TCL makes some of the best under-$1,000 TVs you can buy, and it was also early to adopt the Mini LED technology that TV makers like Samsung and LG are only starting to use in their 2021 lineups. (TCL’s 8-Series and 6-Series both already include Mini LED backlighting.) For 2021, the company is hoping to combine its aggressive pricing strategy and technological head start on Mini LED for a new 6-Series that also goes all in on 8K resolution.
“In the year ahead, all 2021 6-Series TCL Roku TV models being launched will feature 8K resolution,” TCL announced in a press release today, noting that last year’s models will remain available as well. TCL’s AiPQ engine will be able to upscale 4K content to higher clarity and sharpness on the new 6-Series. The main problem facing 8K is a dearth of native content at that resolution — and that situation isn’t going to change anytime soon. But it seems like TCL is intent on at least pushing 8K TV prices down. Now the question becomes how much more expensive this 6-Series will be over its predecessor. We don’t know yet.
TCL thinks it’s well ahead of competitors in LCD TV technology, and that’s because of the company’s vertical integration and manufacturing expertise. This year, it’s introducing a new panel branded as “OD Zero” because the gap between the display and backlight system is zero millimeters. The result is what TCL describes as an “ultra-slim display with tens of thousands of Mini LEDs and thousands of contrast control zones.”
After LG announced it would start making LCD TVs with Mini LED, TCL published a prickly blog post that criticized OLED’s low overall market share. “There are TVs with a display technology that hasn’t notably changed since it was first used in TVs in the early 2010s and still only accounts for less than 3 percent of global TV sales,” TCL’s Aaron Dew wrote before talking up the faster evolution of LCD sets and benefits of Mini LED. “To those brands excited to introduce Mini LED in 2021, my only question is ‘what took you so long?”
TCL’s most recent 6-Series received strong reviews and was also a great choice for gamers — though it couldn’t quite pull off 4K resolution at 120Hz. Presumably, that’s something TCL will look to resolve with this upcoming model.
In 2021, TCL will also debut The XL Collection, a lineup of 85-inch displays at different price points and resolutions. Here’s what the company says you can expect:
Three different models will make up the XL Collection this year and each 85-inch TV will feature performance levels for every kind of home theater. From a simply smart 85-inch 4-Series TCL Roku TV that delivers the easiest way to enjoy 4K HDR streaming and an 85-inch 4K HDR TCL Roku TV with QLED picture quality to the ultimate 85-inch Mini LED powered 8K TCL TV with QLED wide color technology, the XL Collection will fit any budget and exceed the highest performance standards to deliver larger-than-life home entertainment.
The 4-Series will be first out of the gate among the XL Collection: it’s coming this quarter for $1,599. Not bad for a huge 4K display. The pricier XL sets with better QLED (quantum dot color) picture quality will come later in the year. Pricing on those is to be announced — and the same goes for the 8K 6-Series.