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Hisense Launches 55" Vidaa Google TV at Best Buy For $699

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I searched online and there's not much press available at all for the new Hisense Vidaa TV. (Seems as though the upcoming Roku TVs from Hisense & TCL have captured all of the media attention for now). All I could find was this rather negative review from USA Today:

    Despite smart features, Hisense TV is not a smart buy

    I did notice that the consumer reviews on the Best Buy web site are more favorable. Currently there's only 7 customer reviews but the Vidaa TV has a rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 stars.

    I also noticed that Walmart has lowered the price of their Hisense H6 Vision (android) TV from $648 to $598. Thus currently the Vidaa TV (currently at $699) costs $101 more than the Vision TV.
     
  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I read that Hisense likes the Vidaa model because they heavily customized the interface. It's not what one would consider to be a 'vanilla GTV'. But it's got the PrimeTime app and all of the other GTV features. It's based on the android Jellybean OS (android 4.2.2).

    Also Hisense is coming out with Roku TVs soon in 4 sizes - so this could be why Hisense hasn't officially been named as an Android TV partner (they like to customize the interface & Android TV doesn't allow customization, plus Roku can be considered as a competing product line). If the Android TVs sell well they might still jump on board later and carry both a Roku and Android TV line. That's just my take on it.....

    Still no word on the Hisense Pulse Pro box......
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    My recommendation is that potential purchasers of Hisense Vision and Hisense Vidaa TVs base their purchase decision on the features and the OS that those TVs run now. IMO it is rather doubtful that these TVS will be updated to the Android TV platform when it comes out in the coming months.

    However there very well could be some Android TV apps that will be available for these Jellybean TVs (Google has stated that the Android TV apps will support android API 17 - meaning that the apps can run on Jellybean devices. So App developers can enable their Android TV apps to run on Jellybean devices).
     
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I think that is probably good advice but whether or not the new Android TV will be an improvement over this system isn't clear to me.
     
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  8. timmyp

    timmyp New Member

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    I bought one of these TV's. Picture itself is excellent, and that alone is worth the price as it's much cheaper than anything comparable. UI is OK, running 4.2.2. I managed to sideload an older version of HBOGo, which I guess is compatible with the version of flash on this machine. It has some Chromecast capability, but so far it seems it only works with YouTube.

    My biggest complaint is that Play Music isn't playing music. Of course Hisense support referred me to Google, who then said they don't officially support the model. Might need to try sideloading an older version of that, but I would have thought that an app it shipped with should be working.
     
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  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know all Google TV models have YouTube remote casting ability with Android smart phones and tablets. I know I tried it years ago, long before Chromecast and it worked well. Now it may be called something different but otherwise it is nothing new. I just don't care to select what I watch using a phone or tablet so I don't use it.

    Very strange that Google Play Music isn't working but I will bet there is a good fix for that, I just don't know what.
     
  10. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    The new Roku televisions from Hisense and TCL are very inexpensive and comparable in price to the Hisense android televisions. IMO the picture quality is also comparable. Videophiles will notice that the picture isn't as good as most more expensive televisions - but to the general consumer the picture most likely appears to be just fine (most consumers aren't videophiles) - which makes these TVs a good deal for the price.

    Here's a review of the Hisense Vidaa from a videophile's perspective. The big complaint for him is the picture quality:

    Despite smart features, Hisense TV is not a smart buy

    However most of the consumer reviews for the Hisense android televisions are pleased with the picture quality so it's good enough to offer a nice deal for the price.

    Here's a review of the new TCL 48" Roku television from a videophile's perpective (see link below). The review is very similar to the Hisense android television review - in that the review says the picture quality is mediocre while the smart features and prices are good . It's also currently rated 4.4 stars on Amazon with the customer ratings - (which is the exact same customer rating for the Hisense Vidaa TV on the Best Buy web site). The TCL 48" Roku television sells for $499.

    TCL FS4610R (Roku TV) review - CNET
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  11. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    This is just my personal opinion - but seeing as how the Hisense android TV requires putzing around trying to find an old HBO GO APK not designed for TV - and then going through the trouble of sideloading it - puts it at a disadvantage to the Roku televisions. Also since it's just a sideloaded app there's a chance that it it might become non-functional in the future.

    Also the Hisense android TVs don't have dedicated apps for Hulu Plus, MLB TV, Watch ESPN and a bunch more - Roku has apps for all of those that work well without sideloading. I believe Hulu Plus doesn't even work if sideloaded on the Hisense android TV.

    The bottom line: For the android enthusiast perhaps the Hisense android television is more appealing - but for the general consumer just wanting simplicity with the most content the Roku televisions probably offer a better experience/value.
     
  12. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I would say there is no way Roku can provide access to more content than Google TV, at least not if you know how to use Google TV. There is a lot of content available with the browser but no way I can find to get to it with Roku. The last few weeks I have been planted at PGA.com on Thursdays and Fridays and until the FedEx Cup is decided in a month or so, that will be the norm.

    There are many streaming sites accessible by browser with no Roku channel. Google TV in combination with PlayOn covers everything I want accessible with Roku that can't be accessed directly by Google TV. The reverse just isn't possible, a few other sites I use with Google TV and can't find any way to access with Roku, Internet Archive, METV, and sports streaming sites.
     
  13. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind the browser on the Hisense android TV doesn't support Flash - thus the web sites from HBO GO, Watch ESPN, and most all of the major TV networks don't work. As you mentioned all of this will require PlayOn and a PC - which adds complexity into the equation. My prediction is that the Roku televisions will outsell the android televisions by a big margin.
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the 55" Hisense Vidaa (H7) TV is no longer on sale. I just checked the Best Buy web site and the price is back up to $699.99.

    I also looked on the Walmart web site and the 55" Hisense Vision (H6) TV is still selling for $598.

    I looked on the Hisense web site for specs on both of these models and no information is given about the processor and amount of RAM. My guess is that these TVs use the Marvell Armada 1500 Plus chip (or something similar in nature) with 1 GB of RAM. I believe Hisense considers the Vidaa television a step up because it's referred to as "H7" - while the Vision TV is "H6". It's hard to say if there are significant differences in the hardware between the two models. Probably the biggest difference is in the software - the Vidaa television has a heavily customized interface. So that is something decided by one's own personal preference.

    If anyone wants to compare the 'official' specs made public by Hisense - here's the links from the Hisense USA web site:

    55" H7 VIDAA Series

    55" H6 Series Smart TV

    The following article has some good information about the customization of the UI on the Hisense Vidaa TV:

    In a post-Google TV era, Hisense takes a first stab at defining Android on TV — Tech News and Analysis



    *Video Description From OP:
    Hisense took what's left of Google TV and added its own vision for how a smart TV should look like. Mo Selim, Principal Designer of Hisense's design and development shop Jamdeo, gave me a demo of the company's Vidaa smart TV at CEs 2014.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  15. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Here's the official Hisense H7 Vidaa TV promo video from Hisense USA:



    *Video Description:
    Take a tour of the TV portion of the innovative VIDAA OS
     
  16. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I know it is an unfortunate situation that Google TV requires PlayOn and a PC for sites the browser can get to but no longer play, but that is just the way it is. I have Roku right beside Google TV and use both so it is easy to compare available content. Roku closed the gap a lot by adding ESPN3, Vudu and YouTube and is really a nice smart TV platform and very popular.

    Does PGA.com require Adobe Flash? It works really well with Google TV but I don't even know what the requirements are.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  17. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    A no-smarts TV with an upgraded Google TV box (at least Jell Bean); with HDMI in/out is still by far the best solution (HBO, network channels and ESPN are view-able on cable).

    Hisense is still the best hope to fulfill this, but maybe there'll be a "knock-off box" company that makes a quality box with support at some point.

    No rush, the browser on the GS7 still works "okay," and it's still a good streaming box with enough compatible apps to suit me.
     
  18. deadringer28

    deadringer28 Active Member

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    I really wanted to see this TV in action but my Bestbuy does not carry it. This is a BB exclusive. You would think they would carry at least a few in stock.
     

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