Later this year, TCL will launch TVs featuring its third-generation mini-LED backlighting system, dubbed OD Zero. OD stands for “Optical Depth” and zero indicates the size of the gap between the backlight array and the LCD panel; in other words, there isn’t one. Eliminating this gap should reduce light bleed through adjacent zones, boosting overall contrast and improving black levels.
The company will offer this latest version of its highly granular backlighting, which employs thousands of tiny LEDs instead of hundidreds of larger ones, in its new 8K UHD 6-series TVs. Older 4K UHD 6 series models will remain in the lineup, so don’t assume that 6-series means 8K when you shop.
As do other vendors, TCL claims upscaling will increase the percieved resolution of 1080p and 4K UHD content. If TCL’s AiPQ engine uses the same tricks I’ve seen from Samsung, LG, and now Sony—it will. Content in those lower resolutions really does appear to be significantly more detailed on an 8K set when properly processed.
TCL also plans to go big this year with it 85-inch XL-series TVs. The company has added an 85-inch model to the 4 series (the $1,599, Roku-based 85R435) for the early spring, followed by a quantum dot, Roku-based 85R745 (pricing to be announced), and eventually an 85-inch mini-LED, wide color gamut 8K UHD model.
The 85R745—and we’re assuming the 8K UHD variant—will include Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, as well as variable refresh rate and 120Hz HDMI input support for game-play.
This article was edited several hours after posting to correct “Optical Distance” to “Optical Depth.”
Jon Jacobi is a musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time computer enthusiast. He writes reviews on TVs, SSDs, dash cams, remote access software, Bluetooth speakers, and sundry other consumer-tech hardware and software.