Hisense is gunning for Samsung and LG this week, announcing their very first televisions over 65″ in size. Not only are they big, the best option has technology similar to what Samsung uses in their high-end televisions, but at a much lower price. They might not be quite as good as those more expensive televisions, but those looking to get large 4k TVs for less should take note.
Hisense is releasing several new televisions, headlined by their 65″ H9 and 70″ H10. Both are ULED televisions, which are unique to Hisense. Hisense ULED televisions still use LED-backlit LCD displays, although they’re said to get three times as bright as regular LED TVs. While Hisense can’t boast as wide a color gamut as Samsung televisions, they do have local dimming, which improves contrast and makes HDR playback possible.
The H9 television is capable of 4k HDR playback and features multi-zone local dimming and a color gamut the covers 83 percent of DCI-P3, the spectrum usually used for movie projection. The H10 adds more effective local dimming, using 320 zones of dimming. That means the television can dim smaller parts of the display individually, making finer details sharper in darker scenes by making blacks deeper. The H10 also uses Quantum Dot display technology, which is what Samsung uses in many of their SUHD TVs, and has a THX-certified sound system.
The display tech isn’t new to Hisense this year, but it is the first time they’ve managed to get it all in a television larger than 65″. With ULED, Hisense is creating a cheap imitation of OLED televisions, of the sort LG has been making. OLED televisions have pixels that are individually lit and don’t require a backlighting panel, meaning they can’t be beat when it comes to color contrast. By packing so many local dimming zones into an LED television, Hisense is cheaply replicating the OLED experience, and they’re betting that most viewers either won’t be able to tell the difference or that the difference will be so small, people will prefer to save money by going with Hisense. They might be right — it is pretty tough to tell the difference, and Hisense is offering pretty terrific image quality.
So, how much less money are we talking? The 65″ H9 and 70″ H10 will retail for $1,700 and $3,500, respectively, when they hit stores early next year. The cheapest 65″ Samsung SUHD TV, the KS8000, retailed for $2,800 at launch, while the 75″ model of their KS9000 line (the closest comparable model to the 70″ H10) launched at $6,500. OLED TVs from the likes of LG skew even more expensive, as OLED displays are still quite expensive to produce.
It’s worth noting that these new Hisense models aren’t smart TVs. But, if you prefer using a streamer like a Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV, or a Roku box, not getting a smart interface on the television could be a desirable way to save money, too.
Hisense also announced 65″, 70″, 75″, and 86″ models of their third-tier H8 line, which still are still HDR-compatible 4k displays. The two larger televisions will also have the enhanced local dimming available on the H10, while the two smaller models feature the wide color gamut of the H9 and H10. Those four televisions will retail for $1,000, $2,500, $3,000, and $6,000, respectively. The 70″ and 75″ models will be available in December, while the 65″ and 86″ models will launch early next year.