Hisense shows off triple-laser TV, 1-inch thick LED at CES 2019

There’s a tendency to expect that budget electronics companies will rely on trickle-down technologies to power their products. After all, how can you keep your prices lower than the competition if you’re investing millions in research and development? And yet, sometimes this isn’t the case at all. Take Hisense: The Chinese company is the No. 3 producer of TVs worldwide, largely due to its low prices. However, it’s also showing off some of the most intriguing new technologies this year at CES.

The company’s line of laser TVs — which are essentially powerful, short-throw projectors — have been wowing us for a few years, and prices are finally coming down to mere mortal levels. This year, Hisense is improving the performance of these TVs by tripling down on the lasers. Now, instead of a blue and red laser beam being used to create a visible spectrum, Hisense’s 4K Smart TriChroma Laser TV 100L7T, uses three lasers: One for red, green, and blue, and combines them when needed for pure white, a formula which the company claims can deliver 100 percent of DCI-P3 color space.

Hisense is also noteworthy for its line of ULED, or ultra LED, backlit TVs that the company has long positioned as an high brightness and high-contrast alternative to emissive OLED panels. Starting this year, its new ULED XD technology takes this a step further, by apparently fusing two displays panels into one. “Dual-cell ULED XD panel layers a 1080p module displaying a grayscale image between a full array LED backlight and a 4K module displaying a full color image, creating significant upgrades in local dimming, colors and dynamic range,” according to the company’s press release. Though it seems counter-intuitive that putting anything between a backlight and a color panel would improve colors and dynamic range, it’s a clever and unique approach.

In the never-ending quest for an ever-thinner TV, OLED has been the unquestioned reigning champ. But to achieve its millimeter-thin depth, OLED panels need to house their electronics in a separate unit (like LG’s W-series), or consign them to a thicker portion of the TV. Hisense’s new Sonic One is a traditional LED TV that manages to achieve a maximum 1.1-inch thickness, by turning the panel itself into a speaker. We’ve seen this before on Sony’s OLED TVs and on LG’s latest OLED model, but not on other display technologies.

Hisense also debuted updates to it regular line of TVs:

  • The Hisense U9, is a Quantum Dot TV with 2,200 nits of brightness, and more than 1,000 local dimming zones. The bezel-less design is Dolby Vision HDR-compatible and uses a series of artificial intelligence-based picture quality algorithms, to improve color, contrast, motion, and brightness.
  • The Hisense Q9, a 4K ULED TV with more than 1,000 nits of brightness, Quantum Dot and wide color gamut. It has Android TV onboard, with full access to the Google Play store for apps, games, movies, and TV shows. It also features dbx-tv sound.
  • The Hisense Roku TV 4K UHD R8 is the first Roku TV with a ULED backlight, which incorporates full array local dimming, wide colour gamut and 700 nits of brightness. Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos round out this TV’s feature set.

No pricing or availability details for any of these new models as yet, but we expect to hear more about this in the coming weeks.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Deals

Here’s a look at the hottest 4K TV deals for January 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.