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Last week SmartHouse indicated in a story titled “Hitachi Tries To Redeem Itself After Full HD Debacle” that “Hitachi had refused a request for a 50” 1080i plasma TV. This is incorrect. At the time I was under the impression that another journalist at 4Square Media had made this request and had been refused. I apologise for this assertion.

Hitachi via their lawyers has said that a 1080i 50″ plasma screen will be made available to SmartHouse for evaluation Vs a same size 50″ 1080p plasma TV.


They also claim that SmartHouse has recently published a number of incorrect statements about Hitachi and its products.
Hitachi claim that we had suggested in our recent stories that Hitachi has deliberately misled customers in relation to “Full HD” They claim that this is incorrect. 


They claim that most of Hitachi’s “Full HD” televisions are 1080p. While SmartHouse accepts that 1080p constitutes “Full HD we do not accept that 1080i is Full HD”.


Full HD by its description would lead one to believe that it is the best or the fullest image that one can obtain from a TV screen.  In addition our understanding of Full High Definition (Full HD) which is also known as 1080p, is an output that delivers the highest image resolution being output on TVs in the Australian marketplace today.

Full HD has the ability to produce images that are as life-like. The number “1080” represents 1,080 lines of vertical resolution, while the letter “p” refers to progressive scan. This creates a frame resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels or 2,073,600 pixels in total.

 

In a letter to SmartHouse lawyers for Hitachi say that there is only one television which is 1080i and this is marketed as “Full HD”.  SmartHouse disagrees with that description but as we have pointed out there is no current standard in Australia that clearly identifies the differences between 1080i and 1080p technology and the meaning of “full HD”.


Smarthouse accepts that Hitachi has taken steps to ensure that customers understand that the television in question is 1080i. We are also told by Harvey Norman management that Hitachi has agreed to refund customers who have purchased a 50″ Hitachi plasma and have concerns.


At no stage did Harvey Norman management say to SmartHouse directly that Hitachi had engaged in deliberately misleading customers. However we do say that Hitachi marketing for their 50″ P50X01 1080i plasma is confusing and misleading. We also raise the question that if as Hitachi claim that Harvey Norman did not find the description of the 50″ Hitachi P50X011080i as misleading why did they take the action they did.

SmatHouse during the course of this story spoke to several Harvey Norman executves not just one as Hitachi has claimed.


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In a double page spread magazine advertisement in September 2007, Hitachi used the headline High Definition Redefined.  They also said that Hitachi brings Full HD to its range. We say this is misleading. As the range shown does not all have Full HD. This aside they did describe several models as being only “Hitachi High Definition Range”.

Using a large image of their 50″ plasma 1080i plasma screen which was up to 4 times larger than other screens shown they went on to claim that there was conventional high definition and Hitachi full definition.

In fact they showed that conventional high definition was blurred compared to their Full HD offering.

 

The comparison images were right next to the 50′ 1080i plasma which they said contained the Hitachi Full HD technology.
In the advertisement they also raised the question what is Full HD? They then went on to say “Packing over two million pixels on the screen Full HD is the ultimate High Definition experience. With twice the resolution of conventional HD video, Full HD makes the most of large screen plasma and LCD TVs delivering smooth life like images right down to the minutest detail. Full HD movies and video games are available on Blu Ray disc and the list of titles is growing all the time.


This SmartHouse says is misleading as a 1080i TV will not deliver a Blu ray at its optimum performance or deliver the “ultimate High Definition experience” as Hitachi claims. This can only be done on a 1080p TV.


At no stage has SmartHouse said that Hitachi Australia is not profitable in the consumer technology market in Australia. We have said that the Hitachi globally is unprofitable in the consumer technology market and that the global Company has announced significant losses competing in the plasma marketplace. 

Hitachi Australia is dependent on the success of Hitachi Ltd for the development of new consumer technology products.
 

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