Review HiSense 55R8F / 65R8F 4k Roku TV – Decent Cheap 4k TV – R8F

hey everybody it’s LAN Simon were in my home theater nook here in the studio today because I just got in a TV to review this is the Hisense roku TV the r8f we got in the 65 inch version but they also have a 55 available this is your standard LED LCD television set but it’s very reasonably priced this I would actually label as a budget offering especially given the feature set and the size and we’re going to look at what you get here and what maybe some of the compromises are versus a more expensive television now like my prior TV reviews we’re going to focus on the consumer experience here we’re going to look at watching movies and TV shows and playing video games and that sort of thing and we’re not going to go too far into the technical weeds because this is something that I think a lot of consumers are in the market for and they just want to see what it’s all about so we’re going to be taking a deeper dive into this here in just a second but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that the TV came in free of charge from Hisense however all the opinions are about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this TV is all about so as I mentioned the price point on these TVs is very reasonable the 55 inch is $4.99 the 65 inch here is $6.99 the hardware is the same between the two sizes so everything you see that we’ll be covering on the 65 inch version here is applicable to the 55 they are both powered by Roku 4 their operating system Roku of course is the market leader for set-top boxes they’ve been around forever they have the best selection of media apps out there you get everything you get Apple TV and Disney Plus Netflix Amazon HBO all the usuals you also get just about all of the free services out there – including to be and Pluto TV and Zumo and then Roku has their own thing called the roku channel here that is also available on their platform you’ve got a lot of great stuff just built right into this I really like Roku quite a bit but they’re not very good with apps and games so you get a lot of great streaming content but you’re not gonna get the games that you might see on Amazon or on Android TV devices so just keep that in mind it is mostly a media streaming platform now the remote

control for the TV is a standard roku remote this one though does not have the private listening feature built in like some of the premium Roku’s have so if you want to listen to your TV audio through headphones you can plug some headphones into the back of the TV or you can use the Roku app and have the TV stream audio to your phone or tablet and then you can listen to that audio with headphones it actually does a really good job of synchronizing audio we’ve covered that feature before in the past now you do have a lot of input options on the TV there are four HDMI inputs so you can plug in game consoles and more robust set-top boxes if you want those all support 60 Hertz each so you can get 60 frames per second video at 4k they all support DRM as well so you should be able to plug an Apple TV device for example into any of those ports and it will work without any issues there’s also a composite input for your old VCR and game consoles usually those composite inputs don’t look all that great this TV is no exception to that so you might want to look at getting some scaling device to improve the quality of those legacy devices but they do at least have the composite input on the back there you also have two audio output options you can use the optical out that’s on there for connecting it up to a receiver or sound bar although I recommend using HDMI because they do have one of the ports labeled as an audio return channel or a RC port and what that will do is send audio out through that HDMI input to your sound bar or receiver and basically anything the TV is playing back it will output that audio through the HDMI so you could switch from your blu-ray player to a game console and it will just keep sending that audio out through that

connector automatically now you might want to consider the audio output options on this set because its internal speakers are not spectacular there’s stereo downward firing they are loud enough but you don’t get a good range of sound they’re kind of flat so it’s not good for music you also don’t get some of that room filling spaciality you get out of a more expensive TV so for example upstairs I’ve got an OLED set that I bought a little while ago that cost a lot more than this one the sound is great out of that TV but because you’re spending a budget price here you’re going to have some compromises get worked into the mix audio quality on this set is one of those compromises but it is very easy to get the audio out of the TV to a sound bar or to your home theater system so I would suggest looking at that if you’re not satisfied with the built-in audio quality there’s also a USB port on the back so you can plug in your own media Roku also allows some degree of Sriman for mobile devices – so you can do that through the Roku app so you do pick up a lot of the benefits you would get with a regular Roku set-top box there’s also an antenna input of course because this is a federal mandate and I unfortunately don’t get anything over-the-air here where I live so I won’t be able to demo that for you but I’ll show you where you can go to tune TV on here and they’ve integrated it quite nicely into the Roku interface the TV has some good networking options I have mine right now connected via ethernet there is a Gigabit Ethernet port in the back of the television and you can hook up via Wi-Fi and it supports wireless AC so I think this will work well for all the 4k content you might be streaming and if you’re able to I would strongly suggest plugging in via ethernet but if

you’ve got a decent AC Wi-Fi router in your home this should work well with that too now the included base on the TV has two positions that you can use for installing it at least here on the 65 inch version and this was great for me because I have a very narrow stand that the TV is currently sitting on it only goes 39 inches across and it works fine with a 55 inch TV but the 65 s typically have bases that go beyond the 39 inches that I have for real estate here on my TV stand and I was so excited about that because I didn’t have to buy a new one to accommodate this new TV I measured the end-to-end distance of the base at about 31 inches that’s roughly 78 centimeters so there’s a good chance your existing TV stand is going to work with the larger TV and it was funny I didn’t see any reference to this in the product specs on Amazon nor in some of the PR materials that they sent me I was about to order a new stand to accommodate the TV but I didn’t have to do that and that was a great hidden feature of this set now I want to talk about picture quality and we’re going to be shooting the screen with my camera here so you’re not going to see as good of an image as what I am seeing with my eyes here so I’m gonna try to do my best to explain the experience that I’ve had watching a bunch of stuff on this TV over the last couple of days right now we’re playing a 60 Hertz video from YouTube that I shot a while back and I’m really really pleased with the image quality for the price point now this of course is a backlit LCD panel it’s got one of those LED lights behind it and typically with these kinds of televisions you often get a lot of glow on the screen especially in darker areas of the scene and I’m not seeing that as much with this and I’ll show you some examples we did some 8-bit gaming a little bit earlier you can see those white letters are

really in their own little isolated area you’re not seeing a lot of glow around those letters really nice backlight dimming control on this the 60-inch set has 60 dimmable zones so the backlight can be turned down in certain areas of the screen to give you a better black image in scenes that are dark and I played Star Wars on it a little bit earlier that looked pretty good as well it’s not going to rival an OLED TV that might cost two or three times as much as this will but it was much better than I thought it would be and so that was something that really impressed me with it but in scenes where you have bright areas along with darker areas together you will notice that the dark areas don’t have as much contrast as they would on those more expensive oled sets I am totally ruined by my OLED upstairs so it’s hard to make comparisons anymore but it’s definitely going to be a difference what I did do though to improve the contrast ratio was turned down the backlight I brought it from 100 down to 50 and it didn’t darken the image all that much but it did bump up the contrast to something that looked better to me but there are compromises and you’ll notice that in the corners of the set the backlight isn’t as uniform as it might be in the middle it’s a little bit more pronounced on my camera here than what I’m seeing but it’s still something you would notice in a scene like this one the corners do tend to be a little bit dimmer than the rest of the set but as you can see in the

middle there it’s doing a pretty good job of keeping things isolated especially in darker areas of the screen so that’s one thing to look for another issue to look for on this again given that it’s a lower price set is that the viewing angles are not great so the best experience is going to be on this couch in front of the TV but once you start to get off center you will see the image quality decline you’ll see the backlight especially more pronounced when you’re going off center like that the image will get a bit washed out so if you’ve got a big room and a big area in which you’re going to gather around the TV this one may not be ideal for that given how the viewing angles are working here for me this is largely a single couch kind of TV for the best experience now as far as HDR compatibility is concerned I tested Dolby vision and HDR content both with the streaming apps that are part of the Roku interface along with devices that I attached to the TV everything worked just fine you’ll get notified when you’re getting pushed into those HDR modes it also supports at most audio on apps and content that support it but remember those speakers aren’t that great so you’re not going to get a full at most experience out of this device now if you hit the star button on your remote you will get your options menu that will pop up you’ve got some pretty basic settings here when it first appears for you like making things brighter or darker or normal you also have the picture settings area where you can more finely tune things you’re not going to get all of the features you would see in a high-end TV but you can adjust things like tint color sharpness and contrast and of course the backlight level which we can bring down a bit to get to that 50% mark that I said looked a little bit better again your mileage on this stuff will vary based on your

preferences so you have to go in there and really kind of fine-tune it all but you’re not going to have the kind of calibration settings you would have on a higher-end television but still I think for most folks it should work out fine although I do feel like you’ll be spending a little bit more time in this menu adjusting things off from the default so let’s jump back to the home screen and see how gaming works on this TV again you’re not going to find many games through the roku channel store here so you’re going to have to connect devices and right now I’ve got an analogue NT mini which is a Nintendo clone console attached to HDMI too and as you can see here as I put my cursor over that input it will give you a preview of what is currently connected to it so if we click on HDMI 2 it will take us to that input specifically and now we’ve got the game on-screen and one of the things that’s really impressed me again about this TV is that I’m not seeing a lot of glow in the black areas of the screen it really does a nice job of keeping everything isolated now to get the best gaming performance you’re going to want to enable game mode on the HDMI ports you’re using for gaming and to do that you need to go over to picture settings and scroll all the way down to where you see game mode and make sure that is enabled this will give you the least amount of input lag because when you’re playing

especially a game like this one you want your button pushes to get registered on screen very quickly when you have game mode off you will have more lag because there’s more processing of the image now using this analogue NT mini I found that the input lag on the TV was identical to the mini being plugged into my gaming monitor I was seeing about 44 milliseconds all in and we use my iphone to measure this we actually shoot the screen at 240 frames per second hit a button and then see how long it takes for that button to get registered on screen so it doesn’t appear to be any kind of lag penalty provided you’re in game mode here but the trade-off as I mentioned is the fact that scrolling backgrounds and fast-moving objects will appear a little bit more blurry on the set that was certainly evident and a lot of these 8-bit games I was really noticing it with with Castlevania 3 other games were not as pronounced but still you would see a lot of that blurriness in the background and that’s something that a lower-cost set will bring you as a result of some of the compromises you make now you could offset that by turning game mode off and putting in some of that motion compensation but that will add more input lag so there’s always these different choices that you have to make I did run some modern games on it though on my PC here’s no man’s sky running at 4k this game fared a little better just because it doesn’t have as much fast action scrolling

scenes but if I was moving things around very quickly I was noticing some motion blur with the image and again you really can’t avoid that here and overall if you are playing on a smaller 1080p set this is going to be a major improvement especially as some of these 4k consoles come out and again you’ll just have to adjust your input lag versus your image quality to get something that works best for you and some games might do better in one mode versus the other so let’s move on now to power consumption when the TV is off you’re looking at about a half a watt typically less when the TV is on at full brightness you’re just under 200 watts although if you turn that backlight down you’ll see it run a little bit lower than that peak brightness is 700 nits and they rate the color at 94% at DC ip3 if that’s something that’s important to you now I’m sure you’re curious about how well Plex performs on the TV set because we do talk about them a lot here on the channel they are of course an occasional sponsor here I’ve got Star Wars the last Jedi this is the 4k blu-ray that I made this of course is a pretty high bitrate film HD are so we’re going to play this back real quick and see how it does and I’m finding it’s actually working these films are now direct playing on the Roku platform and it looks like whatever Roku is running inside this TV is one of the more higher end ones so you can see the HDR has kicked in here and the film is starting up one thing I’ve noticed with HDR on this set

especially some of these newer Star Wars films is that they do appear to be a little bit washed out compared to my OLED of course but they do playback just fine and the experience though is going to be better on the Nvidia shield just because it can switch the TV into 24p mode for these films and of course you can make use of the full uncompressed at most soundtracks so there’s some things on the enthusiast side that are probably not going to be all that great here internally but you can attach the things to improve the enthusiast experience especially if you have those things already and you’re on a budget for your TV set so overall from a picture quality standpoint a usability standpoint I think this is a really solid offering and certainly something worth taking a look at just because the picture quality really did surprise me based on what my expectations were for the price point here so no real reservations but if you are a super high-end TV person you’re probably not looking at one of these anyhow so there you go let me know what you thought down in the comments below and until next time this is Lian Simon thanks for watching this channel was brought to you by the lon TV supporters including gold-level supporters the four guys with quarters podcasts Tom Albrecht Rick vestido Chris Allegretto in Kellyanne Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to land TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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