For several years, Vizio has enjoyed a reputation as making televisions that offer better-than-average picture quality for less-than-expected prices. The company normally ranks near the top in overall TV sales, particularly in North America.
But at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Hisense, a Chinese-based company, sent a clear signal that it believes it can challenge Vizio in the low-price, high-quality category.
The company introduced the H9D Series of 4K TVs that purport to offer bolder colors and local dimming, two features Vizio has often boasts allow their new M and P Series 4K sets to deliver a premium picture.
The H9D Series, which are expected to be available in the next few months, will come in three sizes: a 50-inch model for $699; a 55-inch for $899; and a 65-inch for $1,299.
The prices are more affordable than Vizio’s P-Series, but are comparable to Vizio’s M Series which also receives good reviews from journalists and consumers. (Vizio’s M Series 65-inch model is now going for $1,299 at BestBuy.com.)
Hisense has a long way to go before it supplants Vizio, of course; for starters, let’s see if display reviewers offer the same praise for the H9D Series as they have for Vizio’s P and M Series sets.
But don’t underestimate Hisense because it’s now a relatively little-known brand. TCL, another small brand, experienced a 15 percent increase in LCD TV sales in 2016, in part because of its alliance with Roku. (Roku’s streaming platform is now available in many TCL sets.)
TCL also usually holds the top spot on Amazon’s daily top-selling TVs list.
— Phillip Swann