In this article, we will show you complete TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV Black Friday 2020. This post keeps you updated with the latest features.
Today we’re testing the TCL 5 Series. Unlike the TCL 4 Series, it includes a wide color gamut and supports the Dolby Vision HDR format. It lacks the local dimming and high peak brightness of the TCL 6 series though. We bought the fifty-five-inch S517 to test, but it is also available in a range of sizes between forty-three and sixty-five inches.
We expect these sizes to have very similar picture quality, but larger TVs tend to have more uniformity issues. Some retailers also carry the S515 variation of the 5 series which offers the same picture quality, but a more basic infrared remote that requires line of sight. We’ll start by looking at the design of the TV, and then we’ll focus on the picture quality. We’ll also look at the motion handling and input lag, and then compare to these competing models which are currently available. The TCL 5 Series has a basic design, but it does look fairly sleek due to the thin borders and stylish edges on the plastic stand. The stand is wide, so it does require quite a large table but is also fairly stable. There are no alternative stand positions and it isn’t possible to make the footprint narrower by reversing each leg. The rear of the TV also looks quite sleek. The bottom of the back has a textured plastic finish which looks quite good. The VESA mounting holes are quite low down on the TV which may be a consideration if you want to use an existing mount. The bottom part of the TV is a bit thick, so it will stick out a bit if wall mounted. Inputs are directed out the side, which makes it easy to access if the TV is placed close to a wall. Like other TCL TVs, there is no cable management so many connections out of the TV can look a bit messy. Controls are located under the TCL logo at the front, and provide basic functionality like turning on the TV and switching between inputs. If we look at a thermal image of the TV we can see the bottom gets warm as it is where the edge lighting is located. Now we’ll have a look at the picture quality. We’ll be comparing to currently available TVs, but competing models may change as new TVs are released throughout the year. For an updated comparison with new models as we buy and test them, see the review page on our website which is linked below. Like other TCL TVs we’ve tested, the 5 series has a high native contrast ratio. Even compared to the Samsung NU7100 with a VA panel, the TCL 5 Series can produce blacks which are a bit deeper which is excellent for watching dark scenes in a dark room. This is much better than TVs with IPS panels like the Sony X720E. The TCL 5 Series doesn’t have local dimming, so it can’t produce as deep dark scenes as some higher-end TVs. The higher-end TCL 6 series does though, which is good for those who watch in a dark room. The TCL 5 series has a bad viewing angle – when viewed at an angle the colors shift and the image loses contrast. For those with wide seating, an IPS TV like the Sony X720E is a better choice. The reflection performance of budget TVs is all in about the same ballpark. This should be fine if you don’t have any direct reflections on the TV but if you do have a bright room then reflections may be distracting. Unfortunately, only higher-end models have much better reflection handling. The TCL 5 Series has a decent SDR peak brightness at around 300 nits across all window sizes. This is also about the same for HDR content but isn’t really enough to make HDR highlights stand out. For better HDR brightness performance, the TCL 6 Series offers much better performance than other TVs in the price range. The gray uniformity of our 55” TCL S517 is decent, and we expect this to be typical of most 5 series TVs although it does vary on a unit-by-unit basis. The edges are much darker, and some dirty screen effect is visible near the center. This isn’t as bad as the TCL 6 Series we tested, as we’ve found that usually, edge-lit TVs like the 5 series and Samsung nu7100 have better uniformity. The TCL 5 Series has a wide color gamut. This is great for producing more vivid highlights when watching HDR content. This isn’t as wide as high-end TVs but is still better than most other comparable TVs which don’t offer more saturated colors. The response time of the 5 Series is very good, which produces only a short trail behind fast-moving content, as seen by the short red smear to the left of our logo. This is good for watching sports or playing fast-paced games.
The backlight also doesn’t flicker unless the backlight is turned down very low, so motion appears smooth. The TCL 5 Series doesn’t have the option to insert black frames or flicker the backlight. This is useful on other TVs like the TCL 6 Series, Samsung NU7100 and Sony X720E to clear up fast-paced motion. Depending on your use this may not be much of a downside though, as black frame insertion does produce noticeable flicker and also dims the image considerably. The TCL 5 Series has an excellent low input lag, at about 18 to 20 milliseconds depending on the signal. This feels very responsive and is excellent for gamers on new consoles like the Xbox One S or Ps4 Pro. Like other TCL TVs, the 5 series has the excellent Roku smart platform. It has a clean interface, feels responsive and is easy to use. It contains apps for hundreds of streaming channels, including Netflix, Amazon Video and YouTube. The remote is also small and works well. This remote for the S517 doesn’t require line of sight, but the S515 variation includes a slightly more basic remote which uses infrared and does need to be pointed at the TV. The 5 series has mediocre sound performance, which is typical of most TVs. It also doesn’t get very loud and doesn’t produce much bass. For those who care about sound, an external soundbar or speakers is the way to go. So overall, the 5 series is a decent budget TV. It offers good value for money, especially for HDR content due to the wide color gamut. It isn’t as good as other more expensive TVs though and depending on your use one of these other TVs may be a better pick. The 4 series or S405 is the step below in TCL’s lineup. It doesn’t support a wide color gamut for HDR, and also can’t get as bright to counteract glare. The 5 series is a better TV, especially for HDR, but if you don’t plan to watch HDR content then it may be worth just going for the cheaper TV. The TCL 6 Series offers more advanced features to improve the picture quality, such as local dimming and the ability to produce bright HDR highlights. It also has a black frame insertion feature, which is useful to clear up motion in fast-paced games. It is more expensive but is a better TV overall so if you can afford it then it is the way to go. You can check out the video linked below for our full review. The Samsung NU7100 is a budget model from Samsung. It offers fairly similar performance but usually costs more and doesn’t support a wide color gamut for HDR. As a result, the TCL 5 Series is a better choice for most people. The Sony X720E has worse picture quality when viewed in a dark room due to the low native contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray. It does remain accurate when viewed at an angle though, which is good for those with wide seating. If you’ve got wide seating then the Sony X720E may be a better choice, but otherwise the TCL 5 Series offers better performance. We haven’t tested Vizio’s 2018 TVs so we don’t know how they compare. We will update the description below after we test them, and we’ll also include a link to a direct comparison on our website. So that’s it! You can check out all of the measurements on our website. If you like this video, subscribe to our channel, or become a contributor. Also, we are currently hiring in our offices in Montreal for various positions. So, if you want to help people find the best product for their needs, have a look at the careers