What is the Hitachi 75HL16T64U?
The Hitachi 75HL16T64U is a 75-inch 4K resolution TV that supports HDR playback. However, it costs only £ 1499, which is, without a doubt, all you need to know about it. There is a catch? Well, yes: it really can not handle HDR at all. Still, it's cheap for such a big TV.
Related: The best 4K TVs
Hitachi – Design and construction
One of the biggest mysteries of the AV world is how much more impact the 65 to 75 inch step has in your room versus the 55th step 65 inches. So, while the 75HL16T64U reaches the ideal point if you want a home theater experience, it's not so good if you want people to admire your interior design instead of your television.
The appearance of the 75HL16T64U is best described as rudimentary. The thick appearance of its frame is aggravated by its dark color scheme, while its desk feet are more functional than glamorous.
At first glance, it seems that you will have problems to mount it on the wall, too, since its rear has four handles. Fortunately, these handles are unscrewed for anyone brave enough to want to try to hang such a large screen.
While the 75HL16T64U is not particularly beautiful, it is at least well-built for such an extraordinarily cheap TV. The metallic finish of the screen frame also helps to sell the quality of construction.
The remote control of the 75HL16T64U, by comparison, is a lightweight and plastic affair. It's quite crowded, too. Its buttons have minimal ergonomic layout, and the way it curves towards its center makes it more comfortable to hold.
The design of the remote control, together with the on-screen menu system and the smart engine, suggests that the television has a large amount of shared heritage with the Turkish manufacturer Vestel. However, all the contacts I have been working with in organizing this review have worked for the Hitachi operation in the EU, so I hope that the brand's engineers have had a lot to say about how the 75HL16T64U turned out.
Hitachi 75HL16T64U – Features
The main features of Hitachi 75HL16T64U are its screen size and its price. You just do not get 75-inch 4K TVs for £ 1499. Except now.
Finding HDR support on a TV as cheap as the 75HL16T64U is even more amazing. Especially because it includes the HLG platform with the transmission and the HDR10 industry standard system. After all, dealing with HDR requires some pretty powerful screen specs. Unless, of course, the 75HL16T64U does not handle the HDR well. We'll get to that in a second.
The Hitachi 75HL16T64U connections are just for a similar budget set. Of its three HDMI, two can handle 4K HDR feeds, although its limited bandwidth means that HDR is lost when looking at 4K at any value above 30Hz.
There are also two USBs for multimedia playback, as well as a couple of unusual devices found on a modern TV: a PC VGA input and a composite video jack.
Surprisingly for your money, the 75HL16T64U has sports Wi-Fi to support some "smart" features. online, including, most useful, Netflix, YouTube and the Freeview Play platform. Freeview Play offers all the major terrestrial broadcasting platforms in the UK, and a handy guide to electronic programs that you can search in a week or more.
The Netflix application supports 4K and HDR, although the YouTube application only played HD SDR during my tests. This suggests that the TV is not compatible with the VP9 transmission format that YouTube uses for its 4K transmissions.
Hitachi 75HL16T64U – Performance
While the images of the Hitachi 75HL16T64U are not a complete failure, they are practically a loss where HDR is concerned. The screen simply does not have the contrast, brightness or color response to pay more than lip service to HDR charms.
For example, its maximum brightness with a white HDR window of 10% is only 350 nits using its dynamic image presetting. This is reduced to less than 250 nits if you choose the preset of the Cinema image (in other preferred ways).
This is only slightly higher than the light levels associated with standard dynamic range TVs. In comparison, the Samsung Q9FN can exceed 2000 nits of brightness, while the Sony XF9005 series reaches 1000 nits. Even OLED TVs reach around 800 nits, and combine that with infinitely more accurate lighting than the 75HL16T64U LCD can achieve.
In addition to having almost no idea of the expanded brightness range of HDR, the lack of brightness of the 75HL16T64U causes saturation. In other words, the brightest parts of the HDR images tend to be faded by the details and the subtle tone.
Not having too much brightness also severely limits the & # 39; volume & # 39; of color that the 75HL16T64U can provide with HDR sources. The color volume, if you're not familiar with the term, describes the impact of brightness on color, and it's a big problem with HDR. Especially because HDR sources tend to be accompanied by wide color technologies.
In the Hitachi 75HL16T64U model, colors with HDR sources look painfully muted compared to the "right" HDR displays. So much so that sometimes they look unnatural or unbalanced, especially during dark scenes.
Colors are also affected by a strange yellow tone that hangs over the images when the TV switches to HDR mode. In addition, the general color presentation of 75HL16T64U with HDR sources feels quite rough and ready. Certainly it is not the tonal subtlety necessary to offer that "real world" aspect associated with the best 4K HDR images.
When it comes to contrast, the bad news for HDR continues. The clearly basic backlight system on the screen simply can not deliver black colors deep enough to give HDR images the dark base they need. In contrast, dark HDR scenes look gray and flat. They also reveal a "bleeding" of extensive and annoying backlight in the corners of the image. I could not remove this without darkening the image too much for comfort.
Once you have accepted that you can not do HDR, the 75HL16T64U becomes more interesting. Its color performance with SDR content is much better. There is a more neutral balance between the extreme tones, as well as greater subtlety in the "soft" SDR color areas.
The light talents of the screen adapt much better to the relatively undemanding world of SDR video. So much so that, in general, SDR images often look brighter and stronger than HDR!
The processing of the 75HL16T64U is also much more comfortable with the relatively narrow color range of SDR. Large areas of color look less basic & # 39; that with the HDR content, which in turn helps the image look more detailed. In fact, its clarity with native 4K content is possibly its greatest strength. Particularly because its impressive "freeze frame" resolution is surprisingly supported by clean and clear motion reproduction. Certainly, there are few signs of motion blur that commonly ruins the & # 39; 4kness & # 39; of low-cost LCD TVs.
There are still, inevitably, problems with the SDR performance of the Hitachi 75HL16T64U. Your colors may look richer, black levels are still quite average, and their contrast and color are markedly reduced if you have to look at the screen from a wide angle. In this last aspect, however, it is actually in line with most LCD TVs. It also offers fairly basic scaling of sub-4K content.
The problem is that it strives to identify the difference between the source noise and the actual image information. So scaled images tend to look a little more blurry than with the best scaling systems. However, in general, I would say that the 4K SDR images of 75HL16T64U can be considered better than I would have expected from such a cheap TV.
Joining the fault images 75HL16T64U is a surprisingly decent sound performance. There's more volume, a more open midrange and more subtle sound mixing details than most low-budget TVs. In addition, he achieves it without being hard during noisy scenes, or succumbing to distortions of speakers or rattling of pictures.
Hitachi 75HL16T64U – Configuration
The 75HL16T64U is a bit difficult to configure due to its difficulties with HDR handling. Personally, I would say that dynamic image presetting is quite essential, if you want even a vague feeling of additional HDR punch. All other modes offer a substantial drop in maximum brightness.
Unfortunately, the dynamic configuration also causes a greater purge of light at the corners of the image and more dramatic black level fluctuations.
As a result, some will prefer the preset cinema to watch HDR. Especially because this also produces slightly more neutral and balanced color tones. But the lower brightness of the Cinema mode barely scrapes beyond the SDR levels.
By adjusting the limited set of image settings of the 75HL16T64U small improvements can be made in some areas of the HDR image. But improving one problem invariably causes another.
The only definitive recommendations I will make is that I use dynamic contrast in between, with noise reduction with 4K content or low with HD content.
Fortunately, the screen is much more comfortable and tolerant with SDR content. As long as you limit noise reduction and adjust the aspect ratio to "full", the Cinema preset will adapt well to most people. Or, maybe, opt for Dynamic mode if your room is very bright.
One last tip is to always activate the preset of the game mode image when you play on the screen. This gives the image of the game more natural and keeps the entrance delay in a respectable 34ms.
Why buy the Hitachi 75HL16T64U?
The price of Hitachi 75HL16T64U makes it a great temptation. After all, it's the cheapest 75-inch TV we've seen. It's also better than I expected with 4K SDR content.
However, I really can not do HDR at all. This is a big problem for two reasons. First, at the time of writing, you only need £ 200- £ 300 more to get a 75-inch TV that is more compatible with HDR, such as Samsung MU7000 75-inch.
Second, the selection of 4K fonts that are sold does not support HDR is a bit limited. I could get a Sky Q. Or an Apple TV and set it so it does not deliver HDR. But when it comes to 4K Blu-ray players, even if you can find one that allows you to turn off your HDR output, doing so tends to cause some image problems.
If you want a good On the 4K screen of HDR experience, it is better that you spend a little more.