Hisense is using CES 2020 for the U.S. launch of its Dual Cell 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV technology while celebrating the achievement of its market share growth into a top five contender for North American television sales.

Jim Ninesling, head of U.S. AV product marketing, said that last year Hisense more than doubled its market share in 2019 and is looking to double it again in 2020.

To get there, the company is introducing expanded lines of innovative and higher performing flat-panel TVs and Ultra Short Throw video projectors. Among products planned for this year are 2020 versions of the Ultra Short Throw (UST) laser-based DLP projection system (model L5); and the following flat-panel TV series: XD9G; H9G Quantum; H8G Quantum; H65G; H55G; R8F; R7; R6; and the H4.

New “ULED” designated H8 and H9 4K LED LCD TVs for 2020 are being positioned in picture and sound performance and price points to significantly help the company achieve the targeted goals, Ninesling said.

He added that the company will continue to put quality at the forefront of its product focus this year, and going forward it plans to elevate that by hiring a highly skilled product development team for the United States. Ninesling said Hisense believes “it is critical” to its goals to have development teams here “who understand this market, the needs of the U.S. consumer and what Hisenses’ competitors are doing.”

Hisense’s strategic plan calls for investing 5% of its annual revenue on R&D. In addition, benchmark testing is now routinely conducted on finished goods to ensure they are performing up to a level that is better than or at least equal to what competitors are selling at similar price points, according to Ninesling.

Among the highlights of Hisense’s new product innovations on display at CES 2020 will be 8K and 4K versions of the company’s “ULED XD” display (dual cell) LED LCD TVs featuring new industrial designs. Hisense’s ULED XD technology, which was shown as a technology statement last year, is intended to yield higher-performing LCD-based TVs that can deliver near-OLED black level, wide color gamuts, high brightness and wide viewing angles. ULED XD is said to fix the problem inherent in LCDs of light-bleeding by adding a second monochrome LCD layer to the main color LCD layer to more precisely control light output.

The monochrome LCD layer blocks the back light in darker areas of the image before transmitting through to the pixels in the color layer resulting in darker and more accurate black and grays. This is said to act as a pixel-by-pixel light filter offering more precise control of brightness at the pixel level than than zone-based full array back light dimming systems found in most other premium LED LCD TVs.

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Key for the year will be advancing Hisense’s “ULED” product lines, Ninesling said. Hisense LED-LCD TVs with the ULED designation continue to be powered by the company’s latest proprietary “Hi-View chipsets” and ULED picture engine, full array with local dimming LED backlighting and this year the ULED definition has been expanded to also include use of quantum dot color enhancment film; 700 nits of peak brightness or higher and on-board Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound decoding. These models will all have the computational power and algorithms necessary to drive better brightness, contrast, detail and motion clarity. This is combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) adjusted picture processing designed to eliminate the need for users “to dig deep into their picture settings to change the picture performance levels just because they’ve changed source material.”

As well, every 4K ULED and Premium 4K ULED product for 2020 will support both HDR10 high dynamic range and hybrid log-gamma (HLG) high dynamic range (HDR).

Premium Hisense 4K ULED TVs this year include the H9G series and the aforementioned ULED XD9G series. In addition to greater 4K ULED package the Premium 4K ULED models this year all include a higher level Hi-View Pro processing chipset, a minimum peak brightness level of 1,000 nits, 120 Hz native refresh rate panels and the Android TV platform.

The launch of flagship 65-inch ULED XD9G “dual cell” LED LCD TV is now targeted at the third quarter of 2020 for U.S. market arrival. It will include full array LED backlighting with 132 local dimming zones, quantum dot color enhancement, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, the Android TV platform, a near-bezel-less-design, built-in far-field microphones for hands-free voice control. Hisense said the suggested retail pricing for the ULED XD9G models will be set with respect to where OLED prices are later in 2020. The company is promising that the XD9G will be “hundreds of dollars less” than prices of comparably sized OLED TVs, even after the expected price erosion resulting from the expansion of OLED panel production.

The H9G series is based on single cell 4K LED LCD TV technology with Premium ULED feature package including 132 local dimming zones for the 55-inch model and 180 zones for the 65-inch. The 55-ing will carry a $699.99 suggested retail price and 65-inch will run $999.99. Both are slated to arrive in April.

The regular 4K ULED feature package is offered for the first time this year in the H8G series. For the first time, the H8 series gets an upgrade to quatum dot color enhancement film technology and inclusion of built-in Dolby Atmos object-based audio decoding. The series uses native 60 Hz refresh rate panels, has up to 700 nits peak brightness, better than 93% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and supports Dolby Vision HDR as well as HDR10 and HLG. For smart TV streaming, the series uses the Android TV OS and voice-control remote. The series will include the 50- ($399.99), 55- ($499.99), 65- ($699.99) and 75-inch ($1,399.99) screen sizes and is slated for arrival in March.

Hisense will continue to offer a tier of Roku TV products including the previously reported R8F series which is the first ULED Roku TV introduced into the market. The series, including the 55- ($499) and 65-inch ($699) screen sizes, just started shipping and will continue to be available into the first part of 2020.

The Hisense R7 4K Ultra HD Roku TV series, which ships in the third quarter, also gets an upgrade this year to 93% DCI-P3 wide color gamut support and voice-control remote. It will include an ART mode with artistic photography and screen shots that purchasers can view when the TV isn’t being used to watch television programs. Screen sizes will include: 43- ($249.99), 50- ($299.99), 55- ($349.99), and 65-inches ($499.99).

Hisense will also offer an R6G 4K Ultra HD Roku TV series, which will start to ship in March. Screen sizes will include: 43-, 50-, 58-, 65- and 75-inches.

In other series, Hisense will offer the H55G and H65G series, which are both part of the expanded lineup of Android TV-based smart TV models for 2020 including voice-control-enable remotes, support for Google Assistant and Alexa, and MEMC motion handling. The company said this year Hisense said it expects to have the largest offering of Android TV based options on the market.

The H65G series are 4K Ultra HD models with screen sizes ranging from 43- up to 85-inches. All will feature Motion Estimation Motion Compensation (MEMC) motion smoothing technology, and Bluetooth audio connections.

Beyond flat-panel TVs, Hisense is aggressively pushing its decade-long expertise in laser-based video projection systems, including the unveiling of the Hisense L5 Ultra Short Throw (UHT) laser-light-engine based DLP video projector.

The Hisense H55G series is a Full HD 1080 (2K) TV series designed for smaller rooms. Screen sizes will range for 32- to 43-inches with suggested retail prices ranging for $139.99 to $229.99. Models will begin shipping in the third quarter of 2020.

The Hisense H4 budget TV Series is another Full HD 1080 TV series, which is planned to ship in August 2020. Screen sizes include: 32- ($115), 40- ($178), and 43-inches ($196).

The single-laser-based L5 will produce a 100-inch screen size (it comes bundled with ambient light rejection screen that is optimized for Short Throw projection) with high brightness, better color depth, an stronger image clarity “than any long-throw” projector, the company said. The product, which offers 2,600 nits of peak brightness, features an exclusive calibration app to simplify setup. It is also one of the first projectors with the Android TV platform built-in to access streaming apps.

Hisense believes that ultra short throw laser technology will bring very large screen sizes to virtually any sized room in a home or office at a significant savings compared to comparably sized large-screen LCD and OLED televisions.

The Hisense L5 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector system will arrive in stores in April at a $5,999 suggested retail price. The company points out that the 100-inch screen (a $2,000 value) is included in the price.

By Greg Tarr

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