New for 2019 is the TCL 8-series QLED, a 4K Roku TV that’s the first to use mini-LED for its FALD array. Featuring 25,000 mini-LEDs illuminating 1000 zones with the help of quantum dots in both 65″ and 75″ sizes, this TV line is a leap forward for TCL. The 8-Series possesses picture quality that does true justice to today’s HDR 4K content. Both sizes ship this fall at $1999 for the 65″ and $2999 for the 75″ 4K models. 8K 8-Series TVs will follow at 75″ and larger sizes.
TCL has also announced pricing and availability for its popular 6-Series, which now uses QLED quantum dot technology to achieve 100% DCI/P3 color volume. The company says that they will be available this summer. The FALD array of the 6-Series starts at 100 zones for the 55″ model and increases with larger sizes. Pricing and availability of the 5-Series of 4K HDR edgelit LCDs was also announced.
TCL’s new 8-Series is guaranteed to pique the interest of AVS Forum members looking for an affordable TV that excels at HDR playback. Just last week, I went to NY to see a demo of the 8-Series and I immediately realized that this TV has qualities that make it a threat to 77″ OLEDs, and not just other FALD-LCDs. That’s because with 1000 zones and 25,000 mini-LEDs, this TV achieved both the intense brightness and the super-deep blacks that are necessary to truly get the most out of HDR. These 8-Series TVs also feature 120 Hz (native) panels.
“Taking the lead with this first-to-market Quantum Contrast technology, the 8-Series has the stunning ability to produce brilliant whites shining next to deep blacks and now sets a new benchmark for LCD TVs to directly take on high-contrast OLED TVs in delivering a superior overall viewing experience” – TCL
With so many zones and mini-LEDs, not only is the new 8-Series able to avoid distracting artifacts like halos and clouding, it also benefits from increased screen uniformity including the typically “difficult to illuminate” corners.
When compared to a “regular” FALD-LCD, the new TCL 8-Series had much deeper blacks, and yet simultaneously had considerably more brilliant highlights. Highlights that maintained color saturation despite their brilliance!
At this point, you’re probably thinking “Fantastic, so what’s the catch?” and it’s quite simple: Compared to OLED, viewing angles are limited. And compared to Samsung’s top QLEDs, the antireflective coating on this TCL is not nearly as effective. But let me say this… if you sit on the couch and dim the lights to watch an HDR movie, this could very well be the 2019 65″ or 75″ 4K TV that provides the best picture overall, and certainly the highest performance per dollar spent. Dolby Vision compatibility is a plus.
Simply put, the TCL 8-Series is not a “me too” TV. It represents the moment TCL took a leadership position in the U.S. TV market by delivering a package (big, affordable, flat, awesome contrast) that is what many AVS Forum members have been asking for since 4K and HDR first appeared.
Oh I almost forgot! TCL demoed the Dolby Atmos sound that’s built into this TV. What can I say… it did work in the sense that it expanded the soundfield and gave a decent sense of immersion. Overall, the sound of the TCL 8-Series TVs is much better than I’m used to hearing, even from a flagship model.
Quantum Contrast Demo
During my recent NY trip I saw TCL’s “Quantum Contrast Demo” which is a TV that’s been stripped of several layers that make up the LCD screen so that you can see right through it to the FALD backlight.
The amazing thing is you can’t even tell there’s a grid of LEDs until you get fairly close to it. The main thing is that the TV has no way to stop blooming and halos, aside from tightly controlling the FALD array.
It works. The light is so well controlled, it actually looks like a normal TV from a distance. This is next-level FALD, no doubt. Here’s a graphic that explains what TCL showed me…
Long story short, I can’t wait to see what reviewers think of this TV. It certainly looks like a HOME THEATER MONSTER!!!
TCL’s 6-series is all about delivering excellent viewing experiences at incredibly affordable prices. A bezel-free design complements the quantum dot-enhanced picture quality of the 2019 models. The 6-Series now also features Dolby Atmos sound as well as Dolby Vision HDR.
The main news for the TCL 6-Series is it joins the 8-Series in adopting QLED quantum dot technology. The 55″ model will be available for under $600.
In addition to the two QLED series, TCL has announced pricing and availability for its 5-Series of highly affordable 4K HDR TVs. The 5-series will be available in late summer 2019 in 43”, 50”, 55” and 65” screen sizes with the 43″ model starting at just under $300.
All three TCL TV series mentioned here are Roku TVs. The TVs run on the fast and intuitive Roku platform that features over 5000 streaming channels as well as more than a half-million movies and TV episodes. These TVs feature easy voice control for voice assistant compatibility, as well as Roku Voice that allows you to change settings and look for content using the TVs remote.
TCL is taking the lead in bringing easy optimization to consumers. Not only will the company’s iPQ Engine ensure optimized color accuracy by compensating for component performance variations, but in fall 2019 there will be an app for select iOS and Android devices that allow you to use the phone’s camera to perform a basic color calibration.