Skyworth to Expand 4K TV Offerings – but Not 8K Yet
At CES 2022, we met with Skyworth to discuss their TV plans for 2022. They told us about their ambitions to expand their 4K TV offerings, manufacturing, and distribution in North America. Skyworth currently offers three 8K TV sets, but only for China. The company is waiting for other markets to develop a little more before expanding 8K beyond its domestic market.
The three 8K TV models sold in China include the W92, Q71, and Q91. The W92 is an 88″ OLED model with acoustic glass technology, a PZT AI camera, and a 120 Hz refresh. The Q71 is an LCD-type TV in 65″, 75″, and 86″ screen sizes with a lift-up AI camera and 3D LUT color calibration. The Q91 is also LCD-based and offered in a 75″ screen size using a 120 Hz IPS (wide viewing angle) panel. It comes with a Dolby Atmos 2.1.2 soundbar. None of these TVs mention the use of miniLEDs, but they all feature pop-up cameras.
We asked Skyworth about such cameras reception in the North American market. They concurred with our assessment that they would not have been well received before the pandemic, but such resistance may have softened given the vast amount of Work-From-Home and the potential to use the TV for video calls.
In terms of 4K TVs, the big news is their expansion using Google TV with Android 11 OS. We were told there would be a total of 11 models spanning five LCD ranges and all OLED TVs, including new ranges. Google TV offers video and game streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+, Google Stadia, HBO Max, and Netflix. Google TV also features built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant. However, their rollout plans may be impacted by the availability of Google chipsets and the certification process – with the pandemic impacting both activities.
Overall, Skyworth plans to launch at least seven new TV ranges in North America this year. Highlights include larger screens, Google TV, Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos, miniLEDs, and ATSC 3.0 tuners. The announced LCD TVs for North America are detailed below.
- At the top, the 4K UHD Mini-LED QLED UD8500 Series offered in 65” and 75” screen sizes with a sleek bezel-less design, 120Hz Refresh Rate, Dolby IQ, HDR10 & HLG HDR, Dolby Atmos, and an ATSC 3.0 Tuner.
- The UD8000 Series is a 4K QLED UHD TV offered in bezel-less 65” and 75” screen sizes, a 60Hz refresh rate panel, HDR10 and HLG HDR, and Dolby Audio.
- The 4K UHD UD7500 Series, with 86” super screen size, will feature a premium designed metal cabinet and a higher performance 120Hz refresh rate panel.
- The upgraded 4K UHD UD7200G Series, “G” for Google TV, is offered in 50”, 55”, 65” and 75” screen sizes, and has a bezel-less design with a 60Hz refresh rate panel.
- The entry-level TD7300 Series designed for smaller viewing spaces is offered in 32” and 40” screen sizes.
Announced OLED TVs include:
- XD9300 series in 55” and 65” with 120 Hz panel, Google TV, hands-free assistant, Dolby IQ, Dolby Atmos and ATSC 3.0
- XD9100 series in 55” and 65” with 60 Hz panel, Google TV, Dolby Atmos, hands-free assistant
In our meeting, I was also able to see the new SKYWORTH W82, which is a 65″ 4K 120Hz OLED TV that can adjust the screen from flat to curved with a click of the remote. I like curved monitor screens but have never been a fan of curved TV screens, and I’m unclear how well consumers might receive this. It did win a CES Award, however.
Skyworth set up a new factory in Wuhan, China, to manufacture two new OLED Basic Module (OBM) Technologies. These are OBM Transform and OBM Slim. The company brought its 4K OLED TV series (SKYWORTH XC9300 and XC9000 Series) to the USA market for the first time. OBM uses panels from BOE or LGD that engineering lamination technology, heat dissipation engineering, and materials processes to offer an introductory module, including drivers and TCON, for partners to integrate. One partner is Metz in the EU market.
Skyworth also told us of their plans to expand distribution in North America and streamline their supply chain. New business in the USA and Canada accounted for more than 30% of total sales in 2021, so a significant bump. They are also moving TV manufacturing from China to Mexico.