The 8K TV space is about to become more affordable as the Hisense 8K ULED U80G series in 65, 75, and 85” hits the Aussie market this February. These have Quantum Dot Colour (ULED), Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos Audio and Hisense’s advanced upscaling – all you need for spectacular 8K viewing. The first to arrive is the 75” with an RRP of $6999. We’re waiting on full details of the rest of the 2021 range and will publish an update soon.
Upscaling to 8K
The biggest challenge with 8K is a lack of available content. Until there’s more of it, most of what you see is ‘upscaled’ from 720/1080p broadcasts, FHD or 4K streaming or DVD and UHD Blu-Ray disk.
With this in mind, the quality of 8K upscaling is very important. The Hisense 8K ULED U80G series features advanced upscaling that applies its proprietary AI-powered algorithms to focus on content recognition and recreation, not just simple pixel insertion.
How Hisense upscales to 8K on the U80G series:
8K is 7680 x 4320 pixels = 33,177,600 (4 times 4K and 8 times 1080p)
4K (UHD) is 3840 x 2160 pixels – 8,294,400 (4 times 1080p)
1080p (FHD) is 1920 x 1080 pixels – 2,073,600 (2.25 times 720p)
720p (HD) is 1280 x 720 pixels – 921,600
The simplest way to upscale to 8K is to wrap 4, 8, 16, or 36 similar pixels around the original. But that can lead to jagged edges and blurry images. It also softens the dynamic range of the image (details and subtle tones), accentuates compression artifacts, and add picture noise. It does not add any further detail to the original content. As Bilbo tells Gandalf in the Lord of Rings, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” That is what low-cost TVs do.
The next simplest way is known as bicubic interpolation. For example, it looks at the single pixel and its neighbours to pick up some tone differences. That is better upscaling, but it is still a simple pixel addition. This is what mid-priced TVs do.
Hisense uses machine learning to analyse millions upon millions of TV images. It also understands how videographers, TV and movie producers look at images. The result is its powerful onboard TV processor that has AI recognition of objects, types of objects (lines, edges etc.), bokeh, contrast and ‘subtleties’. It then selectively adds the same or different pixels or even similar ‘content’ to recreate the ‘vibe’ – how something is supposed to look. But it goes one step further in multi-stage upscale. All of this happens instantaneously in each frame it displays – 24-60 per second.
You can safely assume that Hisense’s 2021 AI is up there with the best. And as its software-based, Hisense can update it as it refines the process even further.
Back to the Hisense 8K ULED U80G
The U80G is both 8KA and 8K Ultra HD Certified by the Consumer Technology Association. In essence, this means it meets or exceeds the image quality, brightness, and processing power to display native 8K content at ‘hyper-realistic’ levels.
Because of this realism, you can sit closer to the screen or use a bigger screen to replace the 1080p or 4K screen you have now.
65/75/85 or larger TVs are big. Hisense includes a desktop stand, or it can be wall-mounted. It has virtually no top and side bezels, and the bottom bar houses front-firing speakers. The anti-glare glass screen is best for high ambient light areas.
Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos
Dolby Vision HDR is the peak standard for viewing Dolby Vision content like blockbuster movies. The U80G analyses the ‘metadata’ on a frame-by-frame basis to reproduce what the moviemaker sees. It covers the full gamut of colours, brightness, detail in shadows and light (high dynamic resolution) and dictates that the screen can sustain peak brightness standards.
It also helps to bring out the best when you are watching non-Dolby Vision HDR content.
Dolby Atmos means the Atmos soundtrack has 3D spatial height elements embedded in the metadata. You can hear sound from overhead and around you. The U80G can decode those signals and downmix to the TV speakers. Or it can pass the signal through HDMI 2.1 and eARC to a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 (or higher) soundbar.
When the content has standard PCM 2.0 stereo, Dolby Digital or DTS sound, it downmixes to achieve the best sound from its in-built speakers.
Hi-View Pro processor and Full Array Local Dimming Pro
The new Hi-View Engine Pro 8K processor has the power to manage Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) Pro. This means the backlight includes a full array of LEDs to provide the brightest image. It has a 200 smooth motion refresh rate (reduces motion tearing), various modes (Sports, movie and more) and suits Aussie living rooms with high ambient light levels.
Engage Game Mode Pro, and theU80G becomes a big-screen gaming monitor.
Hisense has adopted AMD Freesync and variable refresh rate (VRR matches the screen refresh to the game up to 120Hz). It has Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM automatically matches HDMI modes to the game console or PC to reduce latency) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT increases display responsiveness to minimise any lag).
eARC and HDMI 2.1 also play a part with the latest Sony Play Station and Xbox compatibility.
The Hisense 8K ULED U80G uses Android TV OS instead of its VIDAA U5 found on its 4K series. The simple reason is that Hisense 2021 models now share the same global model numbers and feature sets. Its main market for this is the US where Android TV is well accepted.
Hisense brings CES 2021 products to you – virtually
Hisense has updated its Home AR app to show you how its CES 2021 products might look in your home. The new and feature improved Hisense AR app (augmented reality) dated 5 January 2021 enables you to take a smartphone (Android or iOS) photo of where the TV or other Hisense products (soundbar, fridges, washing machines etc) would go in your home.
It features some intelligent product finding functionality, which lets you measure your space and recommend the best fitting item. Or in the case of TV, specify your viewing distance and preferences such as watching sport, streaming movies or smart home integration.
You can read other GadgetGuy Hisense news and reviews here.
To keep across the latest CES 2021 news from Hisense Australia, visit here.