CES '16: TCL Announces QUHD HDR TVs and First 4K Roku Sets
A relative newcomer to the U.S., TV-maker TCL enjoyed a strong year in 2015 thanks to a mix of strong, budget-conscious TVs; Roku OS integration; and partnerships with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and the Ellen show. At its 2016 CES press conference, TCL announced that it's expanding its U.S. offerings from two lines to four, and giving a new measure of elegance to inventory.
The top line is called the X1 series, and is led by a 65-inch model. HDR is taking a central role at this year's CES, as device makers realize that resolution along won't sell UHD to the public. TCL's answer is the QUHD designation, which promises improved image quality thanks to HDR support, the company's own Quantum Dot technology (which provides a wider color gamut and purer colors), local dimming (which increases contrast and allows for better brightness), reduced ambient light reflection, and a 4K resolution. QUHD also promises a better viewing experience thanks to hi-fi speakers and more. TCL isn't a member of the UHD Alliance, but X1 sets include Dolby Vision, Dolby's HDR technology. The X1 line will reach the U.S. at the end of the year. The line will have a curved screen in the Chinese release, but TCL hasn't yet determined whether or not the U.S. release will have curved screens. Pricing hasn't been determined.
To show its new design prowess, TCL showed a 110-inch curved UHD TV with a thickness of 15.9mm and a 1mm bezel. This model isn't a part of any product line.
TCL's other new line is the P series, which is made up of 4K sets that run on the Roku OS. The line will range from 43- to 65-inches, and will be available in the U.S. this spring. TCL will release 18 TVs in 2016, and "the vast majority will be powered by the Roku smart TV platform," said Chris Larson, TCL's vice president for North America.
TCL will begin selling it's Roku TV line in Mexico this year.
TCL also showed the latest version of the streaming interface it uses for its non-Roku connected sets, TV+OS 3.0. While the company didn't offer much detail, the OS looked both more attractive and less powerful than the Roku OS.
While most viewers don't yet have a TV that can display high dynamic range content, YouTube is taking an early position in supporting the rich color technology.
Just as the first Roku 4K TVs are introduced, the set-top box specialist releases a spec for creating UHD-enabled televisions.
Previewed at CES, the first Roku connected TVs are almost here. Hisense and TCL give specs, availability, and pricing info.