TCL has teamed up with THX to offer the first TV with THX Certified Game Mode, promising better picture and faster gaming along with new features that gamers will love. First announced at CES 2020, the new certification will arrive soon on the upcoming TCL 6-Series Roku TV, the first in the industry to bear the certification. That addition will be a big upgrade for one of our favorites from our best TVs list as well as the best gaming TVs.
THX Certified Game Mode promises speedy responsiveness and better-than-average picture quality, along with new features like Auto-Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate features included in the new HDMI 2.1 spec.
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TCL has made a name for itself in the TV world by offering surprisingly high-quality picture and sound quality in TVs that are priced to be more budget-friendly than competing models from Samsung and LG. This new certification from an industry leader like THX will definitely have potential customers rethinking TCLs reputation solely as a maker of great budget TVs.
With the recent addition of HDMI 2.1 to the latest TVs, many new smart TVs are touting gamer-friendly features like Auto-Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). These features let the TV seamlessly switch to game mode whenever the console is activated, and to eliminate screen tearing with frame synchronization technology similar to AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync.
But THX Certified Game Mode is more than just a re-branded version of features included in the new HDMI 2.1 spec, however. Those features will make for better gaming on any TV, but THX goes above and beyond with this certification, testing certified TVs along several points, and ensuring that they meet specific criteria for an even better gaming experience.
Among the criteria are standards for everything from color quality and refresh rates to rise time, which looks at how quickly the TV can handle dark-to-light transitions, essential for fast-paced games.
TCL says that the new TCL 6-Series will be available this summer, and will be the first TV on the market to feature the THX certification. Time will tell whether the new certification takes off in the TV industry, but for the moment it offers the promise of the best 4K gaming experience yet.
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Brian Westover is currently Lead Analyst, PCs and Hardware at PCMag. Until recently, however, he was Senior Editor at Tom's Guide, where he led the site's TV coverage for several years, reviewing scores of sets and writing about everything from 8K to HDR to HDMI 2.1. He also put his computing knowledge to good use by reviewing many PCs and Mac devices, and also led our router and home networking coverage. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for TopTenReviews and PCMag.