TCL USA had an event at the trendy Dream Hotel Downtown in Manhattan last week. The main target of the event was not journalists like me but TCL distributors, dealers and other partners, so the event was a little short on facts, but still interesting. At this event, TCL was showing off the new members of their P-series and C-series TV lines, which had previously been shown at CES. The P-series will be available in 50″ – 65″ sizes and the C-series in 49″ – 75″.
The P in P-series is for performance – this is the TCL high end. The C in C-series is for Contemporary Design. These are slightly lower performance but very thin TVs.
Properties of the P-series include:
- Dolby Vision 4K HDR (actually UHD, of course)
- Wide color gamut with NBP Photon Technology, an ‘advanced LED phosphor’
- 72 Zone backlight for HDR contrast/brightness control
- Wi-Fi is 802.11ac for high streaming performance
- Roku software and search engine are built into the TV to provide a simple and familiar interface to users
- Access to 450,000+ movies and TV episodes from Roku
- The enhanced remote control offers easy navigation, voice search and a headphone jack for private listening
In addition to the P-series, TCL was also showing samples of its C-Series, which is slightly lower end than the P-series. The C-series are still UHD, WCG and Dolby Vision HDR Roku TVs and come with the enhanced remote but have edge-lit LCDs instead of a zoned direct backlight, allowing for a very thin, contemporary look. The TVs on display are going to be launched as products one at a time in the June – August time frame.
This TCL event was one of a series of similar events around the country to increase TCL’s visibility with its distributors, dealers and other partners. They say they are the fastest-growing TV company in the US. They also said they have a presence in the US retailers that sell 87% of the US TVs, including Best Buy, Walmart, etc.
I was also told that one reason TCL can manage to maintain affordable prices on high-performance TVs is they are vertically integrated and produce not just TVs but LCD panels, chips and circuit boards. (China Star – CSOT – is a subsidiary of TCL. Samsung also has a share in the investment for the new fab – Man. Ed.) They expect to add to their panel capability when they complete their $9B Gen 11 fab in the next couple of years (TCL Joins CSOT on 11G TFT-LCD/AMOLED Fab). This fab will be able to produce 130” TV panels 2-up. It probably won’t do that very often and my guess it will produce large quantities of 65” panels 8-up. – Matthew Brennesholtz