With its unusually high -- not to mention strange -- pixel count of 1,280x1,080 pixels plus a superbly promising 10,000:1 claimed contrast ratio, Hitachi's latest plasma TV, the P50T01U, sports more potential than you'd expect of a 50-inch screen costing around £1,000. But is that potential realised?
For such a cheap TV, the P50T01U's feature count is enormous. The ball starts rolling with that resolution we mentioned earlier, which has as many horizontal lines as a 'Full HD' screen -- even though the number of vertical lines isn't high enough to garner the TV's official Full HD status.
The P50T01U's connectivity is a cut above, too, since the usual twin HDMIs, component video and PC jacks are joined by an SD card slot and USB port for viewing digital photos.
Heading into the P50T01U's onscreen features unearths an almost bewilderingly extensive array of tricks. Some of them -- such as colour transient improvement -- is probably way too technical for most people to bother with. Yet even if you don't use them all, it's nice to know Hitachi cares enough to have put them there.
Two other features tickling our fancy are Hitachi's Picture Master Full HD image processing, which has delivered some great results on the brand's LCD TVs and also the support for 1080p in its 50Hz and 60Hz configurations.
In performance terms, the P50T01U's strongest suit is its fine detailing, as it confidently portrays every last tiny texture in pristine HD fodder, such as Gears of War on the Xbox 360, without a trace of grain or dot crawl noise.
Also impressive is its portrayal of subtle details in dark backdrops, while its colours enjoy some of the most natural tones we've seen on a flat TV.