TCL 50" UHDTV for $999 Puts Price Pressure on Premium Panel Producers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I had not heard much about TCL televisions before today, but thanks to a bold pricing move in the UHDTV segment, the little-known brand is getting some attention in the press. The LED edge-lit 50-inch 7E504D is the first UHD/4K to sport a retail price under $1000—if only by a buck. That's about $100 less than the previous lowest-priced 50" UHD panel, the equally creatively named SE50UY04 from Seiki.


TCL introduced a $999 50" UHDTV
Quote:
"The TV will be available in September and is an edge-lit LED with a 120Hz CMI (Clear Motion Index) engine. The native 4K screen has an onboard scaler and will accept a native 4K input -- such as from a PC or future 4K players." — CNET

At such a low price point, one expects to sacrifice some features. Missing from the 50" TCL's spec sheet is any sort 3D capability, and the 7E504D can't really be described as "smart" in any way. But with four HDMI inputs (with MHL capability) and built-in UHD scaling, adding that functionality—perhaps with a Roku or a Chromecast HDMI dongle—is a piece of cake. There's also a USB port for easily viewing photos and video clips on a thumb drive.

The introduction of this new 50" UHDTV ends the reign of the Seiki 50" UHDTV as the sole "bargain" UHD option. I'm sure there will be plenty of interest in how the new, even cheaper competitor from TCL performs.
Quote:
"Meanwhile, the only other 4K TV to be announced that "costs less than a car" has been the Seiki SE50UY04, which is available for about $1,100 from Amazon." — CNET

If this 50-incher sports picture quality that looks at all decent, is the low price reason enough to buy it? Or are all the extra features offered by the name brands a must-have?

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post #2 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 11:03 AM
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I buy TV's to use as displays. they do not need to do a thing more than that. so yes, if the pq is good(which it won't be), i'd be far more interested in these value sets over something with features i'll never use. hell knock out another 50bux and remove the speakers and i'll be even happier;)
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post #3 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 11:08 AM
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I will reserve judgement until I can actually see the PQ of this TV........However, other manufactures (SONY, PANASONIC, SAMSUNG) should take a page from TCL's playbook & give us a no-nonsense TV. Forget 3D, "smart", apps and all that other nonsense.

I will take a TV, whatever is the latest & greatest at the time (4K OLED) that just gives me the BEST PQ possible at a good price, without having "Stuff" that adds to the price point.

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post #4 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

I buy TV's to use as displays. they do not need to do a thing more than that. so yes, if the pq is good(which it won't be), i'd be far more interested in these value sets over something with features i'll never use. hell knock out another 50bux and remove the speakers and i'll be even happier;)

Totally agree with you. Whats the best completely defeatured TV/monitor (no speakers even) that you guys have come across and at what price?

It would be super cool for one of these manufacturers to create a totally stripped down "monitor only" but high PQ 60" monitor for under $1,000 and 70" or 80" monitor for $2k
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post #5 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 12:40 PM
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I've never heard of them but I'm assuming they are a Chinese company? At a buck less than a grand they will be selling these like hot cakes. If anyone gets to demo one these or the Seiki let us know what you think. I'll be looking for around a 60" UHD panel when the prices fall to a reasonable level, and HDMI 2.0 is out. You asked if price would be the sole reason to buy one. For me the answer is no, and not because I'm made of money, because of the features it lacks. That said there has to be comprise between this and the insanely priced UHD's from the big boys.
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post #6 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 02:42 PM
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The AVS Forum should post another Survey re what people want on their sets, or not. Should be interesting, what with so many peripherals supporting all the Smart Apps you need now days. Like some commentors have said give an excellent looking set, all the calibrating requirements on board, and cut the crap! (Oh, detachable speakers, or non at all.)
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post #7 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p5browne View Post

The AVS Forum should post another Survey re what people want on their sets, or not. Should be interesting, what with so many peripherals supporting all the Smart Apps you need now days. Like some commentors have said give an excellent looking set, all the calibrating requirements on board, and cut the crap! (Oh, detachable speakers, or non at all.)


Good idea! I'll put it in the poll queue.

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post #8 of 46 Old 07-25-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

I buy TV's to use as displays. they do not need to do a thing more than that. so yes, if the pq is good(which it won't be), i'd be far more interested in these value sets over something with features i'll never use. hell knock out another 50bux and remove the speakers and i'll be even happier;)

Completely agree! I don't want 3D. I don't want a smart TV. Just a quality display and ATSC (and possibly QAM) tuner. Granted, I don't believe this to be a "quality" TV. I wish Sony, Samsung, LG, and other brands would leave out all the extra's on some of their models. When I want the Internet on my TV, I boot up my HTPC. My Oppo 105 has some Internet stuff too, but I never use 'em.

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post #9 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 12:26 AM
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Unfortunately, to acheive the best PQ, your going to be stuck with many "top of the line" features, wether you want them or use them or not... doesn't matter. Even mid range sets routinely have 3D and smart apps now.

Watch out for another major player in the UHD flat panel market to begin their campaign for larger market share ("Hiscene" or something close to that). Reportedly very good PQ and reliability for the price.
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post #10 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 05:39 AM
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If the price of this would come down just a couple hundred more (and assuming it doesn't weight 100 lbs) I would use this for my new computer monitor. As far as all the "extras" on the new TV's I honestly don't think it really is costing the manufactures that much to have all of those features. Maybe $100 max for the whole lot of 3D, apps and whatnot.
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post #11 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AVTrauma View Post

Unfortunately, to acheive the best PQ, your going to be stuck with many "top of the line" features, wether you want them or use them or not... doesn't matter. Even mid range sets routinely have 3D and smart apps now.

Watch out for another major player in the UHD flat panel market to begin their campaign for larger market share ("Hiscene" or something close to that). Reportedly very good PQ and reliability for the price.

Hisense has a trick up its sleeve. Yes, you will see some very nice looking Hisense UHDTV panels at 50", 58" and 65"—I saw a pre-production unit two days ago. Article coming soon. Don't underestimate any bargain panel manufacturer, you never know.

As for "smart" features, it seems like there's no real need for that to be built-in. If anything, I'd rather have my smart features come from an upgradeable stick or even a STB, how long before 2013 TVs with built-in smarts seem old and slow compared to a sub-$50 dongle?

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post #12 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 07:50 AM
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Agreed and all companies were small at one time. Where was Vizio 10 years ago? They came out of know where and like or dislike their panels they are selling a ton of them. Many other big brands started out being sold at Wallyworld and Kmart, and you wouldn't dare buy them if you cared about quality, or so we thought smile.gif
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post #13 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 08:47 AM
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Love the price for 4k technology; but the screen is just too small for my taste wink.gif

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post #14 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 08:49 AM
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I'm with you! no speakers inside a tv. waste of money. There ought to be a choice.
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post #15 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 09:42 AM
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My hunch is the TV costs wouldn't go down much, if at all if they eliminated 3D, internet, speakers, etc... With a few exceptions, TV manufacturers don't make the actual components and the components are all made to have 3D and so forth. It would be like expecting Dell to have cheaper computers using motherboards without a serial port, It would probably cost them the same either way.

Even though I use surround sound, I want to have speakers on my TV. Yesterday I wasn't getting sound out of my Blu-ray player. I plugged the hdmi cable into the TV and I could hear sound, so having speakers helped me troubleshoot the problem. Plus if my receiver breaks, I won't have to go without sound completely.

I also watch 3D movies..
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Tcl is more known for its name to the Chinese theater than its electronics...
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post #17 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 10:54 AM
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I still need my TV speakers as I find no reason to watch my local news or most shows on TV through my setup.
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I've been using a chinese made LCD monitor for almost 6 years now (the company is Hanns-G and they were almost unknown 6 years ago). It was a 1/3 of the price of similiar sized ( ~30") monitors at the time. It had no dead pixel when it shipped and has no pixels 6 years later. Granted the $1000+ dell and apple 30" displays have slighly better picture quality but for the size and resolution I got a steal of a deal.
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post #19 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Agreed and all companies were small at one time. Where was Vizio 10 years ago? They came out of know where and like or dislike their panels they are selling a ton of them. Many other big brands started out being sold at Wallyworld and Kmart, and you wouldn't dare buy them if you cared about quality, or so we thought smile.gif
In Canada, if you say "Vizio", the general populous (even the HT enthusiasts) tend will say "what is a Vizio?" tongue.gif

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post #20 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 02:25 PM
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what people tend to forget that for 4K panels, at least at the time being, you will need a kick-butt upscaler. Something that TCL, Westinghouse, Seiki don't have. Furthermore, when it comes to black level, for Seiki, the company seems to say "what is black level?", for TCL, company seems to say "we heard of black level, is that a good thing?". And for both companies, screen uniformity just non-existent.

Mind you, however, TCL have made kick-butt panels, they have the capability to do so, I just don't think they put that capability for their consumer-level panels under their own brand... and TCL is a huge and well-known company in Asia.

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post #21 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 02:34 PM
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While this seems like a nice price, what exactly is the purpose of a 50" 4k TV?

To get the 4k benefit vs. 1080p on this TV, you need to be sitting 5' from it. (http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.png)

Must have a very small room, indeed.... smile.gif

P.S. I wish people would be more excited about PQ, like some of the new "plain HD" plasma sets popping up this year, rather than pixels they never see.

But 4k is the new 3d of marketing, so we'll all have it soon, whether we need it or not, and whether the PQ is good or not (more often not, since they are still cheap LCDs).
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post #22 of 46 Old 07-26-2013, 02:38 PM
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oh god, not another carltonbale quote rolleyes.gif the default chart for people who never experienced 4K (although my personal experience with Sony 55" 4K, I need to sit at 6ft distance to appreciate the difference biggrin.gif )

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post #23 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 06:09 AM
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Well i never really cared much for 3D the technology will improve one day into hologram tech. This one does look very promising, since the Asus 4K monitor can process 60hertz i believe and this one can do 120hz which is great and if they aggressively push this price and you know it's gonna go down even more online as the seiki i believe is even lower than this, and well hopefully push manufacturers to really start selling at a much lower price because it's just ridiculous when trying to compete with all these Chinese manufacturers that spring over night, interesting to see where the 4k stuff goes.
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post #24 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 04:12 PM
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Really? WTF!! biggrin.gif is there an explanation for the reason it goes darker after being left off overnight? I calibrated 2 Seiki and I gave up (plus returning my client's money) because I can never get the black level I'm happy with.

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post #25 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Really? WTF!! biggrin.gif is there an explanation for the reason it goes darker after being left off overnight? I calibrated 2 Seiki and I gave up (plus returning my client's money) because I can never get the black level I'm happy with.

I think you are supposed to chant "black is black" while turning around 33 times, then spit over your shoulder at exactly the center of the screen. It must be done exactly at midnight Beijing time.

If you still don't get good blacks, you did not spit right.
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post #26 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Really? WTF!! biggrin.gif is there an explanation for the reason it goes darker after being left off overnight? I calibrated 2 Seiki and I gave up (plus returning my client's money) because I can never get the black level I'm happy with.



Oh you've never heard this before David? Oh sure it ranks right up there with wrapping tin foil on the rabbit ears biggrin.gif
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post #27 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 05:32 PM
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Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me. I guess if you turn off the screen PERMANENTLY you'll get deeper blacks smile.gif

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post #28 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 05:45 PM
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TCL has been around for a long time. I saw a documentary years ago that said TCL was one of the largest LCD panel manufacturers in the world, primarily producing lower-end panels as an OEM for known manufacturers. Their actual TCL branded products were most likely sold in the poorer countries but are now being pushed worldwide. I'm sure the quality has improved over time but I don't have any current experience.

Someone can correct me with better facts if needed because I don't have the exact number but there are really only a small group of companies (most are Taiwanese companies) that even make LCD panels. There are your big players: LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and then there are companies who OEM panels for the economy brands and the lower end models of the major brands. For example, Chi Mei Optoelectronics is the world's 2nd largest LCD manufacturer and Taiwan's #1, but most people have never heard the name.

This TCL model, despite being UHDTV will probably not look that great. It'll be a budget panel with low end internals. However, this will sell a lot because most people aren't enthusiasts like us on this site and the TV will be fine for them. At that price point they stand to sell a ton of them.

This is the same as how Grown Ups 2 beat out a movie like Pacific Rim at the box office. =(

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post #29 of 46 Old 07-27-2013, 06:53 PM
 
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^I could do without both of those films, though I'll rent them for bottom dollah for quick and easy entertainment. The Pacific Rim plotline is just about worn down to the nub with only a slight twist. Sorry for the OT aside!
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post #30 of 46 Old 07-28-2013, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for the info. But I can never get the blacks of the two Seiki to match Sony. Furthermore the upscaling on the Seiki (or Yamaha receiver, or Oppo) are far below the upscaling quality of the Sony.

With the lack of 4K materials, upscaling is extremely important and so far I haven't seen anything that surpasses Sony TV. Not even Sony's receiver or blu-ray upscaler. Heck, not even Toshiba's marseilles Technicolor Certified upscaler can match Sony 4K Reality engine.

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