TCL 6-Sequence 2020 Roku TV overview: Improved image, unbelievable worth


The brand new TCL 6-Sequence Roku TV has massive sneakers to fill. For two years operating it has been my favourite TV for on a regular basis consumers, with glorious picture high quality, class-leading smarts and an reasonably priced worth. The 2020 model provides a brand new backlight system powered by mini-LED, improved gaming options and a 75-inch measurement, but retains the associated fee reasonably priced. The result’s the perfect image high quality for the cash I’ve examined this yr.

Like

  • Wonderful total picture high quality
  • Superior brightness for the worth
  • Nice recreation mode efficiency
  • Roku sensible TV is straightforward, succesful

Do not Like

  • Some points with low-light dimming
  • No Peacock, HBO Max or Apple AirPlay

These mini-LEDs maximize brightness, main to raised photographs in shiny rooms and with HDR. Native dimming, in the meantime, manages to maintain black ranges darkish and total distinction very good — though it is not good. And avid gamers will recognize the brand new THX Licensed recreation mode, which serves up quick response time with minimal lag and glorious picture high quality.


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In comparison with the 2019 6-Sequence, which continues to be a superb TV if you’ll find one in inventory, the 2020 model is healthier in just about each method and price an additional $100 or so on the 65-inch measurement. The brand new 6-Sequence is not pretty much as good because the 2019 TCL 8-Sequence, nonetheless, which has a good brighter picture and higher native dimming. Usually there is a massive worth hole between the 2 however when the 8-Sequence is on sale — because it usually appears to be — video high quality snobs who do not need to spring for OLED ought to most likely select the Eight as a substitute.

I am going to replace this overview when I’ve the prospect to check out extra 2020 TVs — coming quickly — however going into the vacation season the TCL 6-Sequence is already robust to beat, particularly as soon as the standard November worth drops kick in.

Grey steel physique, adjustable toes

TCL’s midrange TVs have a way more polished look than their finances units and the brand new 6-Sequence isn’t any exception. The slim body across the picture and thicker backside edge are darkish grey textured steel, with refined TCL and Roku logos. Not-so-subtle is the large accent gentle under the central emblem — it turns off once you activate the TV, fortunately, however I want there was a solution to disable it totally (Replace: you’ll be able to! Go to Settings, System, Energy, and switch off the Standby LED. Because of commenter chazzsubscribe).

New for 2019 is a dual-position stand leg association on the 65- and 75-inch sizes that allows you to place the legs both out towards the sting of the panel, as seen within the photographs right here, or extra towards the middle. Each additionally embrace a cable cozy within the legs that allow you to kinda conceal HDMI, energy and different connectors.

TCL 6-Series 2020 Roku TV 65R635

David Katzmaier/CNET

Hiya, Roku (now with Peacock), goodbye, HBO Max

I am a fan of Roku TV, for causes I’ve documented extensively in earlier evaluations. Here is the quick record why:

  • Frequent updates and have enhancements.
  • Easy menus with full customization, together with enter naming.
  • Inputs on the identical residence web page as TV apps.
  • Extra apps (and 4K HDR apps) than some other sensible TV system.
  • Cross-platform search covers many providers and permits worth comparisons.

Like different Roku gadgets the TCL 6-Sequence is at the moment lacking an app for HBO Max. HBO subscribers can nonetheless watch HBO exhibits utilizing the usual HBO app, however will not get entry to Max-specific exhibits resembling Mates or Love Life. The TV now features a Peacock app, nonetheless.

In a difficulty first delivered to my consideration by a reader, the 635’s Amazon app would not but ship HDR. TCL says Roku is conscious of the difficulty and dealing on a repair with Amazon. I am going to replace this part when that occurs.

One other factor at the moment lacking from the Roku platform — and obtainable on competing sensible TVs from Vizio, Samsung and LG — is assist for Apple’s AirPlay system. The Apple TV app, which incorporates entry to Apple TV Plus, is on-board.

TCL 6-Series 2020 Roku TV 65R635

David Katzmaier/CNET

The 6-Sequence consists of the easy Roku distant with built-in voice management. Roku’s voice perform is not almost as strong as Amazon Alexa, discovered on Fireplace Version TVs, for instance, but it surely labored advantageous 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.

Mini-LED leads an enormous record of options

Mini-LEDs are, as you might need guessed, smaller than customary LEDs, permitting them to be grouped into extra native dimming zones. Full-array native dimming is one of the best ways to enhance image high quality on LCD TVs. It permits the backlight — the half behind the LCD display that gives illumination — to dim and illuminate totally different areas concurrently. Smaller areas, or extra dimming zones, imply extra exact illumination, which in the end will increase distinction, a very powerful ingredient in a very good image.

Key TV options

Show know-how LED LCD (Mini-LED)
LED backlight Full array with native dimming
Variety of zones 55-inch: 128, 65-inch: 160, 75-inch: 240
Decision 4K
HDR suitable HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient
Sensible TV Roku TV
Distant Voice

TCL continues to be the one TV maker to make use of mini-LED know-how, first within the 8-Sequence and now within the 6-Sequence, however specs on the 6-Sequence aren’t almost as spectacular. The cheaper 6 has round 1,000 LEDs and 240 zones on the 75-inch measurement, whereas the dearer Eight has 10,000 mini-LEDs and 1,000 zones. That is seemingly the most important cause the 6-Sequence did not carry out in addition to the 8-Sequence in my assessments.

Learn extra: Mini-LED is right here: How smaller lights may result in massive TV enhancements

The 2020 Vizio P-Sequence might be the brand new 6-Sequence’ closest competitor and it truly has extra native dimming zones than the TCL — 200 on the 65-inch measurement. The Hisense H9G matches the TCL with 160 zones on the 65-inch measurement, whereas different TV makers like Sony and Samsung do not specify variety of zones. 

One other enchancment over the 2019 6-Sequence is a real 120Hz refresh charge on all sizes within the collection, which ends up in higher movement efficiency. Like most TVs in its class right this moment the 6-Sequence makes use of quantum dots that assist enhance coloration in comparison with non-QD-equipped TVs. And naturally it helps each Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10 excessive dynamic vary codecs. Today mainly the one producer that does not is Samsung.

TCL 6-Series 2020 Roku TV 65R635

David Katzmaier/CNET

Inputs are ample:

  • 4x HDMI inputs
  • 1x analog (composite) video enter
  • 1x USB port (2.0)
  • Ethernet (wired web)
  • 1x headphone jack
  • 1x optical digital audio output
  • 1x RF (antenna) enter

The 2020 6-Sequence helps Auto Sport Mode that engages the brand new THX Licensed recreation mode routinely when related to a suitable machine. New for this yr it additionally has variable refresh charge and the flexibility to simply accept body charges as much as 120Hz. The latter are each necessary capabilities of the upcoming PS5 and Xbox consoles, however hardcore avid gamers ought to notice that the 6-Sequence lacks the flexibility to do 4K decision 120Hz with HDR, as a substitute maxing out at 1440p decision. The Vizio P-Sequence and Sony X900H, in the meantime, can deal with 4K/120 with HDR. I am undecided how massive a distinction it’s going to make however I plan to check the brand new TVs with these consoles once they come out.

Image high quality comparisons

TCL 6-Series 2020 Roku TV 65R635

Click on the picture above to see CNET’s image settings.


David Katzmaier/CNET

Whereas the TCL 6-Sequence put out a superb picture, I can not say but the way it competes in opposition to the 2020 Vizio and Hisense units talked about above, since I have never reviewed them but. In opposition to the TVs I’ve reviewed, nonetheless, its total image is healthier than some other set that earned an Eight on this class — but not fairly worthy of the 9 I gave the brighter and dearer 8-Sequence and Vizio PX from final yr, not to mention OLED fashions just like the CX that earned a 10. The brand new 6-Sequence nails the fundamentals and appears nice for gaming, however some points with dimming in choose scenes held it again just a little.

Dim lighting: With customary Blu-ray and different SDR content material calibrated for a darkish room, the TVs appeared very related, and any variations can be robust to tell apart outdoors of a side-by-side comparability. Total the Sony confirmed barely lighter black ranges than the TCLs, for a barely much less impactful and contrasty picture, and between the three TCLs the 8-Sequence appeared finest by a nostril.

Watching 1917 on Blu-ray, for instance, after the soldier awakens in chapter 13 (1:06:38), the 635’s letterbox bars and shadows appeared more true and extra inky than the Sony’s, whereas I may discern extra of the folds of his uniform and partitions within the background than on the 625. In the meantime the 635 and the 8-Sequence had been closest of all, with the one actual distinction being barely higher shadow element on the 8-Sequence.

Throughout the extraordinarily darkish assault on Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 635 once more appeared finest apart from the 8-Sequence. In comparison with the 625 from 2019 its black ranges had been very barely worse however shadow element was considerably higher, and all three TCLs maintained black ranges higher than the Sony. 

In content material vulnerable to blooming, for instance once I introduced up the playback controls throughout a black display, the TCLs all did a greater job controlling the stray illumination than the Sony, which lit up bigger parts of the picture. The 635 did present blooming extra with brighter content material, nonetheless, together with HDR (see under).

Vibrant lighting: The TCL 6-Sequence is the brightest TV I’ve ever measured at this worth. Brighter TVs just like the 8-Sequence and the Vizio PX value much more — as do quite a few dimmer examples just like the Sony X900H. 

Mild output in nits

TV Brightest (SDR) Correct coloration (SDR) Brightest (HDR) Correct coloration (HDR)
Vizio PX65-G1 1,990 1,120 2,908 2,106
TCL 65Q825 1,653 904 1,818 982
TCL 65R635 1,114 792 1,292 1,102
Sony XBR-65X900H 841 673 989 795
TCL 65R625 653 578 881 813
Vizio M658-G1 633 400 608 531
LG OLED65CX 377 290 690 634

The TCL’s brightest settings, “TV Brightness: brighter” and “Image mode: Vivid,” (or “Vibrant HDR” for HDR content material) are terribly inaccurate. An correct bright-room image is laudably straightforward to realize, nonetheless. Simply change the mode to “Film” or “Darkish HDR” mode, which reduces gentle output however delivers a significantly better picture. 

Beneath shiny lighting the 2020 6-Sequence’ TCL’s display carried out a bit higher than final yr’s mannequin, in addition to the Sony, at mitigating reflections and preserving black ranges and distinction. Total its bright-room picture is simply as spectacular for the worth as its residence theater image.

Shade accuracy: In accordance with my measurements the TCL 635’s coloration was glorious earlier than calibration in Film mode and even higher afterward. Watching 1917, for essentially the most half I would name its coloration glorious as nicely, as indicated by the numbers. It did seem barely much less saturated than the opposite three at occasions, for instance, within the faces of the troopers or the reddish glow of the firelight. Usually the distinction was minimal, nonetheless, and in different scenes it was a lot much less seen.

Video processing: The 6-Sequence is a 120Hz native TV with loads of choices for dealing with movement. The obvious is Motion Smoothing which has 4 settings. In Off the TV delivers appropriate 1080p/24 movie cadence however within the different settings, Low and better, it causes the TV to have the buttery smoothness of the Cleaning soap Opera Impact.

These different settings, “Motion Readability” and “LED Movement Readability,” have an effect on movement decision and work together with each other. The excellent news is that attaining most movement decision would not require SOE. Once I toggled LED Movement Readability on, participating black body insertion, and cranked Motion Readability to Excessive, I measured a wholesome 1,080 traces of decision — excellent, albeit not so good as the Sony or another 120Hz TVs I’ve examined. Turning LED Movement Readability off reduces decision out at 600 traces. I most popular to depart AC on Excessive and switch LED Movement Readability off as a result of the latter dims the picture barely and launched some flicker. Viewers very averse to blur would possibly need to go away it on, nonetheless.

In comparison with final yr the 2020 6-Sequence added a pair milliseconds of gaming enter lag, clocking in at round 18/19ms for each 1080p and 4K HDR in recreation mode. Twitch avid gamers would possibly discover, however no one else will. That stated, the probabilities of noticing lag go method up for anyone who would not use recreation mode in 4K HDR: I measured 134ms (!) in 4K with recreation mode turned off.

“Sport mode” is definitely one other complicated setting on the 2020 6-Sequence. You’ll be able to apply it to any image mode (resembling Film) or select the precise “Gaming”https://www.cnet.com/”Gaming HDR” image mode, which invokes THX’s particular sauce. In each circumstances enter lag was mainly the identical.

Uniformity: With take a look at patterns the 2020 6-Sequence was stable with out an excessive amount of brightness variation throughout the display: barely higher alongside the perimeters than the 2019 6-Sequence and higher within the center than the Sony. One blemish on my overview pattern was a pair of very barely darker spots within the center proper. They had been fairly refined: I solely observed them on take a look at patterns and demanding materials like hockey. From off-angle the 65R635 preserved extra black degree constancy than the 625 and the Sony, whereas off-angle coloration was much like the opposite TCLs and worse than the Sony.

HDR and 4K video: As typical with shiny, contrasty HDR materials I noticed extra variations than with SDR. To get a baseline I began with the video montage from the Spears and Munsil 4K HDR benchmark disc, and the 635’s benefits stood out over the Sony and the 2019 6-Sequence. Within the cityscape scenes just like the Ferris wheel at night time (4:49), the 635’s highlights appeared brighter than the opposite TCL, whereas the black ranges of the sky and shadows had been considerably darker than the Sony. In the meantime the 8-series appeared better of all, with blacks as darkish because the 635 and brighter highlights.

In troublesome scenes with objects in opposition to black backgrounds all three TCLs confirmed related inky black ranges however the highlights had been fairly visibly totally different. The 635 was constantly brighter than both the Sony or the 625 (the pen at 4:12 was a very good instance) and dimmer than the 8-Sequence. In principally white scenes, just like the mountains and the horses grazing within the snowfield, the 2020 635 once more measured the brightest apart from the 8-Sequence.

As with SDR the 635’s coloration did seem barely much less impactful and saturated at occasions, notably orange just like the sunsets or the wings of a monarch butterfly at 3:51. And similar to with SDR the distinction was refined and the sort of factor I would not discover outdoors of a side-by-side comparability. And in different scenes, just like the crimson, inexperienced and yellow of the tulip area, the 635 appeared simply as vibrant and punchy as the opposite three. 

Shifting on to the 1917 4K Blu-ray disc it was principally the identical story, however in a few blended shiny and darkish scenes that basically take a look at native dimming, the 635 stumbled. When the troopers meet the final within the bunker (5:20), the 635 confirmed extra blooming and stray illumination within the troopers silhouettes, the shadows and letterbox bars than the others. I attempted decreasing the brightness setting from Brighter (which I like to recommend for HDR on this TV on the whole) to Regular (which put it at roughly the identical total gentle output because the 2019 TCL) and or Darker (the dimmest possibility and far dimmer than both one). If I had to decide on between the Sony’s lighter black ranges and the 635’s blooming, I would nonetheless take the 635, however each of the opposite TCLs dealt with this scene higher.

And as typical the impact different fairly a bit. Within the subsequent darkish bunker scene, round 25:45, the 635’s blooming was a lot much less noticeable, maybe due to the way in which the flashlights and digicam moved by way of the rooms. However within the Chapter 13 awakening scene the TCL 635 was mainly unwatchable: its dimming kicked in aggressively to crush nearly all of the shadow element within the scene, the uniform and background had been invisible and blooming rampant. Altering the image mode to Vibrant HDR reclaimed a lot of the element however made different facets of the picture look worse, particularly in brighter scenes. The 625 appeared a bit higher (however not nice) throughout this scene, the 8-Sequence appeared considerably higher, whereas the Sony appeared the perfect regardless of its lighter black ranges, displaying minimal native dimming results.

HDR coloration throughout 1917 confirmed the Sony because the palest and least saturated of the three on this pale and unsaturated film, and to my eye the 635 and 8-Sequence appeared essentially the most balanced. HDR coloration accuracy measurements gave the Sony the benefit over the 635.

4K HDR gaming: For this take a look at I performed The Final of Us Half 2 on a PS4 Professional within the TVs’ numerous Sport modes: Gaming HDR (aka THX-certified Sport Mode) for the 635, Darkish HDR/Brighter/”Sport mode” toggle on for the opposite two TCLs and Sport mode on the Sony. In my comparability THX Sport mode did a superb job of balancing picture high quality and low enter lag.

In these settings the 635 had the perfect distinction, brightest highlights and most punch of the bunch — the opposite three appeared extra washed-out. While you’re crawling round a darkish constructing searching zombies, nonetheless, shadow element is extra necessary than black degree and distinction, as a result of it lets you peer into darkish recesses to identify enemies. By that measure the Sony was higher than the 635, delivering each ounce of element within the darkest shadows whereas the 635 was a bit extra shrouded, albeit nonetheless higher than the opposite two. If I wished most zombie-spot potential on I would set the sport’s Distinction slider a bit decrease.

Shifting out into the day-lit Seattle streets the 635 once more appeared finest total due to superior distinction, which as typical helped colours pop. In fact you’ll be able to reclaim the native distinction of the opposite TCLs by turning off the Sport mode toggle however the trade-off is excessive enter lag  — which was insupportable as I performed the sport. 

Geek Field

Take a look at Consequence Rating
Black luminance (0%) 0.005 Good
Peak white luminance (SDR) 1114 Good
Avg. gamma (10-100%) 2.2 Good
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%) 0.44 Good
Darkish grey error (30%) 0.40 Good
Vibrant grey error (80%) 0.54 Good
Avg. coloration checker error 1.60 Good
Avg. saturation sweeps error 1.56 Good
Avg. coloration error 1.39 Good
Purple error 1.36 Good
Inexperienced error 2.16 Good
Blue error 1.61 Good
Cyan error 1.29 Good
Magenta error 1.17 Good
Yellow error 0.72 Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Go Good
Movement decision (max) 1080 Good
Movement decision (dejudder off) 600 Common
Enter lag (Sport mode) 19ms Common
HDR10
Black luminance (0%) 0.011 Good
Peak white luminance (10% win) 1292 Good
Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976) 96.51 Good
ColorMatch HDR error 10.91 Poor
Avg. coloration checker error 4.96 Common
Enter lag (Sport mode, 4K HDR) 18.27ms Common

TCL 65R635 CNET overview calibration outcomes by David Katzmaier on Scribd





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