HAVE you ever gone to the movies and found yourself in that cinema with the small screen, thinking, “This doesn’t seem much bigger than a TV?”
Clearly someone at Hisense has, because the company has released a range of very large 4K ULED TVs aimed at the home entertainment enthusiast and they are worth your attention.
The P9 series comes in two sizes — 65 inches and 75 inches. I reviewed the 65-inch model for the simple reason the larger one almost certainly wouldn’t fit in my lounge room.
In size terms, the P9 series are what real estate agents would call a “statement piece” — in this case, the statement being, “I like big televisions and I cannot lie.”
The TVs are slim but hefty pieces of kit, weighing in at just over 40kg, but pack a lot of functionality in there as well.
ULED is a proprietary display system from Hisense and involves a number of different technologies, but the abridged version is it displays black colours nearly as black as OLED TVs, but is much, much brighter than the other system — and most importantly for consumers, it’s cheaper.
Hisense says the P9 series feature the brightest 4K TVs on the market in Australia at the moment and I can believe them — the display really is brilliant in the traditional sense of the word, to the point where I am surprised I haven’t gotten a tan from the glow.
The TV features a game mode, which turns off some of the on-board processing (which is being done by the console anyway), providing reduced lag.
Sports viewing has been a focus for the company in recent years — they were the official screen partners for the Formula One last year as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia recently — so it’s no surprise to see a sports mode in the P9 which refocuses the TV processor’s priorities on horizontal movement (since that’s where the action happens in most sports that aren’t AFL, after all).
There are a host of other options and presets for various viewing modes and all appeared to work well from what I could see while testing it. It goes without saying that the picture quality was superb and very sharp, with plenty of vibrancy in the colours as well, delivering all the performance one expects of a higher-end 4K TV set.
While the TV is generally excellent — as you’d hope, given the price tag — the remote control doesn’t have light-up buttons, which isn’t usually a problem given how bright the TV is anyway but is still a noticeable omission. The remote controls were responsive and there are buttons for Netflix and YouTube on the remote, allowing for fast start-up bypassing the TV’s operating system.
Getting the TV set up for 4K consoles was also slightly more work than I was expecting — I had to use a specific HDMI port, then go into the TV’s system settings and turn on “enhanced” mode, then go to the picture menu and turn on gaming mode — but once set up it proved very impressive and the settings didn’t need any further tweaking.
Indeed, I tried a variety of AAA games on it, including Red Dead Redemption II, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Strange Brigade and they looked amazing, with bright, vibrant colours and pin-sharp detail. The huge screen only added to the experience.
While the P9 has a digital tuner for watching free-to-air TV, the screen is so big that some things predating 720P definition seemed almost unwatchable, appearing blocky and pixelated. To be fair, this isn’t the TV’s fault in any way however, and if you’ve got more than $4000 to spend on a top-end telly you’re not likely to be using it to watch repeats of something like Absolutely Fabulous on the ABC with anyway.
There were no such issues with Netflix, Stan, or Foxtel Now, however, which streamed in either full HD or 4K without any hassles and looked very nice indeed while doing so. Again, the 65in screen enhanced the experience, whether I was watching Archer, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, or John Wick.
The sound appeared to have a bass focus but was definitely clear and worked well across a range of games, shows and movies.
The Hisense P9 series is big, bright and bold — and offers all the features of a premium TV at a slightly cheaper price point than some of its competitors.
Sure it’s not a true OLED, but it’s very close (and a lot brighter) and if you’re looking for something to be a centrepiece of the lounge while offering a great viewing or gaming experience, then you really should check the P9 out.