Hisense America had a video TV product launch on May 5th. It was one of the most entertaining product launch videos we’ve seen and can be viewed here. Topping the 2021 TV line is the new U800GD model with 8K resolution and Certification from the 8K Association. The key features are summarized in the graphic below.
Notable specifications include peak luminance of up to 1000 nits, a 120 Hz refresh rate panel, a customizable screen layout, and a Roku player. Only the 75” model will be offered in 2021. The list price is $3,199 and the TV will be available in the summer.
We found the Roku OS to be a very interesting addition, which Hisense and Roku co-developed, we were told. The Roku O/S can now support handling and pass-through of 8K content but it is unclear where the 8K player actually sits – i.e. in the Roku O/S or the Hisense TV (probably TV). The 120 Hz panel enables Hisense’s 480 Motion Rate smoothing technology. There are 180 local dimming zones and it also has an advance 8K upscaler. AirPlay2’s improved performance allows content from Apple devices to be streamed to the TV even at high resolution. Customers can use the Roku voice remote, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri via Homekit for content searching and other controls.
Also announced was the U9DG, the first dual-cell TV launched in the U.S. market. This is a 75” 4K TV with a 2K monochrome LCD panel that provides the local dimming control to effectively provide 2M dimming zones. This is way more than the number of dimming zones offered by the best TVs with miniLED backlights, but less than the pixel-level dimming capabilities of 4K or 8K OLED TVs. Hisense is the only TV maker embracing this technology and some have voiced concerns about efficiency and off-angle viewing. Included is support for content mastered in the Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and IMAX Enhanced formats. It will retail for $3500.
Also launched was the U6G series which extends quantum dots to their entry-level line-up; the U7G which is focused on gaming features; and the U8G, a step-up model.