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We took a close look at Hitachi's low-end "1080HD" plasma that's selling for a rock-bottom $2500, and the three of us there decided it's not half-bad for the money. The set looks like HD; it's plenty crispy but the contrast is fair, giving black levels that look more dark gray than black. Aww. Blacks are one of the things that plasmas do so well, but then, this is a $2500 50-inch set.

Overall, we gave the TV a B, especially since it's hard to find a 50-inch HDTV that looks that good unless you go with a rear projector.