If you want an 8K TV this year, they'll be few options better and cheaper than TCL's 8K Roku TV
One of the clear and emerging trends from CES 2019 was the arrival of 8K. While content for 4K is still undoubtedly limited, the industry at its finer point is already well on the way to moving to the next K upgrade and there were plenty of announcements along this line made during the event.
One of those which was of particular interest was a joint announcement by TCL Communication and Roku. As they have now confirmed they are teaming up to bring to market the first Roku OS-powered 8K TV.
What was actually announced, is Roku has an an 8K hardware reference design available and TCL will be the first device-maker to employ that reference design.
In addition to TCL, there were similar announcements made by Samsung, LG and Sony with their own 8K solutions. However, the reason TCL's sticks out more than others is that TCL is usually a more affordable brand and in spite of pricing having yet to be announced, it would stand to reason its 8K solution will be more accessible to consumers than those from Samsung, LG and Sony.
Also, unlike the other solutions touted at the event, considering this one comes running on Roku, it is likely to appeal to a larger number of consumers considering Roku's status in the streaming hardware market.
Sometimes the best is not always the technical best, but the best for consumers and at present this solution from TCL and Roku fits that description perfectly making it a worthy recipient of a 'best of CES 2019' award.
Besides the headlines 4K support, this will also be a big TV considering it is expected to debut in a 75-inch size with the possibility of even larger sizes to come later on. In spite of the larger size, the technology underlying the panel is all about being smaller than before due to the use of quantum dot technology. This micro or mini approach to LEDs means the there are more dimming zones in use and this simplistically translates to better contrast – blacker blacks and so on.
At the software level, and with Roku OS on board, consumers can expect an overall smooth and reliable experience. Especially considering these two companies have worked together multiple times in the past.
The user experience will also be a feature-rich one thanks to Roku's approach to padding its OS out with content. Roku OS not only offers access to the usual selection of TV apps, but the company has been hard at work recently in building out its platform with additional content – including some free access to TV shows and movies.
Of course, the issue still will remain that there's very little 4K content available and by association next-to-no 8K content. Something that is unlikely to change between now and the launch of these TVs. However, most 4K TV-makers now include software which looks to upscale content to a near-4k level. Although not confirmed, it would be expected these 8K TVs from TCL will adopt similar technologies. Meaning that whatever content quality you encounter, you can and should expect it to be as better than it would be on a non-8K TV.
If this all sounds like something you'd be interested in, then you have to wait a little as the 8K TCL Roku TVs are not expected to make landfall until late 2019.