the Mits 46 and Pana 47. So far all is really well with the purchase.. except as noted previously.

    There is a Sony evangelist, (I think Steve) running around this forum. He returned a Hitachi for a Sony after having problems and issues with the Hitachi. Most are tilted towards Tosh and Mits. (note: I can not get religious about these things.)

    There is a 4:3 43" Hitachi which lists at Sears for about $1800 US. You might want to check that one out as you go about your search.

    Dave
     
  9. Mikey Ber

    Mikey Ber Stunt Coordinator

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    bought the 50HX81..$2100 plus tax.getting it today[​IMG]
     
  10. Dennis_L

    Dennis_L Auditioning

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    Well, I had a chance to re-evaluate the 43UWX10B yesterday hooked to a cable signal and using the various view modes. The usual garbage in - garbage out artifacts were seen; however, the cable signal was also split at least a dozen or more times.
    I was pleasantly surprised at how the smoothwide mode looked with an afternoon talkshow program. Unfortunately, I didn't look at any sports so I didn't notice the hourglass effect that others have noted on this forum. As Davepr pointed out, there seemed to be an unusual amount of overscan with the smoothwide mode. All the other viewing modes (full, fill, and normal)looked like they did what they are supposed to do. A video input was showing The Matrix on a progressive DVD player and the picture was superb.
    One aspect that wasn't explained too well by the salesperson was the 1080i and the 520p setting. He indicated that the set would upconvert any 480i or 480p signal to my choice of the above. Is he correct and would you want to do this? Wouldn't you introduce unwanted digital artifacts by upconverting? (if someone can explain this to me, I'd appreciated it - please excuse my ignorance in this area).
    So, as a result of this pleasant experience with "stretch modes", I'm once again leaning towards a 16:9 set. I've seen the Toshiba stretch modes with a 40H80, but not with the newer 42H81. I presume that they have not likely changed much. I think that it will come down to a decision between these two sets.
    The other consideration is price. At last glance, the Toshiba was approx. $400-500 less than the Hitachi.
    Davepr: In another post, you indicate that you've downloaded the service manual; did you get this from a free source or did you order it online and then d/l using a login? The reason I ask is that it may help my decision if I have a chance to peruse the service manual. I have the old Toshiba 40H80 service manual but haven't been able to obtain the 42H81 manual (and perhaps won't be able to).
    Have you noticed any other problems so far with your set - i.e. the "shutdown" effect as others have posted?
    Thanks for any opinions and information. With the help of this forum and others, a "fool" and his money will soon be parted! [​IMG]
    Dennis
     
  11. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    Dennis, The Hitachi native mode displays are in either 520P or 1080i. Therefore everything needs to be converted to one of those formats. I have not seen much of a difference when going from cable inputs to either of those modes. In addition I can not tell that the conversion is causing any problems. Try the following website for the service manual:
    http://www.binarypleasure.com/
    I have not experienced the shut down effect or any other problems yet...
    Dave
     
  12. Dennis_L

    Dennis_L Auditioning

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    Hi Davepr

    My wife and I were Xmas shopping today and we happened by the electronics dept. of our local Sears. They had a 43UWX10B alongside a Hitachi 4:3 43". While she said that she wasn't bothered by the smoothwide mode (viewing a cable signal), she did mention the overscan (a previous unit cut off the bottom portion of the picture, including the station logo, this unit cut off a small amount on the top of the picture when compared to the 4:3 side by side.

    Have you (or anyone else who owns this model) corrected this yet via the service manual or calibration otherwise?

    Thanks,

    Dennis
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I noticed the overscan in smoothwide on the 53UWX10B that I had. I think it's deliberate. In order to minimize geometric horizontal stretching in the center part of the picture without having too much funhouse mirror effect on the sides, they "throw away" a little of the picture on the top and bottom via overscan. Since I only used that mode for casual viewing, it didn't bother me at all and I thought the vertical overscan was preferable to any additional funhouse mirror effect or "fattening" in the center part of the screen.
    The Hitachi forum over at Home Theater spot is full of suggestions on how to get rid of the green tint my set suffered from. I still prefer the Sony I replaced the Hitachi with, but I have room for a larger set. If I had to keep it down to under 50" or so, I'd take the Hitachi over the other available widescreen sets in that size range.
    The Hitachi I had did have a stunning HD picture, and dvd was gorgeous. It did have some good features, like the ability to turn off VSM as a separate item in the user menu, and a really cool remote that allowed one-button toggling thru items that require delving several steps into the menu on a Toshiba or Mits.
    Sorry if I've come across as bashing the Hitachi, they are very good sets as a rule. The one I had was not very suitable for use with my less-than-perfect cable system. I think their bigger sets are maybe a tad expensive, especially in the SWX series, but they do have top-notch guns and optical components. At the 2200 or so you pay for their 43 inch widescreen (the stand has been free at Sears lately) they're a very good value, imho.
     
  14. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    Dennis, I have not tried to correct this problem... Steve's explination sounds logical. I do have the service manual but have not put it to use.. I may not. I am getting convervative in my old age.

    Dave
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Dennis,
    The smoothwide mode on the Hitachi was partially a vertical zoom. All 16/9 sets I've played with have a "scroll" feature when in the regular zoom mode that lets you move the picture up and down to make things like sports scores or newsbanners that are normally offscreen in zoom mode visible. On the Hitachi I'm pretty sure this also worked in smoothwide mode, so the overscan is intentional and you can move the picture to make sports scores visible.
    Sony calls their variable stretch "Wide Zoom" which sorta tips you off that zoom is happening along with variable horizontal stretch, and the scroll feature also applies in this mode. Sony does allow some "fattening" in the center in this mode, though not as much as in "full". This isn't too noticeable, and allows less stretch at the edges. Oddly enough along with the vertical zoom they actually compress the top and bottom a little also. It's a wierd combination overall, but actually minimally distractin.
     
  16. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

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    The Hitachi does have a scroll feature that will position the picture vertically up or down in smooth wide, full and fill modes.

    Dave
     

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