on January 27, 2016
I am an individual who tends to do a good amount of research before I make a purchase. I usually want to know how well a product performs in the real world, what others thought of the product, as well as what the purchase price to actual value is. Due to this, I sometimes tend to purchase items that others may not have heard of, and typically those items go on to become well known. I did the same thing with Vizio when I purchased my last TV with them many years ago.
After doing my research, it appeared that the Hisense 55H9B2 had everything that I was looking for. I saw some other reviews that were less than stellar, but I have years of experience in knowing that sometimes, mistakes happen. All things are made by man, and we are not perfect, therefore I chalked their issues up to bad luck, or lack of research before purchasing. I was drawn to this TV because it was greater than 50 inches, it was able to display 4K content natively, it has 4K upscaling, it has HDMI 2.0 compliant connections, it has a 120 Hz refresh rate, the screen is curved, and it also has Full Array Local Dimming. 3D content was not something I was looking for, therefore this TV was ideal. Add in the fact that this TV was selling for $799, and I was sold.
The TV arrived very well packaged. It was basically a box within a box, and inside that box was about 4 to 5 inches of foam padding. If I had to have a single gripe about the packaging, it was that there was not plastic cling wrap over the actual screen to keep fingerprints off of the screen until after installation. There was a plastic bag over the whole TV, but it has to be removed in order to install either the base mount, or a rear VESA mount for wall mounting.
Once I got the TV fully unwrapped, I attached the VideoSecu MW380B wall mount to the back of the TV. I was a little worried if this mount would work with this TV being curved, but the VESA compliant mounting points were all parallel to each other. This allowed me to use spacers and then attach the mount as if it were a more traditional flat screen TV.
Once I got the TV mounted on the wall, I connected my Blu-Ray player and popped in my Disney WOW: World of Wonder Blu-ray disc so that I could optimize the TV. First off, I went ahead and played a few clips so that I could get a good before and after. Right out of the box, this TV looks fantastic. All of the colors looked great, crisp, and clean. The upscaling to 4K did not leave any noticable artifacts like I envisioned it might, as some reviews of other other TV brands had mentioned. Once I began the calibration of the TV, I found that I basically had very negligible changes that were needed to be made to my TV. I believe that I turned the Hue down by 1, and upped the sharpness by 1, as well as the contrast by 1. If you did not have this DVD set to calibrate your TV, you should be fine with the factory settings. Either way, the blacks look amazing on this TV, something that I was worried about as well.
After calibrating the TV, I connected my Ethernet cable to the back of the TV and logged into my Netflix account, and decided to watch some 4K content. The detail on the shows were simply amazing. I cannot wait for more 4K content to become available. I then tested out Youtube, and once again, I was blown away. I also tried Amazon next, but for some reason, the Amazon app seemed to struggle to download at 4K quality, in spite of the success that I had with both Netflix and Youtube. I tried connecting to my wireless network instead, just to make sure, and still had the same issue. I tested Netflix and Youtube again on the wireless, and had great results. Who knows, maybe it was just a bad day for Amazon servers and bandwidth.
If I had to be disappointed with anything about this TV, it is the lack of apps with the Opera TV Store. I really would like the ability to use my Plex Server with this TV, as well as use Hulu, and Twitch.TV. Until there are native Opera TV apps that support those, I have connected my Google Chromecast to the TV.
If you are looking for one the best 4K TVs for less than $1000, and would like a curved screen, and are not worried about having 3D capabilities, then I would highly recommend this TV for you.
I have also attached photos of the inputs, since it is near impossible to find any online. (EDIT: The pictures keep disappearing off of Amazon. Not sure why).
UPDATE #1: Hisense just pushed out a firmware update for the TV yesterday on March 3rd, 2015
UPDATE #2: After having this TV for over 3 months, I just wanted to say that I am still in awe of this TV. The audio is sufficiently loud, and where the TV is currently mounted, I can pull it away from the wall and turn it towards the kitchen, which makes cooking and cleaning while enjoying a show or movie very enjoyable, without missing what anyone says. The picture is simply fantastic. I have already had several people ask me about the TV and the brand, and what my thoughts are once they see the TV in person. The curve always comes up. I usually have guests move around the living room and see if they get any dimming that they might expect, and they don't. Granted, my TV is only located 15 feet from the couch, with a love seat and a chair located to the left and right of the couch, so the viewing angles are not some extreme angle. The dimming on this TV gives me some of the blackest blacks I have seen on a TV in a long time. Once I get a chance to test the HDR on this TV, I will give another update as well.
UPDATE #3: HDR Content on Netflix looks fantastic. Daredevil or Marco Polo are the easiest shows to use for HDR content. Just do a search in Netflix for HDR if you want other shows that use it.
UPDATE #4: I just got a call from Hisense regarding the Amazon app. Apparently the latest firmware update (firmware ending in S1228) now allows for Amazon Prime Instant Video to display in 4K resolution. This is great news as it means that I will not end up having to purchase a Fire TV in order to enjoy the 4K goodness that this TV delivers.