At IFA 2018, TCL showcased an 8K LCD TV that will be available internationally from May 2019. The company also demonstrated a miniLED-based LCD TV with thousands of dimming zones as well as “QD-on -glass”.
TCL 8K LCD TV
The Chinese company announced its first 8K TVs at the IFA show in Berlin. Together with Samsung, Sharp, and other companies, TCL will soon start pushing 8K LCD as a competitor to OLED TVs that continue to win market share in the premium segment.
TCL highlighted a 75-inch version that will have 832 dimming zones and 1000 nits peak brightness. Besides 8K resolution, it will support HDR, including the Dolby Vision format, and a wide color gamut (quoted as “157% BT.709”). The company said that it will deliver “ultra-vivid picture quality”.
- “With its minimalist design, the TV is just 20mm at its thinnest point, making it one of the thinnest 75-inch direct backlight products in the industry. This is achieved thanks to breakthroughs in the backlight structure which reduce the optical distance to 8mm. Together with its full-screen design and the soundbar embedded in the base, viewers can enjoy an improved viewing experience with a wider screen and even better sound quality,“ the company said, adding that the soundbar has been tuned by Onkyo.
Like Samsung, TCL will start beating the QLED drum and sell the TV as “8K QLED TV”. However, it uses an LCD panel with a quantum dot film. The TV will also be available in 65 and 55-inch sizes but TCL cautioned that the specifications may change slightly before launch.
TCL added that it is waiting for HDMI 2.1.
The TV is currently named X8 but will likely be called something else when it launches in Europe. It is expected to launch internationally from May 2019.
TCL miniLED and QD-on-glass
TCL also used to IFA show to demonstrate a couple of its latest prototype displays. Amongst them was a miniLED-based LCD TV (not 8K). Rather than conventional LED, it uses an array of miniLED as the backlight behind the LCD panel. This can increase peak brightness, improve luminance control, and make the TV slimmer.
We understand that, in concept, this compares to the 8K LCD TV prototype with MFA (Micro Full Array) that Samsung demonstrated at CES 2018. The technology did not make the cut to Samsung’s commercial 8K TVs that were launched at IFA.
TCL said that the prototype has 3000 nits peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 coverage, and thousands of dimming zones. The TV looked promising but unfortunately it exhibited visible dimming zone artefacts that can best be described as blooming around bright objects. This was mostly visible off-axis.
The company explained that if it decides to launch the display, the consumer version will be less capable due cost concerns. Realistically, it will take at least 12-18 months but TCL may decide not to launch it at all.
The company also highlighted a ‘QD-on-glass’ prototype. In this configuration, the quantum dots are moved from a film onto a glass layer behind the LCD panel. Besides potential increases in color gamut, TCL said that the technology will make TVs thinner. For this presentation, it had tried to imitate the design of LG’s E-series OLED.