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    Thread: Hisense 55U7A review, 55" 4K HDR 120Hz for 84K, is it worth it?

    1. #1
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      Thumbs up Hisense 55U7A review, 55" 4K HDR 120Hz for 84K, is it worth it?

      I have an old Sony 46CX520 & a new Samsung 55Q7FN but wanted a cheaper 50-55" for upstairs Living room, I was looking at TCL 49C6 (MSRP 105,000), Samsung 49NU7100 (112,000), Sony 49X7000F (105,000) and Hisense 55U7A (115,000) but then this TV was on sale for Rs.84,000 on Big Friday by Daraz & Hisense, so it was cheaper, bigger and better in some specs on paper, so I bought it. I ordered it on 23-11-18 (Friday night) and received on 27-11-18 (Tuesday morning), so received by TCS on 2nd business day which is pretty good. Wall mount comes included and is of good quality and is sturdy but has slim designed so that the thin TV does not stick too much out of the wall. Unboxing the TV was a good experience, TV was packed pretty well. Once I was installing the legs (table stand) for the TV, the included screws did not fit, so I called the service centre number from the warranty card. Turns out, screws in my box were of smaller model, so the Service guy delivered the packet of correct screws to my house the same day, that kind of service was very re-assuring to me, since this was the first product I bought from Hisense. So I setup my TV, tested everything and in short version, I'm very happy with my purchase, longer version read below;

      First of all, there are a lot of specs that are not on Hisense's Pak website or Daraz's page, so let me clarify few things; This 55" LED Tv has max resolution of 4096x2304 at 60hz. What is this resolution? Well, 4096x2160 is the size of real DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) 4K. The odd 2304 height is the result of using the true 4K width and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This resolution is selected so that 4K video can be shown at its native resolution. This is also why the new screens use a DCI-P3 color gamut: to conform to DCI's 4K standards. This Tv also has 3840x2160 (also called 4K or 2160p) at 60Hz and it can also run on 1920x1080 (also called Full HD or 1080p) at 120hz (more on that below), these are true refresh rates. Of course you can run multiple resolutions and refresh rates including 24hz for movies. Read the AVForums review of this TV for their professional opinion, only thing different from UK/EU model to this Pakistani model is that it does not have Bluetooth and hence the firmware is different, also the legs/table stand is different. This TV is being assembled in Pakistan and this version is sold in Australia, India and rest of Asia. The firmware that comes shipped is of April, 2018 and TV reports that no new updates available, however, for UK/EU models there have been several firmware updates after that, which Hisense Pakistan & Tri-Angels need to improve.

      It has 2 speakers in the back, not 4 speakers like the picture on Daraz, might be of 65” model but sound is VERY good, normally I keep it to 5 to 20 (max is 100), dialogues are very clear compared to my Sony. At full voulme, the sound doesn't deteriorate. It has ARC on one HDMI, also has a standard 3.5 mm headphone out. You can keep your headphone connected always and just adjust the TV volume or Headphone volume through the settings, which I found to be very convenient. Its a VA panel, so viewing from off centre degrades colours, as with all VA panels. As you go away from centre the colours start to fade a little and blacks turn to dark grey, but it's not bad.

      It does not have a True 10-bit panel, but it can display 10-bit colours via it's 8 bit panel with FRC, same in TCL C6. It has DCI-P3 compliance, over 1 billion colours, Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) & HDR10. It does not have Dolby Vision or HDR10+ support though. It is neither a Full Array Local Dimming panel nor does it have Direct Backlight, as expected at this price range you won't get FALD from any brand. But it has 1056 Local Dimming Zones (1056 in 65", lesser in 55", for comparison TCL C6 has 200, further explained in Post#21) via it's Elite Backlight which uses Edge lighting & Backlighting to control local dimming. It works very well. I tested the TV screen with multiple images of White, Black, Grey and test patterns from Internet but did not observe any lighting problems like blooming, edge bleeding, black/grey non-uniformity, dirty screen on white image or any other issues. I was very surprised by the level of quality, frankly I was expecting lots of issue that's why I kept testing but couldn't find any.

      The picture quality is good, panels is very bright yet has good black levels, the local dimming works well, colours are little bit over to make them pop, but I found good calibration setting (Rec.709) (BT2020) from AVForums (my current settings are at the end of review). There are a LOT of controls to calibrate your TV, its has 20-point calibration in advanced settings. But remember that each panel has to be calibrated individually, so someone's calibration setting might not be accurate on your TV. Overall it is great in SDR, however, in HDR, the Peak brightness is at 250-280 nits, it is not bad by any means but not as bright as my Q7, still, I found that this TV performs better in HDR when curtains are closed. Even with the room lights full on, the HDR is good, but with sunlight in the room, the HDR is dark. I liked this TV so much that I have it downstairs in my living room and connected to my HTPC. About 120Hz, this TV does not have 1080p120hz in it's supported resolutions, but I found out from AVForums post that you have to make custom resolution for 1080p120 hz in your graphic card software, so I made one in my Nvidia control panel and now it runs on 1080p120hz perfectly, games run smooth at 120FPS with no noticeable input lag. I keep the resolution to 4K60hz normally coz of movies & YouTube. Only issue is that you have to manually switch to custom resolution before running any game, because the games only show native resolutions in their graphic settings, custom resolutions don't show up there. First boot of the TV takes 10 seconds, from standby it’s just 2 seconds.

      TV Hardware & Software seemed sufficient because Netflix & Youtube app run at 4K60hz very smooth. In YouTube app running 4K HDR 60 FPS videos, there are no frame drops, same in Netflix. This TV runs on Hisense’s own Android software VIDDA TV OS and their own app store named VEWD, so there is NO Google Play Store, and the apps on VEWD are very limited and it does not have PTCL’s Smart TV App, which I really wanted. UK models come with BBC’s iPlayer, so selling this in Pakistan without PTCL’s Smart TV app pre-loaded doesn’t make sense. Also, it does not have FreeviewPlay or Amazon Video as shown on their website, only in UK models. It supports Multicast Android & iOS, but don't expect Apple AirPlay because Apple AirPlay only works among apple's own devices. Screen mirroring on iOS devices works via third party iOS apps that have Multicast feature.

      It's very bright in SDR and bright “enough” in HDR, for it's price, but comparing it to my Samsung Q7FN, it's not as bright as QLED, but at less than 1/3rd the price, the difference in brightness is not 1/3rd but more like 10-20%. Also, Q7FN has 120hz till 1440p while this one can only do 120hz till 1080p, plus Q7FN has FreeSync/VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) which helps if you have an AMD graphic card.

      There are 4 HDMI inputs, 2 are 4K60Hz (One with ARC Audio Return Channel) and 2 are 4K30Hz. You will need an HDMI 2.0b cable with 18Gbps (≤3 meters) to run at 4K 60hz with HDR data, while HDMI 2.0 Format set to Enhanced in settings. The 2 HDMI Inputs that are 4K30hz can be used for 1080p60hz also. There is 1 Optical Out, you can bypass audio to your AV Receiver with a TOSLINK cable or you can use an HDMI cable from ARC. Also has a ANT IN for cable and an RJ45 for wired LAN. Max Power Consumption is 180 Watts on the back side, however, it depends on the scene & brightness setting, at Dynamic with full white image, it was pulling 120Watts from the wall, measured by energy meter. Remote has all the buttons that are needed, using YouTube App via the TV Remote was a breeze, I have a Roku TV as well, so compared to that it was good. The menu shortcuts of Picture & Sounds settings help a lot, there is even a self diagnosis feature that generates picture & sound patterns etc.

      I use 1080p 120Hz for games coz higher frame rate makes much better gaming experience than higher resolution and low frames.


      Normally my HTPC is set to 4K 60Hz HDR on RGB 8-bit settings



      For Movies I have set my players to 4K 24Hz HDR on RGB 12-bit settings


      YouTube 4K 60FPS HDR videos run on 4096x2304p 60Hz on 10-bit settings


      If you are wondering why running HDR on RGB instead of YCbCr 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 or 4:2:0, its because RGB is superior to YCbCr, contains more data, for example RGB 8-bit contains twice as much data as YCbCr 4:4:4 10-bit. Best option would be to run 4K 60hz HDR on RGB 10-bit but that requires 22 Gbps. While HDMI 2.0b can only do 18 Gbps till HDMI 2.1 is released (you will need TV that has HDMI 2.1 port). But at 24Hz (4K24Hz HDR), HDMI 2.0b can support RGB 12-bit.

      Overall I'm very happy with the TV, at this price it's an unbeatable value and far better than other TVs around this price range or much higher. It looks slim, beautiful and high end, picture quality is great, it's the ONLY 120hz TV in this price range, which is great for PC/Console gaming. I would highly recommend that you take a look at this TV if you are in the market for buying a new TV. However, there is still room for improvement and I would like Hisense Pakistan (Tri-Angels) to release Firmware updates alongside UK/EU models, include PTCL’s Smart TV App and include 1080p120hz in firmware as native resolution.


      ---Update----
      I called Hisense's UAN number 021-111824111 to complain about PTCL's Smart TV App not being available on their App Store and told them about my other gripes as well, the FW updates and 120hz issue. I received 3 callbacks, each time a more senior person on the phone trying to understand what I had to say. I must say, I was impressed how fast the level was raised, their responsiveness and their attitude to listen & resolve. They all promised to raise this at company level to resolve these and they'll update me, lets see.

      ---Update 21-12-18----
      This morning my TV had a vertical line of DEAD PIXELs on the right side

      Its 20th day since delivery, not a good sign of quality but I guess malfunctions happen in every brand. Big question is, how they handle this, would definitely not want my new TV sent for repair on 20th day, I would prefer a replacement. Lets see.

      ---Update 21-12-18----
      The strangest thing happened, when I came back after Juma and switched on my TV, the line was gone. When the service guy came in, I showed him the pics. I told him that although the line has gone but it may come back and I want it fixed. Surprisingly he said they are going to get my TV picked up tomorrow and replace it with a new one. I asked him if it will be a repaired one or a new one and he said that this fault is not repairable so they'll replace my TV with a new one. Till now my experience with their customer service is good, I called in the morning, the guy showed up in afternoon, checked everything, was well behaved, took pics of TV & warranty card and promised a solution. I have had bad experiences about customer services in Pakistan in general, and this one, despite a good start, isn't over yet, lets see.

      ---Update 02-01-19----
      It has been 10 days since the vertical line appeared for an hour or so and then went went away after a power cycle, I have been using this TV extensively and it has not replicated again, everything is working ok. Hisense says since at present there is no fault with the TV, so they cannot replace it. If they replace it with new one and send this TV back and factory cannot replicate the fault or reason why it was replaced then TV's price is charged to the service centre. Found out that warranty for the Panel is 2 years. Also, I found a software to add custom resolutions to EDIDs, now 120hz show up in games, no need to switch desktop resolutions before or after games.


      After calibrating my TV on numerous UHD movies & demos, my current Picture Settings are as below (first reset to default then change only these in HDR Dynamic)

      Backlight OFF
      Brightness 48
      Contrast 55
      Colour Saturation 70 (I like colours to Pop, you can dial it down)
      Sharpness 0
      Tint 0
      Game Mode ON
      Adaptive Contrast MEDIUM
      Noise Judder OFF
      MPEG Noise Reduction OFF
      Colour Temperature Cool
      Colour Gamut Native
      Black Level Auto

      I use MPC-BE with madVR (options explained, use this guide) and let my GPU do the upscaling/post processing etc. You can also use MPC-BE without madVR and let the TV do the Noise reductions. I recommend the highly rated Planet Earth II UHD Blu-ray or this YT Demo.

      If you have any questions, I'd try my best to answer them and if you are an owner of this TV, welcome to the club, looking forward to your experience and reviews, thank you.
      Last edited by Simonsayz; 08-04-19 at 08:08 PM.
      Thanks Faateh thanked for this post
       

    2. #2
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      hi maybe break your review down into paragraphs. it'll be easier to read. otherwise good job!

    3. #3
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      Copied here from Word, it didn't catch the paragraph breaks, fixed it.

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      Also, a side by side show picture quality would be awesome. Because instead of reading pictures in TV reviews make most sense

      My apologies if I missed the link if you pasted.

      Good job!
      Likes Simonsayz liked this post
       

    5. #5
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      Thanks for the write up btw when you say you have Q7FN is it the 2018 model as you mentioned free sync support? I'd really like to know where to get one in Pakistan and for how much thanks

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by OmMeE View Post
      Also, a side by side show picture quality would be awesome. Because instead of reading pictures in TV reviews make most sense

      My apologies if I missed the link if you pasted.

      Good job!
      You didn't miss it, I didn't post any pics, I took few pics but realised that the camera doesn't capture the correct colours or the brightness of the TV, I have watched a lot of TV reviews on HDTvtest and now I know that Vincent is right; can't replicate a TV picture quality, it will depend on the camera that captured and your own viewing device. Video/Pictures taken of the TV from a camera that you view on your own device, too many variables in-between, Camera adjusts the brightness coming from the TV and lowers its gains, colours are not exactly reproduced and HDR can't be captured properly off a TV. Audio & Video equipment is difficult to capture on review, you have to take the word of the reviewer or watch/hear in person, which I strongly recommend, have a look at this TV in a showroom if you are in the market to buoy one. But turn OFF the SHOP Mode in the TV settings.

      - - - Updated - - -

      Quote Originally Posted by UzairAhmed View Post
      Thanks for the write up btw when you say you have Q7FN is it the 2018 model as you mentioned free sync support? I'd really like to know where to get one in Pakistan and for how much thanks
      It;'s on sale at HomeShopping for 275K, I got mine few months back for almost 300K.
      Last edited by Simonsayz; 07-12-18 at 03:05 PM.

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      for example, in this image taken by my Canon T2i with a 50mm Prime, I have all my ceiling lights ON, but it looks like a dark room and made the TV too bright, can't read the Tabs on top, also that background colour on forum is dark grey and in the picture it looks blueish.

      [IMG][/IMG]
      Last edited by Simonsayz; 07-12-18 at 03:17 PM.

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      It's on sale again on Daraz on their 12.12 promo, with code DMD5000OFF comes down to 86K, it seems you can't stack vouchers, coz I had 2 vouchers of 2000 OFF as well, but you can only apply one code at one time.

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      I called Hisense's UAN number 021-111824111 to complain about PTCL's Smart TV App not being available on their App Store and told them about my other gripes as well, the FW updates and 120hz issue. I received 3 callbacks, each time a more senior person on the phone trying to understand what I had to say. I must say, I was impressed how fast the level was raised, their responsiveness and their attitude to listen & resolve. They all promised to raise this at company level to resolve these and they'll update me, lets see.

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      This morning my TV had a vertical line of DEAD PIXELs on the right side

      Its 20th day since delivery, not a good sign of quality but I guess malfunctions happen in every brand. Big question is, how they handle this, would definitely not want my new TV sent for repair on 20th day, I would prefer a replacement. Lets see

     

     

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