Hitachi's 32LD9700 LCD TV has one of the widest viewing angles we've seen, which is great news if you have a small lounge and are planning to put your TV in the corner with the seats at the side.
It's thanks to something called In Plane Switching (IPS), a technology only previously seen on larger plasmas. Not only do you get a wide viewing angle, but a motorised stand allows you adjust the screen direction at the touch of the buttons on the remote.
The future-proof specification includes an HD Ready sticker, dual HDMI ports, integrated Freeview and the ability to view photos via USB keys or memory cards. Image quality isn't the best around, but at least everyone in the room can see what's going on.
The 32LD9700 is deeper and heavier than we've come to expect from a flat screen. The heaviness is down to a cool motorised stand that swivels the TV when you press keys on the remote.
The circular stand is solidly built, but the matte plastic is out of place next to the lustrous design of the screen. The screen's slim surround is finished in glossed black with an oversized, silver grilled speaker system beneath.
At the right side, standard AV inputs are accompanied by a 'Photo Input' -- a USB port that allows you to access JPEG images from digital cameras, storage devices and even your PC.
You can also directly access a variety of digital files from memory cards using an SD slot at the opposite side -- and you can make a slide show with background music if the mood takes you.
High-definition users are gifted two HDMI digital inputs, which means you can simultaneously connect a pair of hi-def sources -- a Sky box and an upscaling DVD player, say -- for the highest quality performance.
There's a supporting cast of analogue inputs including progressive-scan component connections and three Scart terminals, two of which are RGB-enabled for better picture quality.
There's also a PC terminal that allows the screen to be used as a monitor for a computer or media center, and it's supported by a host of PC image adjustments. Unfortunately, there's no dedicated PC audio input, but you can use stereo phonos to input and output sound, while a separate subwoofer output will add more low frequency oomph using an external speaker.
This screen is the first LCD TV to incorporate the latest generation of 'In Plane Switching' (IPS) technology. It's a system that claims to offer the widest viewing angles (178 degrees) on the market, which means you can watch from off-centre positions without seeing the image distort.
The IPS system also provides better control over the panel's backlight, supposedly producing deeper contrast, while a special Overdrive system enhances response times to improve motion.