Awesome picture for the price, and Roku TV seals the deal

I will be shocked if any 2018 TV below $1,000 beats the image high quality of the TCL 6 sequence. Like, actually shocked. And that is the worth for an enormous 65-inch display, by the best way: $999.99. The 55-incher is simply $600.

The solely TV that has an opportunity in my view is the 2018 Vizio M sequence. I have not examined it but, however I did examine the TCL with the 2017 M sequence. The TCL was higher.

Of course you could possibly pay extra for a greater image. LG’s C8 OLED TV has one of the best image I’ve ever examined, however it prices 3 times as a lot. Among LCD TVs the Sony X900F and Samsung Q8 are higher in sure areas like gentle output and movement, however the TCL seems to be higher in a house theater atmosphere with the lights down low. Of course it performs nicely sufficient with movement and in vivid rooms — and prices lower than half as a lot.

Beyond picture high quality, the 6 sequence consists of my favourite sensible TV system, Roku TV. It trounces the apps, simplicity, responsiveness and comfort of sensible TV techniques by LG, Vizio and Sony. Samsung’s system has it beat in a pair areas, specifically machine management and a brand new cool ambient mode, however general I nonetheless like Roku higher.

For savvy TV consumers who prioritize getting as a lot image high quality for as little cash as potential, the TCL 6 sequence is the odds-on favourite to win 2018.

Moar metallic

Goodbye and good riddance to shiny black plastic, howdy to a no-nonsense metallic end. The 6 sequence out-classes the looks of earlier TCLs by encasing the skinny body in a darkish, textured metallic. It displays greater than a matte black however not an excessive amount of, and creates a sleeker, extra high-end really feel than final 12 months’s mannequin.

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TCL provides a little bit of panache with a rounded energy button and aggressive, angled legs. The Roku TV brand is refined and difficult to identify on the decrease proper, whereas the shiny TCL beneath the display is something however refined.

As anticipated for a full-array TV, the 6 sequence is comparatively thick when seen in profile, however from straight on, the place it issues, the body across the display is sort of slender and minimal, with the standard barely wider backside edge. Speaking of that edge, its match and end on my assessment pattern weren’t excellent: There was some slight separation alongside the bottom-left nook. It’s not a significant challenge (I in all probability would not return the set myself if I observed it), however one thing to regulate. 

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Rah-rah for Roku

I am a fan of Roku TV, for causes I’ve documented extensively in earlier critiques. Here’s the quick model.

  • Frequent updates and have enhancements
  • Simple menus with fast responses
  • Full customization, together with enter naming
  • Inputs on the identical residence web page as TV apps
  • More apps (and 4K HDR apps) than some other sensible TV system
  • 4K Spotlight and 4K apps class make discovering 4K content material simpler
  • Cross-platform search covers many providers, permits value comparisons
  • More Ways To Watch suggests streaming reveals in antenna program information
  • Can pause stay TV from an antenna supply (and a USB stick)

For extra data, take a look at my assessment of my favourite 4K Roku machine, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. The 2017 P sequence assessment additionally has much more particulars concerning the above options.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The distant: Simple, fewer options

Last 12 months’s P sequence distant included two actually cool Roku extras: a headphone jack that permits non-public listening, and a distant finder that makes the clicker straightforward to seek out within the sofa cushions. The 617 sequence’ distant loses these extras, however it does have a built-in mic for voice features, and communicates with the TV without having line of sight.

Roku’s voice operate shouldn’t be practically as sturdy as Amazon Alexa, discovered on Fire Edition TVs for instance, however it labored superb for searches and, thanks to a different new software program replace, for app launching, switching inputs and tuning to an antenna channel. If the TV is off, a voice command like, “Launch Netflix” will flip it on and launch the app.

If you do not care concerning the voice distant, Best Buy’s 615 sequence is a bit cheaper. It comes with a regular distant with out voice search and makes use of infrared (IR) know-how so you need to intention it on the TV.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Key options

Display know-how LED LCD
LED backlight Full array with native dimming
Resolution 4K
HDR-compatible HDR10 and Dolby Vision
Screen form Flat
Smart TV Roku TV
Remote Voice (617 solely)

Full array native dimming units the P sequence aside from many rivals, and most TV makers reserve the function for TVs that value much more than the 6 sequence. TCL calls it Contrast Control Zone know-how, however it means the identical factor. The 6 sequence has extra zones than competing Vizio TVs: 96 zones for the 55-incher and 120 zones for the 65-incher.

Having extra dimming zones would not essentially imply higher picture high quality, however it will probably assist. That’s as a result of smaller, extra quite a few zones permit the picture to gentle up (and dim) extra exactly, higher separating the elements of the picture that ought to be brighter from the elements that ought to be darker. It helps get rid of “blooming,” the place a vivid space can lighten one which ought to be darkish. See image high quality for extra on the way it performs.

The 6 sequence has WCG (large colour gamut) capabilities, because of NBP Photon know-how (Nano Band Phosphor), however in keeping with our measurements it is not as large as many competing units. Just like 2017’s mannequin, the 6 sequence helps each Dolby Vision and HDR10 excessive dynamic vary codecs. It additionally touts a “120Hz clear motion index,” however as traditional, that is a made-up quantity. The 6 sequence has 60Hz native panel and may’t match the movement efficiency of true 120Hz TVs.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Around again you will discover a stable collection of inputs.

  • 3x HDMI inputs (HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2)
  • 1x analog (composite) video enter
  • 1x USB port (2.zero)
  • Ethernet (wired web)
  • 1x headphone jack
  • 1x optical digital audio output
  • 1x RF (antenna) enter

The HDMIs are state-of-the-art and labored superb with every thing I threw at them. The headphone jack is a pleasant contact, and in contrast to cheaper Roku units, this one has Ethernet, too.

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Publish Date: 2018-05-17 19:18:02

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