Pound for pound, TCL’s 8-Series HDTV is the strongest non-OLED competitor that could put up a valiant battle against OLED HDTVs.
And if you didn’t get a chance to take advantage of Best Buy’s incredible deal over the weekend—basically half off the normally $2K 65-inch 8-Series—don’t fret because such deals can come around again in a few months.
Now is the time to do your research on this particular model, and then you’ll be able to pounce on it immediately when such a mega-sale happens again.
If you haven't heard of the 8-Series, it's definitely a great value on many levels. As the only TV on the market that utilizes full-array local dimming backlight with Mini-LED technology, this set can deliver outstanding brightness and plenty-deep black levels that other LCD-based TVs just can’t match.
Keep in mind that the 8-Series utilizes QLED technology, and not OLED—thus, there will be shortcomings due to it not using self-emissive pixels. QLED often has a difficult time competing with OLED displays because OLEDs use organic compounds that include carbon and other materials to create the colors. OLEDs don’t require a backlight, so they are able to produce truer blacks. For the average TV viewer, though, there probably won’t be a huge noticeable difference.
Boasting an elegant, stylish design, the 8-Series oozes that high-end feel that you should be getting for the price you’re paying. You also can’t complain about the number of port selections, as it includes four HDMI ports, including one with ARC support, a single USB port, a cable connector for the TV’s built-in tuner and Ethernet for wired network connectivity. It even has a built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi for connecting to your Wi-Fi router.
Know that if you’re one of the millions who absolutely love Roku, you’re definitely in luck—this smart platform comes built-in. Because of its incredibly intuitive, user-friendly interface, it really is a breeze in quickly finding what you want to watch. Toggling between apps and devices is also a snap, as you don’t have to physically deal with all of the buttons and switches of separate devices.
The streaming offerings in Roku are plentiful, and if a new one hits the market, you can bet that Roku will know that and you’ll quickly have access to it. With frequent updates and feature improvements, it seems that Roku is always looking out for your TV-watching needs.
Moreover, the voice search functionality on the remote control works like a charm, but it won’t be as robust as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, which are often found on LG and Sony TVs.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.