Customer Ratings & Reviews
Customer image gallery
Customer ratings & reviews
High Competition, High Stakes, HiSensePosted
HiSense's beginnings as a super-budget TV manufacturer have no doubt affected its brand image throughout the years. The company once known for barebones, cheap-as-can-be sets now competes in far higher end spaces, and puts out a wide variety of midrange TV sets year after year. The 2019 HiSense H8F line brings their in-house "ULED" display technology to market, using a special screen filter to enhance the image's color and contrast closer to competing "quantum dot" TVs while still using common, inexpensive LCD panels to generate the image. Quite the far cry from an entry-level package! Gimmick or not, the ULED technology must be working, as the image quality on this TV is superb. It's not the only thing that matters, but it's the one thing that will make or break a budget TV set, and competing manufacturers would be wise to keep HiSense on their radar as this just may be the $500 55" TV to beat. - Unboxing and Setup Although the HiSense TV has a small frame and thin bezel, transport and unpacking should still be handled by two people. It's workable by one large, determined person, but care should be taken at all times. The TV was well protected, with the box and packaging absorbing some aggressive handling by the shipping carrier. Assembly was as simple as attaching the legs to the base of the TV with the included screws. There are two positions for the legs to accommodate both narrow and wide surfaces, and VESA mounts are available for wall and specialty mounting. The Android TV's initial setup sequence is very straightforward, and can be accelerated by pairing an Android smartphone that can synchronize account information, local network settings, and app preferences and data from the same Google account. After initial setup is complete, the TV will check for and install the latest Android TV operating system update. This was a fast process but unfortunately caused its WiFi to lose connection, which required a system reset and hard power off (disconnecting from the wall outlet) to fix. Once synchronized all my favorite streaming apps that have Android TV equivalents available were added to the TV, including NetFlix, YouTube, Hulu, and more. - Connectivity & Control All four HDMI ports on the TV are HDMI 2.0 compatible, meaning all will accept a 4K non-HDR signal at 60Hz or 4K HDR at 30Hz. A composite connection works well enough for legacy devices (though I rue the lack of component support), and an inbuilt TV tuner with coaxial input allows for over-the-air TV broadcasts without the need to use a separate breakout box. The USB 2.0 port can be used to power an antenna amplifier or connect a USB device for the Android TV OS to access as storage or input. Outputs for audio include an optical output that supports Dolby Digital (bitstream) and Dolby DTS, along with a headphone jack. It was easy to set the TV up to be the single receiving device for my home theater and use the receiver purely for audio, which was a welcome option as my receiver didn't support any 4K or HDR features. I was concerned I would have to buy an expensive new receiver instead of a $10 optical cable. For internet and wireless connectivity, an ethernet jack (I believe Gigabit) complements WiFi both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and bluetooth 4.0 is supported for pairing wireless headphones or the included remote control. Once paired, the remote control no longer needs to point at the TV to control it, and the bluetooth range is plenty. I was also able to pair a bluetooth keyboard and game controller, which were perfect for some of the more niche Android TV apps I installed like a web browser and a game console emulator. Indeed, this level of connectivity can let the TV stand alone as its own HTPC if desired! The only downfall to all this connectivity is that there are no physical buttons on the TV, leaving the remote as the only way to power on the television. This is a very odd decision and somewhat concerning in the event the remote becomes lost or broken, as it would leave a user without a way to turn on the TV unless HDMI device control was previously enabled. - Picture & Sound Quality I didn't expect much from a midrange set that undercuts the competition on cost, but I was still impressed by how great the image looks even after removing all post-processing and smoothing features by activating "Game" mode for both HDR and non-HDR sources (this also removes virtually all input lag). Color detail is excellent and well-balanced, with minimal color banding that's hardly noticeable anywhere but in test images. Ghosting and motion blur due to response times are likewise small issues which can likely be further reduced with some settings adjustment. A full submenu for calibration options is available as well for professional tuning, though the presets are likely fine for nearly all users at this price point. With support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, the HiSense TV's already good color reproduction serves as a great basis to add lighting intensity to the scene. The ULED technology uses true RGB pixels, arranged BGR, instead of the inferior, lower-resolution RGBW arrangement, and the results (using Game Mode to remove any artificial effects and post-processing) are incredible. I'm shocked by how clear and vivid the final HDR image is, capturing much more detail in the dark and bright areas of any image, with light sources appearing more as if they're true light than a TV carrying a $499 MSRP has any right to. See the attached HDR image comparison, both captured on camera using the same settings (ISO 800, -1.5 EV) in a dark room. Details in the trees are much clearer with HDR, and the shadows and reflections on the car are less overblown with more richness in the car's color. The difference is much stronger in person, of course, so see this set on display at your local Best Buy if you can. Even though the TV only has a peak brightness of 700 nits, even in a well-lit room high-brightness HDR effects were still brighter than the ambient light, and the local dimming zones helped drive some further contrast between light and dark areas of the same image. However, with only a few dozen local dimming zones, they're at times apparent and detract from the experience in exceptionally dark scenes. Built-in TV speakers are never great quality, and the HiSense is no exception. However, in a pinch the included speakers do get decently loud and seem to highlight speech over all other sounds, making it workable. Still, a distinct lack of bass and tinny treble mean an external receiver and speakers, headphones, or sound bar are highly recommended. - Android TV Having what's nearly a complete but TV-optimized Android tablet experience built into a TV is a fantastic addition. Thousands of apps and games can be installed from the Google Play store and run without issue, and those willing to tinker with sideloaded Android apps from other sources can have a full HTPC experience directly on their TV. A quad-core MediaTek processor and 1.5GB RAM won't win any awards for speed, but provide enough power to decode 1080p video (I didn't have any 4K videos on my local network to test) and play less-demanding Android games. For those content with Play Store apps alone, nearly every major streaming service is available for viewing, and the Android TV optimizations will show video history and recommendations on Android TV's home screen/launcher without the need to load the individual apps. The only glaring omission from the Google Play store right now is Prime Video, due to a protracted streaming dispute between Google and Amazon, but as of this writing (April 28, 2019) the companies have resolved the issue and an app is forthcoming. The only downside to the Google Play apps is that they do not appear to support HDR. I wasn't able to get the Netflix app to display HDR no matter what combination of settings I tried, suggesting HDR content will require a separate HDR-capable device to show. - Software Issues Besides the aforementioned WiFi connection issue after updating the Android TV OS, I experienced a few software issues that marred an otherwise fantastic budget TV experience. On more than one occasion I lost audio output via the optical cable after changing device settings or inputs, which was fixed by opening the audio settings menu on the TV and re-selecting the appropriate output. A little software lag and stutter was evident when switching between applications, with the TV waiting to finish whatever it was processing in one instance before it accepted any further input from the remote a solid 15 seconds later. Further, not all applications downloaded from the Google Play store worked properly on the TV when they did on other (also MediaTek-processor based) Android devices, with slowdown and small graphical glitches being the most common issue I saw in games and emulators. Obviously these are at the very fringes of the typical user's use for a television and didn't sour my opinion as I have plenty of other devices hooked up to the TV to fulfill those wants. - Bottom Line Though a few quirks and design choices will take some time to adjust to, the Hisense H8F is still a terrific bargain made better, not worse, by the implementation of Android TV into the viewing experience. The video quality alone punches a class above its price point, acting as a quality option for entry-level HDR with results that will be sure to please newcomers and value shoppers alike. The brand has come a long way from the basic TV sets it sold at massive discounts a decade ago, and should not be overlooked simply because of that brand image. The H8F deserves consideration regardless of whether it's a TV for a main room, den, bedroom, or patio, as it delivers on its promises with an affordable set that's inexpensive, not cheap. Highly recommended!
I would recommend this to a friend
Inexpensive Adroid TV with a few flawsPosted
So far this is my third HiSense TV and second 55". I had the 55 H8C prior so I'm familiar with HiSense's "bang for the buck." This unit, or perhaps just mine, has taking a little of the bang out. When I started it up. I saw a few splotchy spots on the screen. I though "why'd they use a dirty background grey image?" After set up was complete I ran some more tests and my screen has blotches all through the center, dark corners and slight yellow tint on the right side. The center blotches look like a checker pattern, almost like some LEDs just aren't as bright as others. Now keep in mind, these are only visible if you're web browsing or looking at white or grey back grounds - I've a HPTC, PS4, and Shield TV hooked up to it. During normal viewing you really don't see the imperfections, but still this wasn't what I'd have expected from HiSense. Just like every other TV on the market they bump the brightness to blind you and turn on that motion smoothing (why won't someone with brains kill this "feature'! @@@@@@@ Turned down sharpness, turned down noise reduction, basically had to turn off all the post processing to get a decent picture. I only did a simple calibration but once I go it set the darks are deep and the bright where I want them. The TV has local dimming and doing a test it shows 7 zones horizontally, and 8 zones vertically. I believe I had turned off local dimming on my old unit and I think I'll be doing the same on this one. While it's kinda nice I just can't stand how slow it activates and deactivates. Maybe I can get used to it so I'll keep it on for now. If you turn on local dimming you can't manually adjust your back-light. You have to disable dimming, change the back-light, and then turn dimming back on. You can use the ambient sensor and it does work well so far. More testing will have to be done to see if I want to disable that too . The H8F comes with Android TV built in. This is a big plus for those you love Android TV - I've used it since the old NSZ-GS7. I'm still mainly HTPC, but as for streaming devices I keep going back to Android (I've tried all the others and have a dozen streaming devices in my closet). The version installed is 8.0.0 (Oreo) so it's relatively up-to-date. Onboard storage is pretty flimsy at only 3.5GB usable. You can put a thumb drive in and use it as adoptable storage (as system storage for apps) so it's easily solved. There is a USB 3.0 port in the back and the thumb drive works fine in it. You can also play videos and view photos via the USB ports (one 2.0 port in the back also). Other specs for the Smart side are 1.5GB RAM and a Mediatek MT5886 processor. Overall the system seem speedy enough, but gaming may not great as long as you stay with lower intensity games - and put in a thumb drive. 3D mark test pulled 3634 with avg 14FPS. The remote is Bluetooth so you don't need line of sight to control the TV. I didn't see this mentioned in the instruction book, but it might be in there. Pushing the Google assistant button guides you through paring the remote. It nice not need LoS, especially during winter when you don't wanna get out of the covers. You can also pair BT headphones and speakers if you need to. There is a headphone jack in the back of the TV, but if you can get lag free BT then go for that option instead. Using the remote and switching to the Shield TV as my input automatically controlled the Shield. No special set up needed. One problem I had/have is that when I turn off everything and switch the receiver and TV back on and switch inputs it kinda goes crazy for a few minutes. It cycles through inputs, switches randomly (or not pattern I've yet seen), until finally it stops. I suppose it's doing an inventory of connected devices before it settles. Big pain to have to go through this each time I start up and hoping a firmware fixes this. Don't know if it's Google's or HiSense's issue. One feature I though that all TV makes should include that HiSense included in this TV is multi-position feet. There are two spots you can choose to install the feet. Outer feet are ~44" apart tip to tip, inner position is 36" apart. Great feature for those who don't mount the TV's. Other than the blotchy screen I'm pretty happy with the H8F. I'd return it for another one if I could hoping to get a clean screen, but it's good enough for me. I'm not an avid TV watcher and only get about 10hrs of watching a week so I don't want to spend thousands on a "nicer" TV. I'm satisfied enough with HiSense that if I had to buy a new TV I'd get another. The other two I've are great so it's possible I just got the black sheep this time, lol. Gonna get 1hr of TV watching before I go to bed. Wish I could have given 4 or 5 stars, but unless others chime in without the same screen issues it's best I can give.
I would recommend this to a friend
Best bang for your buckPosted
The TV market is saturated with many offerings from different brands and Hisense is one of those. Honestly I had never heard of the brand until a few days ago so I wasn't really sure what to expect from this make of television. The Hisense brand is not a household name but do not let that fool you into thinking that this television is anything less than good. I have had the pleasure of using this television for the past few days. I installed it in my bedroom and it looks wonderful. To those who wish to wall mount this the VESA measurements are 300 X 200. It is a lightweight TV at 30lbs. For those who own an Nvidia Shield TV this is a familiar experience because it is Android. setup is a breeze you can set it up on your mobile device and it takes a few minutes. I use an Android device I do not know if using an iPhone makes any kind of a difference. :::Pros & Cons::: Pros: - Android Smart platform - A plethora of streaming services and apps - Plenty of I/O - Thin bezels - Light weight - Metal housing & not plastic for that premium look and finish - ULED panel which is an LED but better quality IMO. Cons: - Weird Vesa mount size 300 X 200 :::I/O::: The H8F has a lot of inputs & ports. It offers the following: - X4 HDMI (1 is ARC) - X1 Component - X1 3.5 MM headphone jack - X1 Digital optical port - X2 USB ports; 1 USB 2.0 & 1 USB 3.0 - RF Antenna jack for cable TV input - X1 Ethernet port - Built in Dual band Wireless NIC - Built in bluetooth (supports headphones & gaming controllers) like Xbox controller or any other controller that has bluetooth. :::Picture & Sound::: :Picture: The Hisense H8F UHD supports motion rate 240, 4K, HDR 10, Dolby Vision (which is better than HDR10) It is slowly becoming the standard and can be found on streaming services like Netflix & Amazon Video. The picture clarity is good and can stand toe to toe with the televisions in its current price range. You will need to change the settings from "Standard" to "Enhanced" in order to enjoy all the features this television has to offer. It took me a while to figure out why my Xbox One X & Playstation 4 wasn't showing HDR10 compability. This was the issue you manually need to enable the features in the settings for each device that is plugged into any of the HDMI ports. Once you have enabled all the features you won'tice the picture clarity. I disabled the motion enhancement because I do not like it. I changed a few other settings and my television looks great. I have Netflix UHD package and didn't realize that HDR & Dolby Vision do make a difference when you are watching TV & movie shows. There is not a whole lot of settings for you to fine tune the picture like you would find on some of the competitors brand but this has plenty. You honestly do not need to make changes to picture settings out of the box. :Sound: You have many options such as Headphones, Bluetooth, Optical, and HDMI. The speakers are alright they are 20 watts and won't provide a theater like experience but it will suffice for most. Me personally I went with a Soundbar with ARC and it was immediately recognized and I didn't have to do anything but change the settings from PCM to Dolby Digital. This Television set also supports Dolby Digital Plus for those who have a high end sound system or soundbar. I was really surprised to find that this TV has bluetooth. I connected my Bluetooth Headphones and it sounds great. I didn't notice any audio delay coming from my Sony soundbar or my Headphones. For those who like simplicity do yourself a favor and get a soundbar with HDMI and use the ARC which is typically HDMI 1. It will allow you to use your main remote to control the volume of your soundbar. The platform is Android TV so there is a lot of smart functionality built in. You have access to a lot of streaming services like Crunchyroll, VRV, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, HBO Steam link, Amazon Prime video is not there but I hear that it may soon become available. :::General Thoughts::: I honestly am surprised with this Hisense TV it is packed with features and options that you do not find on other Television sets unless you were to buy a higher end model. I am no expert on visual fidelity but it looks great, sounds good and won't cost a small fortune. The Hisense H8F will provide the best value for your hard earned money.
I would recommend this to a friend