I checked out the latest Hisense 8K TV hands on and while it has nice aspects the short answer is No it’s not worth buying unless you have unlimited money and want bragging rights over your friends and their 4K TV’s.
This doesn’t mean Hisense is bad. The same advice applies to all other 8K Android TV’s by Sony, TCL etc and non Android 8K TV’s from other brands.
Why not? Because 8K TV’s cost a lot more than 4K, there’s very little 8K content out there and 99% of video content will need to be upscaled to deal with the massive number of pixels on an 8K TV (4 x the pixels of 4K).
Upscaling technology is improving thanks to deep learning algorithms and object detection but it can’t magically create detail that was never there in the first place.
Australian Free to Air TV is still HD 1080i resolution at best, it’s set at that level and unlikely to switch to 4K for a long time (if ever).
Foxtel via Satellite channels are mostly a mixture of often heavily compressed SD/HD with some 4K content available eg there are two 4K channels for Sport and Movies. Since Foxtel is losing a lot of money don’t expect them to change many of their channels to even 4K any time soon, let alone 8K.
8K physical disks aren’t going to happen in the mass market. Young people are not interested in DVD’s or Bluray let alone investing in expensive disk players. I’ve also noticed that major electronics companies haven’t sent any press information about new disk players for ages, they’re not a big selling category.
The screen resolution of shows on streaming services varies a lot.
The paid streaming services like Netflix, STAN and Amazon Prime have a mixture of 4K, HD and SD content depending on how old the TV show/movie is. None of these services have indicated they plan on filming any of their originals in 8K and if they do you can bet the new 8K plans will cost more.
Free to air TV streaming services like ABC iView and 9 Now display content at about 720p with adaptive bitrate. It would cost them a massive amount more to stream at 1080p let alone 4K or 8K so it’s not going to happen.
When it comes to gaming yes it’s true the latest Sony and Microsoft consoles support 8K but when the first 8K gaming titles arrive they’re likely to be low frame/second not fast moving detailed action games.
Would you like to game at 4K high FPS eg: 120FPS or 8K at much lower FPS eg: 30FPS? The answer is obvious. True 8K games that need high FPS will also need a really high end gaming PC with a beefy GPU to run them. These will both take some time to come out and be affordable.
Yes new 8K TV’s like Hisense’s have features that will enable better gaming such as Game Mode Pro, including HDMI 2.1 features like Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode.
The thing is Hisense hasn’t restricted these to just their 8K TV’s.
As Andre Iannuzzi, Head of Marketing at Hisense Australia, explained at Virtual CES 2021:
“Our 2021 ULED TV range is all about giving Australians access to some of the highest quality TV technologies and features available. We’re not just talking about those at the top of the range – from our ULED 8K TV offering through to our ULED 4K models, Australians can enjoy the likes of Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos Audio, eARC, VRR, HDMI 2.1 and far-field voice control”.
So if you’re considering a Hisense TV and want to buy one that is optimised for gaming, they all are. You can take your pick from the 2021 ULED TV range, with all TVs featuring Hisense’s new Game Mode Pro.
Equipped with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and AMD FreeSync technologies to reduce lag and shuttering during gameplay, HDMI 2.1 to enable 8K passthrough and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) for a smooth and responsive gaming experience, Game Mode Pro aims to provide the very best gaming experience. In addition eARC allows for the transmission of the highest quality audio by offering increased bandwidth and speed.
So to summarise … it’s just too early to buy an 8K TV. Maybe in 2023 when they’re cheaper, better and there’s more native 8K content especially games. My advice was the same when 4K TV’s first got released. The first generation sets were much more expensive and not anywhere near as good at upscaling compared to the 3rd generation onwards.