Posted on January 2, 2019 By Art Feierman
Hisense 100″ Laser TV Review – Picture Quality 1: An Introduction, Out-of-the-Box Picture Quality, Skin Tones
We look at the projectors (including “laser TVs” like this one), first as serious home theater – looking for superb, accurate color, deep black levels, excellent sharpness, etc. And we prefer excellent, very dark rooms. Call those serious home theater projectors, with the emphasis on Serious, and on Theater!
Not all projectors are built for that. And certainly the vast majority of TV buyers aren’t looking for that. With that in mind, this Hisense is more of a home entertainment projector, or general family home TV viewing. It’s geared for more family sharing. It’s smart, its color is good but not highly accurate. Its black levels are well short of deep blacks, but then, in rooms with ambient light, the differences between projectors in black level performance are far smaller than in fully darkened rooms. And this projector pairs a laser engine projector with an ultra short throw design, and an ALR type screen to make it geared for traditional rooms, living rooms, family rooms, spare bedrooms, whatever you have, that isn’t a serious home theater/cave.
If it sounds like I’m defending a projector, (as it does in this review at times), then the projector in question typically isn’t my idea of a purist/enthusiast choice for a dedicated home theater with highly accurate color and deep black levels, for fanatics like me! So this projector may not be for me, but, I find, overall, that the Hisense Laser TV provides the type of picture quality that will satisfy most of the folks considering it for their homes.
None of the preset picture modes delivered anything that looked close to a calibrated picture. With default settings on most modes, the overall picture was normally anywhere from a bit cool to very cool (bluish whites). That is, nothing came close to a well balanced 6500K (warm whites) that represents the color balance standard for movies.
All images in this player were taken, pre any calibration, shot off of the UST/ALR screen, and are all 4K content with HDR.
Reasonably good color in this 4K Blu-ray opening. Note that there's definitely a bit of crushing of near whites (top center). Most 4K UHD DLPs we've worked with tend to crush a some near white highlights. Call this typical.
Vivid is very cool and packs a lot of punch. The colors – without dialing them down at all, are a bit over the top – green on most football fields is a bit too intense, but then, open those window shades a bit, and that’s probably just what the doctor ordered to cut through a fair amount of ambient light that the ALR type screen that comes as part of the Hisense Laser TV.
You can compare the various modes in one of the Photo players to get a better idea.
It should be noted (and Eric discusses in more detail in the calibration pages), that the Hisense offers both grayscale balance (getting Red, Green, and Blue in proper balance (which determines the white), and also a full CMS for tuning the individual primary and secondary colors (hue, saturation, and brightness of each).
Unfortunately, some of the modes allow only one of those two necessary sets of controls for a full calibration. Again, read Eric’s comments.
This image from Victoria Secret's Swim Suit Special projected in our calibrated Standard mode. Looks pretty good. The other images following show other modes.
Vivid is a bit punchy. I mostly reserved for my sports viewing, or anytime I wanted to deal with more ambient light. With some ambient light, the image loses its slightly "over the top" look.
Uncalibrated Theater mode - definitely not one of the ones with best color!
OK, this looks wrong. It should - Eric calibrated this mode - Sports mode, as our 4K mode with HDR. It looks way better with 4K HDR content. As expected, on 1080i content, it looks pale.
Interestingly, Energy Saving mode, had some pretty decent color - without any adjustment.
Although the tendency is cool whites the calibration controls can warm them up nicely. As usual, we have provided here our favorite HDTV image from Victoria Secret’s Swimsuit Special. There’s a shot of each of the modes. The mode we calibrated for 4K with HDR, however, will not look right, simply because, we’re working with 1080i resolution without HDR. That is true for this image on any 4K projector’s best HDR mode.
Overall skin tones were acceptable in the modes Eric calibrated/adjusted, and not bad in some of the others. Once again, any tendency is toward cooler whites rather than warmer ones, but post adjustment, some of those modes look pretty darn impressive.
Editor’s Note: Let me say here, we have provided our settings, but as I contract out for calibrations we pretty much get one shot at it. Were I still calibrating projectors (which I never enjoyed), I would try again. Not really because of skin tones, but because in our calibrated 4K w/HDR mode, I really never saw a strong, pure, rich red color. Overall, not bad, but please remember that I write my analysis, while on the hunt for truly excellent color that a serious home theater enthusiast might demand. If you never had any of your LCD TVs calibrated, and used modes like Vivid, Dynamic, Demo, or some others that are intentionally at least a little over the top, then you will be right at home with a good home entertainment projector like this Hisense Laser TV.
Those of you who have gear or even just the basic type calibration disc can play around. I do believe in seeing the Hisense Laser TV at several trade shows, that I’ve seen better reds in those demos (which are always 4K demos, of course). I’m suspect others calibrating the Hisense may end up with a better combination of settings, that might be more to my taste visually, yet not necessarily be better on paper. -art
I have included the usual four images of Bond – Daniel Craig – from Casino Royale, once again, to point out that there is no perfect skin tone. Different lighting has a massive impact. A well adjusted projector or TV will look great, and correct in all four. A projector that isn’t as on the money may look better on some than on others. Still, overall, the Hisense did a good job on skin tones.
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