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Hands-on with TCL Europe's 2022 miniLED LCD TVs

11 May 2022 | Rasmus Larsen |

FlatpanelsHD had a chance to check out TCL Europe's 2022 line-up including the C935 and C835 miniLED LCD TVs. Here is what learned.

For its launch event, TCL had brought the 2022 C935, C835, C735, C635 and P735 models. We will be focusing on the flagship C935 and C835 LCD TVs with miniLED that you see in front of the covered area in the picture below. The TVs were pre-production samples.


TCL 2022 TV

In front of the covered area on the wall behind the TVs: C835 (left), C935 (right)

Latest miniLED technologies

Before the picture demonstrations started, TCL highlighted a couple of new technologies and innovations for this year's miniLED LCD TVs:
  • MiniLED Direct drive to reduce the frame delay to 0,083 seconds when controlling the miniLED dimming zones
  • A 16-bit miniLED backlight controller for better control of the brightness level
  • A rounder miniLED shape for less rectangular miniLED halos on the LCD panel
  • De-mura for improved miniLED backlight homogeneity

    TCL 2022 TV

    MiniLED Direct Drive in TCL's 2022 TVs

    TCL 2022 TV

    MiniLED backlight de-mure in TCL's 2022 TVs

    TCL emphasized how its new miniLED innovations will help improve contrast and panel uniformity, reduce blooming, and deliver high brightness as compared to more conventional LCD TVs from its own line-up and competitors. A couple of notes here. While the miniLED backlight can be controlled in 16-bit (6536 steps), the LCD panels in TCL's high-end models are still 10-bit. At CES 2022, Samsung similarly announced a 14-bit miniLED backlight controller but likewise Samsung's "Neo QLED" (with miniLED) are also 10-bit LCD panels. Dimming zones and peak brightness:
  • C835: 240, 288 and 360 dimming zones in 55, 65 and 75 inches, respectively. Specified to 1000 nits peak brightness
  • C935: 1080 and 1920 dimming zones in 65 and 75 inches‚ respectively. Specified to 2000 nits peak brightness And like Samsung, TCL's new TVs come with 144Hz LCD panels for 144Hz VRR HDMI 2.1 input from PCs.

    Hands-on with C935 and C835

    So how do TCL's C935 and C835 fare against Samsung's latest "Neo QLED" LCD TVs that they are clearly designed to compete with? That remains to be seen – there were no Samsung TVs on spot for comparison – but we can offer our first impressions. TCL's C935 and C835 both looked significantly better than the more affordable TCL LCD models on display. While miniLED in itself does not necessarily provide picture quality improvements, the combination of miniLED and zone dimming can – and that much was clear from the picture demonstration. The TVs were set to the most accurate factory-calibrated picture mode (Movie) but were not manually calibrated for the event so ignore the differences in color tone seen in the pictures.

    TCL C935 C835

    C835 (left), C935 (right)

    TCL C935 C835

    C835 (left), C935 (right)

    TCL C935 C835

    C835 (left), C935 (right)

    The picture quality difference between C835 and C935 was noticeable with C935 delivering better contrast and backlight control with fewer backlight issues such as blooming / halos. C835 had a tendency to crush shadow details, most likely due to its limited number of dimming zones, whereas C935 had better control. At times, C835 produced more saturated colors than C935 but this could be due to the factory picture settings. Both C835 and C935 have a more glossy and reflective coating on the LCD panel than the more affordable models. You can see reflections in some of the pictures where a window behind us is visible in the panel. TCL quoted 2.3% reflectance for C935, which should be lower than C835 (no number provided), and from our demo C935 did appear to produce fewer reflections, although it is definitely not reflection-proof.

    TCL C935 C835

    C835 (left), C935 (right)

    However, halos were occasionally noticeable on both TVs in high-contrast movie scenes, especially when viewed from the side. This is to be expected with "only" 1000-2000 dimming zones as we have previously seen prototypes with far more dimming zones exhibit heavy blooming. For example, with 4K resolution and 1080 dimming zones, each zone covers 7680 pixels as opposed to a microLED or OLED display where each pixel generates its own light. We would need review samples to draw conclusions. Still, especially C935 looked promising and we expect it to be a competitive high-end LCD TV this year. Even if it will be outperformed by Samsung og Sony's flagship LCD TVs – which remains to be seen – C935 will be considerably cheaper. An additional note regarding picture quality: While TCL's 98-inch C735 was not on display, the company did confirm that unlike the smaller C735 sizes the 98-inch will have some form of full-array local dimming. It is expected to cost 6000 Euro.

    New features for 2022

    TCL's C935, C835 and C735 come equipped with the MediaTek MT9615 which is the same system-on-chip used in last year's C825. It powers the Google TV system and more. The TVs will ship with Android 11 pre-installed. A new feature called Game bar will be available in all five 2022 models to give you quick access to gaming-related features such as aspect ratio, HDR and real-time display parameters of the screen/game. There is also a Game Master menu that lets you control HDMI 2.1 features such as ALLM and VRR. 
Two of the HDMI ports in C735, C835 and C935 support HDMI 2.1 FRL bandwidth for 4K120 while the other two have regular HDMI 2.0 TMDS for 4K60 bandwidth.

    TCL Game bar

    Game bar in TCL 2022 TVs

    TCL 2022 TV

    Game Center with ALLM and VRR in TCL 2022 TVs

    Two other new features are Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. AirPlay 2 lets you share videos, photos, music and other media files from an Apple iOS or Mac device wirelessly to your TV screen, and use streaming service that are not supported directly on your TV. We did not see the HomeKit implementation in action but AirPlay 2 in TCL's new TVs worked just like you would expect – same user interface and setting options as in TVs from other brands. In addition, C935 and C835 support WiFi 6 (ax standard) and Bluetooth 5.2 for the first time. Here is TCL Europe's remote control for 2022. It now has six sponsored or icon buttons.

    TCL 2022 TV

    TCL's 2022 remote control

    Lastly, TCL teased an upcoming flagship soundbar for 2022 in addition to the already announced 2022 soundbars. The X937UE will be a version of the C935U that comes with rear speakers included in the package. It will be sold as a 7.1.4-channel Dolby Atmos soundbar system in the second half of 2022.

    TCL 2022 TV

    TCL's upcoming 7.1.4ch X937UE Dolby Atmos soundbar

    TCL Europe's 2022 TVs will launch in the first half of the year. We refer to the table for more details and specifications in the TV Database.

    TCL Europe 2022 TVs – specifications

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