When it comes to television sets, CES has become a battle of two fronts. One one end, you’ve got the expensive and futuristic moonshots; LGs carpaccio-thin OLEDs, Samsungs quantum-dot-infused QLED sets, and Sonys high-end panels. These sets are gorgeous, but theyre priced so high that most people will only fantasize about owning one.
On the cheaper end of the spectrum, equally exciting things are happening. Sub- $1,000 defines continue to get better, offering 4K resolution, HDR compatibility, and other features that rival the highest-end models from just a few years back. Not too long ago, that attractive mixture of price and performance was a one-horse race: Vizio dominated the scene with its sub- $1,000 4K HDR options. Now, Vizio has heavy competition from Chinese producers firming up their footholds in the US market.
Hisense and TCL are the big fish, and they introduced themselves to America a few years ago with a range of cheap-but-decent panels with Roku players built into them. Now, theyre making their moves in the midrange market. Last year, Hisenses H8 stood out with its combining of 4K resolution and HDR playback for around $500, and it has solid reviews on Amazon.
Now Hisense has a step-up model with enhanced performance for a really good price. According to Hisense, the H9 boasts a wider colouring gamut and a local-dimming system to keep contrast in check. But the price is the real eye-catching feature: Itll come to market at $700 for a 50 -inch model, $850 for a 55 -incher, and $1,300 for a 65 -inch set. Maintain in intellect that with TVs, those MSRPs are usually at least $100 higher than the prices you see at retail.
As for the H8, there will be a ginormous 86 -inch version of it to go along with its smaller-screen siblings. Dont expect deep savings on that one, though, as the 86 er will sell for six grand.
Hisense also wants to change the perception that its simply a low-priced value buy in the 4K HDR realm. If you want one of the companys sets with Roku built into it, the 75 -inch R8 takes that feature to the premium class. Along with all that streaming goodness, it supports both Dolby Vision and HDR1 0-encoded video. No pricing has been set for that one just yet.