LeEco Shows ecoTVs

LeEco has started to sell a few products in North Americam, starting last fall, and hoping to duplicate their success in China. As we have reported previously, they are introducing a potentially disruptive business model. In TVs, that means offering very good quality TVs at a very reasonable price and offering a slew of content options to the buyer. It is a ‘razor blade’ business model with the TV a minimal profit item that creates a new customer who, the company hopes, will then be attracted to the plethora of content LeEco has amassed.

At CES 2017, the company showed their new smart bikes, smart phones (ecophones), an electric car concept and of course, TVs (now called ecoTVs instead of LeTVs). They did not seem to announce any new products – they just showcased what they have been selling.

For example, the range is topped with the uMax85Q model of UHD TVs. This is an 85″ model that includes Dolby Vision HDR processing and sells for a very modest $4,999, plus a $1000 rebate offer. It has a peak luminance of 1000 cd/m² in a 10% window and a color gamut that “is the same as the Samsung 7000 series TVs,” (90% of DCI-P3 with a quantum dot film) a spokesperson told us. It is a full array backlight type panel with 448 zones to control and it also integrates DirecTV Now.

In the booth, a U65 TV was highlighted as well. It has a slim design (6.9mm), HDR10 support, quantum dot technology and a bezel-less double glass design. LeEco was also showing a uMax120 model with 3D support (passive, we presume) 384 zones of dimming and a 120 Hz panel, plus HDR10 support. It was unclear if these two models will be offered in the US, however.

LeEco u65

The Super4 X series has three screen sizes: 43”, 55” and 65”. These are edge lit UHD options that offer 450 cd/m² of peak luminance. A $200 rebate offer is in effect for these sets which retail for $649, $899 and $1,399.

All models seem to share the same electronics which includes an Mstar A938 SoC, which means Cortex A72 + A53 x2 quad core processors and a quad-core Mali T820MP3. The sets run on the Android TV OS.

Unique to LeEco’s approach is the UP2U program that gives users a voice in how the ecosystem evolves, and the opportunity to co-create the experience and the next-generation of LeEco products. When individuals share feedback with LeEco via user trials, social channels, on-device apps and at events, their comments are shared with the User Experience Center (UEC) and research & development (R&D) teams to influence product updates and shape future offerings, including the products being announced at CES. – CC