Projector Reviews

Hisense 100″ Laser TV Review – A 4K UHD, Smart Projector with Screen – Performance

Hisense 100” Laser TV – Performance: Brightness by Mode, Effect of Laser Setting on Brightness, Color Temperature, Sharpness, Gaming Projector – Input Lag

Brightness by Mode

Picture Mode Lumens Color Temp. (Kelvin)
Vivid 3104 14503K
Standard 3853 10165K
Energy Saving 3300 8964K
Theater 3561 7244K
Game 3971 9910K
Sport 3222 14501K
Calibrated 2961 7146K

One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of brightness with this projector.  Every mode but one (and that was close) measured at least 3000 lumens, with three modes between 3500 and 4000 lumens!

The Hisense Laser TV is definitely what we like to call a light canon. There’s plenty of brightness, especially paired with the light absorbing (“rejecting”) screen. In Standard mode, fort example, even post calibration Eric measured 1606 lumens – but that’s with the laser light engine brightness set to only 8 out of 20, which would be almost 50% below full power on the laser.

And that brightness is consistent with our 4K HDR mode – Eric calibrated (HDR) Sports mode. Since we can use all the lumens around for better HDR, it was a rare experience to have a projector put out over 3000 lumens (3283) when watching 4K with HDR. Few projectors calibrated for 4K and HDR manage even half that many lumens!

As you can see from the chart, the color temperature of white varies far more, from mode to mode, than the brightness. That includes Sports mode which started out with a ridiculously cool 14501K temp.  Talk about blue looking whites!  The final calibrated image is totally different looking.

Interestingly, Theater mode was the only one close to the target 6500K color temp, yet, while it was close in warmth, the default colors seemed off quite a bit.  No matter, Eric decided that it wasn’t a good mode for calibrating, even if it started with a closer color temp reading.

Effect of Laser Setting on Brightness

The Hisense Laser TV has a slider control for projector brightness – or, If you prefer – TV brightness.  The slider is numbered from 0 to 20.  20 is full power.  Place the slider at the other end, the brightness in Standard Mode drops from 3853 lumens all the way down to 1213 lumens, a drop of 68.5%!   Because its a slider, you can set brightness anywhere you want between those two points.

Another advantage of the laser engine is that lamps seem to have a tendency to flicker a little when they are run at lower power levels. Flicker is more likely to show up a bit if a lamp is running at only about 60%-65% of full power.

Color Temperature

IRE Range Color Temp. (Kelvin)
100 IRE 10006K
90 IRE 9841K
80 IRE 9918K
70 IRE 9922K
60 IRE 10535K
50 IRE 10110K
40 IRE 10778K
30 IRE 11245K
20 IRE 11523K
10 IRE 12556K

The chart on the left shows the color temp range from 10 IRE (extremely dark grey) to 100 IRE (white).  These numbers are the pre-calibration settings for Standard mode which Eric then calibrated to be our “best” mode for viewing non-4K/HDR content.  Since we assume darkening a room the best possible to enjoy the “best” picture, He reduced the brightness to about 1600 lumens using the laser brightness control.  Keep in mind that in a dark environment, 1600 lumens can effortlessly fill a 150″ diagonal screen.

Important difference to note between laser and lamp projectors – lamp based projectors will suffer some color shift when the lamp brightness is reduced – as is normal going to any “eco” mode.  With lasers maintaining the same color across the brightness range, if you need more brightness to use this mode with ambient light – just turn up the laser!

Sharpness

No question that he Hisense Laser TV appears very sharp.  It not only looks very sharp on 4K content, but also on lower res such as watching my 1080i sports off of DirecTv, and 1080p movies.

If I have a complaint, it’s going to be another one of those “enthusiast” complaints, in the hunting for picture perfection.

Overall, I find that Hisense tends to over sharpen the picture, even in 4K mode.  For that reason I’ve dialed down the sharpness setting to as low as 2.  What I see in some close-ups is a bit too much edge sharpening.  I’ve even taken a close-up of the Hisense handling the Ghostbusters 2016 credits (the lab shot), below.

Hisense
Hisense Laser TV

If you look for example, at the gauges on the left on the picture above you can see how there is a lot going on. The yellowish area around the letters seems to be larger, flatter, stands out, compared to the image below, the same scene shot done with my Epson 5040UB.  I can, if desired, crank up the Epson even further than I prefer (Image Enhancement set to 3 for this photo), and get the same kind of over sharpening of the edges, etc. so it looks similar.  The Hisense had sharpness set to 4 for this picture. The yellow flattening was definitely more noticeable with the default setting of 8.

very close-up
Epson 4010 - A very close up (taken with iPhone X). Look to gauges, text, objects

With the sharpness set to 2, however, the difference is minimal. Remember, though, that I say that the Epson itself tends to come across a touch hard thanks to its image processing for sharpness and detail, at least when compared to native 4K projectors – such as the Sonys, not 4K UHD projectors like the DLPs we have been reviewing, including this Hisense.

Bottom line, you will definitely feel that the Hisense is sharper than the Epson 5040UB.  And like the Epson, it can be a little over the top in that regard, and is capable of being a lot more “over the top.”  Keep the sharpness setting  low.  And, I’d go easy on he dynamic contrast too (I like Low) on the Hisense Laser TV.

And I must add, that I really liked the perceived sharpness for my sports viewing. Definitely a plus!

The player is filled with both 4K and 1080 resolution images for your consideration.  Overall, I find the Hisense to come across as a very sharp 4K UHD projector. I still find a couple of the 4K UHD DLPs with 2716x1528x2 chips to be just a touch sharper. Sony’s lower cost native 4K projectors (they have them list priced at $4999 and $9999), are also visibly a touch sharper. FYI: The $40K Sony I’m reviewing now is even sharper still, thanks to an awesome chunk of expensive lens.

A Gamimg Projector - Input Lag

Input lag for the Hisense is downright excellent.  Nikki measured it, using our Leo Bodnar Input lag device at a very fast 16.5 ms.   That’s only one frame back on a 60fps game, and faster than over 90% of projectors we have tested.  This is about as fast as projectors get.  If you want anything enough faster to matter at all you’ll need a fast monitor, or LED TV geared for gaming.

We consider around 40-55ms acceptable to most, 25-40 fast enough to please most, and anything below that fast, with extremely fast anything 1 fps delayed or less, on 60fps games.

The Hisense is a 4K UHD projector. Our device only measures 1080 resolution.  It is likely that at 4K, lag will be the same or close.  With a native 4K (not a pixel shifter like this Hisense), the input lag is higher on 1080, because 4K is the native. With a pixel shifter, things are sort of “in the middle” in terms of the amount of processing needed.

Bottom line, count the Hisense 100” Laser TV as being a great gaming TV/Projector, for serious, hard core gamers.

And, let’s not forget that great other advantage for gamers – this Hisense is a UST design – sitting right under the screen.  Perfect placement for gaming. And the sound (and subwoofer) should prove great for most gaming – far better than any OLED TV, etc., without splurging for a really good sound bar and subwoofer system.  Explosions, music and race cars, etc. should sound awesome.

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