Hisense U8K ULED TV review: possibly too good
Hisense U8K ULED
“The Hisense U8K is just too good, if that is even doable.”
- Wonderful brightness
- Vivid HDR colours
- Excellent backlight management
- Wonderful distinction
- Nice for gaming
- Some coloration anomalies
- Scattered software program bugs
When first I noticed the there were some anomalies I used to be certain had been indicative of a defective pattern, which, frankly, occurs extra usually than you’d assume – a byproduct of getting the primary models within the wild, I’m afraid. Hisense rapidly despatched a alternative, and I’ve had an opportunity to completely take a look at it and am ready with a full evaluation., it was doing virtually all the pieces proper. However
First, I need to make clear that the mannequin quantity, U8K, doesn’t imply that is an 8K TV. The Ok is simply the following acceptable letter within the alphabet — in 2022 we had the U8H, we skipped I and J for some purpose, and now we’ve landed on the U8K. I repeat: That is only a mannequin quantity and has nothing to do with the decision.
No, certainly, the U8K is a 4K HDR ULED TV. ULED is simply Hisense’s approach of differentiating itself; this TV does use quantum dots. And like all of Hisense’s TVs from the U6 sequence up, it additionally has mini-LED backlights. One may name it a QLED, however Hisense likes ULED, so there you go.
Now, let’s get into efficiency.
Let’s begin with peak brightness as a result of that looks like everybody’s favourite metric nowadays. It’s excellent news there. As anticipated, the Hisense U8K provides a peak brightness of proper at 2,000 nits. Hisense solely guarantees 1,500 nits on the field, and the U8K is yet one more Hisense TV exceeding expectations — we’ve seen this earlier than. The U8H did it, as did the U7H and a number of the fashions earlier than them. Two thousand nits is great contemplating the present avenue value of the TV is about $1,100 for the 65-inch mannequin, which means you may simply spend extra with some opponents and never get as shiny a TV.
Now, that 2,000 nits is nice for HDR highlights. As I’ll focus on shortly, this TV does an awesome job presenting HDR. But it surely additionally means this TV can get very shiny for SDR content material. It provides full-screen white brightness of about 750 to 800 nits, so its common image stage, or APL for brief, is a lot adequate for, say, viewing sports activities in a shiny room throughout the center of the day. That’s another excuse to actually respect this TV, particularly for the worth.
Now, let’s transfer on to grayscale and coloration accuracy. Grayscale is essential as a result of it tells us how correct the colour temperature of the TV shall be. We would like the TV to signify a D65 white level as a result of that’s what Hollywood has determined is most fascinating, and thus it grades films to look right when a TV’s white level is at D65. Right here, the Hisense U8K examined ridiculously nicely. Like, suspiciously nicely. Delta errors had been below 1, which is pretty much as good as you would hope to get with knowledgeable calibration. This led me to assume possibly I’ve a golden pattern on my fingers — that’s a TV which has been handpicked to be the very best instance of the expertise and, thus, not essentially an ideal illustration of what you’d get from a TV you choose up on the retailer.
However as I examined coloration accuracy, I backed off the concept this can be a so-called golden pattern. Or that, if it’s a golden pattern, there is a matter that I famous in my earlier evaluation unit that’s carrying over only a bit with this TV.
When you noticed my first U8K video, you’ll know that one of many points that had me considering the TV is perhaps defective ultimately was that the blue, cyan, and to a lesser extent, inexperienced colours had been arising as far much less correct than the opposite colours within the take a look at. The excellent news right here is that the alternative TV examined significantly better. Nevertheless, the blue and cyan nonetheless confirmed up as being a lot much less correct than all the opposite colours.
I haven’t gotten to the underside of why that is. I’ve a few guesses, although, and one among them was that maybe the colour temperature setting was simply not heat sufficient. Within the Filmmaker Mode (which, by the best way, is doing simply fantastic when it comes to brightness on this unit — that was the opposite concern with the earlier unit), the colour temp setting by default on this set was Heat 1. I discovered that odd as a result of I appear to recollect Heat 2 being the extra correct of the 2. So for grins, I switched to Heat 2 and retested the TV’s grayscale and coloration, and holy cow, the white steadiness on this TV was simply approach, approach out of whack. I believe it’s tremendous unusual that Heat 1 would provide among the many most correct out-of-box readings I’ve ever seen, whereas Heat 2 could be so wildly dangerous. I assume that’s yet one more factor to resolve and communicate to within the TCL QM8 comparability I’ve deliberate.
Anyway, I noticed some blue and cyan coloration errors from Filmmaker, Theater Day, and Theater Night time image presets — a minimum of ones I can measure. However as I’ll focus on in a second, I don’t see this bear out when watching regular content material. Nothing appears flawed after I’m simply watching TV or films. Moreover, after I swap to HDR, the colour checker outcomes are all wonderful so … huge shrug emoji from me. However once more, when watching HDR content material, coloration appears implausible.
By way of movement decision, the U8K does fairly nicely. It doesn’t get rid of judder fairly so easily as, say, a Sony TV of about the identical value or extra. It’s on par with a TCL, for instance, however I do see higher movement decision from rather more costly Samsung and Sony TVs.
Nevertheless, upscaling and, particularly, coloration gradient dealing with on this TV is spectacular! I watched a number of broadcast TV and a few low-bit-depth streaming content material, and whereas this TV doesn’t get rid of coloration banding totally, it does a greater job than another TVs in its value class, together with a sure TCL mannequin. And that counts for lots in my guide, as a result of between streaming content material — particularly on YouTube due to YouTube compression — and cable/satellite tv for pc content material, the Hisense U8K goes to make these compressed photographs simply look higher. And the bigger the display measurement, the extra essential that’s going to be.
One remaining factor to share — my enter lag tester has gone kaput, so I’m sorry to report that I can’t give you an enter lag measurement when it comes to milliseconds. However I haven’t been in a position to detect any significant enter lag in Sport mode, and as long as the U8K isn’t any worse than the U8H – and I don’t assume it’s – that quantity might be someplace within the 15-millisecond area for 4K 60Hz, and half that, about 7.5 milliseconds, for 4K 120Hz. I reckon it’s maybe simply barely decrease for 144Hz, which this TV does assist if you happen to intend to run a gaming PC on it, although I believe most people will need to sport at 4K 60 or 4K 120, or interact variable refresh rate, which the TV additionally helps.
As for black ranges and backlight efficiency: The Hisense U8K positively is within the higher tiers right here. It does significantly better than costlier TVs from Sony, and a little bit higher than some dear TVs from Samsung when it comes to stopping an excessive amount of halo round shiny objects on a darkish background. It additionally avoids crushing black so that you don’t lose shadow element. There is just one different non-OLED TV I can consider that’s considerably higher within the black ranges division when it comes to backlight management, and that’s the TCL QM8 — which in all probability comes as no shock as a result of that TV is one thing of a unicorn within the backlight management division.
The U8K’s off-angle efficiency will present some loss in coloration saturation, the black ranges take a little bit of a success, and the backlight is extra seen, though that is true of nearly each TV that has a VA panel. However that is at excessive angles to the TV. So, if you happen to’re within the seat on the far finish of a sectional sofa, sitting such which you can virtually see the again of the TV, nicely, that’s not going to be the very best seat in the home. However that’s true of nearly any LCD-based TV.
Talking of panel sorts, I’m at the moment making an attempt to substantiate whether or not a VA panel is used throughout all sizes of the U8K and can replace this evaluation as soon as I’ve official affirmation. However for now, I believe it’s secure to say you’ll get very comparable efficiency, regardless of which measurement of this TV you purchase.
I need to tackle one side of the U8K’s efficiency that’s a part of growing protection as regards to tone mapping. For these unfamiliar with the idea, tone mapping has to do with how a TV maps the brightness spectrum, from black all the best way to the brightest it could actually get, in order that it could actually present all the main points which can be accessible within the supply materials. A scene on the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark disc is tremendous well-liked for figuring out how a TV does at sustaining element within the brightest areas of an image. If a TV clips the brightest areas, you received’t see bushes within the background — you’ll simply see a blob of white.
Most HDR content material is mastered at 1,000 nits with very, only a few exceptions, and the U8K represents that materials exceptionally nicely.
Let me be clear right here: The U8K’s tone mapping is spot-on for 99.3% of all of the HDR supply materials you would throw at it. There are a handful of 4K Blu-rays which can be mastered at 4,000 nits, and on these discs you might even see that some super-bright spotlight element is misplaced — if you happen to’re even the form of one who picks up on that form of factor. Most of you on the market received’t. I’m not making an attempt to insult you, I simply imply that the majority of us wouldn’t know if one thing was lacking or not as a result of the chance to note such issues could be very few and really far between.
Most HDR content material is mastered at 1,000 nits with very, only a few exceptions, and the U8K represents that materials exceptionally nicely. It additionally does simply fantastic with something mastered as much as 4,000 nits. There isn’t a HDR supply materials that’s mastered increased than 4,000 nits that isn’t on a take a look at disc, and there isn’t going to be any time earlier than you change this TV. So, to me, exhibiting what a TV does with materials mastered at above 4,000 nits just isn’t useful info. That’s simply my sizzling take. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Arrested by the U8K’s image high quality, I forgot to handle the TV’s speaker system and audio high quality in my video evaluation. I’m not making the identical mistake right here. Armed with a subwoofer embedded in its again panel, the U8K is ready to provide some moderately strong sound — for a TV speaker system, anyway. Whereas it on no account compares to that of price range soundbars just like the $200 Vizio M-Series, the U8K’s onboard sound system manages to ship affordable dialogue readability and sufficient oomph to maintain the TV from sounding like a tiny, low cost Bluetooth speaker. Kudos to Hisense for placing some effort into the U8K’s sound system, a dying artwork in at the moment’s TV market.
So, frankly, this TV evaluation was fairly straightforward. The Hisense U8K performs as I anticipated it to, which is to say it’s a marvelous TV, particularly for its value. I don’t assume there’s a higher price-to-performance ratio in the marketplace proper now. I may very well be confirmed flawed in time, however for now, this TV nails the price-to-performance ratio. Greenback per greenback, this U8K provides greater than the rest for individuals who need the very best image they will get for his or her cash. The one purpose I’m not titling this evaluation, “How is that this even doable,” is as a result of I already did that. The one purpose I anticipated as a lot out of the U8K as I did is as a result of I know what the U8H did, so I used to be ready for it. And I used to be not disillusioned.
If in case you have a U8H and are questioning if you happen to ought to improve lower than a 12 months after getting your TV – I wouldn’t run out and change your U8H. I believe there are some refinements within the U8K right here, however the U8H continues to be an superior TV.
Brief-list this TV. It’s excellent. And if you happen to purchase it, I’m fairly certain you’ll be thrilled along with your determination.