Hitachi 42HDS69 Plasma Display - Part 3

Like any consumer electronic, they are bound to have some problems. Some might be rather minute and not noticeable to the user, while others might be serious issues. The one major issue the Hitachi 42HDS69 Plasma can have is what is known as "Flicker or Contrast Shifting". So what is this Flicker/Contrast Shifting? Basically when watching dark scenes in movies, the display will attempt to adjust the black levels and thus the user is left watching what can be best described as a strobe effect. The display shifts from a dark black to a lighter back. This flicker can happen quite a bit in dark scene movies. As stated, this can be very distracting and certainly was for me for quite awhile. However Hitachi finally addressed this issue with it's latest software update.

To discuss the Hitachi Flicker/Contrast Shifting issue, please visit the Metalsaber Blog entry for this issue.

Updating the Software
A lot of high end electronics are moving towards updatable software that allows manufacturers to address issues that arise while products finally go live and get the "user factor". While the Hitachi 42HDS69 does not have a ethernet port in order to do updates, the display does have a SD Memory Card slot. Good news if you are a digital camera owner since you are likely to own a camera with a SD Memory Card. If you registered your display with Hitachi, you can call them up and ask them to send you the latest firmware version. This can take a while as you have to return the card once you are finished with it. So basically you have to wait on others to finish up and send it back.

The other method is that a great user of the AVSForum and ISF Calibrator has this exact same set and is a Hitachi Service individual. Therefore he gets the firmware updates before most of us would. So if you want to do it yourself, click here to download the update and see instructions on how to update the set. Just download the HAMP1191.F02 file to the top level directory of you SD Memory Card. Then follow the instructions on this site in order to do the update. It really is quite simple to do. However I take no responsibility should anything happen to your system.

To discuss the 119.1 Hitachi 42HDS69 Firmware, please visit the Metalsaber Blog entry for this issue.

The Hitachi 42HDS69 offers a strong showing in terms of features and picture quality for it's class of 42" Plasma Displays. The major problem encountered with this has been the Flicker/Contrast Shifting issue. However with the release of the 119.1 firmware update, my set has been about 95% flicker free. I've seen this set as low as $1200 and if you ever run into it at that price, I highly recommend you picking it up. You won't be disappointed. I currently have my PS3 and Toshiba A2 HD-DVD player connected to this via HDMI and must say they produce some of the best picture quality on this display.

To discuss the Hitachi 42HDS69 Plasma display in more detail, please visit the Metalsaber Blog.

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