TCL 6-Series Roku TV: The best picture quality for the money

    It’s straightforward to choose an inexpensive TV — simply store on worth. And it is comparatively straightforward to choose an costly TV — simply get an OLED. But a more durable choice faces the massive group of TV customers within the center, those that are keen to pay a bit extra for a formidable 4K HDR picture, however do not wish to drop an arm and a leg on an OLED TV. Let me assist you make that call proper now.The finest image high quality for the cash in 2019 belongs to the mid-priced TCL 6-Series. It’s at the moment $800 for the 65-inch mannequin and $600 for the 55-inch one. No TV I’ve examined in that worth vary, together with the wonderful 2018 model, performs higher. And you’ll be able to positively pay extra for TVs that carry out worse.TCL has improved shade for 2019 due to quantum dots — therefore the point out of “QLED” in TCL’s advertising materials — and revamped the styling a bit. Otherwise the China-based TV maker caught to the identical successful method it used final yr: Great image high quality paired with Roku TV. The 6-Series has wonderful distinction, loads of brightness and minimal blooming, beating different wonderful units such because the Vizio M8 and Samsung Q70 by a hair in general picture high quality. And TCL’s built-in Roku, my favourite sensible TV system, beats these TVs’ streaming techniques handily.
    If you need a greater image than this TCL your subsequent cease when it comes to worth is one thing just like the TCL 8-Series, Vizio’s P-Series Quantum X or an excellent higher-end Samsung QLED. I have not reviewed these but so I can not say for certain how a lot better their photos can be, however I understand how a lot they price: lots of greater than the 6-Series, with some approaching the value of OLED TVs just like the LG B9. I really feel snug saying none of these TVs will method the worth proposition of this TCL, and no cheaper TV performs higher. That’s why the 2019 TCL 6-Series earns the CNET Editors’ Choice award.DesignThe TCL 6-Series definitely does not look low-cost. The sheet of glass fronting the display runs all the best way to the perimeters alongside the highest and sides for a clear, minimalist look. The metallic backside edge is thicker and barely brighter grey, matching the stand legs. Seen from the facet the TV is an unapologetic rectangular slab, not the steadily thickening cupboard discovered on opponents. As a end result the 6-Series seems to be chunkier and a bit much less fashionable from off-angle.Those stand legs are perched on the excessive edges of the TV, one other uncommon transfer. You’ll want a pleasant broad tabletop or stand — 57 inches broad the the 65-inch pattern I reviewed — to help it. Of course like several TV you too can wall-mount the 6-Series.
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Why Roku TV rocksI’m a fan of Roku TV, for causes I’ve documented extensively in earlier evaluations. Here’s the quick listing of causes to adore it: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 another sensible TV system.4K Spotlight and 4K apps class make discovering 4K content material simpler.Cross-platform search covers many providers, permits worth comparisons.More Ways To Watch suggests streaming exhibits in antenna program information.Can pause dwell TV from an antenna supply (and a USB stick).My overview pattern did not get Roku’s newest software program but, model 9.2, however when that occurs just a few different nifty options, together with a voice-activated sleep timer and curated content material “zones,” will seem. Check out my writeup of Roku’s 2019 gamers for extra new additions, and my overview of my favourite 4K Roku machine, the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, for different particulars on Roku itself. One factor at the moment lacking from the Roku platform generally and this TCL TV specifically — and out there on competing sensible TVs from Vizio, Samsung and LG — is help for Apple’s AirPlay system. Samsung TVs additionally at the moment supply Apple’s TV app. Apple says the TV app can be out there on Roku in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later.
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    The 6-Series contains the straightforward Roku distant with built-in voice management (in contrast to final yr TCL hasn’t introduced a less expensive variant that lacks the voice distant). Roku’s voice perform is not practically as strong as Amazon Alexa, discovered on Fire Edition TVs for instance, nevertheless it labored high quality for searches, 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.Key TV options

    Display know-how


    LED backlight

    Full array with native dimming



    HDR appropriate

    HDR10 and Dolby Vision

    Smart TV

    Roku TV



    The most vital image high quality further is full-array native dimming, which TCL calls Contrast Control Zone know-how, nevertheless it means the identical factor. The 6-Series has loads of zones for the value: 100 zones for the 55-incher and 120 zones for the 65-incher. If you are protecting observe that is 4 extra zones and the identical quantity as final yr, respectively. It’s barely higher than the Vizio M8, which has 90 zones in each sizes. Having extra dimming zones does 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 components of the picture that must be brighter from the components that must be darker. It helps remove “blooming,” the place a shiny space can lighten one which must be darkish. TCL’s mini-LED system, out there on the high-end 8-Series, takes this to an excessive.Like that Vizio and the Samsung QLED TVs, the 6-Series additionally makes use of quantum dots — its largest on-paper benefit over its 2018 predecessor. Those dots are microscopic nanocrystals that glow a selected wavelength (shade, for instance) when given power. They enhance shade in comparison with non-QD-equipped TVs. My measurements confirmed barely higher shade within the 2019 6-Series than final yr’s mannequin, and it appeared extra correct in my comparisons.Just like 2018’s mannequin, the 6-Series helps each Dolby Vision and HDR10 excessive dynamic vary codecs. These days principally the one producer that does not is Samsung.The TV additionally touts a spec referred to as “Natural Motion 240,” however as normal, that is a made-up quantity. The 6-Series has a 60Hz native panel and might’t match the movement efficiency of true 120Hz TVs, just like the Vizio P-Series Quantum, the Samsung Q70 and Sony X950G. Note that TCL did not announce a 75-inch model of the 2019 6-Series but. It introduced that measurement individually in January at CES (a TV that occurred to have a 120Hz refresh price), so maybe it can accomplish that once more at CES 2020. 
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Around again you will discover a wholesome set of jacks.4 HDMI inputs (HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2)1 analog (composite) video input1 USB port (2.0)Ethernet (wired web)1 headphone jack1 optical digital audio output1 RF (antenna) inputAlthough the 2019 6-Series provides a fourth HDMI enter in comparison with the 2018 mannequin’s three, this TCL nonetheless lacks HDMI 2.1 extras discovered on some opponents equivalent to auto sport mode and variable refresh price, however most patrons will not miss them. The headphone jack is a pleasant contact, and in contrast to cheaper Roku units, this one has Ethernet, too.

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