Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm considering this TV but have a few questions regarding it and rear proj TV's in general:

1. The specs concern me, see here http://www.hitachi.com.au/hitachi/content/...cts.asp?ID=1538

Under reception system, it mentions video systems as PAL 60 etc, is this TV compatible with our SD/HD systems?? I assume it is as its sold here, can any one owning one confirm that they can hook up a SD or HD STB, DVD etc OK through the various inputs. I saw a display with this set hooked up to DGTEC2000A, and saw HD and SD cahannels, but I don't know much about the 2000A, can it dsiplay HD and SD at the same time, i.e. just by changing channels?

2. Scan mode listed as progressive/virtualHD/100Hz, and also lists 525i/625i/720p/1125i?? does this make it compatible with our DVB-T resolutions.

I have almost settled on this set after seeing it, the new 46" Sony and the Panasonic 47P800(I think that is the designation), as i'm after a particular size and price due to room size, viewing distance etc.

This set looked very good, playing "The Matrix Revolutions".

Thanks for any info.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 163
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I have owned the big brother (but otherwise identical) 57WD5000 Hitachi HD CRT RPTV for a couple of months now. I have been meaning to post an evaluation of this TV and this thread has prompted me to do so.

First the Hitachi is completely compatible with all Australian SD and HD systems but you still need a SD or preferably top quality HD set top box for digital reception of course. The Hitachi wants to convert all inputs to its native 1080i resolution and works best when fed a 1080i signal through its component inputs. It has a SD 100Hz option but it does not work as well as the virtual HD mode that converts SD inputs to 1080i.

The Hitachi is very well designed and build quality is high.

It has a good auto convergence system that actually works.

It has a good inbuilt stereo speaker system with woofers and tweeters mounted in proper wooden ported enclosures not just mounted in the plastic front panel and they are driven by an effective stereo wide enhanced amplifier system.

It also has an excellent remote control with individual buttons for each of its five inputs.

As fare as picture quality is concerned the Hitachi can be the equal or better of any display of comparable size. There are certainly no large digital RPTV's available in Aus that can match it for overall picture quality. But unfortunately this great performance can ONLY be achieved after service level recalibration.

As delivered the Hitachi has an overly red colour balance that cannot be adjusted out with user level controls. As well as that, Hitachi has decided to apply very excessive edge enhancement (Velocity Scan Modulation) to the picture. This also cannot be removed with used level controls.

Some people may not notice these problems but I sure as hell did and only purchased the Hitachi with the expectation that these problems could be fixed. Lucky for me they could, but not without some effort. Firstly Hitachi Aus flatly refused to supply me with a service manual as they understandably don’t want customers mucking about in the service menus or with the TVs internals. A lot of warranty service problems could be caused by the uninformed making adjustments to things about which they have no knowledge.

That being said, adjustment would not have been required if Hitachi had done the job right in the first place. It’s not like it is a quality control problem but seems to be a deliberate decision on the part of the Hitachi engineers. The S500 US model has similar setup problems. As fare as I am concerned there can be no interpretation of colour accuracy. It is either accurate or it is not, and the Hitachi is definitely not.

As for the edge enhancement or VSM, it makes a good quality picture bad and a bad quality or noisy picture unwatchable and therefore has no place in a good display system.

Anyway, I went around Hitachi and obtained a service manual and recalibrated my set to undo Hitachi’s strange setup decisions and now have a truly superb display.

Both the color and edge enhancement issues can be corrected in the service menu and do not require opening the case. Colour calibration is not an easy task and requires much time and patients or alternatively professional color calibration equipment. I don’t have the equipment but I do have the advantage of experience having done colour calibration on a previous Toshiba RPTV. Even so it took me quite some time to get colour balance just right, but wow doesn’t it look great now.

The edge enhancement was an easy fix, it just required a change to a service menu setting unlike my previous Toshiba TV that required disconnection of the VSM circuitry inside the set. I really don’t understand why manufacturers insist on using this “enhancement” system. The TV’s always look much better with it disabled.

My last tweak was to do a service level convergence. Although the Hitachi “Magic focus” system is quite good and gives better convergence than most CRT RPTV’s on the market, better results can always be obtained with a service level convergence.

Unfortunately the Hitachi requires the lower front panel to be removed to get access to the service convergence button. This is a simple job and allows access to an excellent 117 point manual convergence system. After doing a manual adjustment, convergence is perfect over the entire screen area and is a testament to the fine engineering that Hitachi put into this set. There are certainly no colour fringes around white text etc now.

Some other technical performance issues that I noted are:

Picture geometry is near perfect.

Power supply regulation is outstanding.

Very little lens flare.

Outstanding black level performance.

The biggest problem I have now is feeding the Hitachi with a source that can do it justice.

With such a large and clear HD display the quality of the input is a big issue. Any defects in the source become glaringly obvious so I use a Home Theater PC to filter and scale all source to 1080i and feed the Hitachi via component input. This has made satellite TV (Foxtel) at least watch able and gives outstanding quality DVD playback.

So to sum up, the current Hitachi HD CRT RPTV’s can deliver a truly outstanding performance that is hard to better but ONLY if they are correctly calibrated. As delivered they are only average performers and there are other sets that work better out of the box.

All CRT based RPTV’s need calibration to give there best performance. As seen in retail showrooms CRT based RPTV’s almost always look very ordinary with contrast controls set WAY to high and convergence very poorly adjusted giving over bright, ugly, unnatural and blurry images. Some have better default settings then others, for example the Toshiba HD CRT RPTV’s have good colour balance as delivered but convergence is relatively poor.

All sets will look better after calibration, some of them amazingly so.

It is only when properly calibrated that CRT based RPTV’s show there full potential and the real differences in performance between different sets can be fully assessed.

All of this makes life for the prospective purchaser rather difficult and this is where digital displays have an advantage. Unlike CRT RPTV’s, with digital displays, what you see is pretty much what you will get. There is very little adjustment that can be made to digital displays that will dramatically affect there performance.

There is one important factor to remember when looking at digital displays and that is black performance. Most showrooms are brightly lit and the poor black level and shadow detail performance of digital displays is masked by the relatively bright lighting. When the lights are dimmed as they often are in a home environment the gray blacks and relatively poor shadow detail of current digital displays become obvious. So it is very important to evaluate digital displays in dim lighting with a DVD containing some dimly lit and night scenes. This is an area of performance where correctly adjusted CRT based RPTV’s excel. They give truly black blacks and great detain in shadows that current digital displays can’t hope to match.

Regards to all,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Owen, this is the info I needed. From what I saw in shops, the 47" model still looked better than the others, and your info reassures me about compatibility.

I also intend to use a HTPC (Antec Overture case and Gigabyte Gigabyte 8S655TXUltra P4 Motherboard with a 2.8Ghz C CPU, Radeon 9200SE, Fusion DVB-T card), so that is useful info, what powerstrip timings do you use? I will probaby get a Key Digital VGA-component converter.

I think I will put in an order for this set, along with 5 year extended warranty. I have noticed the blacks on a LG 43" LCD RPj set they were also trying to sell.

I only have digital reception as my analogue reception is unwatchable on most channels. I will be using an older Thomson DT1352 STB initially, then my HTPC.

Thanks again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I finally took delivery of the C47-WD5000 last Thursday. Took over a month!

Anyway, I'm really impressed with the picture - particularly the brightness and the 'expanded' function for normal analog reception. I've also hooked it up to one of the new LG HD stb and although I can't currently receive a HD digital picture (just ABC and SBS out here for the moment), the PQ is great - as is the widescreen picture.

Nevertheless the colour balance is noticably off with skin complexions tending to have a yellowish appearance, which is generally only improved by selecting the Cool settings in the Picture menu. In line with your comments (Owen), I've tried to find a technician who can do a service level convergence, but with no luck. The actual designated Hitachi service tech out this way said that he'd never seen a Hitachi RPTV and said he didn't even know they made them! Instead he wanted to tell me that I should have bought a SONY CRT. It's a bit late now.

I think that for the time being I'll have to adjust the set using the user level controls best I can.

Any suggestions on the best user level settings would be greatly appreciated. I'm currently using the 'natural' picture mode with the normal colour temp and I can't make up my mind about whether the Virtual HD mode or Progressive mode is best. The manual also doesn't explain some of the additional picture settings and I was wondering if anyone could explain whether the VM setting is referring to the Velocity (ie Scan) Modulation AKA Image Edge Enhancement and also whether it's worth playing with the individual colour settings.

In all other respects I can't be happier given the performance of the unit, the overall build quality and the price - under $3,300, and it absolutely kills the resolution of the low end plasma's, and doesn't suffer from any solarisation etc. Displays DVD's excellently.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Kearns5,

The first thing you should do is turn down the Contrast control to about 25.

The default setting is WAY too high and will potentially damage the CRT’s and give you eye strain.

You then adjust the Brightness control so that blacks are only just black , but not gray.

Convergence adjustment is easy to do, but you will need to remove the lower front panel to get at the service convergence button. It only requires a few screws be removed.

You can get a service manual here:

http://www.hcsd.com.au/html.html

You can hire for about $17 per month or purchase for about $90.

I can tell you how to get into the service menu and disable edge enhancement, but correcting colour will be very difficult without a colour analyzer.

Any good service tech should have a colour analyzer and understand how to use it to adjust gray scale. All CRT displays need this adjustment.

Disabling edge enhancement, correcting colour balance and perfect convergence are very important for a top quality picture.

Once these adjustments are done the Hitachi will be fare more impressive then the little Sony CRT.

It is best to let the TV run in for about 100 hours before doing a calibration.

Regards,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicx,

I will see what I can do about some pictures, but it is my experience that still photographs do not normally do justice to RPTV’s.

Regards,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Owen. I've emailed them and they were really helpful. I'll probably purchase it.

In the meantime I'll have a play with the user settings tonight. I'll particularly have a go at the contract and brightness. You're right, my eyes were hurting. I thought it was me! I'll also have a go at switching the VM off and on and check the difference.

Have to agree though - great set and great build, and the sounds not sloppy either, although I have it hooked up to my own sound system.

I'll no doubt be posting again once I've got the manual and be asking for some help to adjust the set.

Link to post
Share on other sites


I bought this tv a few weeks ago and noticed the same issues as Owen.

I've mucked around extensively with the user settings and this is what I have which is reasonably satisfactory :

picture type : favorite

contrast : +30

brightness : +2

color : -15

sharpness : -5

color temperature : Normal

tint : 0

In the second page of the menu, I've turned off everything except Film Mode which is on. Definitely turn off VM.

Color manager is disabled. Virtual HD mode seems better than progressive for DVDS. This is with a standard non-progressive player so it may be different on a progressive DVD player.

These settings seem reasonable to me, try them if you want.

BTW, Owen could you tell me how to get into the service menu and disable edge enhancement? Also how exactly is a manual convergence done?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just so you people don’t go mad looking in the service menu and manual for any reference to edge enhancement or VSM, Ill tell you now that it is NOT documented.

I only found it by trial and error (risky), but I had a good idea where to look.

I can’t remember the menu number. I will need to look it up.

The service menu uses numbers to identify menu items, not names. You must look up the service manual to find out what the numbers mean.

There are over 600 menu settings, all numbered, so without a service manual you have absolutely no chance of finding your way around.

Over half of the menu items are not documented in the manual.

Under no circumstances should you go changing settings to find out what they do.

You could accidentally do a ROM reset or some other unrecoverable damage that way.

You NEED the service manual to work on this TV.

You MUST always make a written or photographic note of all original setting BEFORE you alter anything, and only alter settings when you understand what they do.

It is safe to adjust colour settings in the service menu, as you can always go back to defaults if required.

The RDrive will need to go way down to about 10-20 and RCut will probably need to come up a little to compensate.

Green and Blue settings should be close.

Even though it is possible to adjust the gray scale by eye, it requires knowledge and a LOT of patients. I highly recommend getting this done by a professional who knows what he is doing and has a colour analyzer.

If you’re local service tech does not know what a color analyzer is, or does not have one, find another service tech.

WARNING:

The insides of CRT displays contain extremely high and DANGEROUS voltages (20,000 -30,000 Volts), so you need to be VERY careful with what you go near.

Unfortunately, the little button to enable the wonderful 117 point service convergence system is behind the front panel, on the front of the main circuit board, and is very close to some high voltage stuff. It’s not a problem to get at if you are CAREFUL. You have been warned.

Regards,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've ordered the service manual. Should be here in a few days hopefully.

Owen,

could you please tell me how to use the service menu and turn off edge enhancement. That's my main concern ATM, I think I can live with the magic focus convergence for now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sound advice Owen.

I've now had a look through the manual and there's some scary stuff. This is really meant for a professional, although there's no way I'll let the local serive agent near it.

Link to post
Share on other sites


For those of you who want to disable edge enhancement on the Hitachi, the settings are as follows.

For normal PAL inputs, you need to adjust menu item No 147 (APACON_PEAK_FREQ) to 0.

For 1080i component input, adjust menu item No 150 (APACON_PEAK_FREQ) to 0.

Don’t forget to press the “ENTER” key on the remote to make the changes stick after changing the value to 0.

I seem to remember there was some other setting that is not mentioned in the manual, but I can’t find my notes.

Anyway, the settings above are the most important ones.

I highly recommend doing a manual convergence adjustment using the wonderful 117 point service mode convergence system.

You will need to remove the lower front panel and also the lower of the two wooden covers to get access to the left front of the main circuit board where the little blue button for the service mode convergence lives.

I have not bothered to replace the wooden cover plate, and have not replaced the screws holding the plastic front panel in place as the front panel is also held on by four pins that go into rubber grommets, just like the grill on a HiFi speaker. The screws are only needed to keep the front panel in place during transport.

This allows easy and quick access to the service convergence button whenever required.

All adjustments are made using the remote and each of the TV’s inputs are adjusted separately.

You should only adjust the red and blue guns to overlay the green.

The green is master and should only be adjusted to correct for geometric errors and should not need much, if any adjustment.

Don’t try this without the service manual. You will need the manual to understand how the remote is used for adjustment.

If you don’t understand the manual, post me for some assistance.

I also recommend turning off (-31) or at least down the sharpness in the normal user “Picture” menu, the 0 setting is NOT off.

This one is up to you, but once you have the Hitachi working properly you should find sharpening in the TV unnecessary. Sharpening increases noise and compression artifacts and dose not increase real detail, just contrast on edges.

I have just completed some adventurous modification to my 57” Hitachi which involved blacking out everything inside the cabinet with flat black paint and black cloth to reduce reflections, as well as repositioning the CRT support frame to shorten the light path to the screen and remove overscan without reducing resolution as is normally required if the picture size is adjusted in the service menu or a custom resolution like 1776x1000 is used with a HTPC.

I am now able to use 10% more of the CRT screen surface area for display and can run a full 1920x1080 from my HTPC with zero overscan.

I have to say that the results of these modifications have been better then I expected and picture quality has dramatically improved. It only cost me $15 and about 3 hours of my time to perform. I now have a very noticeably sharper and higher resolution picture with more intense colour and increased contrast.

It’s all grins around here, I can tell you. :blink:

Regards,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Owen,

Now thats dedication, I hope you took pictures and documented as you went!! ;-)

Sounds very interesting - especially as im probably going to be a Hitachi owner also (unless they are a LOT more expensive than I got my 57VW9UA for!)

Is this blue convergence button on the PCB itself? - could it be re-located (or replaced) with an externally (or easier) accessable button?

Cheers,

Bitey

Link to post
Share on other sites

The convergence button is on the left front edge of the circuit board.

An external button could be added by soldering extension wires to the board and adding an extra button mounted on the case somewhere but I cannot be bothered to do that as it only takes me 10 seconds to lift of the front panel and push the button. It’s just not a big problem for me.

The modification I have done to my Hitachi to shorten the light path is very simple and only involves removing the screen, removing 4 mounting bolts for the CRT mounting frame and inserting some craftwood blocks under the frame to raise it by 70mm.

I then needed to adjust lens focus, geometry, convergence and screen size and position. It was not difficult at all.

Blacking out the case involved carefully masking up the mirror, covering the CRT lenses and painting the case innards with a can of flat black spay paint.

Not exactly rocket science and it should have been done in the factory. :blink:

I then covered the bottom of the case with black cloth to cover some internal wiring and the magic focus circuit board that could not be painted.

Blacking out the case like this is a common RPTV mod, but I have never heard of anyone shortening the light path by raising the CRT’s. I think I am a pioneer in that respect. :P

I’ll post my mod on AVS forum and see how the boys there like it.

Regards,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites


dont want to sound like a silly newbie, but how exactly do you access this service menu?  Like kearns said, this is an absolute nightmare to work through for a non-techie.

You NEED the service manual.

Have you got one yet?

It explains everything.

Don’t even consider doing anything without it.

Regards,

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple enough for the things you will be doing.

I'll help you if required.

Convergence adjustment is very simple to do.

The one thing that really needs doing on the Hitachi is gray scale adjustment to get the colour accurate, but I very much doubt that is within your capabilities. So start looking for an experienced technician with a colour analyzer.

I can’t see how you will ever get an acceptable picture without doing that.

Maybe if all the Hitachi owners start complaining long and loud about the crap factory colour adjustment, it will get fixed.

If you complain, they may even send a tech out to do it for free.

There can be no interpretation of accurate colour as fare as I am concerned. It is either accurate or it is not, and unless the Hitachi’s are now better then they where when I purchased mine, they are FARE from being accurate.

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites

owen,

So its not possible to calibrate the hitachi using a calibration disc such as Digital Video Essentials? Even after turning down the red like you mentioned (via rdrive and rcut)?

What sort of color/picture settings do you use?

also, if you hold down the magic convergence button for about 5 secs, you enter some sort of manual convergence setup. Is this the same thing as pressing the 117 point manual convergence button behind the casing?

thanks,

nitin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Owen,

Spray paint and blocks of wood - now thats the sort of DIY I like to hear applied to expensive and highly sensitive electronics... any liquid nails in there too? - that's a personal favourite of mine - you can stick a fan in a PC anywhere with that stuff, and it comes off OK too if you need to move it :blink: I am impressed! simple and highly effective! - I still dont know whether its shock or awe reading about the spray-painting on the inside of the cabinet I think its awe... I certaily hope your masking skills are better than mine! (I have memoried of painting an old car, in a mates barn, with a dirt floor on a windy day with industrial structural primer - oh how the police loved that car)..

Cheers,

Bitey

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm studying the manual at the moment. The actual adjustments seem logical. I think my only anxiousness is in making sure that I can get out of the service manual without completely resetting the set! Generally these things aren't well explained.

Some probably obvious (dumb) questions:

1. When you push the service button does the green matrix appear instantly on the screen? The picture next to the item listed under the Digital Convergence Adjustment section of the manual shows something different.

2. Once the new convergence is written to the ROM do I just press the service button again? The way the manual is written, it seems to be saying to press the MUTE button on the remote, which is not clarified on the illustration of the remote.

3. Is it the case that any stage of the service adjustment that I can just press the service button again to get out of the service mode?

I've noticed when there are very bright images on the screen - particularly with a black background - that there is a slight flare. I assume Owen this is why you've blacked out the inside of the set. Very clever.

The problem with the colour is, in my opinion, only slight and most noticeable when you view a standard 50Hz set. I've noticed that most 100Hz sets don't resolve the footy very well and can be a little iffy with some colours.

Link to post
Share on other sites

CRT Drive and Cut adjustments are the menu items used to adjust colour, but doing adjustment by eye, with just DVE, is basically impossible.

You need to get correct colour balance for low’s, mid’s and highlights all correct.

The shadow and mid tones are not too difficult, but highlights are VERY difficult to do by eye. It took me several attempts and hours of experimenting to get what I consider an acceptable result and I have the advantage of previous calibration experience.

Then again, I may well be more fussy then most people.

With the correct equipment, this could have been done more accurately in a fraction of the time.

By all means have a go. You can’t do any harm if you write down the original settings.

Holding the ”Magic Focus” button definitely does not give you access to the service mode convergence system.

You can’t actually adjust anything that way, even though it gives you a grid.

Owen

Link to post
Share on other sites
Owen,

Spray paint and blocks of wood - now thats the sort of DIY I like to hear applied to expensive and highly sensitive electronics... any liquid nails in there too? - that's a personal favourite of mine - you can stick a fan in a PC anywhere with that stuff, and it comes off OK too if you need to move it :blink: I am impressed! simple and highly effective! - I still dont know whether its shock or awe reading about the spray-painting on the inside of the cabinet I think its awe... I certaily hope your masking skills are better than mine! (I have memoried of painting an old car, in a mates barn, with a dirt floor on a windy day with industrial structural primer - oh how the police loved that car)..

Cheers,

Bitey

I'm still wondering what Owen's going to say when he needs some work done under warranty, (or is that what Hitachi is going to say!).

Liquid nails on the pc case fans - what a great idea. They should be much quieter too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.





×
×
  • Create New...