News Releases

9/21/1998

Hitachi Debuts New "Ultravision Digital" Series Lineup

ATLANTA, GA

Sep 21, 1998 12:33 PM

Leading-Edge Technology Offers State-of-the-Art Picture Quality for Digital TV Enthusiasts

Moving forward with its digital TV lineup, Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., announced today its complete line of UltraVision Digital TVs for 1998. Hitachi's UltraVision Digital lineup is a three-tiered line of High Definition TV, High Definition TV Ready and Digital TV Ready models that incorporates exclusive display technology and innovative features for superior performance.

"With the introduction of our UltraVision Digital lineup, we strengthen our commitment to providing the optimal viewing experience for every home theater enthusiast," said Gary Bennett, Executive VP.

Hitachi's phenomenal UltraFocus SB lens technology provides enhanced brightness and sharpness, superior to other products on the market. It utilizes a total of six lenses, a larger lens diameter, new improved red and green lens filters and new high contrast lens coating. "The quality of the UltraFocus SB Lens System is unmatched in the industry," said Mr. Ramirez. "When combined with the UltraFocus SB PRT's and Magic Focus, UltraVision Digital models provide pristine picture quality that can show the true benefits of a high resolution HDTV signal."

UltraVision Digital Projection TV models also include the UltraFocus SB PRT's. These exclusive wide neck PRT's have a larger electrostatic focusing area, increased beam current, and high resolution phosphor on the faceplate to provide the sharpest, brightest possible picture.

To ensure that the lens and PRT quality remains perfectly focused, UltraVision Digital models also include Magic Focus. Magic Focus is the world's only automatic digital convergence system, and the only "screen-based" system, for PTV. Unlike a board-based system, a simple push of a button allows eight optical sensors to examine a special on-screen test pattern. The system then automatically adjusts for 256 points per PRT, providing the best corner-to-corner convergence available anywhere.

Hitachi's 61" High Definition TV (61HDX98B) is a true self-contained High Definition TV with a built-in 8VSB digital decoder that receives all 18 ATSC digital formats. HDTV broadcasts are displayed on the 16:9 aspect ratio UltraBlack screen in full 1080i HDTV resolution, and SDTV broadcasts are displayed in enhanced 540p resolution.

Adding to the exceptional performance, the 61" High Definition TV also includes a digital 3DYC comb filter, 60 watt Bass Reflex speaker system, and both Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic surround sound for the ultimate in home theater enjoyment.

But, Hitachi didn't stop there. The 61HDX98B also has a built-in DIRECTV/USSB IRD with Smart Card Slot. This IRD receives both standard DIRECTV/USSB and 1080i High Definition DIRECTV/USSB signals. DIRECTV/USSB is expected to have two high definition channels at launch. USSB is expected to add HBO by March 1999. Additional high definition channels should follow. "The combination of the built-in 8VSB digital decoder and the DIRECTV/USSB IRD gives Hitachi a totally digital solution," said Mr. Ramirez "This is a major advantage for us, as we can immediately offer HDTV to consumers across the country, not just in limited markets."

Hitachi's 61HDX98B has a suggested retail price of $7,999 and will be available by the 1st quarter of 1999.

The next level of UltraVision Digital is SDX. "SDX provides the best possible picture quality for today's sources, and consumers can purchase SDX today without the fear of their purchase becoming obsolete tomorrow," said Mr. Ramirez All current programming is upconverted to 480p, eliminating any scan lines or flicker. Simply connect a digital set-top box to the high definition component video inputs, and this set can accept a 1080i HDTV signal.

The next level of UltraVision Digital is SDX. "SDX provides the best possible picture quality for today's sources, and consumers can purchase SDX today without the fear of their purchase becoming obsolete tomorrow," said Mr. Ramirez All current programming is upconverted to 480p, eliminating any scan lines or flicker. Simply connect a digital set-top box to the high definition component video inputs, and this set can accept a 1080i HDTV signal.

The 60SDX88B includes 480p Progressive Scanning with exclusive Flex Converter technology, the UltraFocus SB lens system, UltraFocus SB PRTs, Magic Focus, UltraSensitive Velocity Scan Modulation and digital 3DYC comb filter.

The Flex Converter converts all 480i signals to 480p, and allows the set to accept 1080i. "The Flex Converter creates a superior picture," said Mr. Ramirez. "Progressive scanning eliminates scan lines and flicker for a smoother clearer picture that is more realistic, and kinder to the eyes." By working with the 3DYC comb filter, the Flex Converter achieves this without any motion artifacts. To round out the home theater experience, it also includes a 60-watt bass reflex speaker system with Dolby Pro Logic surround sound. The 60SDX88B has a suggested retail price of $4,799 and will be available by the fourth quarter.

Being committed to both big screen projection and direct view TV, Hitachi also offers SDX in a 36" direct view model. Just as with the 60", the 36SDX88B offers all time progressive scanning (480p) utilizing Hitachi's exclusive Flex Converter technology, and 1080i HDTV capability from a set-top box. Here Hitachi utilizes the UltraBlack Digital Pitch Invar picture tube (.78mm), which is 22% finer than a standard 36" picture tube. Other features include a Digital 3DYC comb filter, advanced velocity scan modulation, dynamic focus, SRS/BBE sound enhancements, Picture-in-PC, and a VGA input for true SVGA (800x600) resolution when used with a PC.

"Hitachi is committed to providing the best big screen projection and direct view TV's for the digital age," said Mr. Ramirez. "By utilizing the Digital Pitch picture tube and Flex Converter technology, we have designed a high definition ready 36" model that is also a true SVGA monitor for the digital living room of tomorrow." The 36SDX88B has a suggested retail price of $2,999 and will be available by the fourth quarter.

To complete its UltraVision Digital lineup, Hitachi offers a Digital TV Ready model, the 27MMV30B. This unit blends the functionality of a TV and PC monitor into one unit, perfect for both the home theater and PC enthusiast. Connect a digital set-top box to the VGA input, and you get true 480p resolution. Connect a PC, and you get true VGA (640x480) resolution. "MMV is actually three TV's in one," said Ramirez. "It's a high quality analog TV, a digital ready TV, and a true VGA computer monitor." Available now for a suggested retail price of $999, this 27" Digital TV Ready model includes an UltraBlack picture tube, comb filter, VSM, and self-dynamic focus. It also offers complete MTS stereo/SAP with dbxÖ, a 181-channel TV tuner, 6 watt front firing speaker system, and VGA input for true VGA (480p) resolution.

For more on Hitachi products, please visit http://www.hitachi.us/.

Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc., a subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., develops and markets a variety of consumer electronics and commercial multimedia products

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, and semiconductors, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America.

Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1997 (ending March 31, 1998) consolidated sales of 8,416 billion yen ($63.8 billion*). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi's Web site at http://www.hitachi.co.jp.

* At an exchange rate of 132 yen to the dollar.

For Media/Investor Inquiries, please contact:

Gerard F. Corbett
Hitachi America, Ltd.
Vice President
Corp. Communications Group
Tel:(650) 244-7900
Fax: (650) 244-7920
gerard.corbett@hal.hitachi.com

Scott Ramirez
Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc.
sramirez@halny.hitachi.com

Tel: (770) 279-5600 x 5826

Lynn Brady
Crescent Communications
lbrady@crescomm.com

Tel: (404) 287-2000 x 209

For all other inquiries please call:
1-800-HITACHI

If you have any questions specifically about Investor Relations in the United States, please contact our Investor Relations Department at investor.info@hal.hitachi.com