TCL Aims to Inspire Greatness with its European 2022 TV Range
TCL unveils its 2022 European TV range, including new mini LED flagships
Chinese brand TCL has just announced its 2022 range of TVs for Europe - and, judging from the markedly more premium nature of the new sets coming our way soon, it seems fair to say that TCL is keen on trying to achieve the same sort of market penetration in Europe that it's managed to secure in the US over the past few years.
Glorying under a new brand signature of Inspire Greatness, TCL's 2022 TV range will be headed up by the C93Ks - a series of 4K TVs built around Mini LED technology, where screens are packed with much smaller LEDs than usual to provide more potential localised control over where light appears in a picture.
It was actually TCL (rather than Samsung or LG) that got the Mini LED TV ball rolling in the consumer TV world. In fact, the C93Ks mark the brand's fifth generation of Mini LED technology, which may explain why TCL Mini LED TVs tend to be competitively priced compared with more recently developed Mini LED rivals.
TCL states that it has significantly improved its Mini LED technology for the C93Ks, resulting in higher and more precise contrast, less backlight blooming around stand out bright objects, and improved backlight uniformity. Apparently, there are 12,000 individual LEDs partnered by an impressive 1920 dimming zones for the 75-inch C93K, with 1080 zones for the 65-inch model. In addition, these latest Mini LED flagships now use a 16-bit light control engine and a new, more circular (rather than square) LED design that reduces backlight blooming. You'll also find a new direct drive system promising faster responsiveness from the LEDs and a new feature claimed to increase colour and light consistency across the image.
Impressively the C93Ks (which will be available in 65 and 75-inch screen sizes) will support all of the essential Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG HDR formats, bolstered by a QLED colour system and a claimed 2000 nits of peak brightness. They also bring TCL in Europe up to speed with the latest key gaming innovations - namely support for gaming at 4K/120Hz, variable refresh rates up to 144Hz (including the AMD Freesync Premium format supported by Xbox consoles and some PCs), and automatic low latency mode switching whenever a game source is detected. Additionally, there's a dedicated Game Bar interface to make it easier to home in on crucial gaming settings and information.
On the audio front, the C93Ks get a new Dolby Atmos sound system courtesy of TCL's relationship with audio brand Onkyo. Two front-firing speakers are joined by a dedicated bass driver and two vertical up-firing drivers to deliver a genuine 2.1.2-channel configuration.
One step down from the C93Ks will be the C83Ks. Available in 75, 65 and 55-inch sizes, these models also benefit from Mini LED lighting - albeit with fewer dimming zones (the exact number isn't disclosed by TCL) and only 1000 nits of claimed brightness peaks. They also offer all the gaming and HDR features supported by the C93Ks.
They don't benefit from such a premium audio solution, though. While the C83Ks do still decode Dolby Atmos and its speakers have still been designed by Onkyo, there are no directly forward-facing speakers or up-firing drivers, leaving you with a more 'standard' 2.1 speaker configuration.
The new mid-range C73Ks mark the point where TCL switches from Mini LED lighting to more conventional LED lighting. There's a more conventional stereo sound system, too - though this still benefits from Onkyo support. The C73Ks still get all the HDR support of their more expensive siblings; however, the 55 and 65-inch models (43, 50, 75, 85 and 98-inch options will also be available) additionally boast the latest gaming features found on TCL's more expensive series.
Bringing up the rear of TCL's new C series TV range for Europe are the C63Ks. These will be available in 75, 65, 55, 50 and 43-inch sizes and mark a significant design departure from the other sets by moving to two feet for their desktop support rather than the centrally mounted plinth approach used by the three more premium series.
They also lose the HDMI 2.1-related 4K/120Hz, and VRR gaming features provided by the more expensive models, reduced LED lighting precision, drop to 60Hz motion performance, and lose the Google TV smart system provided by the other three series.
While the C series models will provide the core of TCL's European TV range for 2022, the brand will also be launching P73K and P63K Series in the summer. Details on these are limited at the moment, so all we can say for now is that they will feature 60Hz panels, will drop support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision IQ (though regular Dolby Vision support will remain, along with Dolby Atmos sound), and don't get Onkyo-designed audio systems. It may be, too (though there's some confusion over this), they may switch to the older Android operating system rather than Google TV.
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.
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