TCL’s P-Series was hands down the best TV you could buy for under $1,000 in 2017. It offered fantastic image quality with full-array local dimming, both Dolby Vision and HDR10, and Roku’s easy-to-use software in a package priced between $599 and $650. (The $50 difference depended on whether or not you got the remote with voice search.) But it wasn’t perfect. For one, TCL failed to ship the P-Series in any size other than 55 inches, eliminating potential customers who might’ve been looking for something bigger or smaller. And the P-Series’ glossy plastic design did nothing to disguise its value-level pricing. For 2018, TCL is addressing both of those issues — and changing the name to avoid any confusion with Vizio.
This year’s revision of the P-Series has been renamed to the TCL 6 Series. It’s got a much more stylish matte, metal design, there are more local dimming zones, and it comes in the 65-inch model that was first promised a year ago. That model will have 120 local dimming zones, while the 55-inch 6 Series will have 96 zones. The original P-Series had 72 zones, so both of these models should see improved contrast and less blooming. TCL also says the 6 Series reaches a higher peak brightness than the P-Series. Hopefully it will also maintain the very low input lag that gamers including myself appreciate.
TCL has added something it calls the iPQ Engine, which “allows for precision color performance, tailored to deliver accurate and optimized DCI-P3 color space coverage.” The company says you shouldn’t need to calibrate anything out of the box thanks to iPQ Engine. The 6 Series has 3 HDMI 2.0a ports that are each HDCP 2.2-compliant, so you’ll have no troubles with 4K HDR content coming from plugged in devices. Pricing isn’t yet available, but TCL has said that the 55-inch model should retain the same $650 price point as the P-Series.
The 5 Series
The 5 Series is TCL’s step down from the 6 Series, and it essentially replaces the current S Series. For 2018, TCL is introducing Dolby Vision HDR in addition to the already-supported HDR10. The 5 Series will come in sizes ranging from 43 to 65 inches.
Both the 6 Series and 5 Series from TCL will be available this spring. They continue to run Roku OS for straightforward access to streaming services, and all models will include a voice remote to help you pull up content faster.