TCL plans to release new software upgrades for some TVs that could make them better for gaming and make it easier to manage your home audio setup, the company announced Monday at CES.
Later this year, TCL says that it will enable variable refresh rates, which will sync the frame rate of your TV to what’s intended by the game. The update is slated for this spring, and it should arrive for select 2019 TCL Roku TV 6-Series models and select 2020 high-performance TVs. Support for variable refresh rates is becoming more common on PC monitors, and it’s starting to make its way to TVs. For example, Vizio just announced that its new line of 4K HDR TVs would support variable refresh rates.
TCL also says that it’s partnered with THX to make a new standard for gaming modes for TVs called “THX Certified Game Mode.” It’s unclear exactly what this mode will look like on your TV, or how it differs from other TV game modes, but a TCL press release characterizes it this way:
THX Certified Game Mode delivers fast response time and the most optimal viewing experience, allowing games to be experienced the way they were intended by the creators with rich, vibrant colors and better contrast in crisp 4K HDR resolution.
TCL expects to launch TVs certified with the new game mode later this year in North America.
TCL also says that, later this year, Roku is expected to let select 2019 TCL Roku TVs take advantage of HDMI eARC, part of the HDMI 2.1 standard. That should make managing your entertainment system easier. With HDMI eARC, if you connect your TV to a soundbar or AV receiver with HDMI, the audio source will be synced with the video source (your Blu-ray player or cable box, for example), as long as both your TV and the audio source have HDMI 2.1 ports.
TCL says that it will let you talk to voice assistants directly through the microphones integrated into TVs launching in select regions this year.