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The Skinny on Ultra Thin Displays
Bigger has always been better when discussing TVs. But now "thin" is definitely in. Here's a look at the slimmest models.
Ultra Thin Displays
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October 29, 2007 by Dennis P. Barker

Last week (Oct. 23), Hitachi made an announcement that created a whole sub-category of televisions called “Ultra Thin Displays.” Hitachi has achieved what it claims is yet another consumer electronics breakthrough with the announcement of its new line of 1.5-inch (35mm) Ultra Thin LCD HDTV’s in 32”, 37”, and 42” screen sizes. Hitachi also expects to be first to market with its new Ultra Thin series, which will be available in the Japan market in December of 2007, and the U.S. in early 2008, many months before thin displays from other manufacturers.  As well, Hitachi noted that we can expect to “Ultra Thin” plasma models from Hitachi also – maybe as early as next year.

The Hitachi UT (Ultra Thin) Series features new and innovative components such as a re-design of its LCD panel that includes a new EEFL (External Electrode fluorescent lamp) backlighting system, diffuser, and reflector, which affords greater power efficiency.  According to Hitachi, EEFL delivers better and more flexible color accuracy, and allows a longer overall life span for the display.  Hitachi has also implemented In Plane Switching (IPS) with a vertical and horizontal viewing angle of 178 degrees that achieves what the company believes is the sharpest, clearest LCD possible, regardless of the angle at which the viewer is seated. 

Hitachi has also included its proprietary “anti-judder” technology which accurately and automatically eliminates the jerky “judder” motion.  It does so by creating interpolated frames based on the original film images. It smoothes out the movement and correctly matches the motion of the original movie.  Lastly, the new UT Series features Picture Master Full HD technology that includes Advanced Dynamic Contrast, 3D Color Management, and Advanced Dynamic Enhancer.  All displays will include 6-watts X 2 audio for clear sound.

What will separate these UT displays from others is its extremely thin depth of 1.5-inches, and its innovative frame, which could make it darling of interior designers.  The frame is beveled to present the viewing picture as if it were a work of art. The combination of a bevel on the outer frame combined with a radius on the inner frame presents a visually unique addition to any living environment.  Each set will offer a 360-dgree finish adding to the work of art appeal.  Each model comes with an included table stand. An optional floor stand will be offered.

Hitachi is not the only manufacturer who will be offering slimmer displays.  Sharp is currently offering their new D64 Series of LCD HDTVs.  Featuring a thin, lightweight “slim-line” design that provides a significantly smaller footprint than previous models, the new line of AQUOS LCD TVs gives consumers the ability to put a bigger picture in a smaller space. The D64 series also features a thinner bezel, and tight fit stealth speakers, giving consumers the ability to fit larger screens in smaller spaces. 

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Dennis P. Barker - Contributing Writer
Dennis has been involved with Consumer Electronics forever it seems. His 25+-year career includes a 12-year tour of duty at Consumer Reports magazine, as well as stints as a product reviewer, market analyst, technical editor, and consultant for the electronics industry. He lives in Ossining, NY with his two children, one demanding cat and piles of A/V equipment.

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