‘Best Buy’ LCD TV of the Year
In this category we’re looking for quality and abilities at the right price, and that’s exactly what was delivered by our winner, from TCL, currently the world’s third biggest TV maker, and a company that had 8K models on show at IFA in Berlin this year, and supposedly on the way (yes, even to Australia) for the middle of next year. But our ‘Best Buy’ LCD TV of the year delivers QLED quality and Android smarts at the right price — currently listed at $2199 but (as with most TV models) often available significantly below that. Its 55-inch panel offers Ultra-HD resolution and supports incoming HDR signals; TCL brands the TV as HDR800, which we take to mean a maximum brightness of 800 nits, but it uses QLED technology, and these Quantum Dots deliver precise wavelengths of light at maximum efficiency for exciting our retinas, so it can seem brighter than its specification would imply.
It’s a nice looker physically too, the top portion of the screen being just panel and very thin at just 8.6mm, according to our measurements, with the electronics section below (connections all usefully on the side), and underneath the panel is a forwards-facing, cloth-covered speaker system designed (or at least signed off) by harman/kardon. You get two remotes, one including voice control for use with the Android interface, which of course offers all manner of apps including catch-up services, while there’s also support for FreeviewPlus, and even time-shifting and recording of TV using USB storage.
The picture defaults were very good, though we’d recommend pulling down the sharpness from 50 to 13 (or less), turning on local dimming, and perhaps switching off the overscan that defaults on for less than full-HD broadcasts.
And while we reviewed the 55-inch, we’ve no reason to believe the 65-incher (at $3299 RRP) would be any less the performer. Definitely a range to watch. More info: www.tclaustralia.com.au
“Android smarts and QLED LCD image quality combine in this high value television — and TCL is now showing it can do more than just high value. This is a company to watch in 2019.”
TCL Australia’s Mark Zhang collects the Award.