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Hitachi 55HDT79

55" UltraVision® CineForm™ high-definition plasma TV

2 Reviews

Item # 66255HDT79

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Our take on the Hitachi 55HDT79

With its bright, clear 55" screen, Hitachi's 55HDT79 gives you a noticeably bigger picture than a 50" plasma, but without the steep price jump that comes with 60-plus-inch models. This beauty's gorgeous picture, black-with-silver-trim styling, and motorized swivel stand will be the envy of your friends and neighbors.

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With its bright, clear 55" screen, Hitachi's 55HDT79 gives you a noticeably bigger picture than a 50" plasma, but without the steep price jump that comes with 60-plus-inch models. This beauty's gorgeous picture, black-with-silver-trim styling, and motorized swivel stand will be the envy of your friends and neighbors.

Hitachi's CineForm plasmas build on the strengths of the UltraVision models, with performance and convenience upgrades that add up to more enjoyable viewing. For example, the "Digital Cable Ready" 55HDT79 adds the easy-to-use TV Guide On Screen program guide — just press the Guide button on the remote to find your favorite shows. The color-coded grid makes it a snap to sort through programs for viewing, or scheduling recordings to a VCR, DVR, or DVD recorder.

The 55HDT79 also expands on the 55HDS69's already-impressive picture controls. The 55HDT79 offers greater color control, including the ability to store a separate color setting for accurately displaying digital photos. Plus, an adjustable color decoder provides added precision to help you get skin tones just right. Hitachi's Day and Night Memory feature ensures that no matter what time of day or what video source you watch, the TV will deliver optimum picture quality. Simply press a button on the remote to toggle between brighter daytime settings and more theater-like nighttime settings.

The flexible, future-ready set of audio/video inputs can accommodate several high-definition sources, with 3 component video and 3 HDMI connections. And total control is at your fingertips at all times thanks to the clever Roll & Click remote control — it has a pair of thumbwheels for rapidly changing channels or adjusting volume.

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Large Item Special Shipping: This item will be delivered and placed in any accessible room in your home. Available to physical addresses in 50 United States only. Limited delivery available to Alaska and Hawaii for $99 per item — call 1-888-955-6000 for more details. Sorry, we can't ship to P.O. Boxes or freight forwarders. Delivery takes 5-7 business days once your order has been processed. Extra charges may apply to items that must be carried up more than 5 flights of stairs. Allow extra time for delivery to remote addresses. Free return shipping not available with this model.

Product Highlights:

  • 55" widescreen HDTV (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • built-in digital (ATSC) and analog (NTSC) tuners for over-the-air TV broadcasts (antenna required)
  • built-in digital cable TV tuner receives programs without a set-top box (cable service required; CableCARD™ required for viewing scrambled programs)
  • 1366 x 768 pixels
  • 160°(H) viewing angle
  • High-Contrast Black Rib Structure
  • PictureMaster™ HD III 16-bit digital video processing
  • Digital Color Management III
  • adjustable color decoder for more accurate skin tones
  • Natural Color anti-reflective screen
  • TV Guide On Screen® program guide
  • 1-tuner Picture-in-Picture (inset or split-screen)
  • built-in stereo speakers (18 watts x 2)
  • illuminated Roll & Click™ multibrand remote control
  • day and night picture settings memories for each video input
  • 5 A/V inputs, including:
    • 2 composite video
    • 2 S-video
    • 3 component video (2 rear, 1 side) — accepts 1080i/720p/480p/480i signals; component inputs can also be used as composite inputs
    • 3 HDMI digital video inputs (2 rear, 1 side)
  • RF input for antenna/cable signals
  • optical digital audio output for Dolby® Digital
  • USB port for viewing digital photos
  • Energy Star® compliant
  • motorized swivel stand (stand "footprint" is 28-3/4"W x 17-1/2"D)
  • wall-mountable (bracket not included)
  • 59-1/2"W x 33-1/8"H x 4-3/4"D (36-3/4"H x 17-1/2"D on stand)
  • weight: 130 lbs. (without stand)
  • long-life panel (60,000 hours)
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor — in-home service
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Contact your local cable TV provider for details regarding the availability and costs of CableCARD-related services.

What's in the Box:

  • 55" Plasma TV
  • Wireless remote control (CLU-3861WL)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 67" Power cord
  • Two 9.5' IR blaster cables (each cable includes 2 IR emitters on one end and a mono 3.5mm miniplug on the other end)
  • 4 Strips of double-sided tape
  • 7" Power swivel cable
  • Ferrite core noise filter
  • Stand base
  • Support column
  • 4 M6 x 25mm Machine screws
  • 4 M6 x 50mm Machine screws
  • Operating Guide (for TV)
  • TV Guide On Screen User Manual
  • Easy Graphic Guide
  • Warranty sheet (U.S.)
  • Warranty sheet (Canada)
  • Image Retention sheet
  • Stand Manual (English/French)

I have had this TV for over 7 years and it has never given me a problem. This TV has it all. Not only is the picture outstanding but the sound is amazing too. For its size the picture is great for HD gaming or HD programming as well. I am very impressed with TV.

Jules, Easton, PA

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Hitachi 55HDT79 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

Absolutely a wonder TV

Jules from Easton, PA on 8/16/2011

I have had this TV for over 7 years and it has never given me a problem. This TV has it all. Not only is the picture outstanding but the sound is amazing too. For its size the picture is great for HD gaming or HD programming as well. I am very impressed with TV.



Stunning picture, poor workmanship

Bill from Pacific Northwest on 4/3/2011

Owned this TV for 3 1/2 years. While the picture quality is second to none, the quality of material is shoddy. A circuit board burned out just after the TV went out of warranty (about a year) and cost $250 plus $150 labor to repair. Then two and half years later the same board burned out. I elected to trash the TV rather than repair it a second time. I think the TV runs too hot and has inadequate cooling for the electronics inside. Add to that that the TV is just too heavy to safely take on and off the wall, and I decided to upgrade to a newer TV.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Mounting Options
Inputs and Outputs Notes


Overview: The Hitachi UltraVision CineForm 55HDT79 is a 55'' Plasma HDTV with a display resolution of 1366 x 768 and more than 1.1-million pixels, to ensure the deepest blacks, brightest colors, and sharpest, most cinematic picture quality available in a 55" plasma TV.

Swivel Tabletop Stand (included, free with 55HDS69 purchase): Although a stand isn't included in the same box as the 55HDT79, a motorized swivel tabletop stand (item 662STF552S) is included, free, with the purchase of this TV.

PictureMaster HD III Video Processor: The PictureMaster HD III Video Processor digitally maps incoming signals and processes each frame for maximum sharpness and color reproduction while Hitachi's innovative wide aperture pixel technology minimizes barriers between pixels, delivering a smooth, precise image.

16-Bit/281 Trillion Color Capability: Color reproduction is unsurpassed with Hitachi's 16-Bit processing and 281 trillion color capability. The TV features 16-bit processing that increases the number of steps to over 65,000 per color for the smoothest and most film-like image possible. With a capability of 281-trillion colors, distracting artifacts are eliminated, resulting in the most vivid and realistic range of color reproduction possible.

Input Compatibility: The unit will accept 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i input signals and display them at 1366 x 768.

Quick Start Seamless HDTV (ATSC)/NTSC Tuner: Conventional HDTV tuners require extended start-up time to scan for channels and require switching between antenna inputs when selecting analog or digital programming. Hitachi's HDTV Quick Start Seamless HDTV tuner delivers the picture quickly with seamless access to all available channels.

TV Guide On Screen: You can easily find your favorite shows to watch and record using the built-in TV Guide On Screen interactive program guide. TV Guide On Screen works with regular or digital cable and is the most convenient way to manage all programming options.

Natural Color Anti-Reflective Glass Screen: The 55HDT79 uses a special coating on the screen to minimize distracting room light reflections and enhances contrast for dramatically increased picture quality.

High-Aperture Pixel Technology: This innovative technology increases light output and overall smoothness of the image by narrowing the pixel barriers.

Bright Panel Technology: The plasma TV incorporates a new gas and phosphor formulation that produces a 16% brighter picture that is 39% more efficient than previous generation models.

Digital Color Management III: The built-in Digital Color Management III ensures that the image colors are precisely tuned to match the palette of either the digital camera or video inputs to create the deepest, truest colors possible. Both hue and saturation may be adjusted to reproduce vibrant natural colors matching the original source.

Tuners: The 55HDT79 has NTSC Standard, ATSC Standard (8VSB), and QAM (64-QAM, 256-QAM) tuners built in. There is no need for an external set-top box in order to receive HDTV or SDTV signals.

Digital Cable Ready (QAM): Digital Cable Ready allows you to view unscrambled digital channels from your cable provider using the built-in tuner.

CableCARD Compatible: This unit has a slot for a CableCARD that will be provided by your local cable operator to gain access to scrambled cable channels.

Picture-In-Picture: You can view digital channels and video inputs on both the main picture and sub picture simultaneously with separate control. You can select from three types of Picture-In-Picture modes:

  • Split Mode: This mode displays the main picture and the sub picture evenly on the screen.
  • POP Mode: This mode displays the sub picture outside of the main picture (not available for 1080i/720p signals)
  • PIP Mode: This mode displays the sub picture inside of the main picture (available with 1080i/720p signals only)

PIP Freeze: If you wish to freeze the picture during Picture-in-Picture viewing, you can use one of three freeze modes:

  • Main Freeze: Using the Pause button, you can freeze the image from the main picture on the screen. It is displayed in full frame until the Exit button is pressed to return to normal viewing.
  • Split Freeze: When the pause button is pressed, the sub picture (on the right in the Split Mode) will freeze while the main picture (on the left) continues to play normally.
  • Strobe Freeze: When the pause button is pressed, the TV freezes three frames of the picture about 0.1 second apart, and are displayed simultaneously stacked outside of the main picture.

Aspect Ratio: The aspect ratio of this TV is Widescreen 16:9. Depending upon the input signal, you can select from the following picture modes:

  • 4:3 Standard: displays a 4:3 image with gray sidebars
  • 4:3 Expanded: displays 4:3 input signals in 16:9 by linearly increasing the image from the center towards the edges of the display
  • 4:3 Zoom: displays 4:3 input signals in 16:9 by zooming in on the image until the screen is filled (there are 2 levels of zoom available)
  • 16:9 Standard 1: displays 16:9 input signals normally at 95% of the original size
  • 16:9 Standard 2: displays 16:9 input signal normally at 100% of the original size
  • 16:9 Zoom: displays 16:9 input signals zoomed in for detail

Video Adjustments: You can make adjustments to contrast, brightness, color, tint, and sharpness. Other video adjustments include:

  • Picture Modes: You can choose from three automatic picture modes: Day (Dynamic), Day (Normal), and Night. You can toggle between the modes by using the Day/Night button on the remote.
  • Color Temperature Control: You can adjust the color temperature according to your personal preference. You can choose a Color Tone setting between High (for cooler color with more blue), Medium (for more natural color), or Standard (for accurate color).
  • Black Enhancement: You can adjust the black level to enhance the shadow detail in dark scenes. Settings include Low, Middle, High, and Off.

Day/Night Timer: In addition to manually setting the picture mode, you can use the Day/Night Timer to automatically switch between the selected day and night modes. You can set the times that the Day Mode is turned on or off. When the Day Mode is off, the Night Mode turns on. Note: The internal clock must also be set in order for the Day/Night timer to work.

Auto Movie Mode: The Auto Movie Mode, when turned on, will automatically detect film-based video (shot at 24 frames per second), and activate the 3:2 pulldown process to improve video performance. When a component with progressive scanning is used, the Auto Movie Mode will not be available.

Speakers: You can configure the TV's internal speakers in one of three ways depending upon the use of external speakers. You can set the speakers to "On" if you are using the internal speakers only, "Off" if you are exclusively using speakers from a separate stereo system, or "TV as Center" if you want to use the TV speakers as the center channel along with external speakers from a separate stereo system.

Perfect Volume: This function automatically adjusts volume so each channel and input has the same average volume level.

DRC: Dynamic Range Compression compresses the range of sound volume by suppressing the output of loud sound and by raising the volume of low sound. The DRC function affects only Dolby Digital signals decoded internally by the TV and does not affect the Dolby Digital bitstream from the digital audio output.

Auto Noise Cancel: This function eliminates the noise between stations. If a channel is tuned and is noisy, this function will automatically eliminate the audio for that channel.

Loudness: Set this function to "On" to emphasize bass and treble at low volume levels.

Locks: You can set up "locks" on the TV to limit usage of specific controls, channels, or programs. The Lock Activation menu is protected by a 4-digit numeric password. The following "locks" can be activated:

  • Engage Lock: You can choose to lock the channel and/or the side panel:
    • Channel Lock: You can block out the picture and sound for a selected channel.
    • Side Panel Lock: All buttons on the side panel can be deactivated, with the exception of the Power button.
  • Movie Ratings: You can block various types of movies and videos based on motion picture ratings (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, X)
  • TV Ratings: You can use TV ratings to prevent the viewing of any TV program you feel is inappropriate due to its content.
    • U.S. Ratings: TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA; FV, V, S, L, D
    • Canadian Ratings: (English) C, C8+, G, PG, 14+, 18+; (French) G, 8 ans+, 13 ans+, 16 ans+, 18 ans+
    • Alternate Ratings: (for ATSC digital signals only) G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, X, Y

On-screen Menu Language: The on-screen menu language can be set to English, Spanish, or French.

Sleep Timer: This TV can be set to turn itself off after a preset amount of time. The sleep timer can be set between 30 minutes and 3 hours in 30-minute increments.

Screen Savers: Continuous on-screen displays, such as video games, stock market quotations, computer generated graphics, and other fixed (non-moving) patterns can cause permanent damage to a plasma display. To protect the display, you can choose different screen savers which shift the picture by one pixel every 2, 10, or 20 minutes.

"Roll and Click" Remote Control (CLU-3861WL): The supplied IR wireless remote controls this TV, as well as multiple brands of other A/V components, including DVD players, Cable Boxes, Set-Top Boxes, Satellite Receivers, and VCRs. The remote features 2 "Roll and Click" controls for easily browsing channels or adjusting the volume by turning the wheels. The same controls can be pressed to quickly create or change "favorite" channels or muting the TV. The remote buttons are fully illuminated (backlit).

Mounting Options

Power Swivel Tabletop Stand: Although a stand isn't included in the same box as the 55HDT79, a motorized swivel tabletop stand (item 662STF552S) is included, free, with the purchase of this TV. The stand can swivel the TV up to 30° to the left or right, for the best viewing angle. The Power Swivel can be operated by remote control. The Power Swivel feature can be locked in the menu for safety reasons. A special 7" cable (supplied) needs to be connected in order for the Power Swivel to function. Note: It is recommended that measures be taken to prevent the TV from tipping over, causing possible injury.

Wall Mounting: You can use an optional universal wall mount bracket (or a WM-51 bracket from Hitachi) to mount the TV to the wall.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

HDMI Inputs: The 55HDT79 is equipped with 3 HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) inputs, labeled HDMI Inputs 1, 2, and 5, which carry digital video and audio in a single cable. The HDMI inputs are compatible with 1080i, 720p, 480i and 480p DTV signals, and are not intended for use with personal computers. The inputs contain HDCP copy protection to prevent illegal copying of video content. If you are using a DVI-to-HDMI cable adapter, the audio outputs should be connected to the audio jacks of the same input (1, 2 or 5) as the HDMI input (1, 2, or 5).

Note: If you connect a device to HDMI Inputs 1 and/or 2 using HDMI cables, the corresponding composite/S-Video inputs (1 and/or 2) cannot be used simultaneously.

Composite and S-Video Input: If one or both of the HDMI inputs are not used, you can use Inputs 1 and 2 for devices with composite or S-Video jacks.

Component Video Inputs: There are two component video inputs (Y, Pb, Pr), labeled Inputs 3 and 4, capable of receiving 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i video signals. Each of the component video inputs also have stereo audio RCA jacks. The component video jacks can be used as composite video inputs by plugging the composite video plug into the Y/Video jack.

Side Panel Inputs: The TV has side panel inputs labeled Input 5: HDMI on the right side, component video with stereo RCA audio on the left side. Like the rear panel component inputs, the side panel component video inputs can also be used as composite video inputs by plugging the video plug into the Y/Video jack. You can use either the HDMI or the component video inputs, but not both simultaneously. If an HDMI-to-DVI adapter is used for the right side HDMI input, the audio inputs on the right side should be used.

Photo Input: The TV has a USB Type A input on the left side panel for connecting your digital camera, USB memory card reader, or USB flash drive to view you digital still images.

Monitor Output: The TV has a monitor output with composite and S-Video and stereo RCA audio jacks. To prevent copyright infringement, the monitor output will be abnormal when using the component and HDMI jacks. Also, the S-Video monitor output can be used for recording only if the source input device is using S-Video.

Optical Output: The TosLink optical digital output can be used to send Dolby Digital or PCM signals to an audio device with optical digital inputs, such as an A/V amplifier.

CableCARD Slot: A slot is provided for a CableCARD from your local cable operator to gain access to digital and high definition premium channels (requires a subscription to digital cable). You will also need to connect a coaxial cable to the Air/Cable input when using a CableCARD.

Upgrade Card Slot: A slot is provided for a MultiMediaCard for upgrading the TV's operating software. If a future software upgrade is required for the TV, Hitachi will notify you, and provide you with a flash card. You must complete and return the supplied warranty card in order to receive written notification of upgrades.

Antenna Input: The TV features a standard Antenna/Cable coax connection.

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