TCL 98-inch S5 S 4K TV:
$3,498 $2,498 at Walmart
Save 33% Consumers and small businesses alike will want to own an ultra-large screen for very different reasons and TCL sells them for far cheaper than the competition. With a plethora of features and largely positive reviews, it’s one to be shortlisted if you’re after a humongous display.
Finding a 98-inch TV that can double as monitor is becoming more doable as the products become even more affordable.
Popular French retailer Ubaldi has the 98uhd870 on sale for €1,979 ($2,166) before a €285 ($312) discount offer that brings the price down to €1,694 ($1,855) or €1,411 ($1,545) without sales tax. In comparison, a similar TCL display sells in the US for $2,498 (Walmart) and £1,999 in the UK (Hughes). What makes the deal even sweeter is that you get a two year warranty and free 2-person delivery included.
The French TCL model has a 4K resolution, a refresh rate of 144Hz with Google TV baked in, a 2.1 Onkyo sound system powered by Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual-X, four HDMI 2.1 ports, an Ethernet port, integrated Wi-Fi and a USB connector plus a two-year warranty as standard. Check out the complete spec sheet.
I personally would use that TV as a monitor, as it would be a major upgrade from my current 4K 43-inch model. Having such a giant display might give me some neck ache, but being able to view more than eight million pixels on what is essentially a quartet of 49-inch displays stick together, is something worth suffering for.
While it matters for TV fans, given the appeal of large format displays - search volumes for 85, 98 and 100-inch TV have exploded over the past five years - the news should also be extremely appealing to businesses as well. Ultra large digital signage and commercial displays are becoming popular - especially the 98-inch models - but are still significantly more expensive than their consumer counterparts.
TCL is the only major TV manufacturer that doesn’t have a professional, commercial or B2B business: on the other hand, rivals like Sony, Vestel, Hisense, Philips, Panasonic and LG all have. TCL is therefore impervious to any potential damaging cannibalization; the more, the merrier.
Digital signage screens use commercial-grade LCD panels but there’s nothing preventing small businesses from using a TV panel as one for specific scenarios like better productivity, real dynamic for content creation or video conferencing. The ubiquitous presence of Google TV and Google Play store means that it is now easier to download one of the many free digital signage apps to set wheels in motion.
Sure, SMBs will miss out on advanced features such as remote management, support for proprietary systems like Crestron, display daisy-chaining and 24/7 continuous operation, longer warranties, better after sales support but the lure of getting two monitors for the price of one may be too much to ignore.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.