‘Best Buy’ LCD TV of the Year

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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.

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