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Our Favorite Cheap 4K TV Looks Even Better With Quantum Dot Technology

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Ethelyn Brye is an award-winning author and blogger. Growing up in Switzerland and influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh mountain air, she attended and completed design studies in Geneva. Post graduation she moved to Washington State to work for a design firm, but her love of writing brought her to Cyanosaur. She's highly interested in strategy rpgs, mountain climbing, board games with friends and skiing. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her lovely cat Armstrong.

“Quantum dot” technology sounds like a fake invention, something made up by a well-meaning marketing team. Well, it is, and it isn’t. Although different companies have different brand names for their own recipes, quantum dot displays are a real innovation that allows TVs to show off a wider range of colors, and they’ve become one of the best ways to get a beautiful TV at a decent price. This year, TCL brought quantum dots to its popular 6-Series, and speaking as someone who’s spent a lot of time with these TVs, I’m here to say that the upgrade is exciting.I’m highlighting the quantum dots on the new TCL 6-Series with the Roku TV operating system because otherwise, the new one is very similar to last year’s model: 100 zones of dimming on the 55-inch, HDR, and Roku built-in. I reviewed that TV, and I loved it, so when TCL told me it was upgrading the guts and selling the new 6-Series for the same low price, I had to check it out. In addition to a new quantum dot film to improve the colors, there are more local dimming zones—100 in the $600 55-inch model and 120 in the $800 65-inch. Like the old 6-Series, this year’s model offers 4K resolution and Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos support. Unlike the old TV, the new one also supports a calibration app that works with Google Pixel phones and makes it easy to tweak your TV settings for more accurate colors.But really, I credit the quantum dots with improving the picture quality on TCL’s feature-filled but affordable TV. When the new model arrived, I set up it up right behind the old 6-Series and played the same content on each TV, looking for differences. They were meaningful. Put simply, the new 6-Series with the quantum dot display offers much richer, more accurate colors. That’s exactly what quantum dot technology is supposed to do!Let’s take a step back. You probably heard of quantum dot displays, as they’ve been all the buzz in the TV world for about five years now. The technology itself about as complicated as you might expect from something with “quantum” in the name, but it’s also more science than marketing. The quantum dots are actually tiny semiconductor nanocrystals that glow a specific color based on their size when hit by a light beam. The smallest dots are around 2-nanometers across and glow blue. The largest ones are over 4 nanometers and glow red. Typically, TV manufacturers can add a film full of quantum dots to an LCD-LED TV, light it with a blue backlight, and generate more vivid, accurate colors. That is an oversimplified explanation, but suffice it to say that TV makers can add quantum dot technology to existing models pretty easily and give the TV panels a wider range of colors. This might explain why TCL is selling the 6-Series full of quantum dots for the same price as the old TV without them. So I
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