Hisense’s U78KM is a compelling home entertainment option plagued with OS issues

The TV offers a compelling package at its price point of $1,097

Going from a 50-inch TV to a 65-inch one might not seem like a big jump in theory.

I recently went from using a direct LED 50-inch RCA Roku TV to a 65-inch Mini-LED Hisense Google TV, and the difference in the screen size and image quality is like night and day.

The TV I’m using is the 65-inch Hisense U78KM, a 2023-released 4K ULED TV that features a Mini-LED backlighting system, quantum dot technology, Google TV platform, and a native 144Hz refresh rate. At $1,097, the TV is one of the more affordable options on the market, with a packed feature set and a bright and colourful picture quality that rivals some of the more expensive models out there.

The only major issue that puts me off is its operating system. Although Google TV is better than many other TV operating systems when it comes to finding what to watch, the interface is sluggish and often freezes when moving from one app to the other.

Sleek and minimalistic design with versatile connectivity

The Hisense U78KM is a true edge-to-edge TV. It features minimal bezels on each side and the top, with a slightly wider bezel on the bottom. Overall, the TV has a sleek, premium and minimalistic appearance.

A plus with the TV’s design is that its legs are positioned inwards and do not extend toward the edge of the display. As seen in the images below, the 50-inch TV I was using previously had its legs positioned at the edge, extending out. I was wary about getting a bigger TV because to accommodate it, I’d need to buy a bigger TV table.

However, with the U78KM, even though the TV’s screen itself extends outside the TV table, the legs being positioned near the middle of the screen means you don’t need a huge table/stand to accommodate the TV, and offers enough space for a soundbar to fit under it snuggly. Alternatively, the TV can be wall-mounted using a standard VESA mount.

The Hisense U78KM comes with a generous number of ports, allowing you to connect multiple devices to the TV at once. The TV has four HDMI ports: two HDMI 2.1 and two HDMI 2.0. The former is a plus for those who want to game on the TV, as HDMI 2.1 support means less screen tearing and better frame rates for 4K gaming. The positioning of the ports is intuitive, and they are easy to reach and connect to.

It also features an Ethernet port, two USB ports (one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0), one RF Antenna port, one Digital Audio Output port and an Aux port.

The TV comes with a standard remote that is easy to use and hold. It has a built-in microphone for Google Assistant support and a dedicated button for the same. It also includes quick command buttons for popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+ and Tubi, and an extra button that takes you straight to your apps.

The range on the remote is considerable. For reference, the RCA TV that I was using prior to the U78KM needed its remote to be pointed toward the TV for any input to be registered. With the U78KM, however, the TV registers the input no matter where the remote is pointed.

Not that you’re going to use the remote in this way, but the TV registers the input even when the remote is not in the same room as the TV. The remote takes two triple-A batteries that are included in the package.

Great performance for movies, sports and games with minor inconveniences

In its price range, the Hisense U78KM feels like a TV that can do it all. It’s great for watching movies and sports, but also performs when gaming. The Hisense U78KM boasts a Mini-LED Pro with a Full Array Local Dimming panel that consists of thousands of tiny LEDs and 240 local dimming zones. This allows the TV to individually control the LEDs to create deeper blacks and higher contrast in scenes where it’s needed.

The 4K picture quality on the TV is stunning, with really vibrant colours, bright highlights, and very dark shadows.

The TV supports various HDR formats, such as Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG, and can reach a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. The display’s quality does take a hit when it has direct sunlight on it, though not tremendously, and the image remains vibrant and legible even under direct glare.

The Hisense U78KM has a native refresh rate of 144Hz, which is rare for a TV in this category, making it a great option if you’re looking for a TV for streaming and playing games on a current-gen console like the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X.

The TV also has a Motion Rate 480 feature that uses backlight scanning and frame interpolation for motion smoothing. Frame interpolation is essentially a technique that adds additional frames between the original ones in a scene, making it look smoother and more realistic. However, this results in the dreaded ‘Soap Opera Effect,’ which, inverse to the feature’s intended use, makes scenes look unnatural and artificial. I personally don’t like excessive motion smoothing, and the TV allows for it to be turned off in settings under Picture > Clarity > Motion Enhancement.

It also features an Auto Low Latency Mode that makes controller input lag negligible and reduces the input delay between the input from the controller and the output on the screen, making the U78KM an excellent choice for gaming and viewing alike.

The TV has a 20W speaker system that delivers clear and loud sound quality with decent bass from a rear-placed woofer. It supports Dolby Atmos and features DTS Virtual:X sound formats. The TV’s speakers are great while viewing movies or TV shows, but they fail to pack a punch while playing music.

For the most part, I used the TV with a Hisense soundbar that I’ve owned for a while. Pairing a Hisense TV with a Hisense soundbar grants you a convenient feature. The TV’s remote can control the Hisense soundbar through the HDMI ARC connection, so you don’t need to keep switching between remotes to control the TV and the soundbar.

However, not everything about Hisense’s U78KM is great.

The TV tends to get sluggish if you don’t completely shut it down and restart it every once in a while or manually shut down apps. What I mean by that is apps running in the background take up significant memory, which results in slightly long load times when jumping from one app to the other, and the TV often freezes too.

I am not sure if this is a Google TV issue or an issue with the TV’s memory.

I also encountered some issues with casting content from my phone to the TV. For some reason, the screen mirror feature on my iPhone sometimes doesn’t show the TV, even though both the TV and my phone are connected to the same internet connection. I tried mirroring from two of my housemates’ iPhones, and the results were the same. A simple TV restart fixes the issue, but it’s an inconvenience nonetheless.

Further, casting content to the TV sometimes results in my PS5 automatically turning on. This doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often enough for it to be a hindrance.

With its sleek design, ample port selection, and intuitive remote, the U78KM brings convenience to your home entertainment setup, be it for viewing movies and TV shows or for 144Hz low latency gaming.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. The TV’s operating system, while functional, can be sluggish and prone to freezing. Background apps can also affect performance unless manually shut down. Despite the minor quirks, the Hisense U78KM offers a compelling package at its price point of $1,097.99 for the 65-inch model with 4K ULED resolution, Mini-LED and a native 144Hz refresh rate.

The TV is available to purchase from Best Buy, Amazon and other Canadian retailers.

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