Published On: October 25, 2008

Hitachi UT42X902 UltraThin 1.5 LCD HD Monitor Reviewed

Published On: October 25, 2008
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
We May Earn From Purchases Via Links

Hitachi UT42X902 UltraThin 1.5 LCD HD Monitor Reviewed

As the name suggests, this 42-inch LCD is one of the thinnest panels on the market today, with a depth of just 1.5 inches. The UT42X902 is also part of Hitachi's Director's Series, with higher-end options like 120Hz, a de-judder mode, and an IPS panel for an improved viewing angle

Hitachi UT42X902 UltraThin 1.5 LCD HD Monitor Reviewed

  • Adrienne Maxwell is the former Managing Editor of, Home Theater Magazine, and Adrienne has also written for Wirecutter, Home Entertainment Magazine,,, and other top specialty audio/video publications. She is an ISF Level II-certified video calibrator who specializes in reviews of flat-panel HDTVs, front video projectors, video screens, video servers, and video source devices, both disc- and streaming-based.

Hitachi-UT42X902.jpgHitachi first announced its UltraThin 1.5 LCD line at CES 2008 and has slowly rolled out models ever since. The "1.5" stands for the displays' 1.5-inch depth, which makes these models some of the thinnest panels you can find (JVC also has an ultra-slim line, and several other manufacturers have demoed prototypes). The thin form is complemented by an attractive black sapphire finish and a round base, plus a nigh-invisible speaker bar along the bottom of the panel. The 42-inch UT42X902 also earns Hitachi's Director's Series tag, which means it contains higher-end video technologies. This 1080p display uses 120Hz to reduce motion blur and includes a new feature called Reel120 to specifically address the issue of judder in film sources. This LCD also uses In-Plane Switching Pro technology to improve viewing angle, another common LCD issue.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews by's staff.
• Explore Blu-ray options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.

One way in which Hitachi is able to achieve such a slim depth is by removing the TV tuners. The UT42X902 is technically an HD monitor, so it does not have internal ATSC, NTSC, or Clear-QAM tuners, which means you need to mate it with a cable or satellite set-top box to receive TV programming. You could also purchase Hitachi's optional $299 Audio Video Center, which includes the ATSC, NTSC, and Clear-QAM tuners, plus three HDMI and two component video inputs. The UT42X902 itself has a very limited connection panel -- just a single HDMI input that accepts 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, a PC input with an audio mini-jack, and an RS-232 port for integration into an advanced control system.

The UT42X902's setup menu has a solid but not extensive amount of picture adjustments. The essentials are here: three picture modes (dynamic, natural, and cinema), three color-temperature options (cool, normal, and warm), an adjustable backlight, a basic 3D color-management setting, and three types of noise reduction (digital, MPEG, and cross color). White balance controls are directly accessible through the setup menu, so you can fine-tune the color temperature. The menu also includes multiple film-mode options: The original mode performs basic 3:2 pulldown detection, while the Smooth 1 and Smooth 2 modes activate the Reel120 technology to provide varying degrees of frame interpolation to reduce film judder. There are six aspect-ratio options for SD content but only three for HD content; at least one of the three is the option to show 1080i/1080p programs with no overscan.

On the audio end, the setup menu includes treble, bass, and balance controls, plus a basic surround mode, Bass Boost to enhance bass, Clear Voice to enhance treble, and Perfect Volume to even out volume discrepancies.

Read about the high points and the low points of the UT42X902 on Page 2.
Hitachi-UT42X902.jpgHigh Points
• The UT42X902 offers natural color and excellent
detail with HD sources, and its good light output makes it a nice
choice for a brighter viewing environment.
• The use of 120Hz technology successfully cuts down on motion blur.

The IPS-Pro LCD panel offers a wider side-to-side viewing angle than
you get from many LCDs. Its vertical viewing angle is a bit more
limited, so you should place it near eye level.
• It has a sleek, thin form factor.

Low Points
• The UT42X902's black level is only average, so the image isn't as rich and inviting as the best panels in a darkened room.
• While the UT42X902 can render a very pleasing HD image, it offers only average performance with SD content.

The panel has limited connectivity and no special ports for viewing
digital media. You'll probably want to use an external video switcher
or video processor or purchase the optional Audio Video Center.
• The Reel120 de-judder technology is inconsistent and can introduce artifacts.

UT42X902 is a good everyday display for someone who watches a lot of HD
content. Its wider viewing angle also makes it a good fit for a larger
room with multiple seating areas. This is certainly an attractively
designed panel that will turn heads because of its slender profile, but
you can get more screen size and more features for less money elsewhere.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews by's staff.
• Explore Blu-ray options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

Get the latest weekly home theater news, sweepstakes and special offers delivered right to your inbox
Email Subscribe
HomeTheaterReview Rating
Overall Rating: 
© JRW Publishing Company, 2023
As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Share to...