Hisense 65SX Dual Cell 65” TV
Tony O’Brien takes a fascinating first look at this innovative new Dual Cell TV…
65SX Dual Cell 65” TV
AUD $3,499 RRP
It wasn’t so long ago that if you’d asked for my opinion about Hisense TVs, I would have politely guided you elsewhere. Mind you, a handful of years is an eternity in this business, and I can recall saying much the same of then relative newcomers LG and Samsung…
Since then, Hisense has gone on to not only provide an alternative to the ‘big three’, but some rather unique and innovative display technologies. Indeed, its new $3,499 65SX Dual Cell TV aims to couple OLED-like black levels with the brightness of LED/LCD. It’s an ambitious undertaking, especially when you consider that the company is abandoning its OLED business in favour of Dual Cell technology.
At the core of this technology are two dual precision bonded LCD layers or cells. A 1920x1080 cell directly in front of the LED lighting is used for greyscale and luminance, the outer 4K RGB cell used for colour. These are bonded at a micro or pixel level to line up individually, with five chips working in unison to sync the cells simultaneously. While Hisense would not disclose response times, it did say they were excellent.
In terms of video performance, the 65SX has 100 zones of local dimming, although I’m told this number isn’t as important as it is with single-cell LCD/LED televisions. Rather the backlight is more governed by the greyscale/luminance cell, which effectively gives it nearly 2 million zones of local dimming. Stated video black level is 0.0007 nits, and peak brightness is quoted at 1,000 nits. This is a little lower than most of its competitors in terms of brightness, yet about thirty percent brighter than OLED. There’s also the promise of black levels that are closer to OLED, so it’s an intriguing proposition.
In terms of sound, the 65SX reinforces its high-end ambitions by offering not only Dolby Vision but also Dolby Atmos.
STYLING & INTERFACE
Finished in a combination of cobalt grey and black, the 65SX is decidedly retro in appearance; the grey bar directly below the screen is dotted with holes for its forward-facing speakers, for example. Appearances aside, this does give the promise of better clarity from the speakers. Rather than offering a plinth style base, there’s a large open slot through which you can see the TV’s stand, which includes a concealed 4.5” subwoofer. Table mounted, the 65SX has a slight upwards tilt suiting today’s low-line entertainment units. Wall-mounted, this TV does away with the wireless subwoofer/stand, which can be placed directly on the floor.
Overall build quality is on par for the asking price but falls short of premium offerings from competing brands. The same can be said of the remote control, although it’s easy on the eye and the dedicated buttons for Netflix, Prime and Youtube are welcome inclusions. The VIDA 4 operating system is reminiscent of the Android operating system, and proved both responsive and free of apparent glitches; likewise, Alexa worked seamlessly.
The 65SX delivers an impressive image, punctuated by deep dark blacks and excellent brightness. With David Attenborough’s Our Planet on Netflix, it was able to achieve an incredible sense of dimensionality. Even in a less than ideal viewing environment, jungle foliage took on a three-dimensional look that I can’t recall witnessing from other technologies. I had no significant misgivings about colour reproduction; the SX was apparently free of the inaccurate colour and purplish tint that plagued some of Hisense’s earlier TVs.
Images were no less impressive with Netflix’s The Highwaymen, the excellent contrast ratio breathing life into the Dolby Vision encoding. If the 65SX does have an Achilles Heel, it may be its motion handling. I noticed some judder and aliasing coming from the grills of the cars at the 11-minute mark. I was able to reproduce this aliasing to a lesser extent on my LG C9 OLED, while it was not present on my Sony A9G.
Although I only got to spend a few hours with Hisense’s 65SX, it turned out to be a most pleasant surprise. Not having the measurement equipment to hand to do an in-depth review, I’m very much looking forward to Hisense sending me a review sample that I can get my teeth into, at a later date. First impressions were very impressive, so I highly recommend an audition. You might just find yourself walking away as surprised as I was.
As the owner of Adelaide based ‘Clarity Audio & Video Calibration’, Tony is a certified ISF Calibrator. Tony is an accomplished Audio-Visual reviewer specialising in theatre and visual products.