When it comes to home cinema, the main component can only be a large screen. So far, the winning option for being able to have a large screen at home without spending a fortune has been video display, with solutions with an excellent quality/price ratio. TCL tries to mix cards with The new 98 inch for his TV series “Medium” C73 of QLED TVs already available in List price 4999 euros, a price that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago for a TV of this size. We’re talking about a screen with Base 217 cm, Height 126 cm (135 with 2 bases), a really nice size, which unlike the classic video projector does not make many compromises, such as the need to check the lighting in the room before continuing to view, the need to install a projection and video projector or the lack of classic features of a Smart TV.
Everything you would expect from a TV, but in cinematic format in the living room
The TCL C73 98″ combines a large screen format with all the functions expected of a modern smart TV. Like the rest of this year’s TCL lineup, the 98-inch is also based on Google TV, the same version of Android that we find on Chromecast with Google TV so to speak.
The TV is LED-backlit in full local dimming with 192 independent zones (this large LCD panel illumination could not be imagined any other way). We found compatibility with all HDR formats, including Dolby Vision and HDR10+, the panel is 120Hz and there are two HDMI 2.1 inputs compatible with 4K at 120Hz, VRR and AMD FreeSync Premium. These are the features that make this 98 inch TV suitable for every scenario of use, from watching sports, movies and TV series to gaming. The panel, of course, has a 4K resolution.
TCL invited us to its showroom to directly estimate the size of this model, which, for obvious reasons, is not logistically easy to deliver to the editorial office for a quick test. The first impression is of course a wonder in front of such a large TV, but we can also appreciate the TV’s build quality and design. Despite the sheer size, the bezel around the screen is relatively thin and the screen is supported on both sides by a pair of fine and well-designed pillars which TCL assures us is simple enough to install despite the size of the TV.
It is clear that placing a 98-inch TV requires space, and the dimensions of the pedestals are designed to install the TV on a cabinet that is not too high. The TV is less heavy than you might imagine, 56kg, and there is the possibility to mount it on the wall, with attachment for 848 x 400mm mounts, although bear in mind that the back of the TV tends to get rather hot.
The new remote control supplied is interesting, which supports the traditional device with a numeric keypad and yet is provided in the package, always in plastic, but with a good size and with a good lauyout and microphone for using the Google Assistant and with various hotkeys.
For many it can replace the monitor
More “pure” home cinema fans will likely continue to favor the video display, but from what we were able to see in this first meeting, TCL’s 98-inch has several arrows in its bow. Once we got the remote control and set the TV into cinema mode and then IMAX Enhanced (actually similar to Filmmaker mode) to deactivate some of the ‘enhance’ filters, we were able to appreciate the natural looking images, good contrast ratio and hard to find screen brightness with a projector . A necessary premise: the showroom was completely lit and we did not have the opportunity to check the performance and effectiveness of local dimming in dark scenes, especially in terms of “blooming” which with such a large screen can be an important aspect.
We reproduced various contents in Dolby Vision and 4K from Netflix and appreciated the impressive level of detail even at very close to the screen – its size shows the advantages of 4K – sufficient brightness (TCL’s official data speaks of brightness up to 800 cd / m2), while perhaps Given the size of the TV, we expected something more from the sound in terms of sound pressure and especially the lower frequencies. The TV has a generous 40W speaker on the back for medium-low recording, but we think pairing such a large screen with a separate audio system is essential to achieve the true home cinema effect.
Unconvincing, at first glance, frame interpolation and image enhancement filters that render reproduction somewhat artificial, while still deepening the performance of upscaling contents at resolutions below this screen size. Very important, especially with regular TV channels. However, we did not notice any annoying pulling due to the response time of the LCD panel.
XXL TV for big homes. But also for the office
From what we’ve been able to see so far, at first glance, the payoff is a decent QLED LCD TV production, but in a very large format, which isn’t entirely clear. We’ve seen some clips from 4K football matches and believe that sports fans who want to watch the big events in the company can find this kind of TV very interesting, because the big screen experience of this type of event filmed in 4K is really touching. The use case in the office in meeting rooms is also interesting. We briefly took advantage of the notebook mirroring functionality and the screen was well suited for presentations and document sharing in meetings.