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Hitachi 32LD9700 review

Will the quality of this TV offset its dubious green credentials?

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Our Verdict

With a poor eco-rating, Hitachi's powerful pictures and audio are a guilty pleasure

For

  • Strong pictures
  • Great audio
  • Remote controlled stand
  • Good feature count

Against

  • Poor eco-rating

The bottom line of any HD-ready TV is how well it delivers high definition pictures – pure and simple. And in those terms, the Hitachi 32LD9700 is an unqualified success.

Impressive connectivity sets this 32-incher up for greatness. Twin HDMI inputs (allowing two high-def pieces of kit to be attached to the TV at once), three Scarts (two RGB), component video and PC inputs are hidden beneath the 32LD9700’s black bezel, while an SD card slot and USB port are tucked away on its side panel.

‘Tis grand for a grand

As one would expect from a £1,000 LCD TV from a major manufacturer, the feature count is strong. A built-in Freeview tuner leads the way and is joined by the welcome sight of Hitachi’s Picture Master HD processing, designed to boost detail, make colour more vivid, rid moving pictures of judder and blur and deepen black levels. We’re also pleased to see the all-newIPS-Alpha panel present to address some of those inconsistencies.

Also encouraging are some vital statistics. The 32LD9700 boasts a viewing angle of 176˚, affording this 32-incher enough flexibility to be viewed from nearly anywhere. The viewing angle is assisted from another neat feature built into the design of the 32LD9700 – a motorised stand that’s controlled using the intuitive remote control.

Inevitably, features like this don’t come without an important caveat: eco-friendliness. If you’re hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, the 32LD9700 may not be ideal: it uses a substantial 178W in operation, so the green minded should look away now… especially as the 32LD9700 can deliver some cracking hi-def fare.

Sexy beast

Using our test movie of Casino Royale (on Blu-ray disc), it doesn’t take long to see that we have a magnificent machine on the test bench. Skin tones are executed in a colourful yet realistic manner, bringing up every gory detail of the blood smeared over Bond’s face after the opening chase sequence.

The levels of detail on display are also satisfyingly great. The sequence as Bond battles on the crane are so dizzyingly filled with fine detail that you expect to suffer from vertigo at any minute.

What about those black levels? That IPS-Alpha panel appears to do the trick, as this 32in LCD TV offers incredible contrast and deep black levels (for LCD) when viewed from pretty much any angle. Similarly, fast-moving chase sequences in Casino Royale are well rendered, with next to no signs of blurring during camera pans. The 32LD9700 is also adept with standard-definition pictures too, as the same movie on SD DVD testifies.

The killer performances with standard-and high-definition images alike are accompanied by some seriously rousing stereo audio. The 32LD9700’s built-in speakers are capable of handling the diverse demands of music, dialogue and sound effects without distortion, even with the volume cranked up high.

The 32LD9700 is a sensational high-definition performer and it’s up there with the best 32in LCD TVs out there. But, if you – as we do – have green consciences, this undeniably great TV may find itself left offa few audition lists because of its gas-guzzling nature. A qualified Best Buy.