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$500 TV Rivals $1,000 Top Brand Models
on November 13, 2016
I was a little skeptical of buying a brand I wasn't familiar with. But then I looked at the features and mostly positive reviews and decided for $500, why not. After I bought it, my brother tells me this is the one he'd been eyeing at the store- said it had a picture better than all the Samsungs and Sonys with quantum dots and all that... even looked almost as good as OLED. I wondered how this was possible, but I had to admit the picture did look excellent.
Apparently this Hisense uses a VA panel which allows for super dark blacks, which is partly how it achieves such an amazing picture. VA panels have their drawbacks- you sacrifice viewing angle (which is why reviews cite picture degradation when viewed from an angle) but if you're sitting directly in front of this TV, it looks absolutely amazing. I never have a whole group of people watching with me anyways, and certainly never from an angle. But it is something to note- if you plan to have people watching from 30-45 degree angles (or more), check it out in a store first and see if you're ok with how it looks. I am no videophile and even I can see the degradation from sharp angles (tends to start losing a little color as you pivot to the side) but, if you plan to watch it straight on, take advantage of this VA panel that gives you near-OLED level blacks without the baggage of OLED (like temporary image retention and larger input lag).
The HDR... need to talk about that. So ok, the TV interprets HDR10 format, which is what most HDR sources use. You update the TV via wifi and it gets patched in. But just know that the official Ultra HD Premium logo for "true HDR" requires 1000 nits peak brightness while this TV only hits around 440 (which is still good mind you- 1,000 is just an insane number and because this TV has such incredibly dark blacks the contrast ratio is really good) and the new wide color gamut, which uses rec2020 color spectrum while this TV still uses the traditional rec709. Honest opinion though, if you're an average Joe user like me, the wide color gamut isn't really a big deal. This TV does indeed use a 10 bit panel though, not 8-bit. So while you won't get HDR that takes it to such extremes like a $1200 Samsung, you do get a moderate taste of it, all in a $500 package which is basically unheard of. I've tried the HDR on my PS4 and it's definitely noticeable. I mean, the colors pop more and you can see detail in areas otherwise too bright and washed out... even if it's a toned down HDR it still makes it look noticeably better. And honestly, after all the horror stories of HDR making games look worse from being too dark and bright in areas, I rather appreciate a more toned down effect that enhances rather than taking center stage.
As for other features... the local dimming doesn't have that many zones. But still, any local dimming at all is appreciated. I watched Civil War last night and the black bars on top and bottom, they looked so black it matched the black border of the TV itself. It was crazy. When the TV is on but has no signal, you can't even tell it's on. Which is just incredible. There are 4 HDMI ports, but only 3 and 4 are HDMI 2.0 which support 4K @60Hz. I only need one for my PS4. And next year when Scorpio releases it will get the other one. All normal HDMI like Wii U and Switch can use HDMI 1 and 2 with a splitter.
All in all, I'm very satisfied with this TV. For $500 you won't find a better deal. The blacks on this TV are incredible, and without the $2,000 OLED price tag. The 4K image is crisp and clear- even Netflix looks sharper than 1080p BluRay. You can see the pores on people's faces like you're standing right there. I'm just blown away, and even my brother, after coming to check it out yesterday, has decided to go buy one of these. Will update if I experience any issues. But usually if a TV has issues it's right out of the box in my experience