TCL Revamps TVs, Bows Roku Soundbar for 2018

Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood (left) and TCL Sr. VP Chris Larson announce the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar

TCL announced at its CES 2018 press conference a revamped line-up of budget Ultra HDTVs and its plans to introduce the first Roku-enabled soundbar.

The brand best know for its affordable TVs with the integrated Roku streaming platform made solid gains last year with both everyday consumers and tech-savvy videophiles. The latter embraced the company's P6 series televisions, with their full-array local-dimming backlights, for excellent image quality and high value.

TCL is sticking with that program for 2018, taking what will now be called the 6 series from a high of 72 local dimming zones to 96 in its 55-inch models and 106 in its 65-inch models. The sets will be compliant with both Dolby Vision and HDR10 high dynamic range content. They will also feature wide color gamut using TCL's NBP Photon technology, and a new HDR Pro Gamma feature will adjust the set for optimum HDR display based on the room lighting conditions. The 6 Series will be available in the first quarter of 2018.

TCL also announced a new step-down 5 Series with models at 43-, 49-, 55- and 65-inches, also available in Q1.

TCL is teaming up with Roku to launch its first audio product. It's new Alto line will be led by the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar, expected in late 2018. Detailed technical specs weren't provided at the press conference, but the soundbar is intended to provide premium sound quality and will take advantage of Roku Connect to easily connect to other Roku A/V devices on the network, and will provide voice control through the new Roku Entertainment Assistant. When used with a TCL Roku TV, it will extend hands-free voice and audio capabilities to the TV for more control and entertainment functionality, such as the ability to turn on the set from the soundbar.