Hitachi Flat Panel Display Technology

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Flat panel displays are revolutionizing the way people look at their computers. Thin, light, space-saving, brighter, better for the environment… virtually everyone agrees that these monitors are the wave of the future.

Hitachi has developed a variety of flat panel displays ranging from value TFTs to Hitachi's propriety flat panel technology rated number one by Macworld. Not all flat panels are created equal – flat panel technologies differ widely.

The sections below explain the basics of flat panel technology, and its advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional monitors, so you can make the buying decision appropriate for your needs.

LCD Technology
Viewable Image Size vs Screen Size
Image Resolution and Refresh Rate
Brightness and Contrast
Reduced Glare and Eyestrain
Space-Saving and Environmental Benefits
Why a CRT May Still Suit Your Needs
Introduction to CRT Monitor & Flat Panel Display Technology

In today's business environment, high quality monitors have gone from being a luxury to a necessity. With employees and self-employed professionals spending the majority of their days working with their computer and monitor, it is more important than ever to purchase a quality monitor that will provide crisp, bright images, while reducing the strain on your eyes. This section will explain some of the Terms and Technology you should know when purchasing a CRT monitor.


Flat Panel technology is completely different from traditional Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology. There are two main categories of flat panel technology: conventional Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and Enhanced TFT.

Conventional TFT has some limitations, such as narrow viewing angles, and color, clarity, and contrast can vary widely even among models with similar specifications. Monitors with standard TFT technology present a good image if the viewer is directly facing the screen. As the viewer moves to the side, the picture quality degrades.

The good news is that TFT panel technology has improved. Hitachi's TFT panels provide great viewing for text and images for home, corporate or general use at a value price.  Hitachi's TFT panels frequently test better than more expensive units and are "heads and shoulders" above other lower cost LCDs.

Enhanced TFT is available and each one has a slightly different version. Hitachi uses technology to provide wide viewing anlges, and superior color, clarity, and images. Hitachi accomplishes its SuperView by using proprietary Hitachi S-IPS technology to provide a viewing angle up to twice as large as some competing models. Hitachi's S-IPS technology also provides crisper  text, sharper images, truer colors, and less color shift.

Viewable Image Size vs Screen size

Many customers look at flat panel displays and feel that the images look bigger than they do on the same size CRT monitors. In fact, they look bigger because they are bigger. CRT monitors are measured by their bezel sizes, such as 17", 19", or 21". But a CRT monitor's viewable image size is smaller than its bezel size. This is why CRTs list their viewable image area in addition to their bezel size. For example, a 17" CRT monitor usually has a 15.6"-16" viewable image area. By contrast, the new flat panel displays are rated by their viewable image size only, a 15" flat panel display has a 15" viewable image area.

Image Resolution and Refresh Rate

Flat panel displays use a matrix of cells that are set up on a grid. Unlike CRTs, which have 1800 or more physical pixels, for example: All 15" panels are 1024 physical pixels wide and 768 pixels high. This is why all vendors of flat panel displays suggest using the 1024 x 768 resolution exclusively for 15" panels. This is called the monitors native resolution. By the same token, the best resolution for 17 and 18" panels is 1280 x 1024.

You will also notice that, unlike CRTs, manufactuers of LCD monitors recommend using a lower refresh rate ; 60 or 70 Hz; The reason for lower refresh rates in LCDs is because the liquid crystal molecules damper flicker and higher refresh rates are not as important.

Brightness and Contrast

Flat panel displays are significantly brighter, and feature higher contrast, than traditional CRTs. For example, the average 17" monitor features a brightness of 90 - 130 cd/M2 (candelas per square meter, or nits), while flat panel displays feature brightness ratings of 200 - 300 nits.

There are also significant differences in contrast ratios. CRTs feature contrast ratios around 190:1 to 245:1, while flat panels have contrast ratios from 200:1 to 500:1.

Reduced Glare and Eyestrain

One of the benefits of flat panel displays is reduced glare and eyestrain. Because of the liquid crystal panel screen, these displays can be placed facing a window and still provide comfortable viewing. The difference between flat panels and CRTs in this area is amazing — especially if your work area is by a sunny window.

Space-Saving and Environmental Benefits

Hitachi flat panel displays offer a whole new world of convenience and energy savings.

Incredibly thin, these panels are light enough to move and carry. In fact, they are so light that some customers even use these panels rather than a projector for small client meetings!

Most panels are approximately 7-8" deep. Compare that to the average depth of a 17" monitor that is usually around 17" – 17.5" deep. Not only does this save space on your desktop, but most panels can even be mounted on a flexible wall mount or desktop-mounting arm, so they can be moved to any angle. You can buy these mounting pieces separately from vendors that specialize in these products (, or to name a few).

Because of their liquid crystal medium, flat panel displays emit no magnetic and very low emission fields — significantly less than CRT monitors. In addition, all Hitachi flat panel displays are TCO certified — they are built and tested to TCO 1995 or 1999 specifications, which are the strictest European specifications for ergonomics, emissions, energy savings, and ecology.

Hitachi flat panel displays on average use less than 1/2 to 2/3 of the energy to operate than the average CRT. For companies that run hundreds of monitors every business day, cutting monitor power requirements by two-thirds represents a significant savings in electricity costs.

Why a CRT May Still Suit Your Needs

While flat panel displays are amazing and offer numerous benefits, CRTs are still the best choice for some consumers. People who need to work with multiple resolutions — especially 1600 x 1200 and higher — are better off with CRTs because flat panels cannot support very high resolutions, and will show degraded images at non-prime resolutions.

In addition, CRTs are significantly less expensive than flat panel displays, so if budget is an issue, you can get larger screens on CRTs for the same money as a smaller flat panel.

There is no doubt that flat panels are the wave of the future and have a host of great benefits, from space savings to improved brightness and reduced glare, but there are still some cases where CRTs are a better fit.

If you are unsure which technology is best suited for your needs, please contact a Hitachi pre-sales support representative at 1-800-562-2383, and they will be happy to discuss your questions and evaluate your requirements to help you choose the right display.