TCL To Expand 4K Ultra HD Lineup, Adds 4K Roku TVs
TCL used its press conference at CES to unveil plans to expand its presence in the 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV market in 2016, when company executives said they will introduce seven UHD sets, highlighted by a flagship X1 model that will include quantum-dot technology.
The flagship 65-inch X1, due to ship in the second half, will produce a wide color gamut, as well as offer support for high dynamic range (HDR) including both the HDR 10 and Dolby Vision systems, and will feature a curved screen, Chris Larson, TCL sales and marketing VP announced in Las Vegas.
“Last year we offered only two series in the United States in television,” said Larson. “We’ll be offering two additional series in 2016 as well as 4K UHD offerings to three of these four series.”
TCL also used the press conference to announce that it was delivering this year the industry’s first line of 4K Ultra HD Roku TVs, which were first shown last year in prototype form.
One of the world’s largest television manufacturers, TCL has tried to break into the North American market using lines of high-value televisions that sell to leading discount store chains, including Walmart and other national retailers. It has showed 4K Ultra HDTV for the past several years, but has scaled down or dropped those plans in past years, as mass market awareness catches up to the new technology. This year, the company is vowing to push forward with 4K UHD TV marketing, and will use the flagship set to prove its manufacturing prowess.
Read more on the TCL 2016 4K Ultra HD marketing plans after the break:
Regarding the 65-inch X1 flagship, TCL said the TV will incorporate its package of high picture performance technologies, including quantum-dots that will display nearly 100 percent of the Digital Cinema Initiative’s P3 color recommendation. TCL has dubbed the premium technology package “QUHD.” The set will also employ the new Dolby Vision VS10 HDR solution that is designed to offer multiple HDR format types, including Dolby Vision’s single-layer and dual-layer metadata streams, in addition to the Consumer Technology Associations (CTA’s) baseline HDR10 format that is called out in the Ultra HD Blu-ray, and UHD Alliance definitions.
Other features in the 65-inch X1 include: full-array LED backlighting with 288 zones of local dimming. It is said to output 1,000 nits of peak brightness.
The X1 will run a proprietary smart-TV OS with 4K streaming apps, including Vudu, which is slated to deliver Dolby Vision 4K HDR streaming titles, among others. The X1 will also include: HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection to enable connecting external sources to transfer 4K content in HDR 10. These sources would include: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players download storage devices, among others.
The X1 TV will also include a Harman Kardon designed audio speaker enhancement and will have a slim 15.4mm depth, seamless bezel, and quad-core CPU with hexacore GPU.
Meanwhile, TCL said it will offer six 4K Ultra HDs embedded with the Roku smart TV operating system. For the past two years, the company has sold Full HD 1080p Roku TV versions, and currently has 14 such models that it will maintain in 2016,
This year, the company has moved to step up the resolution support to 4K, following the launch last year of Roku’s Roku 4 set-top box, which was the first device to offer 4K Ultra HD Roku streaming, from supporting apps, including Netflix, Amazon and others. The Roku Smart TV operating system is virtual identical in use and support for steaming audio and video services to Roku’s set-top streaming players. The Roku service claims to offer more than 300,000 TV episodes and movies on more than 3,000 streaming channels. It also provides streaming music and video game services.
All six 4K UHD Roku TVs will have flat LED LCD TV screens, and will include the US5800 series (part of the company’s S series lineup), with the 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, both of which are slated to ship in the first quarter. The 55-inch version is expected to ring in at under $600, while the 65-inch is slated for a sub-$1,000 selling price.
The Roku US5800 models feature: HDMI 2.0 input with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, full-array LED backlighting without local dimming and Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band MIMO connectivity.
The four remaining TCL Roku TVs will be found in the UP130 series and include the 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes. Pricing will be announced later.
The UP 130 series (part of the company’s P series lineup) will step-up by adding an improved cosmetic design, voice input via RF remote for program search input, and headphone jack on the remote for private listening through headphones.
For 2016, TCL will introduce 18 total TV models, the majority of which will be powered by the Roku smart TV OS, Larson said. The U.S. lineup starts with the D series featuring the 28-, 32-, 40- and 48-inch screen sizes, all offering basic feature sets with high value and reliability, according to Larson. The company will continue in 2016 its popular S series products, designed for high UHD value at aggressive price points. The step-up P series of TVs was designed for “active families that want to introduce a large-screen television as a centerpiece for their home entertainment,” Larson said. The P Series sets will be offered in both multiple HD and UHD.
In other 4K Ultra HD TV introductions, TCL showed the C2 series using the QUHD premium performance technology package, with quantum-dot, for possible North American market introduction later in the year.
By Greg Tarr
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