TCL Revamps 2023 TV Lineup With Premium 4K Mini-LED TV, QD-OLED TV Models
TCL revealed its plans at CES 2023 to maintain its U.S. TV market share position with beefed-up 4K Mini-LED TVs including new 98-inch models and a move into the custom installation channel that will also include the entry of the company’s first QD-OLED TV models.
In other developments, TCL said it will not be introducing any 8K TVs in 2023, citing a too slowly developing market, but will instead focus on providing higher-performing premium 4K UHD Mini-LED and later QD-OLED TVs with a strong value-added message.
As for more mainstream smart TV and sound bar products, the company unveiled a new two-tiered model series structure offering clear distinctions in performance for consumers and retailers, alike.
The company said the TCL brand has now ranked in the top two TV brands for TV unit share in the United States the past four years, selling more than 25 million television over that time.
For that achievement, the company credits the high quality of its models’ picture and sound performance, value pricing and vertical integration of the organization. TCL is among the few manufacturers in the world that produces its own display panels and continues to expand that capability with new plant investments.
Chris Hamdorf, TCL North America’ new senior VP of home theater products, said that in the first half of 2022 alone, the company produced more than 55,000 acres of TV panels. The company also claims to be one the world’s largest manufacturers of audio products, though still an emerging and growing brand in sound bars for the U.S. market.
“We also have vertically integrated product development, structure and audio products,” Hamdorf said. “So we’ll continue to leverage that as we go forward, similar to what we did in TVs.”
In 2023, the company plans to continue to support larger TV screens, and currently offers models all the way up to 98 inches. This year, the company will be focused on delivering even more premium picture quality and step-up technology in QLED-enhanced 4K Mini-LED TVs. Gone from the lineup will be 8K UHD TVs, which company representatives said have not developed into the high-volume business originally expected for the industry.
Instead, TCL will be looking to bring to its premium 4K models with advanced gaming technologies, and greater value for consumers in step-up television products. It will also seek to provide more options for immersive sound solutions through TCL brand TVs and supporting audio products.
In sound bars for 2023, Hamdorf said TCL will focus on the “under $250 segment,” offering high quality products with advanced features that will be “the perfect complement to the TVs that are sold to create the full home theater experience from TCL.”
Scott Ramirez, new TCL North America home theater product marketing development VP, said 2023 TV products will bring the company’s biggest enhancements to date.
This will be comprised of “two clear product families and six distinct product identities” targeting specific customer types.
In 2023, the entry S series (for Smart TV) will be comprised of S2 series models with 720p HD resolution, S3 series models with 1080p HD resolution and S4 series models with 4K Ultra HD resolution.
This year, the company will also introduce new step-up and premium Q Series models that emphasize bigger and better QLED (quantum dot color enhanced) TVs. Ramirez said the new Q Series models will not be direct replacements of existing series.
“These are all new [performance] levels defined with specific target customers,” Ramirez said.
Availability dates and product pricing will be announced later.
The Q lineup will step up from the S4 series with QLED enhancement in the Q6, Q7 “true premium TV” for fast motion and local dimming and the 120 QM8 Series, which will stand as TCL’s Mini-LED “Ultra HD flagship series.”
S2 Series 720P HD LCD TV Series
The TCL S2 series will feature 720p HD models with a “full-view bezel-less design”, with screen sizes starting at 32-inches.
S3 Series 1080p HD LCD TV Series
The S3 series, steps to 1080p HD with high dynamic range (HDR) enhancement. These TVs will support 32-, 40-, and 43-inch screen sizes, which the company designed to “double as a PC monitor.
S4 Series 4K UHD LCD TV Series
The S4 series TCL considers its “bread and butter”, “very high volume series,” bringing up to five new feature and picture/sound/gaming quality enhancements. Models in the line will feature motion estimation motion compensation (MEMC) black frame insertion technology for smooth motion image, Dolby Vision and HDR10 profile support, and Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual X internal sound stage expansion support.
The series will also feature a new voice remote.
Q Series QLED Model Series
The new Q Series supports QLED quantum dot color enhancement. These step up series models carry TCL’s AIPQ processing engine with advanced deep learning AI to enhance wide accurate color gamut coverage, high contrast and clarity performance, the company said.
For gaming, the Q series will carry “a full suite of gaming technologies,” according to Ramirez. This will be driven by an Auto Game Mode/Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) of up to 144 Hz, and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro certification.
To show off its gaming chops this year, TCL has become a sponsor of the “Call of Duty” gaming franchise, Ramirez said, in part because of the development of TCL’s new “Game Accelerator” feature was designed to deliver 2x the native panel refresh rate. He explained that in a TV with a 60 Hz refresh rate panel the Game Accelerator 120 features will produce up to a 120 Hz VRR experience. In models with 120 Hz panel Game Accelerator 240 will deliver a 240 Hz VRR gaming experiece.
To achieve this, Ramirez said the technology, which can be turned off or on as desired, sacrifices “half of the vertical resolution” but none of the horizontal resolution of the image, or 3840 x 1080 resolution for up to 240 Hz VRR gaming. He said the thinking behind the feature is that for truly competitive gaming, gamers place speed above resolution as the most important advantage, “so you don’t die in a game like `Call of Duty.’ “
Q6 4K QLED LCD TVs
The first step in the Q Series are the Q6 models. This will bring “an all-new-level” of QLED color enhancement in ultra-wide color gaming, for TCL, beyond just enhanced color. Ramirez said this adds 66% more enhanced brightness than TCL’s previous QLED TVs, ensuring “a better picture regardless of the content.”
For content that has not been encoded for high resolution or wide color performance, Ramirez said the combination of the 2023 QLED enhancement filter and the company’s hybrid panel will improve the look of the content, regardless of the source material, “even gaming, because we have the 120 Hz VRR with the “Gaming Acelerator 120” adaptation in the Q6 lineup. Screen sizes will include 50-, 55-, 65- and 75-inches.
Q7 Series Full-Arry LED-LCD TVs
The Q7 Series models add the company’s new Hybrid Pro display with Full-Array LED Pro Local Dimming and a native 120 Hz panel refresh rate. This line is said to include up to seven new technologies, and is the first step to a native 120 Hz refresh rate panel in a non-Mini-LED configuration. In 2022, 120 Hz native refresh rate panels will only offered in TCL’s Mini-LED based sets.
The Q7 delivers 2x times the peak brightness (nits performance) of TCL’s 2022 QLEDs, according to Ramirez.
The series also offers 5x more local dimming zones than 2022 TCL non-Mini-LED QLED TVs, “almost at Mini-LED dimming zone level.” This series features Game Accelerator 240 for up to 240 Hz VRR gaming, which Ramirez said “is the perfect TV for fast motion action movies, sports, and gaming.”
TCL said the series will also offer a new backlit voice remote.
Ramirez called the Q7 Series, “the perfect TV for 95% of people that might want a really premium TV.”
Q7 series screen sizes will include 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-inches.
QM8 Series 4K Mini-LED TVs
For those looking for more, the new TCL QM8 Series (pictured at top) brings QLED Mini-LED Full-Array backlighting with double the brightness (twice the nit level of 2022 Mini-LEDs) and more than 5x the number of local dimming zones (more than 2300 zones depending on screen size) of last year’s Mini-LED TVs.
The QM8 Series will include the 65-, 75-, 85-inch and 98-inch screen sizes in 2023.
2023 R98 98-Inch Mini-LED Ultra Model
For 2023, TCL’s 98-inch QLED TV will be improved with Mini-LED Full-Array LCD backlighting including all of the features of the QM8 Series models and full home theater complement. The new TCL 4K UHD R98 TV model is called “the ultimate Mini-LED, and ultimate home theater.”
Custom Installation and First TCL QD-OLED TV
In other news, TCL said it will formally enter the custom installation end of the market in 2023, by adding discrete IRA codes, RS-232C control support, IP control support, and key control partner support to high performaing models in its lineup
This will include TCL North America’s first QD-OLED-based TVs for 2023, joining its 4K QLED Mini-LED TVs “in the premium positions” of the 2023 TCL TV lineup, with a focus on Mini-LED Ultra for super large models.
TCL said more details on custom installed products, and features will be announced in the second half of the year, with final model plans yet to be decided.
2023 TCL Sound Bars
As with its TV assortment, TCL is splitting its 2023 sound bars into two distinct model families, including the S Series soundbars and Q Series sound bars, according to Ramirez.
The S series sound bars were designed to hit “the right price points, featuring new “slick designs,” and the addition of DTS Virtual X for a wider sound field support, Ramirez said.
The Q series sound bars, like the TCL Q Series TVs, step up to better home theater sound, elegant design aethetics at every level. The models are designed to support synergy with corresponding TCL TVs. Customers will find it easy to match S series TVs with S Series sound bars, and Q series TVs with Q series sound bars.
S Series Sound Bars
The entry S 4210 sound bar is a 2.1-channel sound bar with a wireless subwoofer, 200 watts of audio power, new DTS Virtual X enhanced sound field support, and numerous other features. The model features a 24-inch width for more flexible use placement. Purchasers will be able to use the sound bar with 32-inch or a 43-inch TVs or gaming monitors, as well as larger screen size TVs.
The S4310 sound bar is a 3.1-channel model that steps up with a longer length to support a dedicated center channel. This delivers enhanced dialog that remains clear in a fuller surround sound experience.
The S4510 sound bar delivers an even more complete 5.1-channel surround sound experience by adding rear speakers, and up to 280 watts of surround sound system power output.
Q Series Sound Bars
Taking the experience to the next level, the 2023 TCL Q Series Sound Bar line.
The entry Q6310 3.1-channel 36-inch sound bar with 420 watts of total power, wireless subwoofer with 6.5 inch bass speaker, bass boost for enhanced bass, and auto-room calibration.
The step-up Q6510 offers a 5.1-channel experience with separate tweeters for enhanced treble, rear-channel speakers, a larger wireless subwoofer box with bass boost for enhanced bass, auto-room calibration for enhanced accuracy and the Q-series cosmetic line also features a nicer, more elegant styling.
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By Greg Tarr
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