Television manufacturers who don't have the benefit of an instantly recognizable name or a strong reputation for quality often have to try new things to stand out from the crowd. Successful brands like Sony or Panasonic can become complacent, while lesser brands are forced to innovate and push boundaries to give consumers a reason to take a chance on them.
This seems to be the case with Hitachi, a name you may recognize, but not immediately associate with high-definition televisions. Though they don't get nearly as much attention as their more popular, prominent peers, Hitachi televisions are often host to a bevy of exciting features and interesting specifications. The recently announced "Wooo" televisions, soon to be available in Japan and perhaps headed to North America in the near future, are evidence of that.
The new "Wooo" HDTVs come in two separate, but similarly named series: the XP035 and the XP35. Why Hitachi chose to give their two distinct series such easily confusable names is a mystery, but we'll help you sort through the differences. The major difference is the HD technology behind those screens. The XP035 models are plasma televisions and the XP35 models are LCD televisions. So remember, the zero denotes plasma. Absence of a zero means LCD.
The XP035 plasma models include display sizes of 42, 46, and 50 inches. The XP35 LCD models include display sizes of 37 and 42 inches. Aside from their display-type and sizes, the XP035 and XP35 series televisions are largely the same, and feature some very appealing, forward-thinking technology that is well beyond what one might expect of a lesser-known brand.
Both sets of televisions include a built-in 500GB hard disk drive, for use as a digital video recorder. It's a nice perk, as most digital video recorders are separate set-top boxes, and seeing as how most flat-panel sets don't have tops, it creates an annoying quandary. These "Wooo" TVs keep it all in one convenient package, saving space and reducing clutter. Additionally, the "Wooo" televisions support DLNA, a protocol for accessing media over home networks. Setting your home computer up as a media server will allow your television access to the videos, music, photos, and other media stored on your computer's hard drive. You can stream those files directly, without the need for irritating hookups or physical media.
Though some of these features are trickling into higher-profile televisions in limited ways, Hitachi is definitely making the biggest strides in an attempt to capture the public's attention. These TVs will be available in Japan this fall and could possibly be launched for North America at CES 2010 in January.