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DLP HDTV, D-8 C'corders Offered By Hitachi

In a change of plans since CES, Hitachi said it will introduce in October a 65-inch widescreen rear-projection HDTV display powered by a Texas Instrument digital light processing (DLP) engine.

Meanwhile, the company was also to announce that it would join Sony in offering digital camcorders using the D8 format. Hitachi becomes the first company to license the popular digital tape format that propelled Sony to the lead market share position in digital camcorders last year.

The DLP model 65DMX01W represents the flagship of Hitachi's newest line of digital and analog video products that were to be introduced to dealers at a company line show this week. The screen size on the 65DMX01W is up from a 52-inch version Hitachi demonstrated at a press conference during CES.

The model is to be demonstrated this week, as a working sample only, but will be available in quantity this fall. The DLP engine, similar to those announced for DLP displays coming from Mitsubishi and Panasonic, lists 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution and is capable of displaying a 720p HDTV signal in native resolution.

Hitachi said it plans to sell the DLP projection TV at a $9,999.95 minimum advertised price (MAP). It will include two sets of HD component video inputs and 15-pin D-sub RGB connection for DTV and computer input, dual analog NTSC tuners and internal Dolby Digital 5.1-channel processing.

The 65DMX01W is one of 10 HDTV-capable televisions the manufacturer is announcing for its 2000-'01 model line.

All other HDTV-capable models will display the 1080i native-scan format and will line double interlaced sources to 480p format. Additionally, most rear-projection HD-capable models will in-clude Dolby Digital 5.1 surround-sound decoders, and projection guns with 7-inch CRT optics and six lens elements.

Among the changes to the current offering, the 61HDX98B has been replaced by the 61HDX01W, which ships in September at a lower $5,999.95 MAP, down $2,000 from the previous price. The fully integrated HDTV set has a wide-screen 16:9 aspect ratio and will include HD component video inputs for connection to progressive-scan DVD players and certain digital cable set-top boxes. It displays 1080i and 540p native-scan formats.

The HDTV-ready version of that projection set is the 61SWX01W, which is a 61-inch widescreen model with dual NTSC tuners. It will ship in September at $4,999.95 and scans 1080i and 480p natively.

Completing the widescreen digital TV products for the year will be the 53SDX01W. A replacement for the 53SDX98B, the new HDTV-ready rear-projection set will carry a lower $3,299.95 MAP, down $200, when it ships in September.

Hitachi will also offer four 4:3 rear-projection models capable of displaying the 1080i HDTV scan rate.

Model 61SDX01B will display 1080i in native-scan format and will line double analog NTSC images to 480p. It is due in July at a $3,799.95 MAP. Model 53SDX01B is a 53-inch version of the same set and is set to ship in June at a $3,299.95 MAP.

Two remaining 4:3 digital-capable rear-projection sets, which represent the new FDX series, will omit internal Dolby Digital decoding.

Model 53FDX01B (53-inch screen) will ship in July at a $2,699.95 MAP, and 43FDX01 (43-inch screen) will ship in August at a $2,199.95 MAP. Both include two sets of HD component video inputs and dual NTSC tuners for a picture-in-picture function.

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