CES: TCL Expands TV Lines, 98-Inch 4K QLED Model Is a Hit

Smart TVs were among the hottest products of CES. One set that seemed to generate raves all-around was TCL’s 98-inch 4K QLED with Dolby Vision HDR and Google TV. The unit features a built-in subwoofer, powerful Mini-LED backlight system and more than 2,300 dimming zones. During the show, TCL announced it was readying its first QD-OLED TV and committing to Samsung Display panels. However, the company later explained that a line in the “press release confirming plans to launch the brand’s first QD-OLED television this year was incorrectly included.” TCL, which said it will be “focused” on Mini-LED this year, showed a range of compelling TV tech.

According to Ars Technica, “TCL didn’t announce any specific OLED TVs” at CES, “but teased new Mini-LED ones, like the 98-inch QM8,” the 4K TV that generated so much attention and made several Best of Show lists. “In TCL’s press release for CES 2023,” an executive explained “the company is looking to make bigger screen sizes with Mini-LED and QLED technology this year.”

“It’s interesting, though, that TCL would namecheck QD-OLED tech specifically if it has zero plans to enter the OLED scene at this time,” notes Ars. “It’s reasonable to suspect that TCL plans to release an OLED TV eventually but can no longer commit to one coming out this year for some reason.” (Consumer Reports offers a helpful explainer on the difference between QLED, which is LCD-based and requires backlighting, and QD-OLED, where each pixel emits its own light.)

Marketed as part of TCL’s Class XL Collection, the massive new QLED smart set carries an $8,500 suggested retail price and is available now. “TCL is bringing its Mini-LED backlight technology to its largest QLED model, putting the brand in direct competition with Samsung, the only other company that makes a 98-inch Mini-LED QLED TV,” writes Digital Trends.

For its 2023 models, TCL has ditched its familiar old “1-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 8-, and 6-Series” naming protocol for “a simplified approach that divides the company’s TVs into two main buckets,” wherein the “high-end, QLED-powered Q Series” is a step above the more affordable “smart” S Series (of non-QLEDs), Digital Trends reports.

“The QM8 Series will come in 65-, 75-, and 85-inch sizes” in addition to the 98-inch Class XL model. “Meanwhile, the step-down Q7 Series will offer the company’s best non-Mini-LED QLED picture performance with full-array local dimming (FALD), in 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch screen sizes,” per Digital Trends, adding that “a Q6 family will also be available in 50- to 75-inch screen sizes.”

The QM8 panel has “more than 2,300 dimming zones, the most in any 4K Mini-LED display,” writes Screen Rant, itemizing “a bezel-less design, a 120Hz refresh rate that is capable of reaching 240Hz (variable refresh rate) thanks to a feature called Game Accelerator,” in addition to IMAX Enhanced certification and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro Certification, making it “great for movies, sports games, and gaming.”

TCL also announced some home theater innovations, including Q-Series and S-Series compatible soundbars. The Q-Series is TCL’s first to offer home theater enthusiasts customizable installation, with discrete IR codes, RS-232C capability and IP control.

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