TCL, for most of its time as a growing force in the U.S. TV market, has offered models that feature the Roku TV operating system. The company has also, to some controversy, put out TVs with Android TV, but it has focused primarily on the Roku OS.
On Tuesday, TCL announced the impending arrival of a new line of 5-Series and 6-Series QLED models, featuring the Google TV operating system. That means Google Assistant will integrate with TVs as well as other Google products. The 6-Series also features THX Certified Game Mode.
The 5-Series models are available for preorder in 50-, 55-, 65- and 75-inch models. The 6-Series models are available for preorder in 55- and 65-inch sizes, with the 75-inch model coming soon.
“With the explosive growth of smart TV and streaming service adoption, TCL is excited to expand our award-winning portfolio with Google TV models in the North American market. Leveraging our vertical integration, massive business scale and innovation advancement to deliver best-in-class products, TCL is further accelerating its industry leadership position with strategic partners like Google at a time when content navigation and discovery are so important,” said Chris Larson, senior vice president for TCL North America, said in the announcement.
Gizmodo reported that TCL is not planning to give up on Roku TV.
“Once again, TCL is America’s second-largest TV brand and I believe that is due to the team’s steadfast dedication to our users and what they value in a premium yet simple entertainment experience,” Larson said in the statement. “Pairing our high-performance hardware with the content-forward, consumer-friendly Google TV was an easy decision for us as we both put the user’s needs first. From their robust library to having hands-free voice assistance and smart home control, Google’s intuitive entertainment platform is the perfect complement to our TCL sets.”
How does Google TV differ from Android TV? Google TV is the name both for the operating system that used to be Google TV, and also for what was formerly known as Google Play Movies & TV. However, that is not to be confused with the original Google TV, introduced around 2010, which shortly predated the streaming era.
Last year, one researcher discovered what was described as “extraordinary vulnerabilities” in TCL’s Android TVs, and TCL claimed afterward that they had researched and patched the vulnerability in question.
The vulnerability did not affect TCL’s Roku TV devices, although the then-Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf erroneously claimed in a speech that “it was discovered that TCL incorporated backdoors into all of its TV sets exposing users to cyber breaches and data exfiltration.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for the National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, 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.