I would have laughed in your face if you had told me Samsung and LG would become the leading TV brands in the United States 20 years ago, or, hell, even 15 years ago. But I think since then, I have grown to recognize the signs. Are TCL and Hisense the next Samsung and LG, I wonder now.
I believe there is a compelling case for TCL and Hisense overtaking Samsung as the top two TV brands in the U.S. if we look at their 2023 TV lineups, their recent partnerships with major national sports organizations, and their growth over the previous five years in terms of both technological advancement and sales.
Starting with the TCL 2023 TV lineup. I assume you are already familiar with the QM8 Mini-LED. If not, you need to examine that TV. What more does TCL have planned, though? The Q7, however, has a full-array local dimming backlight technology, quantum dots, high brightness with 1,000 nits peak, and a slew of other desired qualities despite not being a mini-LED TV. Additionally, the 65-inch model costs $1,000 as a comparison. In case you forgot, the R655 from the 6-Series of last year was a mini-LED TV that had a 65-inch screen and cost $1,000.
a TCL Q7 display of an underwater reef.
We may interpret what seems to be less functionality for the same price as a “new year, new TCL” strategy, which I will discuss in more detail later. I believe there is more to it than that, though.
The Q6 model is the next model down in the TCL TV line-up. Although it lacks full-array local dimming, this TV maintains a respectable brightness, supports all HDR formats, has certain features that are helpful for gamers, and has a generally appealing design for anyone without high expectations. The price of the Q6’s 65-inch model is $700.
I can hear you saying, “But Caleb, was not the 65-inch TCL 5 Series model less expensive and it had local dimming?” Okay, no. Also, yes. Although the 5 Series was more expensive, it did include local dimming.
A TCL Q6 displays a colorful tray of fresh fruit.
Below the Q-Series, TCL offers the S Series, a line of absurdly cheap TVs that TCL will undoubtedly sell gallons and gallons of. If Hisense does not surpass TCL in sales in 2023, I believe TCL is in a solid position to take that position. However, I can see how some people could be thinking, “Hmm, the costs stayed the same, but we are receiving less technology for those dollars. What is up?
Well, I believe that a couple things are happening. This year, TCL significantly altered its approach, but the economy and inflation both played significant roles. Costs rise, prices rise as a result of more expensive transportation and more expensive parts. I will return to the strategy section, though, shortly. Let us spend a moment looking at Hisense.
Hisense model line
This year, Hisense also offers the 6-, 7-, and 8-series. In retrospect, Hisense has had a 6-, 7-, and 8-series for a while. Then, is TCL emulating Hisense? Let us examine the Hisense lineup now.
On a Hisense U8K, a field of lavender is visible.
We have the U8K, which has a true 144Hz panel, an ATSC 3.0 tuner, mini-LED, at least 1,500 nits of peak brightness, quantum dots, and a ton of additional capabilities. It also supports all HDR formats. It is a loaded TV. However, if peak brightness is some sort of criterion for where a TV should place in a lineup, it kind of appears like it sits between TCL Q7 and Q8. Unfortunately, we do not know the costs for this series, so we can not yet say how it will compare.
The U7K is another option, and it boasts mini-LEDs, quantum dots, over 500 local dimming zones, a native 144Hz screen, all of the HDR settings, and an ATSC 3.0 tuner. It also offers 1,000 nits. Although we still do not know the price, it appears to compete with the TCL Q7 despite having stronger specifications on paper. Interesting.
The Hisense U6K is another option and is, as you may have guessed, also a mini-LED. It peaks at about 600 nits and contains 200 local dimming zones (technically). Additionally, it has an ATSC 3.0 tuner, a native 144Hz panel, Freesync Premium Pro, Wi-Fi 6, and many other features. The price is unknown. However, it appears to be mocking the TCL Q6.
On a Hisense U6K, a town carved into a slope by the sea is seen.
This year, Hisense is aggressive. It does not really have a response to TCL’s QM8, but it does have the ridiculous UX TV (or U10 if you are not into the whole Roman thing). If you can even find one, I anticipate it will cost more than any Hisense TV we have ever seen.
Or, it is conceivable that Hisense only appears more aggressive in the backlight department on paper and that mini-LED backlight is not much better than conventional full-array LED without good zone management. We will see.
The fact that I can see shots being exchanged here is what matters. And it only applies to the actual TV products. Now that TCL is putting a lot of effort into its NFL agreement, you can expect to see the TCL logo on a lot of NFL merchandise, NFL stars on all TCL boxes, and TCL front and center at Best Buy.
In the meanwhile, Hisense has collaborated with the NBA and is fully committed to that, so you will see Hisense wherever you look NBA-related. I would not be surprised if Hisense placed NBA players on its boxes, though it could also go the other way and be completely eco-friendly and have no graphics at all.
Anyone wishing to improve their TV will find 2023 to be an astronomically fantastic year.
Whatever the case, it is all quite forceful.
TCL and Hisense will continue to undercut their rivals, as they always have, when we compare the performance and pricing of LED TVs from Sony, Samsung, and LG. The only change is that the performance gaps between the companies are growing smaller.
It somehow makes me think of what Samsung and LG accomplished fifteen years ago. They became more assertive, released TVs that were getting better while keeping their costs cheap, and gradually won customers’ trust. They kept expanding, and now they have reached the pinnacle. We owned a Goldstar air conditioner back when LG was still Goldstar, as I recall. The TV brands we looked at back then were Toshiba, JVC, Panasonic, and Sony. Because Sony is now exclusively a premium brand, Panasonic does not sell in the United States, and two of those brands have just been licensed out, it is satisfied to sell on quality rather than quantity.
TCL and Hisense, in my opinion, are the ones moving this year. This is the beginning of it. TCL and Hisense do now have some difficulties in establishing trust. Political repercussions may also arise, albeit none have as of yet. However, I believe TCL and Hisense will enjoy far greater trust and mindshare in the U.S. than they do today, even only next year, barring a circumstance we have not seen before. And it will continue to expand.
But for the time being, I cannot wait to install these TVs. I wish to test the Hisense and TCL 6-, 7-, and 8-series televisions. This year, we will find out what is what. Watch out for these companies in the interim.
The year 2023 is going to be quite advantageous for anyone wishing to upgrade their TV, that much is clear.