Hisense A6200 (H50A6200UK) Review
Is this the best budget TV of the year?
What is the Hisense A6200?The Hisense A6200 is an entry-level, 4K Ultra HD TV that uses an LCD panel with a direct LED backlight. It doesn't have any local dimming but that's to be expected in a budget TV. However, you do get support for High Dynamic Range (HDR), along with Hisense's VIDAA U smart platform and an extensive selection of video streaming services.
The A6200 is available in four screen sizes and the pricing is very competitive as at the time of writing (October 2018): the 43-inch H43A6200UK costs £329; the 50-inch H50A6200UK, reviewed here, will set you back just £379; the 55-inch H55A6200UK retails for a mere £479; and the 65-inch H65A6200UK comes in at a very reasonable £699.
The H50A6200 has a solid set of specifications and features, so if it can deliver an equally solid performance at that price then we could be looking at the budget TV of the year. Let's find out.
DesignThe Hisense A6200 has the kind of minimalist design that you would expect from a budget TV, with a simple 10mm wide, black plastic bezel that has a brushed metal effect. The rear is also black plastic, but overall the build quality is very good for the price point.
The direct LED backlight means the chassis is deeper than an ultra-slim TV using edge LED backlighting, but given the benefits of direct backlighting, I'll take a bit of extra depth any day. The panel is 35mm deep at the top, widening out to 73mm at the bottom where the connections and speakers are located.
The A6200 sits on feet that are positioned at either end of the screen and match the overall design. You'll need a surface at least 980mm wide and 244mm deep on which to place the TV. If you do use the feet, there's 90mm of clearance under the screen for those thinking of adding a soundbar. Alternatively, you can wall mount the A6200 and there are fixings for a 200x200 VESA bracket on the back of the panel.
In terms of the overall dimensions, the H50A6200 measures 1127 x 718 x 244mm (WxHxD) with the stand attached, and 1127 x 661 x 73mm without. In addition, it weighs 12kg with the stand attached, and 11.7kg if you're planning to wall mount.
The design is simple but effective and the build quality is good for the price
Connections & ControlThe connections are located at the rear and to the left as you face the screen. They're what you would expect at this price point, with two HDMI inputs at the side and one HDMI input facing downwards. The two sideways-facing inputs are HDMI 2.0b and support 4K/60p, Wide Colour Gamut (Rec.2020), High Dynamic Range (HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma), and HDCP 2.2. One of them also supports ARC (Audio Return Channel), while the downwards-facing input is restricted to HDMI 1.4.
There are two USB ports – one facing sideways and one facing downwards – along with a terrestrial and satellite tuner, a CI slot, and an optical digital audio output. The remaining inputs face downwards and are composed of a composite video input, an analogue input, and a LAN port, although there is also a built-in WiFi (802.11ac dual-band – 2.4GHz and 5GHz).
Despite its budget status, the A6200 uses the same remote control included with all of Hisense's TVs. It has an attractive, dark silver trim combined with a nice brushed finish, and feels well-made and is suitably balanced in your hand. There are large buttons that are easy to read and are located within reach of your thumb. The controls are sensibly laid out with the navigation buttons in the centre, the numbers, volume and channel buttons above and the coloured keys and media player buttons below. There is a home key for accessing the VIDAA U Smart TV system but there are also direct access buttons for Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Freeview Play.
There's a solid set of connections and a decent remote control
Hisense 50A6200 Features & SpecsThe Hisense H6200 uses the company's VIDAA U Smart TV platform which is basic but does include most of the features you'd want and is stable and responsive. You access it by pressing the home button on the remote, which gives you the option of choosing Freeview Play, Apps, Inputs, Media and Settings. You can also directly access Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and Freeview Play using dedicated buttons on the remote.
The smart platform may be relatively straightforward but, crucially, it features almost all the video streaming services that you might want, including Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. These services all support both 4K and HDR, while the BBC iPlayer app supports 4K and HLG. The smart platform also includes a web browser, and it supports DLNA, allowing you to access content on your home network.
The TV includes an EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) which shows six channels over a three hour period, and thanks to Freeview Play you can also watch any programmes you missed using the UK catch-up services. You can even attach a hard drive and time shift by recording programmes, although there's only one tuner so you can't watch one channel and record another.
The H50A6200 uses a 50-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) LCD panel with a direct LED backlight. The VA (vertical alignment) panel is 60Hz and 8bit + FRC, but it can still show content that uses 10-bit. The TV uses a quad core processor, a 3D digital comb filter and can decode HEVC (H,265), VP9, H.264, MPEG4, MPEG2, VC1 and MVC.
The VIDDA U smart platform is basic but effective and includes most of the video streaming services
Out of the Box SDR MeasurementsThe Hisense A6200 may be an entry-level model, but it includes the same picture setting options as all of the company's other models. The TV ships in the Standard picture setting, but there is also Vivid, Sports, Cinema Day, and Cinema Night to choose from. The latter two proved to be the most accurate, and boy were they accurate.
As always all the measurements were taken using CalMAN Ultimate calibration software.As you can see in the graph above, the Cinema Night mode is delivering a greyscale and gamma performance that is bordering on reference. The gamma is tracking our target of 2.4 almost exactly, while the greyscale errors are all below two and most are below one. That's well below the visible threshold and despite there being a smidge too much green in the greyscale from 50 to 100IRE, the images are incredibly accurate across the entire scale. I have tested TVs that cost ten times as much and haven't been anywhere near as accurate as the A6200.This jaw-dropping accuracy equally applied to the colour gamut. As you can see in the graph above, thanks to the spot-on greyscale white is hitting its target of D65 almost exactly. The same is true of the three primary colours (red, green, and blue) and three secondary colours (cyan, magenta, and yellow). They are all very close to their saturation targets, and the luminance numbers (which are not shown on this graph) were also excellent. There are some very minor errors, but overall this is a superb colour performance.
When combined with the greyscale and gamma, the result is an incredibly accurate SDR image. This is an impressive performance from Hisense, who are to be congratulated for producing such accuracy in a budget TV. The reality is that no one is going to spend £200-300 getting a TV that only cost £379 calibrated, so image accuracy is even more important in budget TVs than it is in high-end ones. Thankfully, anyone buying an A6200 can expect an incredibly accurate SDR performance right out of the box.
The out-of-the-box accuracy was astounding for a TV at this price point
Calibrated SDR MeasurementsDespite the Hisense A6200's budget status, it still includes the 2-point and 20-point white balance controls found on the company's other TVs. There's also a full gamma control, and a colour management system (CMS) that allows for luminance, hue and saturation adjustments to be made to all the primary and secondary colours. However, in this particular example, the images are so accurate that there isn't much to really calibrate.A few minor tweaks and I quickly had the greyscale and gamma perfect, and I was delighted to see this level of accuracy from what is supposed to be a budget TV. There was a time when even on a high-end TV this kind of performance would have been unthinkable – let alone on a TV costing just £379.After tweaking the greyscale, I then made a few minor adjustments using the CMS. As with the greyscale and gamma, I quickly had the colours tracking to a near-perfect level of accuracy. In reality, the out-of-the-box performance is so good that the benefits of any calibration are imperceptible to the human eye.
A calibration could improve accuracy marginally but these improvements would be imperceptible
HDR MeasurementsThe Hisense A6200 is claimed to support HDR, and when the TV detects an HDR signal it goes into the correct HDR mode to accommodate the PQ EOTF, changes the gamma and puts the backlight and contrast controls up to 100. If you've been reading this review so far and are thinking, this sounds amazing where's the catch, we're about to get to it. You see the A6200 is essentially an HDR TV in name only.First the good news: the greyscale in HDR is extremely accurate, which means that white is hitting the industry target of D65 (the same one used for SDR). The black level is also good, and despite the backlight and contrast being maxed out, the blacks measure 0.05nits. However, the bad news is that the peak brightness on a 10% window only hits 200 nits, as you can clearly see on the graph above.
That's no brighter than an SDR TV, which means you won't be getting the full peak luminance of 1000 and especially 4000nits content. It also makes it very hard for the TV to effectively tone map HDR content down to such a low peak brightness. As a result, the bright parts of the image will clip (lose detail), especially with 4000nits content.The limited HDR capabilities of the A6200 extend to the colour gamut as well. I measured this at 62% of Rec.2020 or 84% of DCI-P3, which basically means the A6200's native colour gamut is restricted to Rec.709. On the plus side, the saturation tracking was fairly good within the limitations of the TV's native colour gamut.
Overall, what this means is that although the A6200 can accept an HDR signal, and tone map it to a reasonable degree, aside from the 4K resolution you won't really get the full benefits of HDR from this TV. However, considering the price, you can't expect everything and I have tested far more expensive TVs that were just as limited when it came to HDR.
The A6200 lacks the brightness and colour gamut to properly support HDR
Hisense H50A6200 Performance
Panel Uniformity & Viewing AnglesThe direct nature of the Hisense A6200's backlight meant that it was very even and clear of clouding and DSE (dirty screen effect). It was also pleasingly free of banding when watching football, which is good news. There was a slight, lighter area down the extreme right-hand edge, which was visible on some test patterns but not on normal viewing material.
The front of the panel was quite reflective, so careful placing to avoid direct light is important to ensure the optimal performance. As you'd expect with a VA panel, the viewing angles are fairly limited, and there was a perceptible drop in contrast and colour performance once I moved more than 15 degrees either side of centre. To mitigate this, make sure you're sat centrally to the screen.
Black Levels & Contrast PerformanceThe A6200 uses a VA panel and a direct LED backlight, so even though there's no local dimming the black levels are a decent 0.03nits. Despite its limited brightness, the TV had no problems hitting our SDR target of 120nits. This equates to an on/off contrast ratio of 4000:1. The shadow detail was fairly good, although it isn't LCD's strong point, and occasionally there was some crush.
Motion Handling & Video ProcessingThe motion handling on the A6200 is fairly good for an LCD TV with a 60Hz panel. There was no visible judder with 24p content, while 50 and 60p content seemed fine, and I also had no issues with 50i content. I measured the motion resolution at about 300 lines, which is what I would expect from an LCD TV. It's just as well that the motion handling is reasonable because the A6200 doesn't include Hisense's Ultra Smooth Motion frame interpolation feature.
The video processing was also fairly good and the A6200 had no problems de-interlacing the scenes on my numerous test discs. It was effective at upscaling lower resolution content to match the 4K panel and, in the case of Full HD broadcasts or Blu-rays, the results could actually be impressive. The TV could even upscale standard definition content surprisingly effectively and DVDs could look quite watchable on the 50-inch screen.
Input LagThere is no game mode on the A6200, but luckily you don't need one because the input lag is only 24ms. That's yet another feather in the cap of this particular model, making it very appealing to gamers and a genuinely excellent all-round TV.
Sound QualityThanks to its direct LED backlight the Hisense A6200 has a relatively deep chassis, which means there’s more space in the TV for larger speakers, and the bigger the speaker, the better the sound. As a result, the TV actually sounds pretty good for a 50-inch budget model, despite the use of a pair of downward-firing drivers. There’s 7W of amplification for each speaker and, while that might not sound like a lot, it’s sufficient for most TV viewing.
The A6200 is never going to deliver a big room-filling sound and, if you push the volume too high, it will start to distort. However, it can deliver a decent soundstage with a solid mid-range and high-end. The bass is unsurprisingly limited but dialogue is clear and music has some good stereo imaging. If you’re a film fan you should consider investing in a soundbar, but for general TV viewing the A6200 is more than capable of delivering a passable audio experience.
SDR PerformanceThe Hisense A6200 is an excellent Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) TV, and that's important because the majority of what we watch will be SDR for the foreseeable future. As a result, it is crucial that a TV can deliver an accurate greyscale, gamma and colour gamut, which the A6200 can. It can also upscale content effectively, retain a decent contrast performance and handle motion well. All of which means that the Hisense delivers an excellent SDR picture.
The use of a direct LED backlight immediately pays dividends as well, and watching TV programmes I could see detailed and accurate images. Whether it was the news, documentaries, or the host of cooking competitions that seem to fill the airwaves, the A6200 delivered the televisual goods. I had to often remind myself that this LCD TV only costs £379, and there's no doubt in my mind that anyone buying this TV will be delighted with the performance.
When I moved on to the streaming services, the results were just as impressive. The Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and iPlayer apps all worked flawlessly, and the images they produced were clean, saturated, bright, and free of unwanted artefacts. Watching American Psycho on Netflix, the whites in the crisp pressed shirts and business cards of the investment bankers looked very good, flesh tones were natural and the blacks were suitably black.
As is often the case, the better the source the better the picture, and watching Blu-rays I was delighted to discover that despite not having local dimming, or perhaps because it doesn't, the A6200 handled Gravity surprisingly well. The shots of space were suitably black, the spacesuits were a bright white (without any clipping) and the image had loads of detail. The motion was free of obvious judder, and overall this was a great performance with 1080p Blu-ray.
Needless to say, all these factors ensured that gaming looked equally as good and was just as enjoyable. The SDR gaming images were bright, colourful and detailed. Motion was good, and the gaming experience was smooth and responsive. If you're thinking of picking up a cheap 4K HDR TV for heavy gaming sessions, then the A6200 is ideal. The best thing is that not only is the TV ideal for gaming, but you can also enjoy accurate pictures if you use it to watch TV and movies.
HDR PerformanceUnderstandably, the performance was not as impressive when I moved on to HDR content. However, it's worth pointing out that there’s nothing wrong with the 4K panel in the A6200. Watching 4K Blu-rays like The Revenant, or 4K streaming shows like Iron Fist and Jack Ryan, all the fine detail is there on the screen.
The Hisense uses an 8-bit+FRC rather than a 10-bit panel, but the reality is that you're unlikely to actually notice the difference. However, since the A6200 can only produce a peak brightness of around 200nits, highlights aren't especially impactful, and colours aren’t as saturated with HDR content either, because the TV can’t reproduce all the necessary colours.
Thankfully the Hisense can tone-map the HDR content, which basically means it takes the original image and fits it to the brightness and colour capabilities of the TV. So you still get a nice picture, but you’re just not getting all the brightness in the peak highlights, or the subtle colours that a higher-end TV might deliver.
The tone mapping does struggle with 4000nits HDR grades, where it has to squeeze all that content onto a display only capable of 200nits. As a result, there was obvious clipping, i.e. loss of detail in the bright parts of the image when watching HDR content, and the colours felt muted. This was obvious to see in the arriving in Neverland scene from Pan.
The Hisense A6200 is an excellent budget TV, but if HDR is really important to you then this is probably not the best choice. Of course, it will depend on how much you have to spend, but if you can afford a more expensive HDR TV then that might be worth investigating. However, if your finances are strapped, then the reality is that any TV at this price point is going to struggle with HDR, and you won't find a better SDR performer than the A6200 at this price point.
The Hisense A6200 is excellent, and I highly doubt I'll see a better budget 4K TV this year
- Impressive SDR picture quality
- Solid set of features
- Simple but effective smart TV
- Remarkable value
- HDR very limited
Hisense A6200 (H50A6200UK) Review
Hisense H50A6200UK VerdictThe Hisense A6200 is a mightily impressive budget 4K TV. It's well-made, nicely designed, and has a solid set of features. The smart platform is simple, but it works and includes most of the video streaming services. It sounds fairly good and a 24ms input lag makes it a great choice for gamers.
However, where the A6200 really impresses is in its SDR image accuracy. This TV delivered some of the best out-of-the-box measurements that I have seen, regardless of price. Throw in a direct LED backlight, decent blacks, solid motion handling, and good picture processing, and you've got a great all-rounder.
The HDR performance is limited, and to a large extent, the A6200 is an HDR TV in name only. However the HDR accuracy remains impressive, the tone mapping is fairly good, and you can still benefit from 4K. It's also worth remembering that most of the content you watch will still be SDR for the foreseeable future.
The Hisense H50A6200 is genuinely excellent, and I highly doubt I'll see a better performing or more competitively-priced budget 4K TV this year.
What are my alternatives?At £379 it's hard to think of another TV that comes close in terms performance and value when compared to the H50A6200. In fact the most likely candidate is from Hisense itself, in the shape of the AE6100. This limited edition Black Friday special is essentially the same TV as the A6200, with the only real difference being single rather than dual-band Wi-Fi. Incredibly this TV is even cheaper, with the 50-inch version retailing for £329 but hurry because stocks will be in short supply and once it's sold out that's your lot.
Probably the best non-Hisense alternative is the Philips 50PUS6753 4K HDR TV which can currently be picked up for £445. This TV includes Pixel Precise Ultra HD image processing, three-sided ambilight, and Android TV so, from a perspective of specifications, the two TVs are comparable. However, having not actually tested the 6753 it's impossible for me to comment on the accuracy or input lag of the Philips, although it couldn't really be any better than the Hisense.
MORE: Read All TV Reviews
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £379.00
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
SDR Picture Quality9
HDR Picture Quality7
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box9
Picture Quality Calibrated10
Ease Of Use9
Value for Money10
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