Hisense changed a few critical points of approach for this sub-topper. For example, a mini LED backlight with several segments and a high-contrast panel was chosen. The spec list is extensive, so it looks like a good buy. Is that true?
Hisense 65U79KQ – specifications
|What||Ultra HD LCD TV (MiniLED FALD, 32×12 zones, Quantum Dot)|
|Format||65 inches (164 cm), flat|
|Connections||4x HDMI (2x v2.0, 2x v2.1 eARC/ARC, ALLM, VRR, 4K120), 1x composite video, 1x stereo minijack, 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 1x headphones, 2x antenna, Bluetooth|
|Extras||Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, HDR10, HLG, WiFi (802.11b/g/n/ac) built-in, VIDAA U7 OS, USB/DLNA media player, DVB-T2/C/S2, CI+ lock|
|Dimensions||1,449 x 894 x 306 mm (incl. base)|
|Weight||20.6 kg (incl. base)|
|Consumption||SDR 100 (F) / HDR 210 watts (G)|
Hisense 65U79KQ – Design
Viewed from the front, this Hisense looks elegant; the open foot and the dark silver frame give it a modern look. If you look a little closer, you will notice that the finish is good but not high-quality.
The device is almost eight centimeters deep in profile, although the screen is a bit slimmer. The back looks very basic, and the frame and foot are plastic.
The open base is elegant and stable, but the connection to the device is a bit weak. As a result, the screen can wobble on its base.
Hisense 65U79KQ – Connections
This Hisense features two HDMI 2.0 and two HDM 2.1 ports like last year’s models. HDMI 3 and 4 deliver a total of 48 Gbps bandwidth and support 4K120 gaming. In addition, it also offers eARC, ALLM, and VRR.
The remaining connections are also unchanged: two USB connections, a composite video and stereo minijack input, optical digital audio out, a headphone connection, Bluetooth, an Ethernet connection, and WiFi. The Ethernet connection, optical digital output, and one USB connections point to the rear but are slightly recessed in the back so they do not interfere with a possible wall mounting.
Hisense uses VIDAA OS as a smart TV system. Since our first acquaintance with that environment, it appears to work very smoothly, which is a focus point for Hisense. Navigating through the menus or apps runs smoothly. You can use different user profiles within VIDAA. Although this is optional, you can use the TV without a profile. The VIDAA app also makes it easier to set up the TV. Unfortunately, the app did not work on our Android phone, which Hisense is checking.
In this version 7, there are already some layout changes, and here too, it is clear that the experience of the different intelligent TV systems is increasingly converging. At the top of the Home screen, there is quite a bit of space for a sponsored content carousel. In the center of the screen is your row of apps, which can be up to twenty-five, twelve of which are visible simultaneously. The most notable change is that the icons at the top last year have now been moved to the left side of the screen. For example, slightly more space is available, so the recommendations at the bottom of the screen are more clearly visible. As soon as you scroll down, the screen changes. The apps slide upwards, and recommendations for the selected app appear if the app makes them available.
Another notable change is that the Home screen is now considered an entrance. If you press the input button, the Home Screen will appear at the top as the first option.
We don’t see any substantial changes to the settings menu. Hisense offers quite a few well-organized settings, and navigation is smooth.
The most striking novelty is in motion sharpness. The panel can use a 240Hz refresh rate at the expense of vertical resolution. The resolution loss is visible only with finely detailed images, and some moving objects have a clear trail. You get improved motion sharpness instead, so you have to weigh whether you think it’s worth it. Alternatively, you can activate Clear Motion; thus, a Black Frame Insertion (BFI) operates at 120Hz. You also gain motion sharpness while virtually no flickering is visible, unlike 60Hz BFI techniques. Our preference here was Clear Motion if you want the extra motion sharpness. Keep in mind that it brightens dark scenes excessively. By the way, without these two techniques, the result is also good, but you lose a bit of detail, and there is a vague soft edge around moving objects. The motion interpolation works well without excessive image artifacts, but in “Smooth,” it can still cause a stutter here and there; unless you work in 240Hz mode, the result is excellent. The ‘Film’ preset still left too much judder in RED’s intro scene; for a better result, ‘default’ is the better choice.
|Picture Mode Settings / Backlight||Picture mode settings||Picture mode settings||Advanced settings|
Local Dimming: Low-Medium
Light Sensor: On
Self-Adaptive Color Temperature: Off
Adaptive Contrast: Off/Low
|Ultra Smooth Motion: Clear-Smooth
Precise Motion: Off/On
Noise Reduction: Off/Low
MPEG Noise Reduction: Low
Color Temperature: Warm 1
|Color Gamut: Auto
Black Level: Auto
Gamma Correction: BT.1886 or 2.2
Enhanced Shadow Detail: Off/On
HDR Tone Mapping: Off
Smooth Picture with Better Gradation: Low
240Hz High Refresh Rate: Off
Hisense 65U79KQ – Picture quality
The main change in this model is in the backlight and LCD panel. No longer an IPS variant but a VA panel with better contrast, and the backlight was upgraded to mini LEDs that provide more zones in the Full Array Local Dimming. You get the wide color gamut via quantum dots. The screen has a decent, but not perfect, uniformity. In dark images, some cloud formation is faintly visible; in clear images, we saw some minimal dirty screen effects.
The panel delivers a decent ANSI contrast of 5045:1. The local dimming uses 32×12 (384) zones. Still, despite that, the TV can only increase the contrast to 7439:1. Even in more simple patterns, the Hisense cannot improve that result. The cause seems to be that Hisense always wants to avoid visible zone boundaries. As a result, with Local Dimming in the Low position, you still get a subtle halo effect because the TV controls several segments, preventing abrupt transitions. That often makes black just a little darker gray. The medium setting gives a better black value and a bit better contrast. The dimming works quickly and never lets zones light up incorrectly. Strangely enough, it influences the color temperature, which gets a light orange/yellow tint.
The Filmmaker mode has a relatively low gamma value that shows a lot of black detail but is slightly more suitable for well-lit living rooms. With Adaptive Contrast, you get a little more contrast and depth in the image, which also appears slightly sharper.
The grayscale has too much red, and local dimming pulls that a little further to orange/yellow. Still, the color reproduction is generally perfect; only in skin tones can you see the influence of the different color temperatures more efficiently.
Hisense 65U79KQ – HDR
With a peak brightness of 586 nits on a 10% window in HDR Filmmaker Mode, the U79KQ slightly disappoints. It does have more to offer because, at a 25% window, the meter goes up to 734 nits. It does not record a top result with 549 nits on the white screen. The local dimming, therefore, takes away quite a bit of the potential while we secretly hoped to tap 1000 nits.
The quantum dots provide a wide color range, 74% Rec.2020 and 97% P3. That is quite a bit of light, especially a lot of color.
The Filmmaker Fashion in HDR is closer to what we expect from a well-calibrated television. The gray scale is more neutral, and color reproduction is sound. Sufficient black detail is visible, and in the very dark House of Dragons beach scene, the TV can display the nuances very well. You get even better visibility in dark scenes by activating’ Enhanced shadow details.’ It seems to ignore the HDR10 metadata and can hide some white detail. This can be recovered by activating dynamic tone mapping. It works excellently and shows all-white detail, but unfortunately, it costs contrast because mid tones are made too bright. The image loses some depth. We prefer white detail loss unless the content has been mastered. The images themselves are fine, but they lack a bit of the sparkle we expect from HDR. The U79KQ supports HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision IQ, and HDR10+ Adaptive.
Gaming, Reflections, and viewing angles
The VA panel has a good viewing angle for color but drops a lot of contrast if you look from a too-sharp angle. The dimming can then become visible in dark scenes.
In game mode, this Hisense has a sound input lag of 15.7 ms (4K60) and 7.8 ms (2K120). The VRR support includes HDMI VRR and AMD FreeSync Premium, and although not listed, it is also NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible. The panel should be able to handle up to 144Hz refresh rate, but we did not get that activated on our test PC. Remember that eARC is on HDMI 3, so you must sacrifice an HDMI 2.1 connection for an external audio solution.
Hisense 65U79KQ – Sound quality
With a 2.1 audio system of 40 watts of power, the U79KQ can achieve an excellent audio result. There is some power in the speakers, especially the woofer, which still produces a solid bass line. The deepest tones are missing, but that is no longer a surprise; we see that on almost all TVs. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X.
The surrounding experience was okay; you can dive into the scenes without a height effect. The different sound presets allow you to adjust the sound to your taste. The music performance also seemed to us to be more than sufficient. A soundbar doesn’t seem necessary to us unless you raise the bar significantly.
Hisense 65U79KQ – Conclusion
Hisense still explicitly aims at affordable televisions, although it tries to offer as much quality as possible. The manufacturer is on the right track but still needs to work on details. In HDR, the proprietary tone mapping makes too many compromises. It causes a loss of contrast, a shame for an HDR image, even though you get white detail instead. The local dimming has quite a few segments but is cautious, so there is still some halo formation. And for Belgium, it remains to wait for local apps.
Still, none of those negatives are real showstoppers. The 65U79KQ delivers decent results, with good contrast, brightness, and excellent image processing. On the other hand, the TV cannot excel at anything regarding the image. The VIDAA OS works smoothly and offers a good selection of apps, and for gamers, the TV has a sound input lag and all the necessary HDMI 2.1 features. The audio performance will suffice for most living rooms. Given that rather average performance, the price seems a bit too high to us.
- Decent contrast and good black detail
- Decent peak brightness
- Beautiful HDR results
- Good image processing
- VIDAA You work smoothly
- Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive
- Excellent audio result
- Good gamer features with HDMI 2.1 ALLM, VRR, and eARC
- Tone mapping affects contrast somewhat
- Local dimming shows some halo formation