Hisense HE65K5510 UHD 4K TV Review
What a bargain!
What is the Hisense K5510?The HE65K5510 is a 65-inch mid-range model in the Hisense LED LCD TV range for 2016 and appears to be identical in terms of specifications to the H65M5500 that we reviewed recently. The two TVs use flat Ultra HD 4K panels and include support for High Dynamic Range (HDR), along with a Smart TV platform, superior sound and a high level of build quality. Unlike the M7000 these TVs don't have local dimming but the features for both TVs are impressive and the only real difference appears to be cosmetic. The 65M5500 uses a silver bezel and the 65K5510 a glossy black one, although both TVs use the same metallic feet. However what really gets your attention is the price and both can currently be picked up for as little as £755. That's just incredible for a 65-inch UHD 4K TV with HDR and if the K5510 proves to be at least as good as the M5500 then we might be looking at a real bargain.
DesignThe K5510 uses a very minimalist approach to its design, with a simple flat 65-inch screen and a glossy black plastic bezel that is 1cm wide along the top and sides and 3cm wide at the bottom. That's it really and we're rather glad to see a TV in old school black after so many models have opted for metallic silver this year. The only features on the front are the Hisense logo at the bottom centre of the screen and beneath this is a V shape that is illuminated when the TV is off and goes out when the TV is on. The 65K5510 has a black plastic rear and is 3cm deep at the top and 6cm deep at the bottom where the speakers are housed.The TV sits on an identical stand to the M5500, which is made up of two detachable metallic silver feet. When attached the stand is 131cm wide, so you'll need a surface at least that big on which to position the TV and if you plan on using a soundbar there is 8cm of clearance beneath the screen. However you also have the option to wall mount the K5510 and there are fittings at the rear for a 400 x 400 VESA bracket. The build quality is excellent and the TV has a nicely engineered feel to it, despite the low price point. The HE65K5510 measures 1458 x 898 x 315mm (WxHxD) with the feet attached and weighs in at 31kg.
The design is minimalist with an old school glossy black bezel and decent build quality
Connections & ControlThe connections are at the rear on the left hand side as you face the screen and they are a combination of rearwards and sideways facing inputs. Those facing sideways are 29cm 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 2.0a inputs (4K/60p, HDR and HDCP 2.2), a composite video input, a component video input, a SCART connector, a stereo analogue input, an optical digital output and a LAN port, although there is also built-in WiFi. Whilst the K5510 only has two HDMI 2.0a inputs for HDCP 2.2 and HDR sources, you could always expand this via a similarly equipped soundbar or AV Receiver.
The sideways facing connections are composed of two HDMI 1.4 inputs (4K/30p and HDCP 1.4), one of which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) and one of which supports MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link). The fact that the HDMI input that supports ARC is one of the HDMI 1.4 connectors seems like an oversight on the part of Hisense, it would have made more sense for one of the HDMI 2.0a inputs to support ARC. There are also three USB ports (two 2.0 and one 3.0), a Freeview HD tuner, satellite tuner (not Freesat), a headphone jack and a CI (Common Interface) slot. In addition to the connections, at the rear on the right hand side as you face the screen, you'll find the connection for the included detachable two-pin power cable.The K5510 comes with the standard Hisense remote, which is good news as we're really fond of this controller and, like the TV itself, it is well made and nicely designed, never reflecting its budget price point. The remote is a simple but effective black plastic controller that is large enough to ensure the buttons are 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 above and home, volume and channels buttons beneath. There are also keys for using the media player and direct access buttons for Netflix, YouTube and Wuaki TV. There are plenty of flashier remotes around but the Hisense controller gets the job done and that's the the most important factor as far as we're concerned.
Features & SpecsDespite the budget nature of the K5510's pricing, there's nothing budget about its features and specifications. The TV uses a 65-inch Ultra HD 4K panel with 4K Upscaling for lower resolution sources and, as mentioned in the introduction, it supports High Dynamic Range (HDR). As we explained in the connections section there are two HDMI 2.0a inputs and the 65K5510 can decode both the HEVC and VP9 codecs. The Hisense also has a well designed EPG (Electronic Programme Guide), is PVR ready and includes Anyview Cast and Anyview Stream for easy access to content such as photos, music and videos on smartphones, tablets and home networks. Whilst on the audio side there's dbx-tv’s Total Technology audio enhancements, which include Total Sonics for clarity and dynamic bass boost, Total Volume for consistent, level volume and Total Surround for a wider sound field.
The Smart TV platform is fairly basic but it has an intuitive layout that's simple to navigate and includes quad core processing so it's also nicely responsive. When you press the Home button on the remote, you are presented with five options along the left of the screen, which you can then go down through. The options are Premium, which includes 4K Netflix, 4K Amazon and 4K YouTube, as well as Wuaki TV and BBC iPlayer. The next option is My Apps which is the app store and here you'll find some useful apps like Plex. The next option is the Media Player, then a Recommendation feature and finally the Input selection. Hisense plan to add HDR to the Amazon and Netflix apps via a firmware update in the near future and they also plan to add Freeview Play before the end of the year, which means the K5510 will be able to offer all the catch-up services.
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Despite its budget pricing the 65K5510 is well specified and comes packed with features
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-BoxHisense employ a simple but effective menu system which makes setting up the K5510 quite straightforward. You access the menu system by pressing the settings button on the remote control and then going down to All Settings. Although the most recently visited settings are also shown under History, which is handy if you need to go back to a recently accessed setting. The Cinema Picture Mode is the most accurate choice out-of-the-box, with settings that best approximate the industry standards of D65 and Rec. 709. The Cinema mode also turns off the majority of the unnecessary processing but you'll need to set the Backlight, Contrast and Brightness controls to suit your environment.
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 and you can find some suggested picture settings for the HE65K5510 here.
The K5510 delivered a decent greyscale performance right out of the box and although there was slightly too much blue energy in the brighter part of the scale this isn't unusual. Manufacturers often add more blue deliberately to make whites appear whiter, they aren't of course it's just an optical illusion. So in the brightest parts of the image, above 80 IRE, whites had a slight blue tinge but it wasn't distracting and the errors for most of the scale were below the visible threshold of three. We found that careful setting of the brightness control was essential to get a good gamma curve but as you can see once we had done that it tracked our target of 2.4 very closely. So overall we're happy with the out-of-the-box performance of the K5510 in terms of greyscale and gamma, which is important because most people probably won't get the TV professionally calibrated.The colour performance was equally as good and any errors largely related to the excess of blue in the greyscale. You can see in the graph above that white is skewed away from its target of D65 (the square in the middle of the triangle) and towards blue, this is in turn skewing the other colours. However the overall gamut matches Rec. 709 (the triangle) very closely and the colours are tracking their saturation points quite well. So once we calibrate the greyscale they should all fall into line precisely. Although not shown on this graph, the luminance was also very good and overall this is another decent out-of-the-box performance from the K5510.
Picture Settings – CalibratedWhen you consider the price of the K5510 it's unlikely that owners will get their new TV professionally calibrated but Hisense have included a 2- and a 10-point white balance control, along with a colour management system (CMS). So we will begin this part of the review by adjusting with the two point and then fine tuning with the ten point white balance control before using the CMS.All we really needed to do was reduce the amount of blue in the higher part of the scale using the 2-point white balance control and the greyscale was already delivering an excellent level of accuracy. Since we had a 10-point control available as well, we used that to fine tune the overall performance and as you can see the K5510 delivered a reference greyscale and gamma performance with all the errors below one. This is an impressive performance from a 65-inch TV costing less than £800.As we suspected, as soon as we removed the excess blue from the greyscale the colours all fell into line and most tracked their 25, 50, 75 and 1000% saturation very closely. In addition the luminance measurements remained very good, so the K5510 was delivering a highly accurate colour performance against Rec. 709. There was a minor error in green at 75% and blue was under-saturated but unfortunately using the CMS failed to correct this. However when you consider the price point this is a superb performance overall that is certainly as good as the more expensive M7000.
The image accuracy was excellent, especially after calibration, with an equally solid HDR performance
Picture Settings – High Dynamic RangeThe K5510 supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) so we used our Murideo Fresco Six-G pattern generator to emulate HDR 10 and see how the Hisense performs in this area. One thing to note is that when the K5510 detects an HDR signal it automatically goes into the HDR mode but it doesn't inform you of that fact, so the only way to tell is either via the increase in overall brightness or by checking the picture mode in the menu.We were able to get a maximum peak brightness of 350 nits from the K5510 but that dropped to 320 nits once we had set it up correctly. So it isn't the brightest HDR TV on the market but it should be enough to deliver an enhanced viewing experience. What was impressive was the Hisense's performance against the PQ EOTF used for HDR 10. As you can see in the graph above the K5510 tracks it very closely and the greyscale is also very good aside from a slight excess of blue in the brighter part of the scale. All of the DeltaE (error) measurements are also below the threshold of three, aside from a very slight peak where the curve begins to roll off. However despite the limited brightness this is an excellent performance.In the same way that the K5510 isn't the brightest HDR TV it also doesn't have the widest colour gamut, only measuring 55% of Rec. 2020. The more expensive TVs on the market can reach over 70% of Rec. 2020, so the 65K5510 can't deliver all the colours available in HDR content. However that is only half the picture if you'll excuse the pun because it's also important that the TV can track the Rec. 2020 saturation points as accurately as possible within the limitations of its native colour gamut. In this respect the K5510 did a very good job against Rec. 2020.
At present feature films use the professional colour gamut of DCI-P3 and although the domestic standard of Rec. 2020 is larger, it's important that the TV can track DCI-P3 within Rec. 2020. Due to its limited colour gamut the K5510 only covered 75% of DCI-P3 using the xy coordinates and 83% using the uv coordinates. However as with Rec. 2020 the 65K5510 did track DCI-P3 very closely within this limited colour gamut, which means that although you might not be getting all the colours, you are at least getting an accurate representation of them. We have certainly seen more expensive TVs with wider colour gamuts that haven't tracked Rec. 2020 or DCI-P3 as well and when you consider how much the K5510 costs, the HDR performance is genuinely impressive.
The K5510 delivered great backlight uniformity and an impressive picture with both SDR and HDR content
Picture QualityHisense have been really impressing this year in terms of picture quality and the K5510 is another great example. The black level was particularly good, measuring 0.02 nits which is very low, even for a VA panel. The panel could easily hit our standard dynamic range target of 120 nits, which resulted in an on/off contrast ratio of 6000:1, whilst the ANSI contrast ratio was a very impressive 4147:1. This kind of contrast performance doesn't come without a cost of course and as with any VA panel the optimal viewing angles are rather limited. So if you are at more than 30 degrees either side of centre you will start to see a drop off in the contrast performance and the same is true when looking at the panel from above or below.
Unlike the M5500 we reviewed previously, the backlight uniformity was also excellent and there was no visible clouding, even when we watched content in a completely dark room. It isn't perfect of course and the edges where the LEDs are located were slightly brighter, especially with HDR content, but for an edge-lit LED TV the backlight uniformity was impressive. 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 but there was some minor banding on camera pans. How noticeable this is will depend on the content but if you watch a lot of football you might want to demo first.
The more expensive H65M7000 that we reviewed recently includes local dimming but in reality it didn't actually make a huge difference to the perceived image. Thanks to the K5510's excellent black level and contrast performance, despite the lack of any local dimming feature it still performed very well. Although LCD technology isn't the best at delivering shadow detail just above black, the K5510 handled the scene of Voldemort's army amassing over Hogwarts in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 surprisingly well. It also handled difficult scenes like Sandra Bullock's character cartwheeling off into space in Gravity very well, with the white of the space suit contrasting with the blackness of space whilst still delivering a believable star field.
The motion handling on the K5510 was generally very good, given the limitations of LCD technology, and it delivered around 300 lines of motion resolution in our benchmark test. If you engage the frame interpolation feature this will improve to the full 1080 but 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. Once again if you watch a lot of football you might find the frame interpolation useful and it did smooth the motion without introducing unwanted artefacts.
These days standard definition content makes up less of our day-to-day viewing but it is still important that a TV can deinterlace and upscale this content correctly. The K5510 proved to be a very solid performer in this area, with the excellent greyscale and colour gamut performance providing a solid backbone and the equally impressive video processing making the lower resolution content look as good as possible on the Ultra HD 4K panel. Naturally on a 65-inch screen size the more compressed channels will look fairly poor but that isn't the fault of the 65K5510 and with a well encoded DVD the full potential of standard definition was apparent and the results were surprisingly watchable.
When it came to high definition content the results were frequently very impressive and with HD broadcasts the K5510 deinterlaced and scaled the content effectively and a show like Planet Earth II often looked absolutely stunning. All the positive attributes we mentioned for standard definition content equally apply to high definition and the colours were also suitably natural. When we moved on to Blu-ray the performance got even better and current reference discs like Finding Dory and The BFG both looked stunning, as did old favourites like Jurassic World and Tomorrowland. The 65K5510 had no problems with 24p content and overall it performed superbly, regardless of the price point.
Despite the lower peak brightness and limited colour gamut of the K5510, it was still capable of delivering a very watchable HDR experience. Ultra HD Blu-rays such as The Shallows and Star Trek Beyond looked fantastic, whilst the larger screen size allowed the Hisense to take full advantage of the increase in resolution with native 4K discs like The Revenant and Lucy. You could see every hair in Leonardo DiCaprio's beard and every pore on Scarlett Johansson's skin, whilst the excellent colour tracking meant that things like the landscape shots in The Revenant or the cityscapes in Lucy all looked very natural. The surfing scenes at the beginning of The Shallows looked particularly impressive, especially when compared to the regular Blu-ray.
Although the peak brightness of 320 nits meant the 65K5510 couldn't deliver the same impact as a model that could reach 1,000 nits, it did mean that the image was less likely to suffer as much from bright edges as many other brighter edge-lit TVs. Thanks to the excellent tracking of the PQ EOTF, the Hisense was also good at mapping HDR content to its limited peak brightness and the only downside was some clipping in the brightest parts of the image, as evidenced by the 'arriving in Neverland' scene in Pan. However overall the K5510 was capable of delivering a very enjoyable HDR experience and, when you consider its price, the Hisense certainly makes a very sensible choice as a first TV for anyone interested in high dynamic range.
Hisense HE65K5510 Video Review
Sound QualityThe audio performance of the K5510 was reasonably good and the larger panel obviously allows for far more stereo separation than with a smaller TV and the wider depth at the bottom means Hisense can include some fairly large speakers. The result is a decent level of sound quality with a solid mid-range and well delivered higher-end. The 65K5510 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 begins to sound a little harsh. The bass was understandably limited but the Hisense delivered an open front soundstage with clear dialogue and nicely rendered music and effects. Naturally if you want a big and immersive audio experience you'll need to look for an outboard sound solution but for general TV viewing the K5510 delivered a perfectly decent performance. Hisense include dbx-tv’s Total Technology audio enhancement such as Total Sonics for clarity and dynamic bass boost, Total Volume for consistent, level volume and Total Surround for a wider sound field. We generally found that we preferred not to use these features, opting for the Music sound mode instead but they are certainly worthy of experimentation.
The sound quality was decent and the 32ms input lag should keep even the most demanding gamers happy
Input LagThe K5510 delivered an input lag of 32ms in the Game mode which is very good and should please even the most hardcore of gamers. We found gaming on the Hisense to be very enjoyable and a session of Star Wars: Battlefront was great fun, with an experience that was involving and responsive, whilst the larger screen size increased the sense of immersion. Unfortunately there is no separate game mode for HDR gaming, you have to use the normal HDR mode which means that the input lag will increase to 50ms in these circumstances. It is possible to select the Game mode whilst watching HDR content, which means you could reduce the input lag, however in doing so you will lose the HDR experience because only the HDR mode uses the correct PQ curve. So unfortunately if you want to enjoy full HDR gaming, you will have to accept a slightly higher input lag, although 50ms isn't terrible.
How future-proof is this TV?
4K Ultra HD Resolution HDR Support Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best) 55% 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
- Great backlight uniformity
- Good video processing
- Decent HDR performance
- Low input lag for gaming
- Plenty of features
- Solid build quality
- Amazing price
- HDR colour and brightness limited
- Minor bright edges with HDR
- Narrow optimal viewing angle
- Occasional banding
Hisense HE65K5510 UHD 4K TV Review
Should I buy one?
If you're in the market for a decent big screen budget TV at very attractive price then the simple answer is yes. When you consider that the 65K5510 costs less than £800, it's incredibly good value and delivers a level of performance that will put many more expensive TVs to shame. The design is minimalist but attractive, with a glossy black bezel that is something of a rarity these days. There is a solid stand composed of two feet, although you also have the option of wall mounting, and the overall build quality is excellent for the price point. There are plenty of connections including two HDMI 2.0a inputs and the remote control is well designed and effective. The K5510 includes Freeview HD along with a nice looking EPG and although the smart platform is relatively simple it's also easy to navigate, fast thanks to quad-core processing and it gets the job done. It includes the main video streaming services in 4K and with the addition of Freeview Play in the near future it will also have all the catch-up services. The sound quality was reasonable and an input lag of 32ms should keep even the most fanatical gamers happy.
If that was all the K5510 had to offer it would be worth buying but it also manages to deliver an excellent picture, regardless of the price. First of all despite the use of edge LED lighting the backlight uniformity is very good, with no obvious clouding even when watching in a dark room. There are some slight bright edges where the LEDs are, especially with HDR content, and there is some minor banding visible but, for an edge-lit TV, this was an impressive effort. The black level and contrast ratio performance was also excellent, although as with any VA panel the optimal viewing angles were fairly narrow. The out-of-the-box greyscale and colour accuracy were both decent and extremely good after calibration, whilst the 65K5510 also measured well in terms of HDR despite a limited peak brightness and colour gamut. The upscaling to the native 4K panel was impressive and the motion handle was perfectly acceptable within the limitations of LCD technology. As a result the picture quality with both standard and high dynamic range content was really good and we had to continually remind ourselves of the budget price of the K5510.
When we reviewed the H65M5500 we said that if it had better backlight uniformity it would have been a Best Buy badge winner. Well the Hisense HE65K5510 not only has better backlight uniformity but it also excels in many other areas, so true to our word there's no question it deserves a Best Buy award.
What are my alternatives?
At this price point there really isn't another TV in this screen size that comes close to the K5510, so the most obvious alternative is its stablemate. The Hisense H65M5500 is essentially the same TV with a metallic silver bezel instead of a black one but the K5510 performed better in testing, especially in terms of backlight uniformity. Although as we mentioned in the review of the M5500 backlight uniformity is a bit of a lottery with edge-lit TVs and we might have received a poor sample. Alternatively, if you have a bit more to spend and want an even better level of build quality, local dimming, increased peak brightness and a wider colour gamut, you can take a look at the Hisense H65M7000 which is around £300 more.
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Suggested retail price when reviewed: £899.00
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box8
Picture Quality Calibrated9
Ease Of Use9
Value for Money10
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