My TCL 55R615 4K TV Review

homebrew2ny

Senior member
Jan 3, 2013
577
0
91
#1
With all the Buzz surrounding these TV's (good & bad), I thought I would post up a review for the laymen, by a laymen on the new TCL 55R615 (2018 model) 4K TV ( review here https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/tcl/6-series-2018-r617 ) TV. For a bit of context I am coming from a calibrated PN59D5500 as seen here ( https://www.digitaltrends.com/tv-reviews/samsung-pn59d550-review/ ). So as you can imagine my hopes were high. Ok, on to the review.

THE UNBOXING

From what I understand, this years box is slightly larger than last years packaging. I assume this was done to help better protect the TV and the new brushed metal bezel/back. The entire box lifts off a cardboard base and everything is neatly and nicely packed, offering a very easy and convenient unpacking. Once open and out, plastic sheets cover all the metal so that needs to be peeled. I had the box open, and the
TV (including parts) out in less than 3 minutes. Other items including a roku remote, batteries, manual, and such are in a plastic bag.

PUTTING TOGETHER

The TV has what I think are nice, sturdy legs that screw in to place at the corner/edges of the base. They make the TV stand almost as wide as the TV so one has to be careful if not wall mounting, as the stand needs to be as wide as the TV to properly fit. However, you can indeed install the feet inward to save nearly 12 inches of width and the TV remains as sturdy as before (I tested that myself). It took all of 2 minutes to install the feet, 2 screws each, and snugly fitted in to recessed area(s) covered with a plastic cover for when wall mounting (I wall mounted it after testing out the feet)

FIRST IMPRESSION

After it was opened and together, I was very impressed with the clean neat design. The almost edgeless design is very sleek and in my humble opinion has a very high end look and feel to it. The screen, which I believe is a matte finish was blemish free and the overall aesthetics of the unit was very nice! Note, the entire back is not metal. The top half of the back and the edges are, but the bottom half back in plastic. However this did not take away anything for me.

SET UP

Set up was a breeze. After I had it hung, and all connections/components plugged in (and on), I was walked through a quick update, then a handful of easy set up options. WiFi password, location, input naming, ect... All told, in 5 minutes (including update) I was up and running. It took an additional minute or 2 getting my sound bar to work via an ARC adjustment, but other than that, it was very simple and straight forward.

AUDIO

As I mentioned, I use a sound bar ( a samsung 5.1 set up) but did test the on board sound a bit and it was not horrible. It had a pretty natural sound but as most TV's it was a bit thin and lacked proper bass. If you are use to using your TV's on board speakers, these will not disappoint but not blow you away either.

VIDEO / PICTURE QUALITY

Let me just get this out of the way, the picture quality is amazing. Dosent matter if it is gaming (tested both my PS4 & XBOX1), or cabel TV, or Netflix, or Youtube. Everything looked MUCH better. The clolor are amazing, the brights and darks are exceptional, and it has actually exceeded my hopes for a major upgrade in PQ. Having said that, I want to get in to more of the specifics.

GAMING – I believe this was tested at a sub 20ms input lag, so as expected it is very fluid and responsive, no lag to be noticed. I have only gamed in 1080P but everything I tested (FC5, Skyrim, Madden 18) looked noticeably better. I am actually giddy to be able to test 4K gaming in the near future.

4K – All I can say is WOW! I tested out many Youtube videos and a handful of Netflix streams and was absolutely blown away. Although I will say upfront I think I prefer HDR10 to Dolby Vision as DV comes off a bit too dark for me). However, at worst the 4K was impressive no matter the content and at best it was next level stuff. I was actually smiling while testing it out, out of sheer happiness.

UNIFORMITY/BANDING – If you have any other user reviews you will see that some are having issues with this panel. Luckily I am not one of them. If I look really hard at an all white screen I can perhaps barely make out some gradient of vertical banding, but in no other situation can I see it regardless the content. Some are also seeing some DSE (Dirty Screen Effect) and I see none of that in any situation. However, and again, on a pure white screen I believe I can see some ever so slight corner shading but in any other situation it is not noticeable at all. I consider all of the things mentioned acceptable and perhaps even normal, and once again, in no other situation can any of these things be noticed during viewing.

VIEWING ANGLES – I find the viewing angles very nice. While in my living room, I am never more than 45 degrees off center and within that parameter there is no noticeable degradation. Even when entering the room I am at about 70 degrees and it still looks perfectly fine to me.

INTERFACE

I LOVE the interface! Its the basic Roku interface with additional tiles for inputs, but it is very easy and intuitive to use. On my old TV I was using a Roku Premier+ and I literally see zero difference in response, load times, ect... Switching inputs is quick and simple, and the tile/thumbnail even shows you a live preview of the input when you highlight it.

REMOTE CONTROL

I love the simplicity of the Roku remote, so it was very easy for me to use. However, I will say that the build quality of the TV's Roku remote feels like a tick lower that that of my Roku Premier+ stand alone remote. Nothing major but a slight disappointment. All in all it still feels good and works well. Note though, its a line of sight remote...

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

I was nervous at the 60 hertz panel but so far it has blown me away, showing no adverse effects one might worry about. Everything I have watched, including sports, has been fluid and spot on with no sign of ghosting, stuttering, ect... I have not tested it myself but I understand this panel also supports chroma 4:4:4. All in all, I am blown away TCL delivered as promised and for only $599+tax I have a TV I am once again excited to watch. Thanks for reading my review and I hope this finds some well.
 

RearAdmiral

Golden Member
Jun 24, 2004
1,974
2
91
#2
Nice thank you for the review! I've been considering this TV. It might soon be time to retire my KRP500M :(
 
Dec 12, 2001
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#3
Dolby Vision is darker because it's tone mapping the entire picture and not clipping detail at the peak brightness of the set like many TVs do with HDR10. Tone mapping allows you to see more of the detail in the scene vs clipping. The peak brightness of highlights is the same but the APL(average picture level) is changed.
 
Oct 18, 1999
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#4
I have last years model and I love it. I play GTAV (PC version) at 4k and 60hz and it looks amaing on this TV. My 4k bluerays look amazing after tweaking the TVs settings. And I have 100s of dvd rips on a usb 3.1 ssd drive and this TV upscales them beautifully! I don't use the remote at all as I have a harmony remote but I also use the ROKU app on all my devices. Works great but the sound to roku app device always jitters but I rarely use it.
 

homebrew2ny

Senior member
Jan 3, 2013
577
0
91
#5
Thanks for the replies.

Now that I have had it for a bit, and fine tuned all my prefrences, I can double down on my first impressions that this is a fantastic TV. I find myself rewatching movies just for the new expierence this TV offers. The pq is that good.

Also my initial opinion on Dolby Vizion is now moot as I simply adjusted the settings to my liking and now it too is mind blowing.
 
Nov 11, 2004
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#6
Just purchased this today on a sale at Best Buy. I currently have a Samsung 55KU6300 which has been ok but sucks for any fast motion and only has one full HDMI 2.0 port so this should be a decent upgrade when it arrives later next week. Definitely excited to try it out.
 
Nov 27, 2001
28,724
2
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#7
Now that I have had it for a bit, and fine tuned all my prefrences, I can double down on my first impressions that this is a fantastic TV. I find myself rewatching movies just for the new expierence this TV offers. The pq is that good.
I'll admit that when I saw the stats on the TV, I got a bit jealous that my P605, which is last year's model, is similar yet significantly weaker in some areas. Also, it's nice that this generation has some sizing options. Last year was supposed to feature a 50", 55" and 65", but TCL cancelled everything except for the 55". I use the TCL in my bedroom, and since I use a computer on it, having a larger TV is nicer for smaller text... especially from a distance.
 

homebrew2ny

Senior member
Jan 3, 2013
577
0
91
#8
I'll admit that when I saw the stats on the TV, I got a bit jealous that my P605, which is last year's model, is similar yet significantly weaker in some areas. Also, it's nice that this generation has some sizing options. Last year was supposed to feature a 50", 55" and 65", but TCL cancelled everything except for the 55". I use the TCL in my bedroom, and since I use a computer on it, having a larger TV is nicer for smaller text... especially from a distance.
I was very close to getting the p605, but wound up holding out. However, from what I understand, the R615 although newer and a bit better, is not a major upgrade image wise from the p605. I am sure you are enjoying yours!
 
Nov 27, 2001
28,724
2
126
#9
I was very close to getting the p605, but wound up holding out. However, from what I understand, the R615 although newer and a bit better, is not a major upgrade image wise from the p605. I am sure you are enjoying yours!
I think the biggest thing is that the P605 is so far from the brightness of my Sony TV that it's really noticeably different. While I can't say for sure without trying an R615, since the numbers on Rtings are significantly closer, the experience in HDR/DV content ought to be much better. I decided to get a bit nerdy about it and take the brightness levels on Rtings for the P607, R617 and the X930E. Comparing the P607 to the X930E came up with an average performance of 53% (P607 / X930E). Comparing the R617 to the P605 came up with an average performance of 180% (R617/P605). Comparing the R617 to the X930E came up with an average performance of 87% (R617/X930E). In their synthetic tests, the R617 and the X930E actually traded blows quite a bit, but the X930E crushes both TVs in the "Real Scene Peak Brightness" test with 1442 (X930E) vs. 840 (R617) vs. 489 (P607).

Now, do all these numbers matter in a lot of cases? Eh, not really. But if you want a good TV for your living room, and you'd love to see what all that hype around HDR is all about, you'll want the TV that's closer to hitting the 1000 nit mark.
 

Brule

Golden Member
Apr 23, 2004
1,357
0
76
#10
Thanks for the excellent review, I've been eyeballing this set since it was announced. My question is at this same price point sits the 4 series 65" TCL. Given that it'll be in a dark room and viewing angle won't be a major issue for me, I'm wondering if the 6 series is worth it? Have you perhaps had a chance to view a 4 series for comparison? This is somewhat subjective, but trying to compare the two in a bright store is useless.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
 

homebrew2ny

Senior member
Jan 3, 2013
577
0
91
#11
Hey Brule, indeed I have seen the TV is action, but it was at a store. I can say that for the money it may be the best or near best 65" tv on the market but that title is for the low end...

Keep in mind that the s405 has no local dimming and no dolby vision, and most reviews I read on it stated that 4k and hdr10 offered no great leap in pq on the set.

My personal opinion is that the picture on the s405 was ok, but compared to anything else slightly higher end, it left a bit to be desired.
 
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