2017 is really the year of 4K televisions and if you’re in the market for a TV upgrade this year you are unlikely moving from a big ol’ CRT television. Most of us are looking to upgrade an old Plasma TV or early model LCD television that is perhaps near the 8 to 10 year mark. Those televisions had maybe one HDMI input, were perhaps full high-definition and likely still produce a decent picture today. The next step is 4K and smart televisions, and they’re finally affordable.
It is better to pretend we didn’t all pay huge amounts of money for a 42inch plasma television nearly 10 years ago, it’ll make your eyes water. The cost of a new TV today is a fraction of what we paid for a TV years ago, and they’ve even gotten bigger.
The model we’re looking at today is from a brand that only established themselves in Australia in 2006. Hisense came into Australia being known for low end televisions that provided most of what you needed. Today their new range of Series 7 ULED televisions is a strong fighter in the royal rumble of the market. We’ve been using a 55inch version, now perhaps considered small in the 4K TV domain, which has fit into our gaming room perfectly.
The Hisense Series 7 ULED range boasts some features that ram the U into ULED. “Ultra Colour”, “Ultra Motion” and obviously “Ultra High-Definition” is spread around the box of the TV. The Ultra High Definition phrase is the same as saying 4K and this is something we were excited to test. This TV was replacing the 50 inch Panasonic plasma TV that warms this particular room and is mostly used for gaming, Netflix and Stan.
We recently covered the use of 4K in the real world and this is something that heavily applied here. The TV has a smart TV menu with access to apps. This is fantastic when so many devices we connected to the TV didn’t support 4K. The apps included Netflix and YouTube which is abundant with 4K content. Within minutes we had the TV showing off with beautiful 4K timelapses from YouTube or Chefs Table from Netflix. We were instantly amazed. The thing you realise quickly is that we aren’t in a store looking at this TV next to an OLED LG television. The quality of this display won’t compare to OLED, nor will it on price, but in a room where the Hisense stands alone, it certainly is impressive. The colours are rich and produce great depth, motion blur is not noticeable and we’re sitting on our bean bags with big smiles.
For those upgrading, you’ll notice that a 55inch TV fits in the same space as your old 50inch thanks to thinner bezels around the TV. You’ll notice a heap of HDMI inputs, four on this model, three USB ports, a LAN connection and Wi-Fi for connectivity. The TV remote even has a dedicated button for Netflix to make that switch very simple. Speaking of Netflix, while 4K and HDR content will come to life on this TV, Stan does not support this TV for 4K content at the time of writing. Some of the larger brand TV’s have more support and more apps available to you and this is likely where some of the price gap can be explained. The Hisense smart TV interface is not amazing compared to others however it does the job. If you look at a Samsung, Sony or LG interface you’ll instantly see what we mean but truth be told, the menu is important until you start watching something. We personally spend more time watching content than looking at the menu!
Audio from the Hisense Series 7 was not disappointing but unsurprisingly not mind blowing either. A television this thin is unlikely to accomodate great speakers, we highly suggest a soundbar at the time of purchase. For $300 you will find plenty of options that will take this TV to the next level. Why have a great picture if the audio experience doesn’t match?
The RRP for this television is $2499 however we have seen it for less than $1700 easily. Below $2000, this is a fantastic bang for your buck television. Considering many of the big brands are close to double the price for the same size you have to wonder whether you will care about the brand once you’re watching beautiful content with money in your pocket still. Last year this model from Hisense won the EFTM Best TV award, it is entering that competition again with this great improvement. Take a look at this when shopping around and remember, you’re only taking one TV home so be smart about it.
We’ll review the Series 8 and 9 TVs soon!