Hitachi P42H401 Ultravision Plasma HDTV At A Glance & Ratings

AT A Glance: Hitachi P42H401 Ultravision Plasma HDTV


Video: HDMI (3), component video (2),
S-video (1), composite video (2)
Audio: stereo analog (4)
Video: S-video (1), composite video (1)
Audio: digital optical (1), stereo analog (1)
Additional: RF (1), RS-232 (1)

Type: Plasma
Screen Size (diagonal): 42 inches
Native Resolution / Aspect Ratio: 1,024 x 1,080 / 16:9
Half Life: 60,000 hours
Wall Mount or Stand Included?: Stand
Dimensions (H x W x D, inches): 28.06 x 42 x 4.72; 30.66 x 42 x 15.28 (with stand)
Weight (pounds): 39.5 (with stand)
Price: $1,700

Ratings: Hitachi P42H401 Ultravision Plasma HDTV

Build Quality: 89 Average
• A simple but attractive aesthetic, with a two-tone, brushed finish
• Front-panel buttons hide behind a flimsy plastic door

Value: 93
• The price is on target with similarly sized 768p plasmas and LCDs—and it's $800 less than the only true 1080p 42-inch plasma available

Features: 88 Average
• Three HDMI inputs, including one on the front panel
• No computer input
• Includes internal ATSC/NTSC/Clear-QAM tuners but no CableCARD slot or onscreen program guide

Performance: 84 Below Average
• Black level and bit depth are just average, which affects overall performance
• HD1080 makes it hard to precisely evaluate the detail and processing, but both appear to be solid

Ergonomics: 92 Good
• Numerous aspect-ratio choices, plus auto aspect-ratio detection
• The onscreen menu and remote are well laid out and easy to use, but the remote lacks backlighting and dedicated source buttons

Overall Rating: 88 Average
The P42H401 employs an interesting technology to achieve a 1,024-by-1,080 resolution, but the resulting output is more 1080i than 1080p. Its picture quality is solid but not quite to the level of the best plasmas on the market, no matter the resolution.

General Information
P42H401 Ultravision Plasma HDTV, $1,700
Hitachi Home Electronics

Hitachi Home Electronics