TCL has launched its first ever 8K LCD TV in Europe. The new 75-inch X915 comes equipped with HDMI 2.1 ports and AV1 for YouTube 8K, runs the Android TV platform, and supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
The company has also revealed its new C815 and C715 mid-range LCD TVs in Europe.
The TCL X915 (pictured, centre) also supports full array local dimming, or FALD, for improved contrast, though it doesn’t feature the company’s newer MiniLED display technology, which is used on the company’s 8 Series and X10 TVs that were launched earlier in the year. Nonetheless, TCL said the X915 offers up to 1,000 nits of peak brightness, as well as support for premium HDR formats such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
The X915 is TCL’s first television to come equipped HDMI 2.1 ports, and the company has been especially generous here by adding three of them. This enables the TV to support 8K resolution at 6o frames per second, plus additional HDMI 2.1 features such as variable refresh rate (VRR), auto low latency mode (ALLM) and enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).
The support for the AV1 video codec is an interesting addition that allows the TV to stream content from YouTube in 8K resolution. The company plans to add YouTube 8K support via an update to the Android operating system later in the year. Currently the TV runs Android 9, but the Android 10 update will arrive in the coming months, TCL said. Samsung and LG’s 8K TVs will also feature AV1 support for YouTube 8K.
The company also talked about its plans to support features such as Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ, saying we can expect an update on this later in the year, possibly in time for IFA 2020 this September.
As for the sound system, TCL has partnered with Onky0 to create the X915’s soundbar. As such, the TV will support Dolby Atmos, though the experience may not be quite as good as it should be as there are no upward-firing speakers. However, the HDMI 2.1 eARC connection should help to improve things.
TCL said the 75-inch X915 is available in Europe now, priced at 4,000 Euros. There are no plans to launch it in the U.K. at this time, however.
As for the new TCL C815 and C715, these models will be available in a range of sizes, from 50-inches all the way up to 75-inches. They are both mid-range TVs. The C815 is equipped with an edge lit LED LCD panel, while the C715 features a slim direct LED LCD panel, but neither have local dimming capabilities. They also lack the more advanced picture processing technology found in TCL’s X915 and 8 Series MiniLED TVs.
Instead, TCL highlighted the Android TV platform as a major feature and strength of the TVs. The company noted that both will receive the Android 10 update later in the year, and said they will be compatible with major video streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. They also come with Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in.
The C815 and C715 ostensibly both support HDR formats including Dolby Vision, but the experience is unlikely to be as good as it should due to the low peak brightness of the TVs, which simply cannot match the performance of the X915 or the 8 Series. The C815 for example offers a maximum peak brightness of just 400 nits.
TCL said the C815 and C715 will be available in Europe in the coming weeks, priced at 700 Euros for the cheapest, 50-inch versions. It’s not clear if or when the TVs will come to the U.K.