The European version of TCL's 8-series, a miniLED-based LCD TV, is coming to Europe later this year as the X10. The 65-inch TV will retail for around 2500 Euro.
TCL X10 with miniLED
At IFA 2019, TCL explained that there are some differences between X10 for Europe and the 8-series for the US. One difference is how color temperature and peak brightness has been optimized for each market. Also, X10 will be available only in 65 inches in Europe.
The underlying hardware is identical. X10 is the first LCD TV that utilizes a miniLED backlight. It has more than 15000 light emitting diodes ('mini' refers to the size of individual LEDs) and 768 dimming zones. It boasts 1500 nits peak brightness and 100% DCI-P3 coverage for HDR video. It supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. And it runs Android. More details can be found in our previous article on TCL's 8-series.
- "TCL’s Mini LED Light Engine brings contrast, details, lifelike picture quality and HDR performance to a whole new level. With more than 15,000 ultra-slim LEDs split into 768 dimmable zones, the X10 Series boasts bright whites, deep blacks - with no halo effect - and vibrant details for the best HDR performance. In addition, Quantum Dot brings unrivalled colors - 100% color volume of DCI-P3 standard at 1500 nits of brightness - while the native 100Hz display ensures smooth picture quality on fast-moving scenes," TCL said.
The European version (X10) also has a different design with a more potent 2.2-channel soundbar developed in partnership with Onkyo. The TV supports virtual Dolby Atmos.
TCL is planning to launch the 65-inch X10 in Europe in November or December 2019. It will retail for around 2500 Euro, making it less expensive than Samsung's Q90 LCD flagship. TCL will launch a miniLED-based 8K LCD TV next year.
MiniLED, blooming & prototypes
FlatpanelsHD saw X10 in action at IFA. It delivers deep blacks and vivid colors. The company also appears to have overcome the challenge of heat dissipation. Early prototypes ran quite hot but X10 did not feel warm, despite its relatively slim chassis. MiniLED is the next step for LCD but it is no revolution. Despite claims of "no halo effect", X10 exhibited visible blooming around bright objects on a black canvas.
TCL did not make it easy for itself as it had chosen difficult test material with a very sharp divide between the bright object in the picture and the black canvas. We want to stress that X10 did look very promising. Nevertheless, you should not expect miniLED to eliminate blooming. You will still see blooming around subtitles and bright objects in the picture - particularly if you move out of the sweet spot.
How many dimming zones would be required to eliminate blooming? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Well, you should keep in mind that a 4K TV has more than 8 million pixels so even with thousands of dimming zones each individual zone would still span thousands of pixels. Ideally, there should be one zone for each of the over 8 million pixels. That is why self-emitting displays such as OLED and microLED displays excel at HDR.
At IFA, TCL showcased its latest miniLED LCD prototype with over 5000 dimming zones and 8K resolution. Unlike the 8-series / X10 that uses a passive matrix to control its dimming zones, the prototype used an active matrix that enables more advanced zone dimming - but at a higher cost. The 5000-zone prototype still exhibited heavy blooming.