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Hisense launches super-cheap £449 4K smart TV

Michael Passingham
27 Aug 2015
Hisense K321 front
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Hisense joins the budget 4K fray with three new TV sets

Hisense has joined a race to the bottom with a new 4K smart TV range with a starting price of just £449, one of the cheapest 4K TVs we've seen this year.

The K321 range (which includes incredibly catchy model names such as LTDN40K321UWTSEU) comes in 40in, 50in and 55in form factors with prices set at £449, £599 and £699 respectively. This places all three TVs in the mix with the likes of Panasonic and Polaroid, which both have 4K TVs in the sub-£500 bracket. The TVs will launch "in the Autumn", according to Hisense.


Hisense K321 angle

But do you actually want one? Things don't look too shabby on paper, although I'll reserve judgement until I actually clap my eyes on the real thing. These are the key specifications you need to know about:

Hisense LTDN40K321UWTSEU specifications:

Screen size

50in

Native resolution

3,840x2,160

Aspect ratio

16:9

3D

No

Contrast ratio

Not stated

Brightness

Not stated

Speakers

2x 7w

Video inputs

2x HDMI 2.0, Composite, Component, SCART

Audio inputs

Yes

Audio outputs

Optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm

Tuner

Freeview HD

Streaming TV services

Netflix, YouTube (BBC iPlayer and Amazon after release)

Media Streaming

DLNA

Dimensions

515x902x86mm

Hisense also promises an 800Hz refresh rate, although whether this will translate to smoothly processed images remains to be seen, as cheaper TVs often miss out on proper, smooth frame interpolation.


Hisense K321 ports

Another important note to make is that the TV has HEVC support, which means 4K streaming content can be played on apps within the TV itself without needing an external 4K set-top box. Netflix and YouTube will be available from launch, but Hisense says that BBC iPlayer and Amazon Instant Video will be added in the Autumn. It's a shame not to have these two popular services available from the start, but at least they're on the way.

The TV will work with 4K Blu-ray players and set-top boxes, with two HDMI 2.0 ports capable of receiving Ultra HD signals. There's also a single USB3 port for playing videos or for using the TV's built-in PVR service.

7W stereo speakers are par for the course; they're unlikely to blow your ears away but in a fairly small room they will suffice. There's an Optical S/PDIF output for connecting to higher-end audio such as sound bar.

Viewing angles look fairly narrow, according to the spec sheet: a horizontal sweet-spot of 54-degrees is very narrow, so you'd better make sure your room is set up so your TV, chairs and sofa are all nicely lined up. Horizontal viewing angles on the larger 50in and  55in model are 85 degrees.

It'll be interesting to see how these TVs stack up against the big-name competition; don't expect miracles, but do expect the sharpest images you can get for £449.

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