Hisense continues its attempt to overwhelm the North American market by sheer volume, hoping to fill the needs of every sales channel in North America.
At this year's CES, the top-selling Chinese brand unveiled 21 HDR-compatible Hisense-branded value-priced ULED 4K models in seven lines for 2017, each of which include a varying panoply features and functions, especially HDR, plus another 12 Sharp-branded UHD SKUs across four lines.
In addition, Hisense, announced it will start shipping its long-awaited 10—inch short-throw 4K Laser Cast TV, the 100H10D ($12,999), this summer. This seemingly steep price is a third of competing laser projectors, according to Hisense, and is bundled with a 100-inch passive screen with a floor stand and a 5.1 sound system. The increase in quality and drop in price gives Laser Cast "the capability of overthrowing LCD TV," Hisense president Liu Hong Xin earnestly projects.
At the other end of the tech spectrum, the company also unveiled several 2K TVs in three lines, including one with built-in Roku TV.
Continuing its high quality-low price message, the company's flagship 75-inch H10D ULED ($5,999, summer), which is carefully described as "designed to achieve THX certification." The H10D includes quantum dot, wide color gamut, HDR10 compatibility, Bluetooth audio and full array local dimming, while its 75-inch R8 model ($1,199, August) includes Dolby Vision HDR and integrated Roku TV.
Hisense also will be selling two sub-$1,000 65-inch HDR10-compatible models, the H8D ($999, March/April) and the H7 ($899, March/April). Both these series include 55- and 50-inch editions as well; the H7 line also includes a 43-inch HDR10 UHD version ($399, March/April).
Hisense's channel-filling strategy seems to be working. According to Mark Viken, Hisense Americas VP of marketing, many outlets were sold out of its 2016 H8-series inventory.
Curiously, Hisense will be selling just one UHD with Dolby Vision, the 75-inch R8 with built-in Roku ($1,199, August).
Hisense's 2017 series are:
*The aforementioned H10D
*H9 Plus ULED in 65- ($1,999), 55- ($1,299) and 50-inch ($999) models, all due March/April, with wide color gamut, Motion 240, HDR10, ELED local dimming, dbx-tv sound and a 4K digital media player.
*H9 ULED in 65- ($1,299), 55- ($899) and 50-inch ($699) versions with wide color gamut Motion 120, HDR10, ELED local dimming, dbx-tv sound and a 4K digital media player, also due in March/April.
*H8D, in 86- ($5,999), 75- ($2,499), 65- ($999), 55- ($649) and 50-inch ($549) editions, also all due March/April, all with HDR10, DLED local dimming, dbx-tv audio, a 4K media streamer and Motion 120.
*H7 in 65- ($899), 55- ($599), 50-inch ($499) and 43-inch ($399) versions, also available in March/April and all with HDR10, DLED local dimming, dbx-tv audio, a 4K media streamer and Motion 120.
*The aforementioned R8
*R6, all with integrated 4K Roku TV, in 65- ($799), 55- ($549), 50-inch ($449) and 43-inch ($379) models, with Motion 120 and dts audio.
Along with HDR, all Hisense's new sets will incorporate the company's proprietary smart TV interface with a web browser and 4K Now, which gathers all the known 4K content the TV can find for one-stop 4K shopping and viewing. In addition, all the new sets will include four HDMI inputs, a USB jack, dual band AC Wi-Fi and both H.265 and VP9.2 compatibility.
Hisense believes its ability to deliver advanced features at friendlier prices stems from its $25 million investment to increase both capacity and efficiency in Sharp's Mexican factory. The company also has expanded its North American workforce by 20 percent, which includes dedicated service and R&D centers, to help establish its local bona fides for consumers wary of a relatively unknown Chinese TV company. "Our goal is to become a trusted and respected TV brand," Viken says.
Seeking an additional cutting edge rep, the company also said it would launch QLED ULED UHDs in 2019, and hinted at 8K QLED TVs, smart appliances and smart transportation systems were in the offing. More pedantically, the company unveiled soundbars for the first time, four models priced between $79 and $299.
Surprisingly, Hisense's 2017 Sharp UHDs did not get as much as a shoutout at its press event. However, four new Sharp UHD model series will be released this year:
*The flagship 75-inch P9500 ($7,999, TBD) with quantum dot WCG, Sharp's SmartCentral smart TV interface, dbx-tv sound, a 4K media streamer and pending THX and UHDA certifications.
*P9000 HDR10 and wide color gamut smart models in 65- ($1,999), 55- ($1,299) and 50-inch ($999) SKUs.
*P8000 HDR10 smart TVs in 75- ($2,699), 65- ($1,999), 55- ($849) and 50-inch ($749).
*P7000 HDR10 SmartCentral TVs in 65- ($999), 55- ($649), 50- ($549) and 43-inch ($449).