Will 2016 be the year that Chinese TVs go mainstream in the US?

Hisense, the No. 1 TV brand in China and the No. 3 TV maker globally (after Samsung and LG), is trying to burnish its reputation. Just like fellow Chinese brand TCL, it's best known for inexpensive models stateside, but flagship sets like its newest ULED TVs aim to improve its high-end chops.

Available in the second half of 2016, the 65-inch 65H10C will cost $2,800 while the 55-inch 55H9B (available February) will go for $1,000. Both prices are expensive for their size, but Hisense is hoping the sets' prodigious specs will help convince shoppers to look past the Samsungs and LGs of the world.

Both sets are equipped with my favorite LCD TV picture enhancement, full array local dimming, are compatible with HDR content, and have curved screens. The 65-inch size adds a couple more enhancements over its smaller brother, including quantum dots, and it improves upon the previous generation ULED TV with more dimming zones and a better brightness specification, as well as full support for next-generation HDR content out of the box.

Hardware specifications for 65-inch

  • Full array local dimming with 300 zones
  • 1,000 nits peak brightness
  • Quantum Dots
  • 99.98 percent coverage of DCI/P3 color space
  • Curved screen

It's worth noting that TCL's newly-announced X1 flagship TV has very similar specs, but adds support for Dolby Vision's HDR scheme.

All of these features put the Hisense ULED among the upper echelon of LED LCD picture quality on paper. Of course, we'll have to wait to see how it performs in real life. Even then, it faces the same kind of problem as TCL's X1 and Vizio's Reference Series: Who is willing to pay big bucks for a high-end TV from a brand known for being budget?

See our complete CES 2016 coverage here.