Chinese multinational tech company, TCL Corporations, is the maker of some of the best under-$1,000 TVs you can buy, and it also adopted the Mini LED technology before TV makers like Samsung and LG. (TCL’s 8-Series and 6-Series both already include Mini LED backlighting.) TCL has announced at the CES 2021 that it is hoping to combine its aggressive pricing strategy and the technological head start on Mini LED for a new 6-Series that also goes all-in on 8K resolution.
“In the year ahead, all 2021 6-Series TCL Roku TV models being launched will feature 8K resolution,” TCL announced in a press release today, according to The Verge, noting that last year’s models will remain available as well. On the new 6-Series, TCL’s AiPQ engine will be able to upscale 4K content to higher clarity and sharpness. The scarcity of native content in 8K resolution is the main problem and that situation isn’t going to change anytime soon. But TCL is likely intending on at least pushing 8K TV prices down but how much more expensive this 6-Series will be over its predecessor? We don’t know yet.
TCL’s vertical integration and manufacturing expertise make it well ahead of competitors in LCD TV technology. This year, it’s introducing a new panel branded as “OD Zero” indicating the gap between the display and backlight system which is zero millimeters. The result is what TCL describes as an “ultra-slim display with tens of thousands of Mini LEDs and thousands of contrast control zones.”
TCL published a prickly blog post that criticized OLED’s low overall market share after LG announced it would start making LCD TVs with Mini LED. “There are TVs with a display technology that hasn’t notably changed since it was first used in TVs in the early 2010s and still only accounts for less than 3 percent of global TV sales,” TCL’s Aaron Dew wrote before talking up the faster evolution of LCD sets and benefits of Mini LED. “To those brands excited to introduce Mini LED in 2021, my only question is ‘what took you so long?”
TCL’s most recent 6-Series received strong reviews and was also a great choice for gamers, however, something TCL will look to resolve with this upcoming model could be its failure to properly pull off 4K resolution at 120Hz.
In 2021, the Huizhou-based company will also debut The XL Collection, its lineup of 85-inch displays at different price points and resolutions. Here’s what TCL says you can expect:
“Three different models will make up the XL Collection this year and each 85-inch TV will feature performance levels for every kind of home theater. From a simply smart 85-inch 4-Series TCL Roku TV that delivers the easiest way to enjoy 4K HDR streaming and an 85-inch 4K HDR TCL Roku TV with QLED picture quality to the ultimate 85-inch Mini LED-powered 8K TCL TV with QLED wide color technology, the XL Collection will fit any budget and exceed the highest performance standards to deliver larger-than-life home entertainment.”
Among the XL Collection, first out of the gate will be the 4-Series: it’s coming this quarter for $1,599. The pricier XL sets with better QLED (quantum dot color) picture quality will come later in the year with prices not yet disclosed — and the same goes for the 8K 6-Series.