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Hitachi's CML174 colors

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
December 6, 2002 4:19:04 PM

Although noone will ever notice,I just saw that the Hitachi produces only around 262000(6bit) colors instead of approx.16million(8bit)colors that most LCDs produce.
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More about : hitachi cml174 colors

December 6, 2002 8:53:46 PM

gosharks replied t this one a week or two was a misprint. The monitor does 32 bit color (16.7 M).

December 7, 2002 5:55:53 AM

That was a relief...
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December 8, 2002 7:31:23 AM

you are right. This Monitor has a panel build by AU Optronics type M170EN05. The technical data sheet of this panel specifies for the color range only 6bit.
The panel data sheet can be downloaded here: pdf/T17A3_spec.pdf
December 8, 2002 5:54:58 PM

Just to say, after my last post, I got the 174, and the manual itself says 262K colors. I then emailed the tech staff at, and the reply just came back that it WAS 262K (6bit RGB).
Either gosharks is mistaken about this one (rare but possible!), or the UK model I've got is different from the US, which is far-fetched as the rest of the specs are identical.
Anyway, I'm still happy with my 174. NO DEAD PIXELS (YES!) and I'm happy with the images etc. I've got 2 questions:
1) given the limited contrast ratio of lcds, are the rest of the monitors (the ones that support 16.7M) show all colours anyway?
2) for the 174, does this mean that selecting 16.7M coloors in windows will get it converted to 262K? ie does it still "support" 16.7M though it can't show them?
Though I'll ask anyone here, as hitachi tech support took forever to get back to me. Thanks.
December 8, 2002 6:40:05 PM

Ouch, this is no good news. :( 
Just placed an order for that Hitachi.
I wonder if it's the sacrifice in amount of colors that gives the good refresh rate...
December 8, 2002 7:20:07 PM

There is no way that it is 256. It just looks dredfull. No one in there right mind would make a monitor this day in age with such a dated <b>colour</b> system. If you use 98 (you can't use XP in 256 unless you are in safe mode) try putting you computer in to that and you will imedently see the diffrence. It is very very very obvious if a monitor is in 256 mode.

Now thats what I want to know!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by secretninja on 12/08/02 09:20 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 8, 2002 9:13:16 PM

Just checked my manual...specs on page says 262K colors! That's It! This news is NOT good for Hitachi...It's up to you as to whether you want to order, or need a monitor that only does 262K looks good...but it's still NOT true color.

December 8, 2002 9:43:13 PM

Ok, now to test that. First, does it recognize the monitor as CML174 and is 32-bit color available? Lemme do a few things, and I'll upload u a file, tell me how it looks.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 8, 2002 10:41:50 PM

Ok, I rendered a pic which if not viewed in true color looks real bad. Basically the "floor's" color should look smooth (although under 32-bit color if u look closely you'll see it's not 100% contiguous) but when anything less it looks real bad; almost looks like waves! PM me your email so I can send it to you, and please make sure to open it in ms paint, not the picture viewer (if you have xp).

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 9, 2002 2:28:15 AM

When I go to there is a test that shows what resolution and color you are in. It tells me 1280 x 1024 in 32 bit color...but I do think that it's reading my video drivers and not the monitor. When I look at pictures and DVD on this looks fantastic...but I am about to embark on a new hobby of transfering years of VHS and Hi8 home movies to DVD format and burning. I also do a lot of my own business materials...and the ability to see color for what it is supposed to be is very important....we'll see...


As far as your first question. When I go into properties for my Radeon 9700...there are only two levels of color available to choose...16 bit color and 32 bit color. There is no 256 color or 8 bit or anything like that.
December 9, 2002 4:28:06 AM

so what's the verdict? I feel like canceling my order on that monitor :( 
December 9, 2002 5:06:58 AM

I would wait and see on ordering at this time. Let the issue shake out. Hold onto your cash and keep your eye on the thread...

December 9, 2002 5:09:06 AM

here is the corrected link for the AU Optronics panel.

on page 13/24 the data sheet says:

"M170EN05 only catch bit 2 to bit 7 for 6 bit display."

I think a very clear statement....this panel is a **6bit** panel.

OK maybe AUO has made a typo as well.....
December 9, 2002 7:21:53 AM

The PDF has the following text on the first page:

Product Specifications
17.0” SXGA Color TFT-LCD Module
Model Name: M170EN05

(u) Preliminary Specifications
( ) Final Specifications

This appears to be the "Preliminary" data sheet for the monitor. Perhaps this means that the final specifications actually state 32bit colour.
December 9, 2002 1:16:04 PM

Just got off the phone with Hitach tech support...the panel is only 262k color...That's it!

December 9, 2002 2:47:07 PM


It seems that 262k vs 16.7m colors is a large gap, is it noticeable when you view pictures or anything???

Also does anyone know if Planar or Albatron is also like that?
December 9, 2002 3:00:43 PM

Here's the funny thing...Planar is coming out with a new 16ms panel...and they are using the same panel as Hitachi...just to let you know...

December 9, 2002 3:14:25 PM

I think it's sad that this monitor only does 262k colors.
But my question to you owners is; Can you tell?
Based on the (few) reviews I've read and what people around here have said it seems to display a wonderful image with rich colors.
I've already placed an order for this monitor so there ain't much I can do, except return it. I think I'm going to give it a shot though, it seems to be excellent. No matter if it's 262k colors or 16.7M.
December 9, 2002 3:35:56 PM

Same here, my monitor arrives tomorrow and I only bought after reading a few reviews that mentioned "rich colors, no ghosting... etc"

then, maybe 16ms is a trade off for 262K colors. or maybe the other LCD monitors are not really 16.7 colors they only SUPPORT them (from Viewsonic spec sheet), but show only 262K, so does Hitachi they SUPPORT 16.7, but only show 262K and they were the only ones honest about it.
December 9, 2002 3:42:29 PM

gosharks is on the case again. He is calling Hitachi engineers...supposed to get back to me today. I'll post when I hear. As far as color richness...I agree...the monitor is a mind blower...that's why it is so hard to believe. I do photo editing and video conversion (home movies to DVD) and it is hard to tell ANY difference!!! I am so on the fence about this...

December 9, 2002 5:13:06 PM

I will add to this for a moment. Watching DVD's is where I can see the difference. Reds and Orange colors on the Hitachi are almost fake bright. When I watch Lord of the rings on my other system (Hitachi CM751) or on TV...flesh tones are flesh colors. Red is somewhat flat but not glowing out of the screen. On the is so vivid that it is almost "not real". The same with any intense colors. Overall quality of the Hitahi isn't bad...but if you are into "real" may see the difference. Photos is not as big a deal. Depends on what you intend the use of the monitor for...if games...the Hitachi will still suffice. If multimedia like video encoding and DVD have to weigh the options. I am beginning to lean toward a little ghosting in games but full color quality in 2D.

December 9, 2002 6:05:52 PM

And I that thought that I've chosen the perfect LCD... :( 
Been looking around like crazy for quite a while...
December 9, 2002 8:44:39 PM

In many cases most people cannot tell the difference. There are only certain circumstances in which it is noticeable so it may not be that bad. I vaguely remember from over a year ago mention of 16.7Million color support through some technique when it infact only does 262K...Gosharks you probably know what I'm talking about, just that the name escapes me.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by flamethrower205 on 12/09/02 05:45 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 9, 2002 8:50:55 PM

I got the file you sent. In 32 bit color...smooth as a baby's derrier! I mean...a beautiful picture. When I change to 16 bit...there are swirls all over the floor. Based on what you stipulate in your earlier post and E Mail...this monitor DOES 32 bit color!!! Whew! I hope everyone sees this post. You might even attach your file here and explain so everyone can sigh the big relief. By the way...nice pic...The shadows and everything are really quite nice. Thanks...I think you're e mail will mean more to me than you'll ever know.

Bob M
Plano, TX.
December 9, 2002 11:46:55 PM

Everyone's saying 32bit color... I thought flat panels only did 24bit...
December 10, 2002 12:19:05 AM

32 bit is the same number of colors (2^24) just that it also has an 8 bit alpha channel.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 10, 2002 1:52:43 AM

I really don't want to RMA the monitor back to I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow and see it for myself...

Also, I've been looking at the LCD monitors from other manufacuturers and they all say either 16, 16.2 or 16.7 colors supported. Still, I think it's a big difference between 262K vs 16M
December 10, 2002 2:58:36 AM

Got an e mail from gosharks. He sent me this url:

That should put your mind at ease. There is no problem with 32 bit color and the Hitachi CML174. This thread has a happy ending. No need for RMA's. Thanks flamethrower, your bitmap was perfect. Jim's attached url should put anyone's mind at ease.

December 10, 2002 3:41:28 AM

still, we might see no difference, but those 2 numbers are a big difference! can anyone tell if the colors are different from any other regular 25ms LCD monitor.
December 10, 2002 4:01:55 AM

I'm not sure what you are asking. I will tell you this...I had the Samsung 191t for almost a week and this Hitachi makes it look black and white. The colors on the Hitachi are very bright. Guess one of the reasons they don't appear as "dim" as other models is the brightness is very bright with the Hitach...making everything bright. The monitor ships with brightness at 100%. I have cut back to 62 and it's still bright. Right now, backgrounds are not as bright as 100%, but colors still jump out at you...almost unrealistically...but again...subjective. Jim, the head technical engineer and designer at MonitorsDirect spent a good part of Monday making sure that we could either prove or disprove this thread. Flamethrower made a 32 bit color rendered bitmap that will blatantly show whether or not the monitor does 16.7 million colors. Jim sent me a url that I posted in an above post...and again...the monitor does 16.7 million colors with flying colors (no pun intended). In comparison...If given a choice of a Samsung or Viewsonic or Hitachi...I take Hitachi. If this monitor failed the color test...only one other panel even interested me...Planar. They and Hitachi are the ONLY manufacturers that guarantee 0 dead pixels and allow only up to 5 dead sub pixels. Everyone else allows totally dead pixels and many more dead subs. Hope this helps...

December 10, 2002 4:05:38 AM

well... thanks for clarification on this matter... I am sure now I will be more happy with the new monitor especially when you say no dead pixels :) 
December 10, 2002 4:55:12 AM

Believe me...after seeing starfields on Samsung monitors and the nice big "zit" looking thing my neighbor has on his Viewsonic VX800...I feel blessed. Mind you, a dead pixel is a combination of all three subpixels going out. It is possible to have 0 dead pixels but three dead sub pixels...usually of one color or another. I really feel good about my CML174...I have taken a big Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass to this thing and can't find anything. I hope your experience is the same for you. Let us know how things are when it arrives tommorrow. Also...remember, should there be any monitorsdirect tech support...they are great! No matter the outcome...I believe that you will end up satisfied. you intend to hook up via Analog or Digital? I am DVI and that is why the only controls I can use is brightness. Everything else is sharp as can be.

December 10, 2002 5:23:21 AM

Yes, I will be using DVI... even though I don't see much difference between the 2, except maybe digital seem to be slightly faster...
December 10, 2002 12:55:01 PM

Damn. I'm building my friend a system and I recommended this monitor out the ass and he ordered it. I hope there isn't a noticable difference. I hope gosharks comes back with some good news. Why would Hitachi do this?

*Whoops didn't see page 2 of thread before I posted. This is a relief to say the least.*

Top Processor=$799
Video Card=$500
Putting it all together and hearing several loud pops=Priceless

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by groth2757 on 12/10/02 10:11 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 10, 2002 4:06:27 PM

Yay, all turns out happy:)  Glad to help.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 10, 2002 4:17:59 PM

Well it seems that the panel is 6bit(262k colors) and probably does 16.7m through some kind of trick.
Check this link from eizo :
At the specs it shows a panel of 260k which can display
16.7m through a circuit called FRC.
Well how this thing works I cannot say.
Probably it would be too difficult to see the real difference since no reviewer or user said so.
December 10, 2002 5:12:08 PM

intersting... and again, I think all LCDs have 260K colors but they say 16m because they are also using some kinda of a trick...
December 10, 2002 5:14:25 PM


When is your CML174 arriving? You have to post your initial thoughts!

December 10, 2002 5:18:19 PM

This is probably how they get the 16ms response time.

Top Processor=$799
Video Card=$500
Putting it all together and hearing several loud pops=Priceless
December 10, 2002 5:19:08 PM

can't even go and take a shower so I don't miss UPS ground guy :)  hope any minute now...

I will take a picture and post it here once I set it up
December 10, 2002 5:19:28 PM

I'm getting one for my friends system and I will be sure to post my thoughts on the monitor.

Top Processor=$799
Video Card=$500
Putting it all together and hearing several loud pops=Priceless
December 10, 2002 5:44:11 PM

Well, I received my CML174 yesterday. It was quite a dramatic day, reading this thread and everything (for something like this to be dramatic, you have to be a bit of a dork, I guess). So, I received it last night, hooked it up, thought I had some dead pixels (I am new to LCD's), but discovered that it was just dust particles. After playing with the monitor, however, I realized that I do have two dead sub-pixels next to each other right off the side of the screen (the pixel appears green on black backgrounds). It is on the side, though. I might have another dead sub-pixel towards the middle, but it is not as noticeable. I contact Monitorsdirect and they said I could send it back, get my money back, and order another one. I am not sure what to do though. I dig the monitor and don't want to be without it for a week or so. What do you guys think? Should I send it back and try again?

One more thing...what settings to you guys use? I have my contrast set to 30 and the brightness set to 50, and the monitor is still very bright. I played a demo of Return to Castle Wolfenstein last night (no ghosting at all), and it seemed almost a bit too bright. I might play with the settings a bit more...
December 10, 2002 5:56:44 PM

UPS screwed up my first one. Did damage to the back panel. With light background everything looked good...but on black...there was a pattern on it. Called monitorsdirect...they sent me an RMA and another monitor. Total process took three days. So I used the damaged one until the good one arrived. Ask if that is possible for you.

Glad you like it too!

December 10, 2002 6:48:25 PM

for some reason shipped the monitor without sealing the box with a tape.
December 10, 2002 6:57:21 PM

Actually...that's the way Hitachi shipped them to MD.

December 10, 2002 8:45:25 PM

Actually we ship direct from the Hitachi warehouse, thus the name monitorsdirect.


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<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by gosharks on 12/10/02 02:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 10, 2002 8:48:05 PM

Lol, UPS is retarded. They dropped my TFT7020 plenty of times. Also, in terms of dead pixels, as soon as u get some moisture or something on a single pixel or even dust, it'll look dead. I mean my current crt looks as if it has like 15 dead pixels. It's not really a big deal- prolly 60% of the time if you wipe off the screen the "dead" pixels will disappear and the other 30% they're practically unnoticeable.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti
December 11, 2002 3:07:53 AM

I have no control over some of the settings...I am in DVI I can't change color settings. In analog...the monitor is more realistic colorwise in 9300 temp. Leave contrast at 50 and brightness around 70 and the screen is pretty nice. I prefer the digital mode...but can't change color temp in contrast setting in digital as well. Funny...most brands don't have the same controls either. I looked at my Radeon 9700 temp settings in there either. Guess I can try to manually adjust...but the color isn't that bright as opposed. I'll leave it in digital mode for now. digital...I noticed that text sharpness is much better. You have to set it to 3 in analog to get it to look like the default (2) in digital.