Hisense introduced Monday its R8F 4K Ultra HD/HDR LED-LCD TV series featuring a built-in Roku TV platform for easy to use video streaming.

Hisense said the R8F series will be the first Roku TVs to incorporate the China-based TV makers’ 2019 4K UHD premium “ULED” performance feature package. ULED circuitry boosts brightness, color, contrast and motion.

For the past several years Hisense 8 Series TV models have been among the best 4K Ultra HD values in the industry, and the 2019 Hisense R8F units continue that status.

The 2019 series includes two models — 55- ($499.99 suggested retail price) and 65-inch ($699.95 suggested retail) screen sizes. Both will begin to ship from Amazon and Walmart.com in mid-December, the company said.

Jim Ninesling, Hisense USA head of product marketing, pointed to NPD sell-through data from October 2018 through September 2019 showing Hisense has been “the fastest growing TV brand among the top six brands in the U.S. in both units and dollars for the past 12 months combined ending September 2019.”

Further, Hisense has enjoyed 102% unit share growth year-over-year as of October 2019, which is 2.4 times the growth rate of the nearest competitor, the company said.

“We’ve done a lot of things right,” Ninesling said. “We have really been elevating the Hisense brand, we are participating in price points now that we didn’t a year ago, and we are leveraging our ULED technology, which is a suite of features that are aligned with what consumers view as the most important parameters for picture quality. But the most important part of ULED is that all of these features are processed by the Hisense Hi-View chipset. There are only about three other manufacturers out there that use proprietary chipsets as opposed to buying them off the shelf from an OEM supplier. So we are proud to be able to control all the video and audio processing that goes on inside our Hisense ULED TVs, and the R8F is the highest performing Roku set that is in our ULED product line. “

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The R8F 4K Hisense Roku TVs are expected to continue that pace by offering full array LED backlighting with 60 local dimming zones (65 inch model) and 56 dimming zones (55 inch model). According Hisense, the sets will achieve premium level wide color gamut coverage of 94% of DCI-P3.

The series employs the latest version of the Roku OS providing access to more than 500,000 movies and TV episodes via thousands of free or paid channel apps. This includes all of the most popular services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, Hulu, Vudu, The Roku Channel and others.

Viewers will be able to leverage Roku’s voice-controlled search function using the Roku smart phone app, which also supports Roku’s private listening feature. In addition, by connecting with Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers and other devices incorporating supporting far-field microphones, the system will also be able to leverage control from Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant voice control platforms.

The included Roku remote provides one-click-access to free entertainment, including high-quality movies, shows and in-season network content from channels across the Roku platform.

Other features include high dynamic range with support for the HDR10, HLG and premium Dolby Vision HDR profiles. The company’s proprietary Hi-View 4K HDR processor is said to drive the optimization of picture and sound in real-time. The set employs AI-powered upscaling to present lower-resolution content in near 4K/HDR picture quality, the company said. Both R8F models have peak brightness levels that surpass 700 nits.

Both models also employ a special filter that significantly widens the viewing angle, the company said. In addition, the televisions offer a wide contrast ratio of 6,850:1, the company said.

For advanced gamers, the Roku R8F series televisions have ultra-low lag times down to 15ms for superior game play, the company said.

For advanced sound, the Hisense R8F Roku TVs will be the company’s first to incorporate built-in Dolby Atmos object-based audio decoding. In the R8F models, Dolby Atmos will help the TVs’ built-in down-firing speakers provide an expanded sound stage with immersive aural surround effects that seem to come at the listener from all directions — even over head.

The televisions have native 60 Hz refresh rate LCD panels, but the company said both units employ 240 Motion Estimation Motion Compensation (MEMC) circuitry that provides smooth motion images for sports and live video viewing. The system can be turned off for movie viewing.

By Greg Tarr

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