TCL announces its first soundbars and a 75-inch version of the excellent 6-Series 4K Roku TV

Image: TCL

TCL isn’t finished with the 6-Series lineup of TVs that it announced at last year’s CES. After releasing 55-inch and 65-inch sizes of the 4K HDR Roku TV to rave reviews in 2018, the company is launching an upsized 75-inch model at CES 2019 — exclusively for sale from Best Buy. Preorders begin today, and it will ship over “the coming weeks,” so you’ll see it in stores before most of the brand-new TVs debuting this week in Las Vegas, most of which won’t be available until the spring. As with the other 6-Series sets, TCL’s new 75-incher offers full support for Dolby Vision and HDR10, and it runs Roku’s easy-to-use software.

The 75-inch 6-Series has full-array local dimming with 160 local dimming zones compared to 95 (55-inch) and 120 (65-inch) in the smaller sizes. More zones is generally a good thing because it allows the LEDs behind the TV’s LCD to be more granular and precise about what sections of the screen are being lit up, allowing for deeper blacks and improved contrast.

Image: TCL

The biggest upside to the 6-Series is that there’s really no better value below $1,000 for a 4K set. But with a giant screen comes a larger price: TCL says the 75-inch version will cost “less than $1,800,” which could very well end up meaning $1,799. That’s not quite as appealing as a starting price of $600 for the 55-inch TV, but for some people, that size just isn’t enough. (If you were wondering if a larger form factor might result in even more HDMI ports, that’s a no. It still includes three, with one of them supporting HDMI Arc.) TCL says that consumers are clamoring for bigger and bigger TVs, and many other companies here at CES 2019 are also following that trend.

Image: TCL

TCL is also introducing its first soundbars, which it’s branding as Alto. The Alto 5 is intended for TVs 43 inches and larger, while the Alto 7 offers more powerful audio output and is designed for TVs 55 inches and up. Both come either standalone or — for more money — in a “plus” configuration with a bundled wireless subwoofer. They offer Bluetooth playback and a variety of specialized sound modes for movies or music.

However, it’s worth pointing out that TCL never ended up releasing the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar that it unveiled at last year’s CES. It was supposed to be the first soundbar with Roku’s voice controls built in, but it didn’t come to market. Roku’s own Roku TV Wireless Speakers might’ve led to the cancellation of TCL’s product, but I’ve been unable to confirm that.

The TCL Roku Smart Soundbar, first announced at CES 2018, never made it to market.
Image: TCL

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