TCL Continues to Champion Mini LED TVs at CES 2022
You can usually rely on TCL to make plenty of noise about its new TV and soundbar ranges at the annual CES in Las Vegas. This year, though, the brand has been quieter than usual, stating that it will have more to say about its full 2022 TV range once its actual launch dates get closer.
That said, the rather eye-catching sight of a new 98-inch addition to the brand's XL Collection of 4K QLED (Quantum Dot) TVs.
Pointing to the fact that a quarter of all TVs sold in the US last year were 60-inches in size or bigger, TCL genuinely seems to see a market for a TV so large that it can rival a projector for sheer cinematic scale. Such massive TVs aren't typically very easy to handle, of course. But TCL points out that the 98-inch XL only weighs 130 pounds - or 59kg if you prefer things metric.
The 98-inch XL will ship with Google TV onboard, as well as support for the cutting edge gaming features of 4K/120Hz, variable refresh rates and Auto Game Mode switching.
In fact, unusually for products announced at the CES, TCL's 98-inch XL TV has already gone on sale in the US - and its US$7,999 price is not as eye-watering as might have been expected.
TCL MINI LED TVs
While a surprisingly affordable new 98-inch QLED TV is a decent way to grab attention, TCL's main line of attack has been Mini LED technology for the past couple of years. This approach was picked up last year by LG and Samsung - and Sony's jumped on board this year. However, TCL delivered the first actual consumer Mini LED TV, so we shouldn't be surprised to find the brand keen to keep pushing its Mini LED credentials at CES 2022. Something it has done in two ways. First and most dramatically, TCL unveiled a new 85-inch 8K Mini LED prototype with more than 2000 local dimming zones and is, remarkably, just 3.9mm deep.
Alongside this, TCL also revealed a new 85-inch 8K X925 Pro Mini LED model that you'll actually be able to buy. In fact, the 85X925PRO is available right away, priced at US$9,999.99 - and thanks predominantly to its unique 'OD Zero' design, which sees the 85-inch screen carried on a mere 10mm of rear depth, it has become the proud recipient of a 2022 CES Innovation Award.
Additionally, TCL revealed that its new TV ranges will benefit from a couple of new picture features, namely support for 144Hz PC gaming and a new motion processing system called Truecut developed in conjunction with picture processing guru Pixelworks.
It's worth mentioning, too, that beyond TCL's TV range, Mini LED technology has also found its way into a new TCL gaming monitor: the 34-inch, WQHD, 165Hz-capable R1500. Remarkably this monitor manages to fit a market-leading 1,152 local dimming zones into its 34-inch screen.
TCL ALTO SOUNDBARS
While we await further details of these upcoming TCL TVs, we can at least add to TCL's CES proclamations a little info on its latest range of 'Alto' soundbars. Apparently, there will be four new models - Two premium Alto 9 series models and two more affordable Alto 7 series models. One Alto 9 will support 7.1.4 channels while the other will support 5.1.2 channels, with both supporting Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS Play-Fi, and Dolby Vision; voice control via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa; and audio streaming apps including Spotify.
The Alto 7 models, meanwhile, will be available in 3.1 and 5.1 configurations and lack many of the other features you get with the Alto 9s. However, they hold on to DTS:X support and are Roku TV Ready.
Naturally, we'll bring you more details on TCL's 2022 TV range when the brand sees fit to release them.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.