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Hitachi CM752 Monitor Review

By: Mike Chambers - April 13, 1999

Choosing A Monitor

Choosing a monitor is probably the hardest decision to make when purchasing a new PC.  It is the presentation layer of your PC and will typically last through a couple of upgrade cycles.  Unless you can actually see a monitor in person, most of the information necessary to purchase a monitor is based on monitor reviews or user experience.  Even seeing a monitor in person may not be good enough in that the monitor may not be using the video card that's included in your system.

Early on during my 3 month evaluation of monitors, I asked Sam Goldwasser, who is an electrical engineer and maintains a Electronics Repair Site, for some advice on monitors.  Based on his experience with repairing monitors, Sam recommended either a Hitachi or Sony.  Sam also frequently posts messages at the Hardware Video newsgroup which is a good place to get user advice on monitors.  Almost every brand of 19-inch monitor uses a Hitachi tube and the first time I saw this monitor on display at CompUSA I was impressed.  Judging monitors is ultimately a matter of personal taste and after seeing the Sony GDM-400PS in action, I still preferred the Hitachi.

Checking Out A Monitor

Afer a number of visits to various computer retailers, I had the opportunity to see the 19-inch Hitachi 752 and Viper V550 in action at a local CompUSA.  I spent the better part of an hour fiddling with the monitors controls and checking the 2D output at various resolutions.  Although the controls are rather awkward, it didn't take too long to get the hang of them.  I also had the chance to check the 3D performance by playing the special version of Motohead that is bundled with the Viper V550.  After leaving the store, I was convinced that this was the monitor I wanted.  I even went back for a second trip a few weeks later.

A couple of weeks before I ordered a new system, I checked out Circuit City which had the 19-inch Sony GDM-400PS on display and was powered by an ATI card.  The Sony was about $100 more expensive than the Hitachi 752 and both monitors had similar features.  The main difference was that the Sony has an aperture grille tube while the Hitachi has a shadow mask tube.  I found images on the Sony to be somewhat brighter than the Hitachi, but the text was not as sharp.  The display on the Sony was flatter which requires some getting used to.  I also noticed the two aperture grille wires that are present on the Sony (Trinitron tubes) which are especially noticeable on a light background.  Depending on your personal preferences, the wires may not be a distraction.

The other monitors I considered were the IIyama VisionMaster 450 and Princeton Graphics EO90.  The IIyama VisionMaster 450 typically receives good reviews and user comments but I was unable to see the monitor in person.  I was able to check out the Princeton Graphics EO90 at a local computer store and while the price was about $200 less than the Hitachi 752, it was an average monitor and the supported refresh rates were lower.

The Hitachi 752 In Action

First and foremost, moving from a 15-inch to a 19-inch monitor was an awesome experience.  It takes a bit of getting used to but running Windows at high resolutions and playing Quake and Half-Life at 1024x768 is nice and easy on the eyes.  Just be sure you have plenty of desk space for a 19-inch monitor!

When I first booted the new PC, the Viper V550 was initially set at a resolution of 800x600, 32-bit color, and a 75Hz refresh rate in Windows 98.  After testing various resolutions ranging from 800x600 to 1600x1200, I finally settled for 1152x864 in 32-bit color at a 100Hz refresh rate.  After a few adjustments, I was able to square the edges of the monitor, center the screen, and save the settings for this resolution.  I saw no geometry or convergence problems with the monitor.

I set the brightness indicator to 40% and the contrast to 90%.  The percentages are approximations since the controls do not include a percent readout, but only a horizontal adjustment line.  I also had to enable the horizontal moire adjustment and moved the indicator to about 33% to eliminate the moire patterns.

I found that a resolution of 1600x1200 to be extremely too small, even with large fonts, on a 19-inch monitor plus the fact that the Viper V550 can only pump out a 75MHz refresh rate at this resolution.  At 1280x1024 the refresh rate was 85Hz, which was acceptable, but I felt the text was still to small.  Large fonts looked somewhat better at 1280x1024, but I still preferred 1152x864 using a normal font and the higher 100MHz refresh rate.

The montior displays the refresh rate for a few seconds after changing resolutions and also emits a clicking sound.  Many monitors today have the option for a BNC connection which is missing from the Hitachi 19-inch models.  That was only a minor drawback since the Viper V550 functions as both a 2D and 3D graphics accelerator and doesn't require a pass-thru cable.

Hitachi 752 Specs

  • Maximum resolution: 1600x1200.

  • Refresh rates: 640x480 - 160Hz, 800x600 - 155Hz, 1024x768 - 123Hz, 1280x1024 - 92Hz, 1600x1200 - 80Hz.

  • Signal cable: 15 pin D-sub.

  • CRT: 19" (18.0" viewable image size) super-FST flat, square tube with Hitachi's exclusive PrecisionFocus™ technology.  0.22 mm horizontal dot pitch.  0.14 mm vertical dot pitch.  Multi-step dynamic focus.  Auto-astigmatism correction.  Black matrix with Invar shadow mask.  High contrast, anti-static, anti-glare coat.  367 mm x 276 mm viewable image area.

  • Digital controls: Power, true-color RGB, white balance (9300K, 6500K, 5000K, and user defined), brightness, contrast, screen position and size, pincushion, right pincushion, trapezoid, right trapezoid, rotation, degauss, memory store, H/V moiré, On/Off, H/V moiré adjustment, language select, EasyMenu™ on-screen control.

  • Power savings: Low power "sleep" mode, which is compliant with the EPA requirements for the "Energy Star" program.  Also compliant with VESA and Nutek power saving requirements.

  • Plug and play: VESA 1/2B compliant when used with a computer compliant with VESA DDC (Display Data Channel).

  • Warranty: 36 month limited warranty.

Final Note

When I received my new PC, the monitor came in it's original box, was covered in plastic and secured inside.  There were quite a few dings on the outside of the box and even a couple that penetrated the box.  As reported in my GamePC article I eventually had to return it.  This monitor was shipped from California to Virginia via UPS ground and I am convinced that it was damaged during the trip.  If I ever mail order another monitor, it will definitely be by air.  I received a replacement monitor in 3 days, at no cost to me, and this one is a keeper!

Last Updated on September 8, 1999

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