Skyworth used its global Autumn Launch event Thursday to introduce a pair of advanced television technology series — an OLED and a mini-LED — incorporating new picture and sound technologies for the premium television market.

The China-based company said the new televisions will ship first in its China domestic market, but it has plans for a phased roll out to other global regions, with the introduction dates to be announced later.

At the same time, the company’s North American sales unit officially announced availability of its previously announced five TV model series for the United States and Canada. These models — both OLED and LED-LCD TVs — all have more commonly available performance and feature sets aimed at providing value pricing to attract mainstream audiences. The North American operation, which launched in 2018, is building a following here taking baby steps for its “premium tier 2” offerings before moving into more advanced (and expensive) models like those announced at the launch event. More on that later.

The Autumn launch event was live streamed from Beijing this morning, and centered around the company’s new S82 4K OLED TV series and the Q72 MiniLED LCD series. Both series have 4K Ultra HD resolution with support for advanced HDR including Dolby Vision (the S82 models add Dolby Vision IQ which is the latest form of the dynamic metadata-based HDR system adding adaptive AI brightness control to automatically adjust picture lighting cues to match the viewing conditions of the room).

Both models also include High-Intensity Smart AI Cameras for video calls, room monitoring and other applications.

Other common features in both series include improved on-board sound supporting Dolby Atmos (and DTS:X in the Q72 series) 3D surround sound, and advanced gaming support through 48 Gbps HDMI 2.1 connections for up to 4K/120Hz along with VRR to eliminate frame tearing and low latency gaming response. The S82 models include 2 HDMI 2.1 inputs (in addition to 2 HDMI 2.0 versions), while the Q72 offers one HDMI 2.1 input (along with three HDMI 2.0 ports).

Skyworth Chair Tony Wang said both series were developed to achieve the most realistic picture levels possible, with the S82 series capable of achieving a super low 0.86 average Delta E color error level, meaning color inaccuracies will be virtually imperceptible by the human eye.

The new S82 series is part of the company’s S (for Supreme) tier of model performance. This is second only to the flagship W series, which denotes the most cutting edge performance and striking design qualities. The S series is positioned as a premium flagship-performer with stylish designs and advanced features.

The S82 4K OLED TVs feature two screen sizes — 55-inches (RMB13999, $2,333 equivalent suggested retail price) and 65-inches (RMB24999, $3,870 equivalent suggested retail), but the company’s spec sheets also listed models in 77- and 83-inches (possibly coming later). It’s worth noting that the company listed special lower event prices for the models, but it’s not known how long those will stick on the streets in China. Key features include: a built-in sound system equipped with a 1.2 liter back panel positioned audio drum for more direct and realistic sound.

Skyworth, which is an OLED panel production partner with LG Display in China, uses a new OLED Basic Module Slim panel in the series to eliminate one layer in the OLED stack and a Unibody Stamping process that achieves a thinner panel, while at the same time adding enhanced metal composite materials in the heat-sync/metal back panel layer to improve heat dissipation while increasing peak brightness performance.

Skyworth said the S82 sets will achieve peak luminance levels of 1,000 nits, which is similar to claims for new Sony A90J Master Series OLED TVs and certain LG G1 series models, both of which also boast new technologies to reduce heat and elevate brightness. The self-emissive OLED technology also inherently provides wide viewing angles and deep black performance.

Skyworth said the sets produce smooth motion images using Motion Estimation Motion Compensation technology and 120Hz panels.

The S82 models are optimized for advanced gaming by including a pair of HDMI 2.1 inputs with 48Gbps/4K/120Hz bandwidth and Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) along with WiFi 6 wireless connectivity. The sets are said to have been designed for high color accuracy with support for color gamut switching between BT.709, BT.2020 and DCI-P3, the later listed at 99%.

The product specifications list the company’s Coocaa OS platform based on an Android Open Source platform (presumably this will be Android 10 or later in models released in North America).

Skyworth Q72 4K mini-LED TV with an “elevating” wall-mount stand design

The Q72 Series (Q for quality and longevity), is part of the company’s 4K MiniLED technology offered in two models: 75-inches (RMB29999 in China, $4,644 equivalent, suggested retail) and 86-inches (RMB49999, $7,480 equivalent suggested retail) screen sizes. The company offered lower special “event prices” on each of the new TV products but did not indicate how long they would last.

Key features include an advanced Active Matrix-addressing Chip-on-Glass (COG) IC technology from development partner BOE to produce a backlight module capable of smarter, more advanced and stable lighting control that produces high brightness without flicker for greater eye safety than is provided in some competitive Passive Matrix MiniLED approaches, the company said.

The company uses a wide angle film to produce up to a 178-degree viewing angle.

The COG technology is said to have more balanced, more precise and brighter light control with 20,736 MiniLEDs across 2,304 dimming zones.

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The Q72 models are said to produce up to 1,500 nits of peak brightness, a 1M:1 high contrast ratio, and low Delta E color error levels. Wide color gamut coverage lists a whopping 115% of the DCI-P3 Hollywood color recommendation.

The on-board sound system is said to produce a 2.1.2-ch. Dobly Atmos/DTS:X surround sound experience from 2 front channel drivers, 2 up firing drivers and a wireless subwoofer.

The television design features an ultra-thin bezel and the company’s “levitating” mount technology that enable the panel to be mounted on a wall. To better facilitate wall mounting; the Q72 models use an outboarded box for circuitry and connections with a single thin cable connection between the box and the screen.

As for Skyworth North America’s plans, the company recently launched with retail partners across the United States and Canada its five 2021 TV product series, said John Homlish, the company’s senior VP.

He said the region’s “premium tier 2” high value products are positioned as part of the 3-year-old operation’s building block approach to market acceptance here. The company is distributing through national, independent and 2-step retail chains and stores.

The series includes two 4K OLED series — the XC9000 and XC9300, and three LED LCD tiers — the 4K UC7500 series, 4K UC6200 series and the Full HD 1080p TC6200 series.

All models are designed around three core pillars — design, performance & technology and the Google Android TV smart OS platform.

This year models all incorporate the company’s Chameleon Xtreme picture engine for tone color, dynamic range expansion and enhanced picture detail.

The U.S. flagship XC9300 4K OLED is the billed as premium line with models in the 55- and 65-inch screen sizes. Key features include hands-free Google Assistant voice control (with switch-off privacy control); a 120Hz panel; support for the HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG HDR profile;, Android 10 OS with built-in Chromecast support and UHD Filmmaker Mode.

The XC9000 4K OLED, is the company’s more affordable approach to OLED. The series also has 55- and 65-inch models, but substitutes a 60Hz refresh rate panel. They also are based on Android TV v. 10 with built-in hands-free Google Assistant and Chromecast, Chameleon Xtreme and support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG HDR.

In LCD TVs, the company features its premium 4K UC7500 direct-backlit LED series with models available in 43-, 50-, 55-, and 65-inches. These include a bezel-less design, a 60Hz refresh rate panel and built-in support for HDR10 and HLG HDR profiles.

The 4K UC6200 is the company’s entry 4K direct-backlit LED LCD TV series available in the 50-, 55-, 58-, 65-, 70- and 75-inch screen sizes. These models have Android TV 10 with Google Assistant and Chromecast built in, Ultra Slim designs, 60Hz refresh rate panels, Game Mode and support for the HDR10 and HLG HDR profiles.

LCD TC6200 Full HD direct backlit LED LCD TV series with 32-inch and 48 inch models. Features include Android TV OS 9 with Google Assistant and Chromecast support, 60Hz refresh rate and 8-bit panels and a slim bezel design.

Homlish said, “Based on our being a relatively young brand in North America, our focus is working primarily with the small to large independent retailers who have a sales-assisted selling floor that can tell our story to the consumer and explain: 1) who Skyworth is 2) our long history and expertise in building OLED TV’s for the Asian market and 3) why they should have confidence in buying a Skyworth OLED TV.

“Today, for example, you can find our OLED TV’s in the USA at Nebraska Furniture Mart in Dallas, Omaha and Kansas City and in Canada, at London Drugs in 62 of their stores nationally,” he continued.

“We are currently in discussion with several retailers in both the USA and Canada and expect to open up additional new markets selling Skyworth OLED TV’s this year and into 2022,” Homlish said.

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By Greg Tarr

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