Late 2017 replace
If you’d like a 55-inch TV and do not need to pay $1,500 for an OLED, the TCL P sequence is the one to get.
Merely put, no different TV affords this degree of image high quality for this low-cost a value. At simply $650, or $600 for the Greatest Purchase variant (see beneath), the TCL P prices a whole bunch lower than the 55-inch Sony XBR-X900E, for instance, however its image is simply pretty much as good — and in some ways, it is higher. It additionally earned a better picture-quality rating than the way more costly Samsung Q7 QLED TV.
You learn that proper. I reviewed the TCL 55P607 when it got here out in June, and have in contrast it to quite a few televisions since. It is higher than simply about all of them, regardless of how well-known their model names.
The secret’s its full-array native dimming. It permits the display to dim and brighten in numerous areas independently, and TVs which have it virtually all the time carry out higher than TVs that do not. After all, different features of picture high quality are necessary too, however good native dimming types the idea of excessive distinction in LCD TVs, and distinction is king. It is the principle cause why OLED TVs look so good.
You may discover I mentioned “nearly all.” The largest exception, and the TCL P sequence’ largest competitor by way of picture high quality for the cash, is Vizio’s M sequence. It has primarily the identical degree of image high quality because the TCL, and its 55-inch dimension prices $700 proper now. I appreciated the M sequence a lot that I gave it Editors’ Alternative award for 2017, over this TCL, for the straightforward indisputable fact that the Vizio is obtainable in a number of sizes, from 50 all the way in which as much as 75 inches.
Like I mentioned on the high, nonetheless, if you would like a 55-inch set, get this TCL as a substitute of the Vizio. Past the truth that the TCL is cheaper, its Roku TV working system is way superior to what Vizio affords. Roku has dead-simple menus and 1000’s of apps, together with essentially the most 4K and HDR streaming apps you will get. It is also continually up to date, the newest together with a brand new program information for over-the-air antenna that makes the P sequence way more pleasant to wire cutters. The Vizio does not even have an over-the-air TV tuner.
After all you would (and may!) add a $70 Roku Streaming Stick Plus to a Vizio and get many of the identical performance, however that would not be as elegant as built-in Roku, and it could improve the value distinction even additional.
Briefly, each units are wonderful, and each earned the identical total score, however at this dimension, TCL P is larger than Vizio M.
Replace, Dec. eight: The textual content of this overview has been up to date all through, aside from the image high quality part, to mirror the newest software program updates in addition to comparisons to different merchandise, mainly the Vizio M sequence. Its scores stay the identical.
Two flavors of P, each in 55-inch solely
The P sequence is barely accessible within the 55-inch dimension I reviewed.
TCL initially introduced it could ship 50- and 65-inch sizes too, however in August it canceled these plans. It hasn’t supplied an evidence past “shifting our focus from the remaining 2017 P sequence fashions (50- and 65-inch) to the next-generation P sequence portfolio,” in line with a spokesperson. Translation: Wait until 2018 for greater Ps.
In the meantime, one other 55-inch TCL P sequence Roku TV, mannequin 55P605, is obtainable completely from Greatest Purchase. It lacks the 607’s enhanced distant (see beneath), but it surely’s $50 cheaper and has in any other case equivalent options and film high quality. So sure, it is an excellent higher cut price than the 55P607, so long as you do not care about that distant.
Shiny toes, Roku’s a deal with
It ain’t ugly by any means, however neither will the P sequence be identified for its dashing beauty. Certain, the flexible chrome-colored legs present a modicum of panache, and the identical goes for the matching edges, however in any other case it is a ho-hum TV design: thick(er) cupboard, minimal shiny black plastic borders, TCL and Roku logos.
I am a fan of Roku TVs’ well-traveled menus, particularly their grouping of inputs (cable TV, PlayStation and so forth) on the principle dwelling display, proper alongside Netflix and Hulu. You possibly can select from a bunch of preset names and icons for related units, or title them no matter you need. It’s also possible to shuffle them across the display or take away them fully, and the identical goes for the apps: every little thing is on the identical footing and straightforward to customise, form of like your telephone. I simply want a 3rd of the display wasn’t occupied by an advert.
Roku TVs have entry to all of the 1000’s of apps discovered on Roku’s platform, which nonetheless affords higher protection than any competitor, sensible TV or in any other case. Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Plex, HBO Now, Showtime, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Vudu, Google Play Films and TV, Watch ESPN, Fox Sports activities Now, FX Now, Comedy Central, Starz, PBS Children… if there is a video app that is not iTunes, Roku virtually definitely has it. And because of Films Wherever, you may even watch your iTunes-purchased TV exhibits and films on this TV.
And if that app streams in 4K, HDR and/or Dolby Imaginative and prescient, the P sequence can ship these streams, too. I particularly just like the “4K highlight” app that surfaces particular person 4K and HDR (and Dolby Imaginative and prescient) TV exhibits and films throughout a number of suppliers, though sadly Netflix is not considered one of them. I additionally just like the “4K content material accessible” checklist on the app retailer, which exhibits the entire 4K apps accessible on Roku.
All the Roku TVs I’ve examined reply shortly and serve up movies with minimal delays. Search is the very best within the enterprise total, and typically the interface is as pleasant and easy because it will get. For more information, take a look at my overview of my favourite 4K Roku system, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus.
Triple-threat ‘enhanced’ distant
The clicker has only a few buttons, buying and selling direct entry to channels and “extensive” modes, for instance, for giant keys that zip ably across the menus. “Enhanced” in Roku parlance means the P607 will get three necessary clicker extras: a headphone jack, a distant finder and the power to look together with your voice.
The distant finder helps you to simply find a misplaced clicker, for instance from throughout the sofa cushions or a child’s toy field (true story). To make the distant emit a noise, you need to use the management buttons on the rear of the TV. Once I tried it, the sound was loads loud. To this point so good.
Roku’s voice perform will not be almost as sturdy as Amazon Alexa, discovered on Hearth Version TVs for instance, but it surely labored fantastic 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.
Roku’s cross-platform search trawls greater than 300 totally different apps and channels, and once I used the distant for voice searches, its recognition was correct and fast. As all the time, I beloved Roku’s up-front presentation of comparability costs for pay-per-view TV episodes and films.
Sadly Roku’s signature distant characteristic, a headphone jack on the distant for personal listening, did not work flawlessly. The primary time I related headphones to the distant, it muted the TV’s audio as deliberate, and lip sync was fantastic (not fairly good, however ok), however the audio broke up, rendering it unlistenable. Each different time I examined it, it labored nicely, nonetheless, so I am keen to chalk it up as a blip. Switching from a 5GHz community to 2.4GHz appeared to assist, however your mileage might fluctuate.
Should you do not care about these distant extras, Greatest Purchase’s 55P605 is a bit cheaper. It comes with a normal distant — no headphone jack, distant finder or voice search. It additionally used infrared (IR) know-how so you must purpose it on the TV, whereas the improved distant’s radio frequency (RF) know-how means that you can level it wherever.
Streaming recommendations and antenna pause
Roku TV’s newest new characteristic is known as “Extra Methods to Watch.” Its unique implementation used computerized content material recognition (ACR) to recommend TV exhibits from streaming sources primarily based on what’s taking part in by way of cable field, satellite tv for pc field, antenna or related video system, like a Blu-ray participant. Sadly these recommendations take the type of popups, and they are often annoying. I switched them off (in Settings > Privateness > Good TV expertise).
Purple asterisk within the antenna information = stream now.
The latest implementation of MWTW is voluntary. It solely works with TV from the over-the-air antenna, so it is ineffective for cable subscribers, however for antenna-savvy wire cutters it is fairly candy. If an antenna present listed within the new grid-style digital program information has a purple asterisk subsequent to it — and lots of do — you may hit the asterisk key on the distant and be proven methods to look at that episode, instantly and from the start, by way of a streaming service.
I attempted it with “Sesame Road,” for instance, and was in a position to select from Spectrum’s app, HBO Now or HBO Go. Clicking Now launched the app and took me on to that present. Briefly, the over-the-air antenna information on Roku TV is now one other solution to browse what you may stream. Here is an in-depth look.