Hisense Prepares To Launch Dual-Laser 4K ‘Laser TV’
Hisense traveled to CEDIA Expo last week to take the wraps off its new dual-laser ultra short throw 4K projector and 2018 H9E series 4K Ultra HD flat-panel LCD TVs for the custom market.
Although the company is steadily growing its share of the mainstream consumer electronics retail business and now has extensive programs with Best Buy, among others, it used the custom electronics showcase to underscore that it is also offering direct sales support to custom integrators through a nationwide rep force.
The major Chinese TV maker is pushing 4K DLP-based ultra-short throw laser projectors, which it calls “Laser TV”, as a value-priced solution for very large screen sizes in the home.
All of the company’s new Laser TV models feature Texas Instruments DLP 4K display chips, with Adaptive Light Control to keep the display at the perfect brightness for changing room-lighting conditions. They also include built-in, button-activated, Amazon Alexa voice control integration, without using always-on far-field mics that drive some privacy conscious users buggy.
Laser TV is the company’s trade name for its line of ultra-short throw DLP-based projectors equipped with a bright and long-lasting laser light engine, and ship with a specially developed light-rejecting screen, mounting bracket, and built-in Harman Kardon sound system, including a separate outboard wireless subwoofer.
The Laser TVs also have a built-in smart TV platform, with Hisense-developed smart TV platform supporting a wide range of apps, including Amazon, Vudu, Netflix and others.
Seeing as it was a custom-electronics show, the highlight of the booth was a new 4K DLP dual laser equipped Hisense “Laser TV”, with a bundled 120-inch screen in the new L10E series. It also showed a step-down 88-inch 88L8E, which will be available with a smaller screen size and a new aggressively low price compared to the prior 100-inch $9,999.99 version.
Hisense said the dual-laser L10E uses variable all-glass optics that enables a screen size from 100 to 150 inches (diagonal). The company opted to bundle the projector with a 120-inch 0.6 gain screen for optimal results. However, Hisense said it might opt to unbundle the projector for dealers looking to put in larger home theater screens.
The L10E Laser TV uses both a dedicated red laser that goes directly into the optics and a blue laser that is split between a direct path to the optics and a path through a phosphor color wheel to generate green. This enables a wide color gamut surpassing 95% of the DCI-P3 color space recommendation for professional cinemas, Hisense said. Brightness is listed at 3,000 lumens.
For audio, the L10E model steps up from four drivers in the prior Harman Kardon-enhanced models, to 14 drivers, for even more immersive big-screen experience.
Meanwhile, like the currently available 100-inch L8 version, the 88L8E model will have BT.709 color gamut coverage that uses a single phosphor wheel and blue laser light engine for color generation and HDR10 high dynamic range support.
The 88L8E has a fixed focus at 88-inches so it cannot be adapted for larger or smaller screen sizes and emits 1875 lumens of peak brightness. The included screen has a 0.9:1 gain, compared to the 100-inch that has a 0.6 gain screen. That means, there will be less loss of contrast and brightness in the smaller version.
Hisense’s product management director Chris Porter said the price of the 88-inch L8E will give the company a high value alternative to pricey 80-inch and larger flat-panel LED-LCD TVs, while providing a picture with a wider viewing angle.
The 120-inch L10E will be available in October at a $12,999.99 suggested retail price, while the new 88-inch L8E will ship in December at $3,800, Hisense said.
In flat-panel sets, Hisense used CEDIA to showcase its now-shipping H9E Plus ULED 4K Smart TV series, which is equipped with the latest (Oreo) version of the Android TV platform and includes built-in Google Assistant voice-powered AI functionality.
The H9E Series includes two screen sizes: the 55-inch 55H9E ($699.99 suggested retail) and the 65-inch ($1,199.99).
In addition to executing basic commands of the H9E, Google Assistant allows users to conveniently perform a host of other tasks from answering questions with answers retrieved instantly from the Internet, to control a wide range or compatible smart devices and appliances, including Google’s Nest line of devices.
The Android platform also brings support for a wide range of the most popular streaming service apps including Google Play Movies, YouTube and more than 3,000 others from the Google Play store. However, at this time the Hisense set is not equipped with a specially developed app to enable the model to use Amazon Prime video streaming.
The H9E Plus is one of Hisense’s ULED 4K Smart TVs, meaning it has a package of picture processing and quality enhancement features, including “Local Dimming” for greater black level control. Others include a 120Hz native refresh rate (and Motion Rate 240 smoothing enhancement), and support for high dynamic range (HDR), including the Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10 profiles. Hisense said the set will also support “a Wide Color Gamut,” and 30-Watt dbx-TV onboard sound system developed in collaboration with Harman/Kardon.
Hisense calls the slim industrial design of the H9E Plus “bezeless,” and the thin panel screen is sleek and cleanly styled.
Other features include: 4K media player, 4K upscaling, Bluetooth audio out.
By Greg Tarr
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