TCL, citing recent NPD Group statistics, says it is now the #2 TV brand in the U.S. and #3 in Canada. This was driven mostly by the popularity of its affordable but dependable Roku TVs, although the company also unveiled Android TVs for the U.S. market last year.
On Monday, the first day of 2021’s “virtual CES,” TCL unveiled the next step in its TV plans, as well as some other, non-TV products.
As part of a presentation that included the TCL logo embossed on the Rose Bowl stadium in California, TCL revealed that the next step in its mini-LED technology will be called OD Zero, and it will arrive later this year.
“OD Zero combines TCL’s latest mini-LED backlight technology, driven by its skilled in-house development and vast expertise in display engineering, to deliver an ultra-slim display with tens of thousands of mini-LEDs and thousands of Contrast Control Zones for striking brightness, precision contrast, and smooth uniformity,” the company said in its announcement. “The zero represents the measurement of distance between TCL’s mini-LED backlight layer and the LCD display layer, which has now been reduced to a remarkable 0 mm to create an ultra-thin high-performance panel.”
TCL debuted its first mini-LED TVs in 2019, which it called the first in the United States, with another generation arriving last year.
In addition, the company announced that all of the models in the 2021 version of its 6-Series TVs will feature 8K resolution. TCL added that while the new 6-Series will arrive later in the year, the current, 4K 6-Series will remain available.
The other big TV announcement from TCL was the impending arrival of what it calls the XL Collection-three different models of TVs that are over 85 inches. One will be a 4-Series TCL Roku TV, the second will offer “4K HDR TCL Roku TV with QLED picture quality,” and the third will offer “the ultimate 85” mini-LED powered 8K TCL TV with QLED wide color technology.”
That base model, called the 4-Series TCL Roku TV 85,” will arrive “later this quarter” at a price point of $1599. The other two will arrive “in the months to follow,” with no pricing listed.
On the non-TV front, TCL announced a new smartphone lineup, consisting of a pair of new 5G smartphones, along with a pair of new tablets, the TCL NXTPAPER and TCL TAB 10s. And the company will also new wireless airbuds, to be called MOVEAUDIO S600. And as hinted last week by a Roku announcement, the TCL Alto soundbar line will also soon arrive.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.