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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
excellent value for the $$Posted
The good: - Picture quality - While it may not compete with the feature set and picture quality of the high end OLED sets, I don't think it's necessarily meant to. For what it's, it's got a really nice and sharp picture. - Local dimming - This is a big one for me - FALD. No edge bleed here, and blacks are inky black. I can't say it enough; in this price range, *very* nice to have. - HDR - Also nice to have, especially when you're watching UHD content. The two technologies kind of need to go hand and hand at this point. - HDMI inputs, including ARC - 4 HDMI inputs, one of which sends audio out to either a receiver or soundbar. - Design - I wouldn't consider this TV flashy, nor would I call it mundane. Personally, I feel like the important part of the TV is the picture, not so much the plastic shell. That being said, the bezel design is super minimal, with a slight "chin" on the lower edge. To me this gives a bit of a premium feel to it. The bad: - Processing speed - The only thing that I found issue with, and this is being really nit picky, is the speed of the internal processor. It can stream 1080p and 4k content with no problem from a variety of sources, which of course is nice. My issue was particularly with an application called Plex. I rip my 4k blurays to a server and stream them via Plex, instead of using a bluray player. Granted, probably not many actually do this, so it's certainly not a huge market to go after. And at this price point I certainly wouldn't expect the fastest internal CPU. In any case, the point is that Plex can't play my 4k rips without skipping and stuttering. Not a deal breaker by any means. Moving around the internal menus and Android TV wasn't blazing fast either, but not exactly slow enough to have issue with. Misc: - Motion Rate 240 - I'm not personally a huge fan of smooth motion technology myself. It gives everything the "soap opera" effect. Some people may like it, some people not so much. - Android TV - Again, not for everyone but does have its strengths. Overall: At this MSRP, it's tough to give this TV anything other than 5 stars. In terms of "budget" televisions, you're getting an awful lot of bang for the buck. No, it's not perfect, but you're certainly getting your money's worth and then some.
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
Hisense is moving on up!Posted
So, this is my second Hisense TV. My first experience was a hisense h4 I believe. Bought about 2 yrs ago. Entry level. Didn't like but man has hisense stepped up their game up massively. First I'll start with the tv design. It's just like the rest. Well built with peg stand legs that can be set to a wide stance(for wide tv stands) or connected closer together for smaller stands. Very smart on hisense for this as I have a smallish tv stand in my bedroom. Now on to what we all care about, the picture quality. This is not a one answer response. See I could say the picture quality is out of this world(which it's)*. But you are getting different experiences with 1080p-4K-4K HDR AND 4K DolbyVision. So I have to say while viewing 1080p this tv is good at best. At least in my experience. The picture seems grainy and pixelated. May be due to upscaling. But not the end of the world because watching 4K is great. Watching 4K Dolby Vision and hdr is AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL! It's really night and day (see pics). I tested on Netflix FYI. Brightness is very solid and darks are great. Very even backlighting as well. Local dimming helps out a bit. This has a very good panel for this price point. Now the sound is good not great. But that's almost every tv at any price point. I use a sound bar anyhow. Android tv/OS is pretty cool. First timer here. I like that you can play android games on the tv, although it will eat up storage and I don't have much time to play. But Cool extra. The remote I love. They took it back to the days when tv remotes had the dedicated Netflix button but now with YouTube, google play and vudu which is dead. I would have selected Hulu. But it's fine. WiFi signal seems good. No drops thus far. Quick load times. Chromecast is built in.i only use that feature to push my YouTube videos from my phone to the big screen. In all honesty this has to be one of the best priced TVs on the market for what you get. Good luck. You won't regret this budget mid level tv.
I would recommend this to a friend
Hisense Keeps AdvancingPosted
Around the world, Hisense is the 3rd largest maker of TVs. Hisense TV's in the US are more of a budget buy. This new H8 series TV from Hisense, is trying to change that and move up the ladder. I opened the box of well protected Hisense H8F. The TV is extremely light for a 55 inch. Actually, I was able to take the Hisense H8F out of the box all by myself. I also carried it up the stairs and into the loft. I was really surprised because I would say I am average wingspan and strength. I see this as a positive. TVs made only a couple of years ago were thought to be better if they had some weight to them. Technology has changed that belief. Hisense has done a great job building tech advancements in their TVs recently. But there are some other things that are a little disappointing into the new H8F. Let's see some of the positive/negative features: . Dolby Vision HDR is an essential processing program on the Hisense H8F. TV's at a budget don't have Dolby Vision HDR. Most of higher end 4k TVs do have it. This is incredible process that brings out the best in brightness and darkness. Every picture on screen is maximized to produce the best! You need a 4k player with Dolby Vision and a TV with Dolby Vision as well. I have everything going into my A/V receiver and have Dolby Vision pass through. That is about as a simple you get to set up Dolby Vision. Included is a picture from the H8F playing "MI: Fallout" in 4k with Dolby Vision. The picture captures some of the great aspects from this technology, but you really need to see it in person to truly appreciate it. . As good as the 4k is, and as great as the Dolby Vision is, watching Cable in SD/HD is simply not at that level. The screen has a lot to be desired in Cable. I have had no prior poor experiences through Cable with other 4k and non 4k TVs at all. The edges of people or objects tend to get a little fuzzy at times, the blacks aren't true black and the brightness is somewhat over bearing because the presets don't quite do well with Cable. This was a little disappointing to me, but I don't watch a lot of Cable, so I rely on the Hisense H8F for 4k programming and 4k Bluray movies. I am fine with that decision. . Built in 4K resolution is absolutely amazing on the H8F. With 4k comes 4k upscaling of blurays. Amazing how the picture that is produced from just a Bluray disc looks almost like 4k (not quite 4k, but I don't think most people will be able to tell the difference). The 4k movies are played in 4k with a 4k player. It is almost off the charts as for picture detail and sharpness. I watched "The Great Wall" in 4k which has amazing richness of color. In "Avengers: Infinity War," in 4k, there is so much going on with color saturation, movement and detail, but the Hisense can handle 4k Dolby Vision without any problems (as stated earlier). . 4 High speed HDMI inputs (4 is considered a lot of connections). Connect up to four peripherals like a 4k player, etc. I have my 4k player connected and cable box as well. . There is a Google Assistant built in. Just sign in on your network your TV is on. You can give commands by voice that the Google Assistant will perform. This is especially nice feature most TVs don't have. . I love the super thin bezel. It is almost all TV screen action and programs without the bezel thickness on sides, top and bottom. I would recommend wearing gloves if you have to move your Hisense H8F. It is a great way not to get fingerprints on screen. . The motion rate is 240 Hz for smooth transitions from sports activities or car chases on your H8F. I found this especially helpful while watching the NBA playoffs. . On the Hisense H8F has a feature called ULED. Now this is not OLED/QLED which works organically different to put images on the TV screen. ULED is still LED LCD screen. It works with 64 dimming areas of brightness and darkness to create a picture that sharpens color and contrast area on the screen. It also helps if you have your TV is in a bright room. The screen will adapt to the light and make it visible to see the TV. . 2 USB inputs for camcorders other device that uses USB connections have been added to the Hisense H8F. This is a nice touch to have 2 USB ports. . The Hisense H8F has presets for your TV's screen appearance. Presets like Vivid, Game, Energy Conservation are just a few available for you to choose. Now if you aren't happy with any of the presets you can manually go into picture section and modify settings like sharpness, brightness, Tint and Color to name some categories. This is great because everyone sees somewhat differently. . With its Android TV interface you can stream your favorites shows or movies from a very larger variety. I will be honest, I didn't use this much because I only stream a small number of sites. These sites were already on the remote! Talk about easy to get your streaming going. . I was trying to put the Hisense H8F on a center stand rather than the 2 feet on the bottom. I have to admit it is tough to put on those 2 vertical bars that rest on the center stand part. It just wasn't working and it looked terrible. Part of the fault goes with center stand and some for how there is bow when connecting the vertical bars. I don't have a huge entertainments TV stand. But I thought I would look at putting on the feet and hoping they would go over the edge of the TV stand. I was shocked and happy to see that Hisense has 4 "feet" applications. There are 2 near the edge of the TV and 2 which can sit closer to the center. I put on the 2 feet closest to the center and it worked like magic. What a thoughtful thing to do. I have had Samsungs, Sony, LG and even Sharp TVs that are more expensive and have better picture quality on TV. While the Hisense didn't quite make the upgrade to those brands, it has made some major strides upward and did upgrade from last year's model. Overall I am incredibly happy with the 4k movies and upscale blurays. And of course I am extremely happy about the very affordable Dolby Vision on this Hisense H8F. The only real thing that disappointed me was watching Cable TV on this Hisense H8F. I played around with all the picture settings and just could never get it right. It is not completely impossible to watch TV, it just is not as nice that it could have been. Overall I am going to give the Hisense H8F a 4-star rating because the H8F adjustments just aren't enough for watching Cable TV. The great, is the tech found on higher priced models now available on the H8F including Dolby Vision.
I would recommend this to a friend