TCL's biggest TVs are finally here. Unlike most manufacturers, TCL has opted to renew many of its 2020 TVs as the mainstream 4K sets for 2021, but the manufacturer is expanding those model lines with the XL Collection, a selection of 85-inch TVs. These larger TVs offer the same 4K resolution and QLED color enhancement as TCL's mainstream sets, but now in some of the biggest sizes available.
TCL has just announced availability of the first two sets in the TCL XL Collection, with an 85-inch 4K model 4-Series Roku TV and a new 85-inch QLED model that offers features similar to the TCL 5 and 6-Series sets, but in a new model line.
Here's what we know so far.
Editor's Note: 5/12/2021 TCL has reached out to us to clear up confusion around the company's plans for an 85-inch 8K TV. See our note below.
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What is the TCL XL Collection?
With millions of people spending much more time at home, 2020 was a very big year for TV sales. In addition to prompting higher sales numbers across the industry, the largest screen sizes also saw the most growth, with TVs 75-inches and larger more than doubling in sales.
TCL is taking advantage of this trend toward larger sets with the TCL XL Collection. Announced back in January during CES 2021, the TCL XL collection is a selection of sets across different TCL model lines that measure 80 inches or larger, with different models offering a range of prices and features that match the same variety as TCL's more mainstream TV sizes.
The increased sales numbers aren't the only reason TCL is pushing the new bigger screens for its TVs. Larger screens also offer greater immersion and a more cinematic home viewing experience. In a time when major theatrical releases have shifted to streaming services, the home theater experience takes on new prominence for moviegoers.
In fact, when seated 6 feet from an 85-inch 4K TV, TCL claims that the field of view filled by the large set is the same as watching a 100-ft theater screen from the center seats of the middle row in a traditional cinema setting. The result? Larger TVs literally let you recreate the big screen experience of the movie theater at home.
TCL has confirmed that it plans three sets for the XL Collection this year, and the first two 4K sets are being announced today (May 11). A third 85-inch model is anticipated later this year.
Budget big screen: 85-inch TCL 4-Series
The most basic and most affordable model in the TCL XL collection will be the 85-inch 4-Series TCL Roku TV (85R435). Based on the excellent TCL 4-Series, this 85-inch beast combines everything we love about TCL's budget-friendly Roku smart TVs with an extra-large 3840 x 2160 screen to offer a high-quality affordable 4K smart TV experience.
The LCD set offers full 4K resolution, with a 60Hz refresh rate and standard HDR support — but only for basic standards, like HDR10 and HLG, not Dolby Vision.
You'll definitely need to make sure you have room for this TV, as well as help setting it up. The 85-inch TV measures 74.9 x 43.1 x 3.9 inches, making it more than 6 feet wide, and it weighs a whopping 108 pounds when assembled with the stand.
The 85-inch 4-Series TCL Roku TV may not have all the bells and whistles, but it will be popular for one standout feature: a highly affordable price. Selling for just $1,599 at Best Buy, the 85-inch TCL 4-Series Roku TV is one of the only models available in this size for less than $2,000.
QLED goes big: TCL Roku TV 85R745
The second member of the TCL XL Collection is the new 85R745 Roku TV. Though the model number would suggest it's part of an as yet unnamed 7-Series, TCL seems to be positioning this new set as the 85-inch companion to both the TCL 5- and 6-Series televisions.
The new model is a step up from the 85-inch 4-Series in several ways. While both are 4K smart TVs with HDR support, the 85R745 boasts QLED enhancement for better color and brightness. Backlighting and HDR performance will be improved with 192 individual local dimming zones, and the TV supports both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio. It's even got the best version of Roku, with the Roku Voice remote offering simple voice interaction for searching content.
It will also be an excellent big screen for gaming, thanks to TCL's unique THX Certified Game Mode. The THX seal of approval is helpful shorthand for sets that offer features such as auto low latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rates (VRR) and 120 Hz HDMI input support, all while offering the short lag times, high frame rates and above average color performance then standard TV game modes.
The TCL 85R745 Roku TV is available for pre-order starting today, and is listed at Best Buy for $2,999.
4K now, 8K later?
TCL has also mentioned that another 85-inch TV will be arriving sometime later this year. Details about model numbers and pricing are scarce, but we do know a few details.
[Update: After some initial confusion, TCL has reached out to us to clarify that there will be an 8K model coming to the XL collection this year, but the platform has not been determined. We've updated the text below to account for this new information.]
First, the third member of the TCL XL Collection will feature 8K resolution, confirming rumors that the third XL model would be an 8K TV. TCL has confirmed that an 85-inch 8K set is being developed for launch later this year, but that the 8K model may not use the Roku smart TV platform.
Second, the upcoming TCL 85-inch set will feature mini-LED backlighting, similar to that seen on the TCL 6-Series. However, the unannounced 85-inch model updates the mini-LED technology with TCL's OD Zero low profile mini-LEDs. This third-generation mini-LED technology uses even smaller LEDs, with integrated optics and eliminating the distance between the backlight and LCD display layer, which allows for thinner and lighter LCD TV designs.
No words yet on pricing or availability for the third set in TCL's XL Collection set, but TCL has confirmed that we'll see the 85-inch set with OD Zero mini-LED announced later this year.