The Hisense H8C is a budget 4k TV, with good picture quality that is uncommon for the price. It has little motion blur and supports a wide range of inputs. Unlike most TVs in the price range, it supports some higher end features such as local dimming and motion interpolation. The Opera TV based smart OS works well too. The biggest downside is the picture quality degrades very rapidly when viewed at a slight angle.
The design is basic, but there are a couple of nice touches which help it to stand out from other budget TVs. The whole TV is plastic, but the bottom of the TV and the legs have a slightly nicer finish. The borders are quite thin and look good.
The Hisense H8C has a good picture quality. The native contrast ratio and black uniformity are excellent and translate in a very good dark room performance. The 10 bit panel is able to display fairly well the color variance without any specific banding and lower resolution content upscaling is also good. However, the average peak brightness, poor local dimming performance and average color gamut coverage hinder the picture quality score. The picture quality also degrades very rapidly when viewed at an angle.
The contrast ratio is great, and results in good dark scene performance even in a blacked out room.
Although the H8C features a full-array backlight, it doesn't have many zones and takes a while to turn regions on and off. We recommend disabling it, as it is not very effective.
A red tint can be seen preceding the white square or circle, this is due to the fact that the red sub-pixel having a different response time than the green and blue one. It is the first time that we noticed a difference big enough that we could see it on our test video.
Like the HDR peak brightness, the SDR peak brightness is bellow average. The local dimming dimmed the small highlight, but this is less problematic for regular content than HDR. Overall, the peak brightness is a bit less high than what the TV can reach while in HDR mode, but should be enough to enjoy normal content in a dark room environment.
The peak brightness is slightly below average. We do this test local dimming enabled, and we find that the small windows are dimmed. As such, highlights don't stand out very much but the whole screen can get quite bright which is good to counter ambient light.
The gray uniformity is slightly below average. Some vertical bands which are slightly warmer are visible, and all four corners are very dark. Sports or other scenes where there is panning over uniform surfaces will result in a visible dirty screen effect.
Even at a slight angle, the picture quality of the H8C degrades very rapidly. This is an issue for anyone who doesn't sit directly in front of the TV.
Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.
The black uniformity is great. On our test picture, both sides are slightly brighter than the center, but this is due to the very narrow viewing angle. Despite that, it is an impressive result for a budget TV and it will help to provide great dark scene performance.
The TV accepts a 10 bit input, and displays it smoothly. There are some tints visible in the grayscale, but overall a good result without any banding.
Prior to calibration, the results are very good. The colors are slightly oversaturated, and the gamma doesn't follow our target 2.2 curve but for most people this should not be an issue.
The H8C includes similar calibration functions as most other TVs. Using the 2 point and 10 point calibration we were able to very accurately fix the issues in the white balance. The colors were still a little bit oversaturated, but this is still a very good result. You can find our calibration settings here.
The TV does not support a wide color gamut. This is only enough for SDR content in the Rec. 709 color space.
Update 10/14/2016: We have retested the color gamut with the latest HDR firmware.
The color volume of both the DCI-P3 and Rec. 2020 color space isn't very good. Unlikely to see much improvement over an SDR TV.
The Hisense H8C does not present any image retention, even on the first picture of our image retention test. This is pretty good and is in line with other VA TVs that we have tested. This is good news for gamer or people that may use this TV as a PC monitor.
A few direct reflections are not an issue as the semi-gloss finish works well to diffuse them.
The Hisense H8C doesn't support any 3D features.
The pixels appear very similar to those found in the Sharp UB30U we reviewed last year.
The motion handling of the H8C is below average. It has a good response time with little motion blur but those sensitive to judder will notice it when watching movies from any source. The TV has a 60Hz panel, and is able to interpolate content at 30fps for those that like the soap opera effect.
The response time is great, which results in very good motion performance. Only a very short trail can be seen following the test logo. To dim, the backlight uses PWM to flicker at 500Hz. This is not very noticeable due to the high frequency, but can be seen very slightly in the small duplications following the logo.
The Hisense H8C isn't able to play movies smoothly from any source. Most people do not notice judder, and so this will not be an issue.
The H8C is able to interpolate 30fs content up to the native refresh rate of 60Hz. It is not able to interpolate content faster than this.
The input lag is quite low, which is great and makes the TV feel quite responsive. The TV supports resolutions up to 4k and 60Hz for PC use, and accurately displays chroma subsampling at 4k so text on all backgrounds appears clear.
With an 1080p resolution, the input lag is great, and for most people shouldn't be a problem. Even with motion interpolation enabled the input lag is quite low which is good.
When tested with a 4k resolution, the input lag was not stable and was cycling from 51.0ms to 67.3ms.
For 4k @ 60Hz support, it is necessary to use HDMI3 or HDMI4 (labelled 4k @ 60Hz). The H8C has a native refresh rate of 60Hz, so does not support 120Hz. For PC, use the 'Game' picture mode. The input lag is 32.1ms.
Update 10/04/2016: With the newest firmware version, the H8C now supports chroma subsampling at 4k. To display it properly, use the 'Game' picture mode.
To enable 5.1 passthrough, set 'Digital Audio Out' to 'Raw'.
Update 10/04/2016: With the newest firmware update, the TV now supports HDR10.
Sound quality of the Hisense H8C is slightly below average. At louder volumes, the sound quality degrades. Very little bass and can't get very loud. For those that care about sound, even a soundbar is a good choice.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
Average response. Frequency response is decent, but at maximum volume there is pumping and compression present. However, low-end cutoff and maximum loudness is poor, even for a TV. This TV doesn't produce much bass and doesn't get very loud either.
Average distortion response. The overall harmonic distortion response is decent at all volume, even though there is progressive rise in distortion as the volume increases.
The H8C features the Opera TV platform. It is very easy to use, and allows downloading of apps from the Opera TV Store. It feels quite responsive, but does occasionally have issues with browsing menus which requires a TV restart to fix. It is not as stable as some of the other platforms such as Android TV or LG's WebOS. It is able to play photos or videos directly off a USB drive.
No ads can be found on this TV's smart platform.
We tested the 50" (50H8C). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 55" (55H8C). The newer 65" model (65H8C) has an edge lit backlight as opposed to the full array backlight of the 50" and 55" models, but we still expect it to perform similarly.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Hisense H8C doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
The Hisense H8C is a budget TV with an impressive array of features. Depending on your use there may be another similarly priced TV which out performs it, but the Hisense H8C is a good choice for it's versatility. Keep this in mind when viewing our recommendations below.