I kid you not I have never received so many emails about tv or a tv review before then this tv. This is the TCL six series and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised I mean it promises a lot of really great picture quality for not a lot of money. But there’s some other stuff going on here too
Normally we review a tv before most of you guys can buy it. In this case, many of you have already purchased this tv gotten at home and started posting your impressions online. And it seems that there’s a bit of inconsistency there so I know there’s a lot of worry about things like banding and dirty screen effect and vignette. Again all of that but I will tell you before we get going love this tv. I think it’s pretty stinking fantastic to let me show you why.
Let’s start with the aesthetics of the television which are improved over last year’s p series. Most notably we’ve got a metal instead of a plastic frame. And that means that the bezel here nice and trim is a nice brushed metal trim on the sides trim on the top. When you get down below it’s a little bit thicker but not significantly. So and then we’ve got a Roku tv badge over here which is pretty low profile this TCL logo though not so low-profile.
When you turn on the tv it illuminates and you can’t turn that off. And then on the far side, we have a power control button it’s a little funky to use. You can just press it to bring up a menu and that’ll allow you to switch inputs or turn the tv off. But keep the remote handy it’s not that convenient. And then finally these feet you know I’m conflicted here because when you have a wide set of stand legs like this. It requires that you have a big entertainment standard these go past at the edge of the television.
So if you get the 65 that is a huge footprint you can invert them if you want to. But I think that looks silly and honestly it doesn’t save you that much space. From the side you can tell the tv is a little on the fixed side especially with the bump-out. But that’s necessary because of the full array local dimming backlight.
The Roku remote that comes with the tv and if you look closely you’ll notice something’s missing. No headphone jack and I know a lot of you guys are disappointed that Roku stripped it out of the remote. But they say of course you can listen with headphones if you just boot up the Roku app on your phone or tablet. Another thing I want to mention if you buy the version that best buys carries of this tv that’s the r615 as opposed to the r617 that we have here. It is not a wi-fi remote it’s an infrared remote that requires line-of-sight so keep that in mind as well. Slightly different remote if you get it from best buy.
Here’s the Roku tv interface if you’re not already familiar I’m a huge fan of this. Part of the reason is that it puts all of your inputs right next to your apps everything’s all in one place. You can also customize the name of the input so that you’re not hunting for which input has your Blu-ray player or Xbox for instance.
Very easy to set those up I’m also a big fan of how it handles live over-the-air tv so if we click antenna tv. That turns into our antenna and we’re watching live television it also has a great interface here. For looking up what shows are available and a recent addition to a Roku tv is the ability to pause live television. To set that up you’ve got to use a USB stick or USB thumb drive of some sort. And it’s a little limited it only works up to about 90 minutes but it does let you pause live tv. So you can come back to it later and make short recordings.
Not everything is unicorns and rainbows though take a look at this test pattern what do you see anything funky. It might be a little bit difficult to see it on your computer or tv if you’re watching this through your television. But I’m gonna go ahead and ruin you for good now and point out the fact that. Some vertical bands are happening here it’s very obvious in certain colors and certain brightnesses of those colors. But there are vertical bands that run up and down the screen now this is not abnormal.
This is an LCD television and LCD televisions come with a few issues. And sometimes this vertical banding is one of them. The severity of the banding though does tend to vary from tv to tv. And that’s part of the inconsistency of LCD panels. So it’s not entirely implausible that you could get a tv that looks this way. What’s odd though is that it seems like there’s a really wide variance from customer to customer. In terms of how much of this they see, I also want to point out that there’s a little bit of vignette is going on here.
You’ll notice that the corners of the tv are slightly darker than the rest of the image. Also if you watch a lot of sports golf fairways football fields. Or ice hockey, even where there’s a lot of uniform color on the screen at once. It could show itself a little bit more apparent. Honestly, I don’t think for the lion’s share of viewers that this is going to be a problem. There are some people here at our office. That didn’t notice it at all until I pointed it out to them. But at that point, it’s one of those things that once you see it you can’t unsee it.
For a slim subset of folks video enthusiasts video files I think yeah it could be something that bothers you. If it sounds like something that’s going to bother you. I think that you’ve got to go ahead and pony up for slightly better television.
The bottom line though is that there is nothing like this in this price class. This is an astounding tv for the price. So if you’ve been eyeballing OLED but you just can’t afford it. And you’re gonna have to go with an led LCD television. This is an excellent choice why the hdr is impressive the color out of the box is great. I love the deep blacks that we get with this without a whole lot of blooming.
I mean it’s exhibiting traits of TVs that cost twice as much so the value proposition is there. Just be aware that with LCD televisions there is some inconsistency in the production line. So you might get a tv that has a heavy vignette in the corners. And you might get one that has none. Be willing to go ahead and go through an exchange process. If that happens to you otherwise I fully recommend the TCL six series.