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Hisense Is Launching Its Own OLED 4K HDR TV For 2018

by on January 23, 2018
Stephan Jukic – January 23, 2018

Chinese electronics giant Hisense may be a key partner with Samsung and others in a “QLED Alliance” for the eventual replacement of OLED TV displays with an even more advanced next generation of electro-charged quantum dot screens, but this apparently doesn’t stop it from exploring on the side in the meantime.

The company is planning to release its first ever OLED 4K HDR TV in 2018 and their justification for doing this is that Hisense wants to deliver “a choice of both leading technologies” to consumers.

True QLED Technology as a replacement for OLED in terms of perfect control of brightness in individual pixels and ultra-thin backlight-free displays is in any case at least a year or two away from any consumer TV models. Thus Hisense’s move in the direction of OLED seems practical enough despite the QLED Alliance. Currently OLED is the single most advanced consumer market display technology in the world and LG (which very definitely isn’t in danger of joining of the QLED Alliance) has got a near monopoly on TV screen-sized OLED displays.

The other members of the QLED Alliance, Samsung and TCL, both have their own lines of so-called “QLED” 4K HDR TVs while Hisense’s own version of the same is rather confusingly called ULED. Whatever acronym you prefer, the basic technology behind these TVs from all three brands is fundamentally identical: a sort of basic QLED version in which thin filter screens containing numerous differently colored quantum nano-crystals are placed over traditional LCD/LED TV displays for a wider and more vibrant gamut of colors and superior high dynamic range performance. These TVs do use quantum dot crystals but in a very crude way, since they still come with traditional backlight technology.


Quantum dot nano-crystals in liquid medium being prepared for QLED display

True near-future QLED tech will on the other hand look much more like OLED than today’s consumer market QLED display tech in that it will consist of self-illuminating quantum dot crystals inside TV screen pixels themselves, with each pixel producing its own color and light as needed for the bigger picture. The result is perfect viewing angles, infinite contrast capacity and exceptional control of where objects are lit up or dimmed in onscreen content As we recently explained in this guide to the differences between future QLED and today’s OLED, OLED works in much the same way but without the tremendous levels of peak brightness being predicted for next generation QLED TV screens. Thus Hisense’s decision to leap for an OLED TV release in this brave new year makes practical sense too. Their exploration of consumer market OLED should make them a better manufacturer of QLED TVs when these do come out in their next generation form.

The upcoming OLED 4K TV will come with full HDR support and so far as we know, it will be Hisense’s own OLED development, not a display that’s been licensed from LG’s factories and customized to fit with Hisense 4K TV hardware & software.

The company has said this much about the upcoming TV and even released an image of how it will reportedly look. Beyond this we know no further details at this point. We don’t expect the upcoming model to be cheap by Hisense 4K TV standards, but neither do we think it will cost quite as much as LG’s 2018 HDR 4K TVs are going to be retailing for when they come out later in the spring.

According to Andre Iannuzzi, Head of Marketing for Hisense Australia in a recent statement about the upcoming OLED TV,

“Hisense aims to provide our customers with the latest technologies and the introduction of OLED in our TV lineup is yet another example of how we are responding to consumer demand by offering a choice of both leading technologies,”

Aside from OLED, Hisense has also been exceptionally busy in the conventional LCD 4K HDR TV landscape. At CES 2018 in the first days of January, they unveiled some pretty cool looking new LCD TVs, with one model in particular being remarkable in that it offered over 1000 local dimming zones with its full-array LED backlight. This is stunningly impressive in terms of HDR content performance.

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