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A 37 inch corner-hogger, the Hitachi L37VP01 (the TV, from now on) is HD-ready and offers a full 1080p resolution. It's been sitting in, dominating, the corner of my lounge for over a year now, and is a mixed bundle of quality and annoyance that I love and loathe in equal measures.
It spends its time, quite rightly, with a PS3, an XBox 360, and a Master System/Megadrive combination console at its side, and is quite happy to cater to all three with its five scart sockets and its two HDMI ones. This means that all three consoles can be connected at all times, and whilst we don't own a separate DVD player, one of those could too!
Speaking of DVD players, though this television doesn't have one built in, the remote control has full DVD functionality. Essentially, if you're not a PS3 owner, you can program your television remote to also control your DVD player and avoid the need for two remotes.
Another enjoyable feature that the TV offers is a PiP (picture in picture) functionality which allows for the viewing of two things at once (one without sound, of course). Though you can't mix HD visuals with that old-fashioned normal stuff, you can view two HD images or two 'normal' images side-by-side, or have one image in a small box in any corner of the screen whilst the other takes up the rest...and no, viewing two HD images at the same time doesn't mean that you can play your PS3 and XBox at the same time, sadly.
So what lets this TV down? Well, that's simple, the Freeview. I've never before owned a television that, despite the ability to pick up an excellent digital signal and show any television channel in perfect detail, knows not the date, the time, or what it's supposed to be showing. Essentially, the TV guide is a blank blue box that covers your screen with 'no information found' or something similar every second of every day, to the point that www.tvguide.co.uk and I have become good friends...
If that wasn't enough to cause anger, the remote control is also an un-responsive mess. Whether you have to have a certain power, or just extreme strength, I don't know, but I find that even on a good day it takes me a few minutes to change the channel (I push the button, wait, and wait some more), and on a bad day I have to ask my boyfriend to change from channel to channel on my behalf - and I really don't like surrendering my already limited control of the TV back to him!
A good TV once you get it working and are on the channel you want, this TV is certainly worth purchasing if you're on a relatively low budget (it cost £650 in September 2008), but you need patience. Now to get back to the remote control, I hear there's a good programme on next week and I want to make sure I've turned the TV over in time...
Considering this is one of the better-priced TVs in this size range it is hard to find considerable fault, and anyone purchasing this TV will no doubt be impressed with the picture and sound quality.
I bought this as my first 'proper' TV, after living on 14" portable TVs while at University, and obviously the jump in size impressed. However I can now be more partial having experienced other TVs. The picture quality is sharp particularly when viewing in HD, and the sound quality is crisp and clear. There are sufficient Scart and HDMI ports to cater for the most technology-loving family without the need for major rearrangement.
However there is still a feeling of budget with this TV. The remote is often unresponsive and tough to use, and the inbuilt freeview is prone to freezing. It is also unreliable with the TV guide and many times requires turning off and on in order to see what is actually being shown. Either that or there is a new TV show "Not Currently Available" that is taking the nation by storm and being shown on every channel on repeat.
However this problems are insignificant in the grand scheme of things and overall anyone purchasing this TV will be happy with an impressive set-up.