Interview: Hisense’s Ken Welty Talks Company’s Dedication to Gaming, Benefits of UST Projection

Ken Welty, the director of laser TV at Hisense, discusses why the company is so involved in the gaming market, why the company chose the Android TV platform, and much more.

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Recently, CE Pro sat down with Ken Welty, director of laser TV, Hisense USA, to discuss the company’s commitment to the gaming market, how the company designs and develops products aimed at modern consumers, and more.

What is Hisense doing to develop products that appeal to today’s consumers?

We like to be straightforward with our approach to consumers and give them exactly what they are looking for — great picture, high quality, high performing products at a reasonable price.

For example, we’re offering ULED on more of our models along with more upgrades across a range of pricing. We also know that bigger screens are in demand, so we are offering bigger screen sizes, technology like Quantum Dot and ultra high-speed HDMI as well.

Content is key, so our latest TVs come equipped with the top streaming services and we also ensure our latest TVs all come with some level of smart home integration and connectivity such as Google Assistant. These features appeal to a wider audience, especially as many have been at home over the past year and are continuously updating their home settings and entertainment systems.

Hisense has been a strong proponent of ultra-shortthrow (UST) projection; why should dealers present these types of solutions?

Projectors have only recently become more mainstream as they’re either super expensive and reserved for those that can afford a home theater, or they’re used as a novelty item for a backyard movie night on a bedsheet. UST projectors and Laser TVs have changed the projector space. They were pricey a few years back when they first came to market, but now with many manufacturers on their 2nd, 3rd and 4th model releases, the category has grown with some very affordable options.

Projectors, especially UST laser projectors, can be an everyday driver for home entertainment — they work in well-lit rooms, they’re super simple to set up, they’ve got built-in sound, and smart platforms with all the streaming channels. Everything that used to be difficult or inconvenient about projectors has been addressed with the advent of Laser TV and the tech is getting better every year.

Not only is Laser TV, like Hisense’s, able to reach color spectrums that OLED and LED cannot (i.e. 107% of the BT.2020 color space) providing the highest quality picture, it also minimizes the issue and constraints consumers would have trying to set up a 100-inch TV. Hanging a 100-to-120-inch TV isn’t feasible for the average consumer and the TV uses a lot of energy which can add up. For people who want a bigger and better home entertainment experience, eventually, the traditional LED/OLED will have its limitations, whereas Laser TV brings the cinema-quality picture and experience without the hassle.

Hisense targets gamers with products such as the U7G, U8G and U9DG series. What makes these attractive to gaming applications?

Gamers want all of the latest specs and features — HDMI 2.1, high refresh rates, low input lag, great picture quality with smooth motion, etc., so they can eke out every bit of performance from their PC or gaming console. We specifically included these features in the products to really elevate the gaming experience. Additionally, FreeSync Premium makes it a great option for PC and console games that utilize this feature.

These features bring players instant response times, minimal motion blur and halo effects, and immersive surround sound. Additionally, it features upgraded picture quality including a 120Hz refresh rate. Both the U7G and U8G feature IMAX enhanced, Filmmaker Mode, Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+/ HDR10/HLG for even better and brighter picture. They also feature audio enhancements such as Dolby Atmos, eARC and comes WiSA Ready so gamers can have that immersive experience they typically seek when playing.

What are some benefits of the Android TV platform to stream AV content, and why did Hisense choose it?

Android TV is a robust platform that allows users to access more than 5,000 games and apps. Built-in Chromecast offers even more options for people who want to stream content from their phones, tablets, or laptops. We want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to access their preferred content and Android TV has been a great solution for that. We have a long-standing relationship with Android TV and have used it on our ULED TVs for years.