Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect pricing details that were not available previously.
TCL's P6-Series became a favorite among price-conscious buyers because it pushed high-end features and 4K resolution into mainstream TVs. Now, TCL is planning to build on its success by tweaking its already respectable picture and rechristening the P6-Series as simply the 6-Series this spring.
The TCL 6-Series will come in just two big-screen sizes — 55 and 65 inches — and will be wrapped in a grayish frame, versus the current obsidian black finish. TCL says the new series will continue to support HDR10, the basic high dynamic range format for delivering more intense brightness levels and a wider color gamut, as well as Dolby Vision, a proprietary and arguably superior version of HDR. The combination means that viewers will be assured that the 6-Series can handle the most popular 4K programs currently available.
MORE: The Best TVs You Can Buy
Further enhancements include an HDR gamma adjust feature, which will allow viewers to tweak the 4K display for optimal viewing in both brightly lit and dark rooms.
The current 55-inch P6-Series model includes full-array backlighting with local dimming, but TCL will up the contrast range and picture details in the 6-Series by going from 72 individually controlled zones to 96 in the 55-inch model and 120 in the 65-inch set. That should help it address one of the few weaknesses of the 2017 model we tested, which revealed some haloing around bright objects on dark backgrounds. The increased number of zones should also improve picture details in shadows and dark corners without adversely affecting black levels.
|2017 TCL P6-Series||2018 TCL 6-Series|
|Screen Sizes||55 inches||55 inches, 65 inches|
|Resolution||4K (3840 x 2160)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|HDR||Yes, HDR10 and Dolby Vision||Yes, HDR10 and Dolby Vision|
|Local Dimming zones||72||96 (55-inch), 120 (65-inch)|
|Smart TV interface||Roku TV||Roku TV|
|Voice Control||Yes, basic commands||Yes, Roku Entertainment Assistant (spring 2018)|
TCL says the new 6-Series will improve on its NBP Photon technology. NBP is TCL's answer to competing quantum-dot technology (like that used in Samsung's so-called QLED TVs). It relies on LEDs with a special phosphor coating to produce a wider array of colors.
While the original P6-Series impressed us with its color accuracy, TCL promises its new video-processing iPQ Engine will deliver even more accurate color performance for DCI-P3, the expanded color range format that is also used for digital movies in theaters.
In the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it department, the TCL 6-Series will continue to rely on the excellent Roku TV interface. The Roku smart TV software offers the clearest arrangement of features and easy-to-find streaming options, with more online entertainment choices than any other model. (It also now includes YouTube TV.)
The 6-Series will continue to include Roku's more advanced remote control with the headphone jack for private listening. Roku already includes a mic in the remote for basic remote commands, but this spring, it plans to introduce its own Alexa-style voice assistant to coincide with the TCL 6-Series release.
TCL has announced that the 6 Series -- both the 55- and 65-inch models -- will begin selling May 1st. The 55-inch model is priced at $649, while the 65-inch model will sell for $999. It's a deal by any measure.