In an overcrowded category like high-end TVs, some companies will do anything to stand out. Case in point: TCL’s new X-Series TV that has an 8K resolution, uses AI learning, has a retractable camera and supports augmented reality content.
Oh, and it has a ‘duo-display design’ that ‘allows viewers to enjoy a mini-screen independently’. Let that all just sink in for a minute.
Done? OK if the X-Series sounds a little too over-the-top for you, TCL also announced another TV today that seems a bit more pragmatic. It's simply called the TCL Mini LED TV and while it still has 8K, AI learning, that camera and AR support, it backs that up with something that would tangibly impact the display's performance.
Smaller LED zones means better contrast
Mini LED TVs aren’t necessarily a new technology but they’re finally becoming available in consumer-facing products, most notably in TVs. Mini LEDs allow LED-LCD TVs to have more light control throughout the entire screen and offer contrasts closer to that of OLED.
According to the press release issued by TCL, the Mini LED TV will have about 900 control zones and a peak brightness of around 1,200 nits - well above the UHD Alliance’s recommendation of 1,000 nits for HDR content. That said however, a slide during the company's press conference conflicted with that by saying it was only 768 zones. Either way it's a big number and portends positive results but it seems the final numbers are still up for debate.
Last but not least if you’re concerned that this overwhelming image might be paired with a less-than-ideal sound system, you don’t have to worry - both TVs come with an Onkyo soundbar that can play Dolby Atmos content.
TCL didn't announce a price for either set, but says that they'll be available in the second quarter of 2020 (April through June) with two 4K versions of the Mini LED TV without the soundbar available by the end of the year.