Hisense H65N6800 4K LED TV Review
Positive evolution based on review feedback
What is the Hisense 65N6800?The N6800 is that latest mid-range Ultra HD TV from Chinese manufacturer Hisense and it uses a 4K LCD panel with LED edge lighting and local dimming. The range comes in three screen sizes of 50-, 55- and 65-inches and we've got the H65N6800 in for review. The TV not only includes a 4K panel but also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) and includes a Smart TV platform with Freeview Play. The 65N6800 retails for £1,099 as at the time of writing (July 2017) which is a very competitive price for a 65-inch Ultra HD TV with HDR support. We have been consistently and pleasantly surprised by Hisense since they first arrived in the UK two years ago, so let's see if the N6800 can continue that positive trend.
DesignThe N6800 uses a similar design to last year's M5500 with largely metal components and a very solid construction. The N6800 might be relatively cheap but, as we have found out with other Hisense TVs, that certainly isn't reflected in the build quality. The TV measures 1452 x 830 x 65mm (WxHxD) without the stand and 1452 x 895 x 290mm (WxHxD) with it and weighs in at a hefty 32.4kg. There's a 1cm wide chamfered bezel around the screen with a brushed gun metal finish and overall it's a fairly minimalist design.The H65N6800 sits on a pair of matching metallic feet that are attached at either end of the panel and whilst this approach has become very fashionable, it does mean you'll need a surface that is at least 1260mm wide and 290mm deep on which to instal the TV. The Hisense obviously can't be swivelled and there is 75mm of clearance under the screen if you're thinking of using it with a soundbar. Alternatively you can wall mount the 65N6800 using a 400 x 400 VESA wall bracket.
The N6800 is another well-made TV from Hisense with largely metal components
Connections & ControlThe rear of the panel is composed of a combination of black metal and hardened black plastic and you'll find all the connections at the bottom left as you face the screen. There is a combination of rearwards and sideways facing connections, with those at the side measuring 290mm from the edge, so you shouldn't be able to see any cables from the front. The rearwards facing connections are comprised of two HDMI 1.4 inputs (4K/30p and HDCP 2.2), a composite video input, a component video input, a stereo analogue input, an optical digital output and a LAN port, although there is also built-in WiFi. The sideways facing connections are composed of two HDMI 2.0 inputs (4K/60p, HDR and HDCP 2.2), one of which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) and one of which supports MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link). There are also three USB ports (two 2.0 and one 3.0), Freeview HD and satellite tuners, a headphone jack and a CI (Common Interface) slot.The included remote has had a make-over and, whilst similar to last year's controller, it's now been improved. The new remote looks less plastic thanks to a chrome metal trim and it feels well balanced in your hand. It's large enough to make the buttons easy to read but also fits comfortably in your hand, with the keys all 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 are also direct access buttons for Netflix, YouTube and Wuaki TV.
The N6800 is limited to two HDMI 2.0 inputs but the provided remote control has had a make-over
Features & SpecsThe N6800 includes a number of features, starting with the 65-inch Ultra HD 4K VA LCD panel with 4K Upscaling for lower resolution sources and, as mentioned in the introduction, support for High Dynamic Range, specifically HDR10. The TV uses edge LED backlighting and includes a local dimming system with 16 zones. As we explained in the connections section there are two HDMI 2.0 inputs and the Hisense can decode both the HEVC and VP9 codecs. The 65N6800 is also PVR ready and includes Freeview Play, along with Anyview Stream for easy access to content such as photos, music and videos on your home network. Although the N6800 doesn't currently support Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), Hisense plan to add support via a firmware update in the fourth quarter.
The N6800 boasts Hisense's new VIDAA Smart TV which is responsive in operation, intuitive to use and easy to navigate. When you press the Home button on the remote, you are presented with a series of options in a row in the centre of the screen. The options are Notifications, Apps, Inputs, Media, Settings and Edit. There are 199 apps in total and in terms of video streaming services you get Netflix, Amazon and YouTube (all 4K HDR), as well as Wuaki TV, BBC iPlayer, Deezer and Plex. Hisense will add Freeview Play via a firmware update in the third quarter. The H65N6800 also includes dvx-tv's Total Technology audio enhancements like Total Sonics for clarity and dynamic bass boost, Total Volume for consistent, level volume and Total Surround for a wider sound field.
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The new VIDAA Smart TV platform is responsive and intuitive with the main video services
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-BoxAlong with the remote control and smart platform, the menu system has also been redesigned and we're glad to see that Hisense has been listening to our review feedback because they have made a number of improvements this year. First of all they have added Cinema Day and Cinema Night picture modes, allowing you to create day and night settings for Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) content. There are also HDR Day and HDR Night picture modes – the latter is more accurate but the former boosts the overall brightness for those watching HDR content in a brightly lit room.
Hisense have also helpfully added a Gamma Adjust control, allowing you to select BT.1886, 2.0, 2.2 or 2.4. Otherwise the menu system remains relatively straightforward, with a similar basic layout to last year. We used the Cinema Night picture mode for our testing because it was the most accurate choice out-of-the-box, offering settings that best approximated the industry standards (D65, Rec. 709) and turning the majority of the processing off. You'll need to set the Backlight, Contrast and Brightness controls to suit your environment but otherwise by simply selecting the Cinema Night Picture Mode you'll already have a very accurate picture.
All our measurements were taken with a Klein K-10A colour meter, a Murideo Fresco Six-G pattern generator and CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. For more information on how to correctly set up your TV, take a look at our PicturePerfect Guide.The out-of-the-box greyscale performance was excellent, with all the DeltaEs (errors) below the visible threshold of three. There was a tiny excess of blue at 90 and 100IRE but this wasn't visible and overall we were impressed. The gamma setting of 2.4 actually tracked around 2.2, so Hisense still have a bit of work to do there, but we're very impressed to see them responding so positively to feedback. We actually said in one of our Hisense reviews last year that we'd like to see better out-of-the-box accuracy and the manufacturer was clearly listening because, even if you got the greyscale shown in the graph above calibrated, you wouldn't actually see a difference.The out-of-the-box colour accuracy wasn't quite as impressive as the greyscale but it was still very good, with most of the colours tracking their saturation points quite closely. Only red really showed any noticeable errors with over-saturation across the board but otherwise this was a fairly good performance and representative of the improvements that Hisense have made in colour accuracy over the last two years. Although there is little room for improvement in terms of the already excellent greyscale, we would hope to improve the accuracy of red using the included colour management system.
Picture Settings – CalibratedThe N6800 includes both a two- and a ten-point white balance control, as well as a colour management system (CMS), and based on the excellent out-of-the-box measurements, we would expect the calibrated performance to be very impressive because all we need to do is reduce a tiny amount of blue at the higher end of the greyscale and tweak the saturation of red.
You can find our recommended settings for the Hisense H65N6800 here.
All we needed to do was reduce blue slightly using the two-point white balance control and the result was an extremely accurate greyscale. We didn't really need to calibrate any further because the errors were already at or below one, meaning they were essentially perfect. The gamma continued to track around 2.2 and overall we were extremely happy with the greyscale and gamma performance of the N6800, both before and after calibration.Although calibrating the greyscale didn't make any difference to the colour accuracy, we were able to reduce the saturation of red and tweak some other colours, resulting in an excellent overall performance. The luminance measurements (not shown in the graph above) were spot on and the three primary colours (red, green and blue) and three secondary colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) were now all tracking their saturation targets (25, 50, 75 and 100%) very closely and this was an excellent performance from the N6800.
There's a gamma control this year and the out-of-the-box accuracy has been improved
Picture Settings – High Dynamic RangeWhilst the N6800 delivered an excellent performance in terms of Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) measurements, it wasn't quite as impressive when it came to High Dynamic Range (HDR). The TV does support HDR and unlike last year's models we had no problems getting the N6800 to go into its HDR modes using our Murideo pattern generator. As we mentioned in the out-of-the-box picture settings section, there are now HDR Day and HDR Night settings and there's also an HDR Game setting.In their marketing Hisense claim that the peak brightness of the N6800 is 450nits, which shows a pleasing level of honesty from a TV manufacturer as we actually measured the peak brightness on a 10% window at 434nits. That is a definite improvement on the M5500 and K5510 that we reviewed last year and the N6800 also delivered 433nits on a 50% window and 432nits on a 100% window. In terms of it greyscale it was tracking quite flat, except where the EOTF rolled off the PQ target curve at 60 and 70IRE, whilst the EOTF itself tracks the PQ quite closely until it begins to roll off. Overall this is a fairly standard performance for an HDR TV that has a limited peak brightness.
In much the same way that the N6800 is brighter than some of last year's Hisense models, the colour gamut is also wider. It isn't as big as other TVs that we've measured this year but the colour gamut is 20% larger than the M5500 and K5510. As a result the N6800 delivered 66% of Rec. 2020 but it didn't track the larger colour gamut as well as it could have, with some sizeable errors at most saturation points.
The larger coverage of Rec. 2020 meant that the N6800 also covered more of the DCI-P3 colour gamut than previous Hisense TVs with a measurement of 90% using xy coordinates and 98% using uv coordinates. The graph above shows DCI-P3 within Rec. 2020 and the tracking was better than it was with Rec. 2020 itself, although the N6800 still struggled with yellow and magenta.
Next we measured the Relative Colour Volume of the Hisense, which takes the display's own peak brightness and measures the colour volume relative to that peak brightness based on the CIE L*a*b* colour graph and 140 data points. The N6800 measured at 135% against Rec. 709, 90% against DCI-P3 and 61% against Rec. 2020 but these measurements aren't taking into account the maximum nits that the content is graded at, which is obviously much higher than the N6800's peak brightness of 434nits.
The Perceptual Colour Volume, which uses the PQ EOTF out to 10,000nits and the Rec. 2020 colour gamut measured using the ICtCp colour graph which takes into account human visual perception. This measurement uses 393 data points and delivers a number expressed in Millions of Distinguishable Colours (MDC). Here the N6800 delivered an MDC number of 236 which is the smallest number we have measured to date, reflecting the lower peak brightness and slightly smaller colour gamut.
The HDR was limited by a lower peak brightness and slightly smaller colour gamut
Black Levels, Contrast Ratios and Viewing AnglesThe N6800 uses a VA panel and delivered a black level of 0.02 nits, which was achieved without even resorting to the local dimming. The panel could easily hit our standard dynamic range target of 120nits, which resulted in an on/off contrast ratio of 6000:1, whilst the ANSI contrast ratio was a very impressive 4750:1. In a rare case of a manufacturer downplaying the capabilities of their product, Hisense claimed a contrast ratio of 4000:1 in their marketing literature, so even if they were referring to the ANSI contrast ratio they were being modest. The shadow detail was also quite good, although this isn't an area where LCD panels are strong and there could be a slight loss of detail in more challenging material. Although a VA panel can deliver surprisingly good native blacks for LCD technology, there is a trade-off and in this case the optimal viewing angles were rather limited. As a result, if you sat more than 30 degrees off centre you would start to see a drop off in the contrast performance and the same is true when looking at the panel from above or below.
Backlight UniformityWhen it comes to edge-lit LED TVs, backlight uniformity is always something of a lottery but in the case of our review sample the backlight uniformity was reasonably good. There was a small amount of clouding but nothing that was actually visible when watching content during the day or even when watching a dark scene at night. However we did occasionally see some minor clouding with HDR content, especially on darker material when watching at night. At the edges, where the LEDs are located, the screen was slightly brighter, again especially with HDR content, but for an edge-lit LED TV that is to be expected. As always a bit of bias lighting when watching at night can work wonders with any TV but especially those that use LCD panels, so that's worth considering. We were pleased to see that the panel was free of any dirty screen effect and there was also an absence of banding on camera pans, which is good news for football fans.
Local DimmingIf you engaged the local dimming the black level dropped to 0.009nits but we'd recommend not using it, partly because it didn't make that much difference but also because it was fairly obvious in operation, raising or lowering the brightness from one scene to the next. The local dimming on Hisense's M7000 was certainly better and the kind of local dimming that you'll find on a Samsung TV, for example, is vastly superior. It's a nice feature to have but in the case of the N6800 we wouldn't bother using it, although thankfully the excellent native black levels and decent backlight uniformity meant it wasn't really missed.
Motion HandlingThe motion handling on the N6800 was fairly standard for an LCD TV delivering around 300 lines of motion resolution in our benchmark test. If you engage the frame interpolation feature this will improve, although the motion processing wasn't that good, only increasing the resolution to about 600, whilst film content will immediately start to look more like video. How we perceive motion varies from person to person but we wouldn't recommend using the frame interpolation for film-based content, however feel free to experiment with it when watching sports and other content that involves fast motion or was shot on video cameras. You have the choice of Clear, Standard and Smooth, although there didn't appear to be any obvious difference between the three. However if you watch a lot of football you might find the Custom setting useful, which will allow you to set the Judder and Blur Reduction controls to suit your personal tastes.
Standard Dynamic Range (SDR)Whilst it's important that people manage their expectations, there's no denying that the N6800 delivered an excellent picture with standard dynamic range content, especially when you consider the price. The excellent greyscale and colour gamut performance provided a solid backbone and the very capable video processing made lower resolution content look as good as possible on the Ultra HD 4K panel. Naturally on a 65-inch screen standard definition content can look poor, especially heavily compressed TV channels but a well encoded DVD could be surprisingly watchable.
When it came to high definition content the results were frequently very impressive and with HD broadcasts the H6800 deinterlaced and scaled the content effectively and all the positive attributes we mentioned for standard definition content equally applied to high definition, with colours looking suitably natural. When we moved on to Blu-ray the performance got even better, with current reference discs like Rogue One and Moana looking lovely. There were no problems with motion handling when it came to 24p content and overall the 65N6800 really impressed at its price point.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)Whilst the SDR performance genuinely impressed, the weak point of the N6800 was with High Dynamic Range content. Although this new model has a higher peak brightness and wider colour gamut than Hisense's 2016 mid-range models, it is still less impactful when compared to much of the competition. Having said that the 65N6800 was capable of delivering a very watchable HDR experience and a reference disc like Planet Earth II could still look fantastic, whilst the larger screen size allowed the Hisense to take full advantage of the increase in resolution of native 4K discs. Despite some issues with the DCI-P3 colour tracking in our tests, with actual content the colours were realistically saturated and natural. The ability of the LCD panel to deliver a brighter overall image with a 100% test pattern also meant that the HDR images never appeared dull, even during the day, but it also meant the peak highlights were less apparent.
That's because the N6800 could only deliver a peak brightness of 434nits, which meant it was unable to produce the same impact as a model that could reach 1,000nits. However a useful side-effect was that the Hisense was less likely to suffer the excessive clouding or bright edges seen on brighter edge-lit HDR TVs. That's not to say that you didn't see some, especially at night, but it was less pronounced. The N6800 tracked the PQ EOTF fairly closely in the HDR Night mode and as a result, the tone mapping handled the 'arriving in Neverland' scene in Pan quite well. However whilst the HDR Day mode did boost the overall brightness, it also clipped peak highlights quite noticeably, so we would recommend sticking with the HDR Night mode. Overall the H6800 managed to deliver an HDR experience that at least gave you a taste of the benefits of higher resolution, greater bit depth, wider colour gamut and higher dynamic range, even if it would struggle to compete with better but more expensive models.
The N6800 delivered a solid level of picture quality which made it a great all-round performer
Sound QualityThe audio performance of the N6800 was fairly good and, thanks to the larger screen size, there was also a decent amount of stereo separation. The wider bottom meant that Hisense could also build in some fairly large speakers and as a result the N6800 produced a solid mid-range and well defined higher-end. The 65N6800 includes 30W of built-in amplification, meaning it can go quite loud although it's best not to push it because at higher volumes it will begin to sound a little brittle. The bass was understandably muted but you can say that about almost any modern TV and at least the Hisense delivered an open front soundstage with clear dialogue and nicely rendered music and effects. The N6800 will never compete with a good soundbar or two-channel solution but it's perfectly adequate for watching TV and actually sounded quite good during the BBC's coverage of Glastonbury. As mentioned in the features section Hisense include dbx-tv’s Total Technology audio enhancements but we generally found that we preferred not to use these features, opting for the Music sound mode instead.
The input lag was an excellent 28ms regardless of whether you're gaming in SDR or HDR
Input Lag & Energy UsageWe measured the input lag on the N6800 using our Leo Bodnar tester and in Game mode it produced a lag of 28ms, which is an excellent performance. The Hisense also delivered a lag of 28ms when using the Game mode with an HDR signal, so regardless of whether you game in SDR or HDR the N6800 won't slow you down. We certainly found gaming to be excellent on the Hisense, with lovely 4K and HDR images from our PS4 Pro, with games like Horizon Zero Dawn looking particularly impressive.
In terms of the N6800’s energy consumption it proved to be comparable to other 65-inch LED TVs that we have reviewed recently and using a full window 50% white pattern we measured the Standard picture mode at 109W and our calibrated Cinema Night mode at 73W, whilst the HDR mode naturally used more energy with a measurement of 170W.
How future-proof is this TV?
4K Ultra HD Resolution HDR Support Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best) 66% 10-bit Panel HDMI 2.0a Inputs HDCP 2.2 Support HEVC Decoding 4K Streaming Services Smart TV Platform Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10) 8 What do these mean?
- Impressive black levels and contrast ratios
- Excellent greyscale and colour accuracy
- Good video processing
- Low input lag for gaming
- Plenty of features
- Solid build quality
- Competitive price
- Only two HDMI 2.0 inputs
- HDR brightness limited
- Minor clouding on backlight
- Some bright edges with HDR
- Narrow optimal viewing angle
Hisense H65N6800 4K LED TV ReviewThe N6800 is another cracking mid-range TV from Hisense that manages to deliver a very competitive price without compromising on build quality, features and performance. The design is fairly typical of a modern TV but the all-metal construction certainly isn't, considering the price, and the build quality was excellent. There are plenty of connections – although only two of the HDMI inputs are HDMI 2.0 – a redesigned remote control and a new smart platform that is simple but effective and includes the main video streaming services in 4K and HDR. The N6800 supports HDR10 but we are waiting for confirmation on an HLG update. However, crucially for a TV at this price point the out of the box accuracy was very good, especially in the case of the greyscale, and the performance with standard dynamic range content was genuinely impressive.
The 65N6800 struggled more when it came to high dynamic range content due to its limited peak brightness and Hisense need to work on the wide colour gamut accuracy but it was still capable of delivering an enjoyable HDR experience. The backlight uniformity was reasonable but could have been better and the local dimming lacked the sophistication of the competition. However we were especially pleased to see that Hisense have addressed most of the issues we raised in previous reviews, making this TV the latest model in a very positive evolutionary process. Whilst readers need to manage their expectations sensibly, we're certainly not saying the Hisense H65N6800 is perfect, it does deliver an excellent performance considering its price point, especially with SDR content, and as such is worthy of Recommendation.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £1,099.00
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box8
Picture Quality Calibrated9
Ease Of Use9
Value for Money9
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