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Hitachi To Show Cable Ready HDTV Set

Indianapolis– Hitachi will present at CEDIA its first “digital cable-ready” integrated HDTV set for the custom install market along with derivative plasma, LCD and CRT rear-projection HDTV sets and monitors for the high-end trade.

Hitachi was expected to update dealers on plans to roll out its first digital cable-ready HDTV sets, although as this went to press the Federal Communications Commission had still not signed off on a digital cable interoperability agreement. Without that agreement, cable operators may be reluctant to deploy CableCARD security models that are needed to view scrambled channels.

Hitachi had tentatively slated an October delivery of the “digital cable-ready” sets (including a CableCARD slot), which include 57W- and 65W-inch models, but those plans could be pushed back, Hitachi has warned.

At CEDIA Hitachi will show the 65X750 ($4,499.99 suggested retail) 65W-inch CRT-based “digital cable-ready” integrated HD rear-projection set with CableCARD compatibility. It will also show the 65W-inch 65S700 (shipping now at $4,199.99), which is an integrated HDTV set with QAM digital cable tuning, but lacking the CableCARD slot for scrambled channels. Both models include both IEEE-1394 and DVI-HDCP connectors.

Other new model lines slated for CEDIA distribution include nine plasma display models in the 32W- (1,024 by 852 resolution), 42W- (1,024 by 1,024 resolution) and 50W-inch (1,280 by 768 resolution) screen sizes. Plasma displays are divided between monitors with A/V control centers, and monitor-only configurations. Most models include Hitachi’s new VirtualHD 1,080p video processing with automatic 3:2 pulldown detection.

Panel and control center packages include six models in two series including the 32HDT50 ($5,999.99 suggested), 42HDT50 ($7,999.95) and 50HDT50 ($10,999.99), and the Director’s Series models, with gloss silver cabinets, the 32HDX60 ($6,999.99), 42HDX60 ($8,999.99) and 50HDX60 ($11,999.99).

Monitor-only models offered in the Director’s Series include the 42HDM70 ($8,999.99, fourth quarter) and in the Professional Series the CMP4201/4202U ($7,999.99, fourth quarter). The CMP5000U will continue.

New LCD-based HD rear-projection monitors include the 50W-inch 50VX500 ($4,499.99, fourth quarter), and the 60W-inch 60VX500 ($5,299.99, fourth quarter). Both models offer three-chip LCD light engines, VirtualHD 1,080p processing, automatic 3:2 pulldown detection, DVI-HDCP inputs and gloss silver cabinets.

Other new CRT-based rear-projection HD monitors will include the 57W-inch 57S500 ($3,299.99, shipping now), the 57W-inch 57X500 ($4,299.99, shipping now), the 65W-inch 65S700 ($4,199.99, shipping now), and the 65W-inch 65X750 ($4,499.99, fourth quarter).