TCL has made significant inroads into the TV market around the world. According to market-research firm IHS, TCL was #3 is worldwide TV shipments during the first three quarters of 2016—beaten only by Samsung and LG—and #4 in the US, surpassing Sony in the third quarter with a year-over-year gain of 82%. By contrast, the top three brands in the US—Samsung, Vizio, and LG—saw only modest gains of no more than 11%.
At CES 2017, the TCL LCD TVs encompass three lines: P-Series, C-Series, and S-Series, all of which incorporate Roku TV and Wi-Fi connectivity. The P-Series focuses on performance, while the C-Series features contemporary design, and the S-Series is more of an entry-level product, which TCL refers to as “smart value” (completing the logic of the letter designations for each series.) The C-Series is new for 2017, while the P- and S-Series offer improvements over last year’s versions.
Starting with the P-Series (seen above)—which I believe will be of most interest to AVS Forum readers—it will be available in screen sizes from 50″ to 65″, though TCL has not yet listed the specific sizes. Of course, its resolution is 4K/UHD, and it boasts wide color gamut (WCG) using new LED phosphors, not quantum dots, with the goal of reaching 100% of DCI/P3. In terms of high dynamic range (HDR), the P-Series supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and each TV will have a “golden reference” that clearly defines the set’s capabilities for Dolby Vision calibration.
In addition, the P-Series is the only line that uses a FALD (full array with local dimming) backlight with what TCL calls Contrast Control Zones. However, there are only 72 zones, which is far fewer than many other FALD TVs. That’s pretty disappointing, but then again, the 50″ model is expected to sell for less than $500.
The C-Series is aimed at the design-conscious consumer with what TCL calls a contemporary slim design, and it will be available in screen sizes from 49″ to 75″. Like the P-Series, this line features WCG and support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but in this case, the panel is edgelit. Instead of Contrast Control Zones, a feature called HDR Dynamic Contrast uses the metadata in Dolby Vision content to change the brightness scene by scene. Of course, that is an inherent part of Dolby Vision to begin with, so I’m not sure how—or if—this is any different.
The entry-level S-Series includes two tiers. The S4 line has 4K/UHD resolution and supports HDR10 but not Dolby Vision, and it will be available in screen sizes from 43″ to 65″. The S3 line is full HD (1080p) with no HDR or WCG, and it will be available in screen sizes from 28″ to 49″.
Other than the hint that a 50″ P-Series would carry an MSRP under $500, no pricing or availability was announced.
Here’s our video: