Hisense 65SX Dual Cell ULED TV – new tech for better images
Name: Hisense 65SX Dual Cell ULED TV
Price (RRP): $3499
The Hisense 65SX Dual Cell ULED TV rewrites what you can expect from Quantum Dot LCD technology.
Let’s not get into an argument between LCD and OLED – as each has their own merits. Why? OLED is self-emissive (each of the 4K, 8,294,499 pixels independently turns on or off) giving pure black or white and infinite ∞:1 contrast.
LED/LCD use some form of backlighting and can achieve somewhere between 1500-10,000:1 contrast. On the other hand, Quantum Dot LED/LCD technology (or ULED in Hisense speak) can produce brighter, more vibrant colours. It also avoids burn-in issues.
What Hisense has done with the Hisense 65SX Dual Cell ULED TV is take an edge-lit 4K QLED TV (like its 2019 R7 review here) and sandwiched a mono FHD LCD panel between it and the backlight. The theory is that the closely bonded mono and colour LCD panels work together to improve blacks via a more granular (2 million pixels/zones) dimming system.
This is a significant step up from the top-of-the-range Hisense 65Q8 LED/LCD FALD (Full-Array Local Dimming) screen technology that may have about 100 local dimming zones – Thomas Bartlett’s review here 4.7/5).
Dual Cell is new territory for Hisense
Hisense was the first to launch a Dual Cell screen last year as a consumer TV – the HZ65U9E for the China market only. The Australian model is Hisense 65SX Dual Cell ULED TV, but its specs appear very similar to the HZ65.
The other Dual Cell, the Panasonic MegaCon (4K colour and 4K mono sandwich) has 100,000:1 contrast and 1,000nits. Its claim to fame is that, apart from being extremely expensive and for Hollywood movie producer use, is that it can hold full-field peak-brightness of 1000nits indefinitely while covering 99% of the DCI P3 colour standard. Consumer TVs are not in that league. Not yet at least!
As this is new tech, here’s a quick summary of what it delivers:
- Upside: Better colour and contrast from LED/LCD QLED technology than what is currently possible. There should be no issues with lasting quality, colour or brightness
- Downsides: It can cost more than some QLED TVs, uses more power and does not match all OLED picture standards
Australian review: Hisense 65SX Dual Cell ULED TV
- Visit Hisense’s website: here
- Price: 65” $3,499
- Warranty: 3-years ACL for consumer use
- Elevator Pitch: Bringing together the best of LED and OLED TV technology
- Country of manufacture: China
- Hisense (Est. 1969) is a Chinese owned, multi-national white goods and electronics manufacturer headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. It owns appliance brands including Gorenje, Hitachi, Sharp, Toshiba as well as some local China-only brands.
Please note that due to COVID restrictions this was a ‘first look’ for two hours of a pre-production Dual Cell in a blackout curtained boardroom. There was a Hisense OLED TV there for us to compare. Our test environment was not as comprehensive as the GadgetGuy TV rig used in Thomas Bartlett’s TV reviews. We use the terms FAIL, PASS and EXCEED against the test paradigms for LED/LCD panels.
OK let’s explain Dual Cell
First, there are several types of TV panels. IHS Markit has defined these as (in order of cost and performance)
- Edge-lit LED/LCD
- Direct-lit LED/LCD
- FALD (FULL ARRAY LOCAL DIMMING) LED/LCD backlight
- Mini/Micro LED/LCD backlight
- Dual Cell LED/LCD Edge-lit
- QLED is an overlay of nanoparticles on any of the above that gives better colours
- OLED (specifically White OLED or WOLED) is an entirely different technology to LCD
- Is brighter than FALD or OLED
- Has higher contrast ratio than FALD (not OLED which is infinite)
- Has finer dimming control than FALD as each mono pixel is essentially an LCD gate
In simple terms, Dual Cell differs from normal LED TVs with the addition of a mono 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD) LCD gate panel between a backlight and the 4K LCD/QLED colour layer.
It is not easy to precisely align a FHD and 4K panel so they work together perfectly. As the complexity reduces, so too will the price. We expect that Dual Cell will soon be able to mould a 4K mono panel, so there’s plenty of scope for even higher resolutions like 8K as time goes by.
The back layer is an edge-lit backlight. Light comes from LEDs at the edge of the screen and goes via fibre optics to local dimming zones (not disclosed but we estimate 132 zones). Unlike traditional LCD TVs, the number of Local Dimming Zones is not as important because the mono layer does most of the light re-distribution. We guess that the edge light is amped ‘way up’ to give the brightest possible screen. BOE report the screen has potentially 100,000:1 contrast – very good, but not OLED’s infinite.
The middle layer is a mono, 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD) LCD’ gateway’. That means 2,073,600 pixels can act as light’ gates’. To be clear, this is the LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY transistor ‘gateway’ at 25% of the resolution as the colour layer. Each pixel opens or closes to let the backlight through to the LCD colour layer.