At CES 2021, TCL North America has announced that its 2021 TV line-up will include three 85-inch LCD TVs in the 'XL Collection', 'OD Zero' miniLED LCDs, and new 6-series 8K Roku TVs.
TCL's 2021 TV line-up
TCL launched its first LCD TVs with miniLED in the US in 2019 with the high-end 8-series models. In 2020, it brought scaled-down miniLED backlights to its 6-series LCD TVs. At CES 2021, the company announced "its 3rd generation of mini-LED backlight", so-called 'OD Zero''.
- "OD Zero combines TCL’s latest mini-LED backlight technology, driven by its skilled in-house development and vast expertise in display engineering, to deliver an ultra-slim display with tens of thousands of mini-LEDs and thousands of Contrast Control Zones for striking brightness, precision contrast, and smooth uniformity. The zero represents the measurement of distance between TCL’s mini-LED backlight layer and the LCD display layer, which has now been reduced to a remarkable 0 mm to create an ultra-thin high-performance panel," the company explained.
Module structure of 'OD Zero' miniLED LCD. Photo: TCL
'OD Zero' is not the same approach as 'Vidrian' technology that TCL previously announced. OD Zero has the miniLED backlight and LCD panel separate whereas Vidrian has the miniLEDs mounted directly onto the LCD glass. TCL believes that the "customer benefit is the same for both technologies" although it has not given up on realizing the latter.
TCL said that all of its 2021 6-series Roku TVs will feature 8K resolution but it is not clear if they will feature miniLED backlight too. TCL's current 6-series 4K models (with miniLED) will continue to be available as the new 8K 6-series Roku TVs rolls out later this year, known as TCL R648.
TCL's 2021 6-series 8K LCD TVs, R648. Photo: TCL
TCL's XL Collection
The company will also launch a line-up of three 85-inch LCD TVs; a basic 85-inch 4-series 4K LCD TV with Roku (85R435), a 85-inch 7-series 4K LCD TV with Roku (85R745), and a high-end 85-inch 8K LCD TV with miniLED and Roku.
- "In addition to making 8K more accessible, TCL will debut The XL Collection – the company’s first lineup of 85” displays," the company said. "From a simply smart 85” 4-Series TCL Roku TV that delivers the easiest way to enjoy 4K HDR streaming and an 85” 4K HDR TCL Roku TV with QLED picture quality to the ultimate 85” mini-LED powered 8K TCL TV with QLED wide color technology."
TCL's 2021 4-series 8K LCD TV, 85R435. Photo: TCL
The 7-series 85R745 4K model will also feature HDMI 2.1 for VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and "120Hz HDMI input" (note: 4K120 not confirmed yet). It will support Dolby Vision HDR as well as Dolby Atmos audio.
TCL did not detail its high-end 8K LCD with miniLED – presumably the new 8-series.
TCL's 2021 7-series 8K LCD TV, 85R745. Photo: TCL
The XL Collection will be available in North America this year starting with the 4-Series TCL 85R435 that will be available for $1599 in the first quarter of 2021. The 85-inch 7-series TCL 85R745 and the high-end 85-inch 8K LCD TV with miniLED will arrive in the months to follow.
The company also highlighted that it is now the number two best selling TV brand in the US, after Samsung.
- "Last year was a unique one for TCL but through it all, the team never lost sight of its goal to become America’s preferred consumer electronics brand and maintain its status - the number two selling brand of television in the United States. Not only did consumer needs propel us toward that achievement as people looked to their TV for entertainment more than ever, but large screens were in demand and picture performance became even more important. As a result, technology like mini-LED and QLED made so much more sense as we approached CES," said Chris Larson, Senior Vice President, TCL.