New Home-Theater Products Coming from Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Sony
Hitachi's flagship set is designated the 65DMX01W. The big display is scheduled to hit dealers in October, just as football season begins to heat up. The unit boasts pixel resolution of 1280x720 and is said to be capable of displaying 720p HDTV signals in their full glory. The minimum advertised price is $9999.
The 65DMX01W will lead Hitachi's fall lineup. Its inputs include two sets of HD component-video and a 15-pin RGB connection for DTV and computer hookup. Twin analog NTSC tuners for picture-in-picture and internal Dolby Digital 5.1-channel processing are standard features. Hitachi will offer 10 models of HDTV-capable televisions for the coming year, according to recent press releases. All except the 65DMX01W will display 1080i native-scan format and will line-double NTSC interlaced sources to 480p.
Last year's 61HDX98B model has been replaced by the 61HDX01W, which should appear this September at $5999.95, or $2000 less than its predecessor. The new model displays 1080i and 540p native-scan formats and features a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and HD component video inputs for progressive-scan DVD players.
Hitachi, incidentally, has become the first company to license Sony's D8 digital videotape format, and will later this year offer its own D8 camcorders. Panasonic and Mitsubishi have also announced DLP-powered rear projectors.
Mitsubishi's first DLP model to ship to retailers, the WD-65000, is also a 65" rear-projector, scheduled for late fall delivery with an anticipated retail price of $10,000. The company has announced details of its second-generation DLP(TM) technology–based rear-projection television, scheduled to be delivered early in 2001.
On the direct-view front, Sony should have its new HD-capable WEGA sets to dealers by June. The 32"-diagonal XBR400 WEGA features a flat screen capable of 480p and 1080i, for about $1600 retail. A 36" version will run several hundred more.