8K isn’t new, it’s been in the market more than a year with Samsung leading the way from a retail perspective. But it’s been talked about for much longer. This year, Hisense joins the revolution with three 8K TVs in their range – I’ve sat down and chilled in front of a 75 inch Hisense ULED 8K TV.
And it’s stunning.
First up, beautiful colours. A stunning brightness and frankly very impressive contrast between the blacks and colours. Albeit in store demo mode showing the 8K content, but it showed what the panel is capable of.
In real world viewing, this is an Android TV – very strange given Hisense’s passion for their own VIDAA operating system.
But I love that, I’m a huge fan of Android TV – and this one is running the new Google TV interface which is refreshing.
I fired up Netflix, and jumped straight to a new Tom Hanks movie I’d been eyeing off. This was a good judge of quality, as a new production in 4K.
This is where the 8K Debate gets tough, everyone shouts “there’s no 8K content”. Nope, very little. But there’s now stacks of 4K, and the power of a good 8K TV is “Upscaling” – can your TV take a small picture (be that SD, HD or 4K) and make it bigger to fit the number of pixels on the screen.
There’s 33 million pixels in an 8K TV. There’s 8.8 million pixels in a 4K image.
Those 8 million odd need to be stretched out across the 30+ million, do that badly and the picture looks horrible.
Not on this Hisense ULED 8K TV. I found the 4K movie content, as well as things like Drive to Survive on Netflix looked great.
Up SUPER close it still looked great. But you’re not getting this close.
That logo is actually off a 4K YouTube video, seeing it there made me realise the upscaling was great. Edges are important to me on fonts when checking upscaling – it really shows up a lot when viewing graphics.
But I really wanted to see how well it would do.
Turn to some YouTube content that’s available in all qualities. SD versions of Guess Whom from Wide World of Sports.
Take it up to HD and you’re still getting a good outcome.
No, it doesn’t look great, but damn, it hardly looks shocking given I’m choosing a low quality stream.
I feel really comfortable saying you’re going to get a great picture on any style of content when using the Hisense ULED 8K TV.
There’s what looks like a soundbar strip along the bottom of the TV, following on from previous years design. Don’t be fooled, that’s great sound, but it’s not Soundbar quality. If I’m spending this much on a TV, I’m getting a soundbar – full stop.
Then there’s Google Assistant.
Thanks to a far-field microphone on the bottom of the TV, you don’t have to hold the remote up to your face like a microphone – just summon “Hey Google” and speak your command.
Universal search across apps, weather or other smart things – easy options.
It worked wonderfully well, even with the TV at a reasonable volume.
There’s a switch to turn off the microphone which lights up yellow if you switch to mute.
This is the TV that will impress people about the Hisense Brand. In stores the 8K content will be awesome. The Google Assistant options will be well received.
Damn impressive, the Hisense ULED 8K TV is launching at 75 inches – priced at $6,999 that’s about the same as other 8K 75 inchers in the market, but expect that to drop fast as they hit in stores with a normal retail price.
While we think of Hisense as a strong but affordable brand, the 8K offering is pushing to the absolute top of their premium ULED TV range. That will be a challenge in retail – putting Hisense against Samsung at similar prices, but it’s likely there will be a decent gap to make it a serious consideration to go with Hisense.
The quality rocks, the colours are stunning and apart from wanting for bigger sound, I find it hard to fault it.