By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Corona, Calif. – China-based television manufacturer TCL (The Creative Life) set the burgeoning Ultra HDTV industry on its other ear Thursday by launching a high-value 50-inch 4K edge-lit LED LCD model at an industry-low $999 suggested retail price.
The 50-inch UHD set, which was introduced along with a new flagship FullHD LED LCD TV line, will ship in September to directly go up against a 50-inch Seiki UHD model, which was introduced in April at a $1,299 street price.
TCL’s model will also contend with a spate of tier-one-brand 55- and 65-inch UHD TV introductions from Sony, Samsung, and LG, and others to follow, which start at a suggested retail price of $5,500 for Samsung’s 55-inch model.
By launching a 50-inch UHD TV for under $1,000, TCL is hoping to capitalize on volume sales instead of high margins, like its tier one rivals, to build its market presence and brand awareness.
“Similar to what the market saw a dozen years ago with the introduction of HDTVs, 4K UHD TVs are priced so high today that most consumers cannot afford them,” stated Michelle Mao, TCL USA president. “As one of the world’s largest TV brands, TCL is able to change that, so we are launching our 50-inch 4K TV at a $999 MSRP to allow more consumers to enjoy the stunning picture quality and enhanced resolution of UHD TVs. While other brands see the introduction of 4K as an opportunity to make large margins – we see it as an opportunity to demonstrate to U.S. consumers the combination of advanced technology and great value we’ve been delivering across the world for over 30 years.”
Hailing from China, TCL is the world’s third largest TV manufacturer and has an avowed marketing philosophy of offering consumers high quality products at aggressive pricing.
The company previously manufactured goods under the RCA-brand license, before giving that up several years ago to build its own TCL trademark on an international level.
TCL has its own LCD panel manufacturing facility as well as set assembly operations.
TCL’s 50-inch Ultra HD LED TV offers 3840-by-2160 (aka 4K) pixel resolution, built-in sound system with SRS TruSurroundHD technology, built-in up-scaling circuitry to present SD and HD content on full 4K screen, a 120Hz CMI (Clear Motion Index) refresh rate, and a 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
TCL said the set’s design stresses an ultra-thin bezel with a modern gunmetal gray finish, housed in a sophisticated slim frame design.
It is equipped with four HDMI inputs, including one supporting the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) system for a tethered connection to smart devices.
In addition to the 50-inch UHD set, TCL introduced its flagship 5510 FullHD 1080p LCD TV series, which includes the 40- ($399), 46- ($499) and 55-inch Smart TV ($799), screen sizes.
Series models will ship in August. The 40- and 46-inch 5510 models both offer 1080p resolution, 120Hz CMI refresh rate, LED edge lighting, a gun-metal-finish slim frame design and glass base. The offer a 3,500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and three HDMI inputs including one with MHL support.
The series’ 55-inch Smart TV offers 1080p resolution, 120Hz CMI, edge-lit LED display, and built-in Wi-Fi. The built-in smart TV platform supports service apps for Netflix, YouTube, Yahoo Apps and others.
It also offers a gun-metal-finish ultra-thin bezel, and boosts the dynamic contrast ratio to 5,000,000:1. It conforms to the EnergyStar 6.0 power consumption guidelines and is backed by a two-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
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