Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 12-08-2011

In what appears to be the materialisation of its previously announced farewell from the TV manufacturing business, Hitachi has launched a 3DTV model intended to show the rest of the industry the way forward.

Earlier this month, Hitachi announced plans to stop producing TV sets in its domestic Japanese market as it migrated to an outsourcing and off-shoring manufacturing strategy. Now, the company has launched six new flat panel models, and speculation is rife among electronic gadget bloggers that they could well be their very last produced in the Land of the Rising Sun.

But there is one particular feature of the biggest of the six new models (the 50-inch P50-GP08) that has tech fanatics drooling – and might well anticipate how standard TVs might come to be built one day. Besides offering a conventional remote control, the device supports the use of either an iPad or an iPhone as a far more versatile form of remote.

Changing channels and volume settings from a touchscreen instead of from a conventional remote might not look too revolutionary, but being able to preview a channel in real time before deciding to actually change to it, or streaming a previously recorded show from the TV’s 500GB hard disk drive to an iPad via Wi-Fi, would certainly be in line with what industry observers have been envisioning for the future.

At the heart of such functionality lies a new app. Called Wooo Remote, Hitachi says it hopes to release the software later this month.

As for the rest of the P50-GP08’s specs, it supports Full HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) and the contrast ratio is 5,000,000:1. It also comes with five TV tuners, the already-mentioned 500GB removable HDD, four HDMI ports and a motion sensor that automatically turns the TV off after the viewer leaves the room.

Hitachi hasn’t confirmed whether the 3DTV will be available to markets outside Japan, where it will retail from 27 August for about ¥220,000 ($2,870).