TCL formally revealed aggressive pricing for the latest iteration of its popular 6 Series 4K Ultra HDTVs powered by the Roku smart TV operating system.

Pre-orders are now being taken by retailers across the country for this year’s TCL “6-Series” TVs, which offer what TCL is calling “a complete solution” for high dynamic range (HDR) support, including the ability to read and display the premium Dolby Vision profile, in addition to baseline HDR10.

The 2018 version of the series is billed as an “evolution and continuation” of the popular P6 Roku TV Series, which the company launched in the second half of 2017. New models are now being offered in the 55-inch 55R617 ($649 pre-order introductory price) and the 65-inch 65R617 ($999 special introductory price) screen sizes and are slated for delivery soon.

Both SKUs feature what TCL is calling “premium picture quality,” resulting from the use of the company’s HDR Picture Performance Pro package of advanced features.

This includes TCL’s use of so-called Contrast Control Zones (full-array LED backlight with local dimming across 96 and 120 zones, respectively), iPQ engine (said to deliver accurate optimized P3 color space tuning without the need of a professional calibration), and HDR Pro Gamma (allows consumers to adjust performance of HDR content and tone mapping based on light or dark viewing environments).

This year’s Contrast Control Zone implementation elevates the number of controlled LED zones across the LCD back plane from 72 last year. The 6-Series offers picture settings available for dark home theaters(HDRDark), moderately bright living rooms (HDRNormal), and bright sunlit spaces (HDRBright) so that HDR enhancement is available under a varying range of ambient lighting environments.

For wide color gammut reproduction, the “Nano Band Phospher (NBP) Photon” technology essentially coats the LEDs in the backlighting system with a special phosphor formulation. When combined with TCL’s “iPQ Engine” picture processing, the 6-Series models are said to produce vibrant wide color with precise control.

TCL said the new 6 Series is expected to deliver a 25 percent improvement in peak brightness over the 2017 P6 series models. Those models were noted to have peak brightness of more than 600 nits measuring in a 25 percent D65 white window pattern.

The new 6-Series sets also feature a new aesthetic design, including a bold, brushed metal finish.

For motion smoothing, the new 6-Series sets use a combination of 240 Natural Motion and “120 Hz Clear Motion Index” techniques to offer smoother looking on-screen motion. However, the company clarified to HD Guru that 120 Hz Clear Motion Index is different from using a 120 Hz native refresh rate panel, which is typically the best, though most expensive way, of presenting the smoothest motion reproduction using LCD technology.

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Other features in the new models include: a new Roku TV Voice Remote boasting enhanced voice control capability, including the ability to search, switch inputs, tune to a local terrestrial broadcast channel, launch a streaming channel and more.

Chris Larson, TCL USA, senior VP, said that by implementing the built-in Roku OS, the company has continued to pick up momentum in the U.S. market. He said TCL now ranks No. 2 in market share of 55-inch smart TVs (one of the most popular screen sizes) behind only Samsung.

The 6-Series also boasts the latest version of the Roku OS, which, in addition to hundreds of streaming apps and thousands of movie an TV show choices, features new intuitive features for easier use. This includes the recently updated and expanded Roku Channel, with ad-support movies, TV shows and now live and linear news from ABC News, Newsy, Cheddar and People TV. The channel makes it easier than ever for Roku users to find free ad-supported programming.

The OS also carries the Dolby Access channel, which is billed as “a first for TCL TVs,” and delivers trailers and shorts that showcase the performance of Dolby Vision on a TV.

For 2018, TCL offers four primary series of TVs in the U.S. market with the premium 6-Series crowning the new lineup. All TCL TVs feature the Roku smart TV platform, but each series delivers a unique combination of design, features and performance.


By Greg Tarr


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