Hisense Expands ULED TV Assortment For 2019
Hisense is using CES 2019 to show new 4K Ultra HD television lines with improved picture quality performance and game playing capability.
For 2019, Hisense will continue to evolve both its 4K Ultra HD LED-LCD TVs including new quantum dot-enhanced models and its Laser TV 4K Short-Throw DLP projectors. In LED-LCD TVs everything in the 2019 model lineup will utilize full-array LED back lighting for more localized control of brightness and black level.
The company also continues to expand upon the AI voice control technology in its television lines, including support for both/either Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, depending on the model series.
For smart TV, Hisense will continue to support models running the Roku TV OS, its own proprietary Vidaa OS or the Android TV OS, depending on the series.
Although some other TV brands are showing their first 8K Ultra HDTV models for market introduction at CES 2019, Hisense executives said they will wait a little longer for more 8K content and market penetration to occur before making large investments in the category. Instead, it is concentrating on upping its game in 4K Ultra HDTV picture and sound quality.
In 2019, top-performing Hisense TVs will incorporate new proprietary “Hi-View chipsets” to drive the company’s ULED engine for better brightness, contrast, detail and motion clarity. This is combined with picture quality Artificial Intelligence (AI) that won’t require viewers “to dig deep into their picture settings to change the picture performance levels just because they’ve changed source material.”
New in core lines of 4K Ultra HD LED-LCD TVs for 2019 will be four series of what Hisense terms ULED capable televisions. These produce high-levels of picture quality including strong clarity, high brightness and HDR support.
On 2019 Hisense ULED televisions, AI will automatically improve the picture quality for the consumer.
The company said it has made significant investments into advancing both the design aesthetic of its TVs for 2019 as well as the technology, while working with content delivery partners to make sure Hisense televisions are delivering the picture quality the producers and consumers demand.
Hisense in 2019 will begin the transition into the new HDMI 2.1 connection standard, offering HDMI 2.0b inputs on products shipped in the first half of the year with support for HLG HDR, and in the second half of the year Hisense will begin adding via firmware updates certain features that are specified for the full HDMI 2.1 spec independent of the wider bandwidth pipe needed for 8K and other data. Still unclear for 2019 is exactly when the full HDMI 2.1 specification will begin to get full traction in the market, the company said.
As for the possibility that threatened tariffs on more Chinese-made products will hit the TV category in 2019, Hisense said its split manufacturing position, both in China and in Mexico, makes it “very well positioned handle what ever comes. I do not see Hisense being hurt by any change in tariff laws, any more so than any of our other competitors.”
Among the new picture quality technologies is ULED-XD. The “XD” stands for extreme detail, and is comprised of “dual-cell” LCDs — a Full HD 1080p LCD and a 4K open-cell module that are painstakingly bonded together to avoid artifacts while achieving higher levels of image brightness and clarity.
Chris Porter, Hisense USA director of product planning said that if ULED-XD were based on typical full-array LED LCD back lighting, “we would be boasting of over 2 million zones.”
This is because Hisense employs special firmware for its processors which performs a critical step called “image splitting” in addition to the image-processing to remove artifacts like moire, halos, blooming and clipping. This system splits the image, down-scaling it for 1080p all in gray scale. This then is used to provide pixel-level dimming and peaking for the full-color image produced by the 4K panel, Porter explained.
In the lamination layer stack, the polarization layer of advanced polarization conversion film (APCF) that sits on top. Behind that sits the color filter with the black matrix layer, and then the 4K open-cell module, and behind that the TFT module to drive it. Next is placed a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive that is used to bond the two LCD panels together very precisely to avoid parallax distortion. Then comes the 1080p LCD panel coated on top with a black matrix layer with no color filter, followed by the Full HD module with the full TFT drive for that module and just before the full-array back light is placed the polarizer without the APCF.
He said the back light used for the process is bright enough to produce over 3,000 nits of peak brightness visible at the front of the stack that includes two dual LCD panels. This produces what Porter called, “the widest dynamic range of any LCD core technology ever shown in the global market.”
Also being shown is “The Hisense Sonic One” design, which the company is calling “the world’s thinnest self-contained LCD TV.” It will feature a 65-inch screen size, and is currently planned to reach the China domestic market in the second half of 2019. Exact marketing plans and timing for the U.S. are to be determined, Hisense said.
The Sonic One Design involves a “bezel-less” TV with an edge-to-edge screen. This makes the LCD itself appear to have no margin or bezel around it, going straight out to an edge border that measures less than 1/8th of an inch wide surrounding the panel, Porter said.
The total panel depth around the edges measures less than 1/4-inch while the depth in the middle of the panel measures 1.1 inches deep. The traditional built-in speaker system is replaced with Piezo-electric drivers placed on the panel to transform it into a stereo speaker system. This is similar to the Acoustic Surface technology Sony uses in its thin-panel 4K OLED TVs.
Hisense said the TV supports Bluetooth wireless technology to supplement the Piezo-electric driver technology with a subwoofer.
New in Hisense Laser TV 4K DLP short-throw projectors is the company’s first dual-color laser model, which recently started shipping. This uses separate Red laser and Blue laser light sources with the Blue laser sent through a phosphor wheel to generate Green. The approach will produce up to more than 95% of the DCI-P3 wide color space recommendation, and will produce approximately 3,300 Lumens of peak brightness, Hisense said.
The TV includes a built-in Amazon Alexa support to enable voice control of both the projector functions and compatible smart home devices.
The built-in smart TV OS will be based on Hisense’s Vidaa software.
Also on display at CES will be the first “4K TriChroma Laser TV” DLP projector with separate Red, Green and Blue lasers that are said to produce “absolutely pure white” and “a wider color gamut than any other consumer home theater product today,” according to Porter.
Hisense said the 100L7T will be “the first product in the consumer age to achieve REC.2100, which is the REC.2020 color space with HDR extension.” This is sufficient to cover about 96% of the color space perceivable by the human eye, Porter said, adding “no other company has done this other than commercial three-laser projection, which you get at your local AMC Theater from projectors” costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Hisense version is to be sold as a bundled system with a 100-inch screen, three-color 4K DLP laser projector and a wireless subwoofer that is expected to be introduced in the China domestic market in the second half of 2019 starting at a street retail price of around $15,000, Porter said. The company speculates that the 100L7T might be ready for the U.S. market around the fourth quarter of 2019, but no firm plans have been established at this time.
By Greg Tarr
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