This bigscreen Hisense TV features premium Dolby Vision HDR, but still retains that good-value vibe, says Steve May. Read our HISENSE H65U8B Review.
THE H65U8B IS probably Hisense’s most convincing attempt yet to muscle into the highly competitive mid-range TV arena.
A good-looking 65-inch flagship, it has a tempting feature set, and is well worth shortlisting. Here’s why…
Build quality is polished and substantial. The edge-lit (ELED in Hisense speak)
U8B weighs in at 26.8kg, yet looks slick with its silver grey bezel. It sits on a wide V-shaped pedestal, which means you’ll probably need a fairly wide AV rack if you’re not wall-mounting.
Connectivity includes four 4K-enabled HDMI inputs (one with ARC support), two USB ports, a digital optical audio output, 3.5mm analogue audio jack and composite
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AV input. There’s Ethernet if you don’t want to use Wi-Fi, plus a choice of tuners, Freeview Play or satellite.
As is increasingly common, the H65U8B comes with two remote controls. Let’s call them Sid and Eddie. Both find room for dedicated buttons for
65in 4K HDR LCD TV with Dolby Vision
POSITION: Top of the Hisense LCD tree, ahead of the U7B
PEERS: Panasonic TX-65GX800; LG 65UM7450
RakutenTV, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Freeview Play.
Usability is great. Smart connectivity is provided by Hisense’s proprietary Vidaa U 3.0 OS, which I’m reliably informed is named after Iron Butterfly’s prog masterpiece In-A-Gadda- Da-Vida. It’s clean, functional and zippy (Hisense claims it’s now 50 per cent faster in use than the previous generation), with a horizontal bar to dispense all the OTT apps you’ll need.
Naturally, as it’s part of the Freeview Play club, you also get all the main catch-up services, plus UKTV Play, CBS Catchup and Horror Bites. The U8B will also play content from connected NAS and media servers.
Visually, the U8B is all about impact.
Its picture presets are characterised by rich hues, courtesy of its wide colour gamut panel, and snappy contrast, changing appropriately for HDR. In addition to regular HDR10 and HLG, this flatscreen is also compatible with Dolby Vision.
In Hisense’s Standard preset, brightness, contrast and colour saturation are kept on a loose leash. It has an unabashed vibrancy that makes it a go-to showcase, but some might find it over-worked; it even manages to make the deep ocean and shadowed confines of
3D: No 4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG; Dolby Vision TUNER: Yes. Freeview Play; satellite CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs; digital optical audio output; 3.5mm analogue audio jack; composite AV; Ethernet; 2 x USB SOUND (CLAIMED): 2 x 15W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): N/A CONTRAST RATIO (CLAIMED): N/A DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,449(w) x 842(h) x 54(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 26.8kg
FEATURES: Wi-Fi; USB multimedia playback; Smooth Motion Rate 200; VIDAA U 3.0 smart portal; Dolby Atmos; HDMI 2.0
The U8B is also available at 55in for around £
Gerard Butler’s submarine thriller Hunter Killer (Blu-ray) look garish. Similarly, the Sports mode is particularly livid, with exaggerated blues and greens. If this predilection seems over-boiled, there’s always the neutered Cinema Day/Night options.
The U8B offers a solid mid-range performance when it comes to peak panel brightness. I measured HDR highs at 470 nits, using a standard 10 per cent HDR test window in Dynamic mode (it rates slightly less in Standard mode). That’s enough to put a believable sparkle into any Transformers collection.
There are caveats about black level performance, though. The screen suffers halos and blooming issues when bright highlights are presented against a black background, a consequence of its relatively unsophisticated local dimming algorithm.
The blackness of letterbox bars is often compromised by bright highlights from within the movie image frame. This also means there’s a limit to just how much shadow detail is preserved onscreen.
Sonically, the H65U8B is fine for casual viewing. The TV’s Dolby Atmos compatibility is welcome, but don’t expect anything immersive from its 2 x 15W stereo array.
Fun to watch
Dolby Vision support, appreciable HDR brightness and wide colour gamut delivery make this a fun screen to watch.
Drill down and the H65U8B lacks the refinement that AV enthusiasts might seek, but when it comes to value for money and sheer visual bravado, it’s a hard proposition to argue with
This well specified 65-incher could be your first Hisense Tv. Dolby Vision and wide colour make it a crowd-pleaser.
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