TCL shows off AI, Smart TVs and soundbars at CES 2018
Three smart TCL models set to hit Australia by May with more to come.
While there's plenty of other news coming out of CES, it remains the place to launch TVs, and that's exactly what TCL has done at its media launch ahead of the opening of CES 2018 tomorrow.
The top of the range that we'll see in Australia will come in the form of the 85 inch Premium QLED Private Theatre X6, a $19,999 TV that TCL claims is the world's thinnest TV featuring local dimming technology. It's a QLED panel that TCL is pitching as being superior to often highly cited OLED due to its claimed higher overall lifespan. That's the same tack that Samsung takes with its reluctance to join the OLED TV market as well, but then the battle lines around OLED and LCD panels are becoming rather rigid this year.
TCL's Premium QLED Private Theatre X6 will come with a 12-channel Harman Kardon sound system with support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS: X 7.1.4 are supported. The Premium QLED Private Theatre X6 will go on sale in Australia in March at $19,999.
A little lower down the price scale are TCL's range of Android TVs, which will ship with Android 7 ("Nougat") when they launch in Australia in May. The QUHD Android TV C6 series will sell in 49, 55 and 65 inch sizes. The top-end 65 inch model will cost $3,299 and features a 4K UHD panel with HDR Premium support. Interestingly, it's also Freeview certified for the local market.
A little lower down the pricing scales again will be the QUHD Android TV P6 series, which will ship in May in 43, 50, 55 and 65 inch sizes. The top end for that range will be the 65-inch model that will sell for $2,699. Those models don't get the same design or Harman Kardon speakers as the C-series range but they're still 4K UHD panels with HDR Premium support.
Alongside the new high-end TVs, TCL also revealed that it's entering the home audio game with the Alto line of audio products, due to roll out in late 2018. First off the ranks will be the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar, a joint venture with Roku that will utilise the Roku operating system (the same one that powers the Telstra TV) to deliver a wealth of extra features on top of its audio capabilities.
Armed with Roku Connect, the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar will be able to connect to and control other smart devices such as TCL's Roku-powered TVs. It will also feature the new Roku Entertainment Assistant, a voice-controlled digital assistant much like Siri and Amazon Alexa that will allow for hands-free control of both TV and audio functions.
TCL has not yet announced Australian pricing or a firm release date for the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar, but expect to hear more from the company later in the year.
Alex Kidman travelled to CES 2018 as a guest of Samsung.
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