Oops: TCL’s QD OLED TV teaser from CES 2023 was a mistake

Just ahead of CES 2023, Digital Trends reported that TCL intends to ship its first TV based on QD-OLED technology by the end of the year. This coverage was based on information provided to Digital Trends, as well as many other media outlets, both during a private press conference and in press materials issued prior to the show. However, it is now backing down on those comments. In a phone call with Editor-in-Chief Caleb Denison, a spokesman said the details of TCL’s QD-OLED plans were released in error.

We’ve sought an official statement from TCL, and as soon as we receive it, we’ll update this post.

While this is disappointing news, we can’t say we’re completely surprised. After reporting on TCL’s stated QD OLED ambitions, we pointed out that there was a good chance the company would not deliver on its promise. TCL’s historical track record hasn’t exactly been outstanding. The company said it will launch its first mini LED TV, the OD Zero, in 2021. Then it said it again in early 2022. Now that we’re in the early weeks of 2023, there’s still no sign of the highly anticipated 8K X9 will ever go on sale.

Maybe it was just too good to be true. TCL is known for delivering impressive TVs at rock-bottom prices, so a TCL QD-OLED TV would likely cost far less than Samsung and Sony – the only other companies in the QD-OLED game so far.

We were so impressed with the Samsung S95B and Sony A95K that even if TCL can’t perfectly match their level of performance, it should still be leaps and bounds above any other TCL TV – and probably better than any other TV at its price point (whatever that may be).

As a refresher for those who haven’t been following the 2022 QD-OLED story, it’s a new breed of display technology that fuses quantum dots with an OLED panel. The result is an ultra-thin screen that’s capable of producing all those gorgeous, deep black OLED tones along with better brightness and more accurate colors.

Samsung Display is currently the only company making QD OLED panels, deepening its competition with LG Display, the only company making OLED panels. QD-OLED appears to be superior to OLED, but OLED manufacturing is further ahead with panel sizes up to 98 inches. This lead may only last another year. Samsung just announced it will ship a 77-inch QD OLED TV in 2023, which means even larger sizes are likely to follow quickly.

TCL didn’t reveal any details about its QD-OLED strategy at its CES event, and now that it’s backed out of a 2023 launch, we likely won’t have any major information for the foreseeable future. Specs like price, availability, screen sizes (55- and 65-inch models are pretty much guaranteed, but what about something bigger?), resolution (likely 4K), smart TV platforms (Roku or Google TV?), and it’s believed the same native 144Hz refresh rate Samsung announced for its 2023 S95C QD OLED TV will remain speculation for the foreseeable future.

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