×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TCL Aims to Move Roku TVs Upmarket With Dolby Vision HDR

When TCL first introduced its first Roku-powered smart TVs in 2014, both companies were primarily targeting budget-conscious consumers: People who didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a Samsung smart TV, and who wanted quick access to Netflix without the need for an external streaming device.

Fast forward three years, and TCL is starting to move upmarket with the introduction of its first 4K Roku TVs with Dolby Vision HDR.

TCL officially announced two new, higher-priced lines in addition to its existing budget models Thursday: The company’s P Series combines Dolby Vision HDR with local dimming, with screen sizes ranging from 50 to 65 inches. An additional C Series line also features Dolby Vision HDR and what the company calls a more contemporary design, and screen sizes range from 55 to 75 inches.

C Series TVs are priced between $700 and $2,000. TCL has yet to release prices for all P Series models, but announced Thursday that the 55-inch model will be available for around $600 on Amazon.com later this month as part of a limited-time introductory offer.

Both lines will feature Roku’s latest operating system, which includes the ability to pause live TV for up to 90 minutes if you add a USB flash drive to the TV, as well as an option to recommend streaming content based on what you’re watching on live TV.

Popular on Variety

TCL has been using other smart TV operating systems for its TVs outside of the U.S., but the company’s director of product development Aaron Dew said that the partnership with Roku has been working very well for the U.S., where Roku is more of a household name. Part of the reason is that Roku has most apps, and no interest in pushing its own services, he argued: “They’re the Switzerland of the smart TV space.”

As for TCL’s desire to move upmarket, it’s admittedly taking baby steps. The design-focused C Series still very much looks like any other modern TV, with the entire industry moving to smaller bezels and thinner displays. And while other manufacturers have taken more drastic steps to move the bulky tech out of the TV’s body and into the sound bar to make for ultra-thin screens hanging on your walls, TCL still hides all the bulk behind the TV itself.

If anything, the addition of Dolby Vision HDR goes to show that the industry as a whole is rapidly moving to embrace high-dynamic range, just as services like Amazon and Netflix are starting to ramp up their HDR and Dolby Vision output.

Both services together now offer more than 100 hours of Dolby Vision HDR content, and Hollywood’s studios have committed to a steady stream of Dolby Vision titles as well. As 4K image resolution is pretty much a mainstay by now, picture quality has become the new premium feature.

More Digital

  • A LITLLE LATE WITH LILLY SINGH

    Lilly Singh Mocks Disney Plus 'Outdated Cultural Depictions' Warnings for Racist Movies

    Lilly Singh lampooned Disney Plus’ disclaimer that certain older movies include “outdated cultural depictions” on her NBC show. The YouTube and late-night TV comedian took issue with Disney’s euphemistic phrasing — pointing out that the warning is really about the “racist” tropes in decades-old movies that were made for kids. Disney Plus includes “a bunch [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Sacha Baron Cohen Rips Into Facebook, YouTube and Twitter for Spreading Lies and Hate

    Calling social media “the greatest propaganda machine in history,” and the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube “high-tech robber barons,” comedian Sacha Baron Cohen used a speech given to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) this week to call for much more stringent regulation of internet companies. “By now, it’s pretty clear they cannot be trusted to [...]

  • Liza Koshy

    Liza Koshy to Host Dance-Competition Series — With a Moving Dance Floor — for Quibi

    YouTube star and comedian Liza Koshy will preside over a dance-competition reality series coming to Quibi — a kind of mashup of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Wipeout.” In “Floored,” two opposing teams of skilled dancers will try their best to perform a routine while the dance floor itself actually lifts, tilts, drops, [...]

  • Instagram tests hiding likes

    Instagram Hiding Likes: U.S. Users Have Mixed Emotions About the Move, Survey Finds

    Instagram this month began a test to hide “likes” for U.S. users, and last week the social platform announced that it will be rolling out the change everywhere in the world. The move ticked off some big influencers, including Nicki Minaj, who said on Twitter that she’s going to stop posting to Instagram because of [...]

  • Neal Kirsch

    Former OWN COO Neal Kirsch Joins Gaming TV Network VENN (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Video Game Entertainment and News Network (VENN) is staffing up ahead of its 2020 launch: VENN has hired former Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and Discovery Networks executive Neal Kirsch as its new COO & CFO, the company is scheduled to announce Thursday. Kirsch served until late 2016 as the COO & CFO of Oprah’s [...]

  • Spotify Awards

    Spotify Is Launching Its Own Music Awards, Based on Streaming Data

    Spotify has set plans for its first-ever music awards — with the winners based entirely on user-generated data. “Your plays, patterns, and habits will help determine the award categories, finalists, and winners for the Spotify Awards by providing a true reflection of what fans are listening to,” the company said in announcing the program Friday. [...]

  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

    YouTube CEO to Burned-Out Creators: Data Shows It's OK to Take a Break From Posting

    Stressed-out YouTube creators anxious that their channels will take a traffic hit if they take a mental-health break shouldn’t worry, according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: She says a data analysis showed that, on average, YouTubers get even more views when they return after a hiatus. In a Nov. 21 open letter to creators, Wojcicki [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content