You need to love how easy TCL has made its line-up this yr – there are simply 4 collection: the D-Sequence, S-Sequence, the P-Sequence and the C-Sequence. 

The D-Sequence is for the worth prospects – the parents who’re combing the newspaper adverts on Black Friday on the lookout for the most cost effective screens. The P-Sequence, adversely, is all about efficiency. The TCL P607 was one among our favourite screens of 2017 for that purpose. The S-Sequence is form of the in-between. It has some neat options, but it surely’s nonetheless tremendous reasonably priced.

So what’s the cope with TCL’s C-Sequence? The ‘C’ stands for up to date design. The very apparent implication right here is that it’s a TV that appears good – and it does – however greater than that the up to date design is true to its identify, providing each an hooked up sound system hidden behind a mesh grille and a bevy of ports that may join as much as four HDMI sources. 

If all that isn’t up to date sufficient for you, it comes with Dolby Vision and Roku TV built-in, two trendy TV applied sciences that assist the C-Sequence compete with screens that price twice as a lot. 

This expertise, alongside the exceptionally glossy design, make the C-Sequence a TV worthy of an audition in your house theater. That mentioned, there are only a few issues with it that it’s best to learn about earlier than going all-in on this display screen. 

Design

One space that you just gained’t discover a difficulty is the general trim of the TV – it’s slim, glossy and appears nice sitting on a house leisure heart. 

The TV is available in three variations: a 55-inch and 65-inch model, plus a newly introduced 75-inch mannequin. The mannequin we’ve chosen for assessment is the manageable – and decently reasonably priced – 55C807, which is available in at $649.  

The distinguishing elements for the C-Sequence is the tremendous trim bezel, hooked up soundbar and microphone-equipped distant that means that you can use voice search on Roku TV. (Should you can stay with out that final characteristic, contemplate selecting up the marginally cheaper C803.) The extra audio piece supplies a considerable enhance to the TV’s sound, but it surely additionally makes the TV a bit chunky across the sides and never one thing you’d have hanging in your wall.

Spin the TV all the way in which round to the again and also you’ll discover loads of ports: three HDMI 2.zero ports with HDCP 2.2, one HDMI 2.zero port with ARC, one USB port plus AV In, three.5mm out, Digital Optical Audio and an Ethernet port. It’s about the most effective you’re going to do with out hooking a display screen as much as a multi-channel receiver. 

To prop the TV up, the C-Sequence comes with a set of two metallic legs that slide into the chassis with relative ease. The entire setup course of takes lower than 5 minutes, with the toughest half being registering the TV with Roku. (That’s not laborious both, particularly in case you already you’ve owned a Roku participant in some unspecified time in the future in your life.) 

The one key drawback with the design isn’t one thing TCL included, however slightly one thing that didn’t make its method to the display screen: an anti-reflective coating. With out it, glare turns into a severe subject for the display screen – particularly in case you place the display screen in a front room close to a window. Sadly, which means in case you can’t create a totally darkish atmosphere on your display screen, remember that you’ll most likely encounter some type of glare throughout day-time use.

Design TL;DR: The trim of the TV is exceptionally glossy and ultra-minimal. It packs loads of ports, an hooked up soundbar and a microphone-equipped distant in case you go for the higher-end C807 mannequin. 

Sensible TV (Roku TV)

Arguably the most effective determination TCL has made in years is backing Roku TV – most likely essentially the most sturdy, egalitarian and secure TV working system on the planet.

Should you’re not acquainted with the platform, image an working system that’s dead-simple to make use of, provides practically each streaming service and infrequently, if ever, crashes. It’s kind of the gold normal in working methods.

To that finish, navigating across the block-heavy interface is easy, with quick access to each app within the dwelling display screen. Can’t discover what you’re on the lookout for? Looking is only a voice command away whereas utilizing the superior microphone geared up distant on the C807. 

The TV additionally comes geared up with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which for these of us who’ve our TV too distant from our router, is a god-send.

New for platform in 2017 is the power to label inputs (labeling one enter as Xbox or DVD Participant as an alternative of Enter 1, and many others…), some extra smartphone options and, for the primary time, Dolby Imaginative and prescient help. 

Dolby Imaginative and prescient means that you can get absolutely the most from the TV by way of efficiency and – whereas monitoring down Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material remains to be a little bit of a problem for the time being – Roku does a very good job highlighting all of the out there content material in a brand new row within the 4K UHD Highlight app. 

On high of the whole lot else, there’s additionally the Roku Channel which supplies free content material (with adverts in between, in fact) from the second you flip the TV on. You normally gained’t discover an up-to-the-minute catalog of film releases, however each as soon as in awhile you’ll discover a gem or two.

Sensible TV TL;DR: Roku TV continues to be the gold normal for TV-based working methods. It won’t be the flashiest OS, but it surely’s easy, clear and open to everybody.

HD/SDR Efficiency

Though 4K/HDR beckons us with its alluring prolonged shade gamut and copious pixel depend, we’re nonetheless sure, for now, to devour most content material in HD/SDR. 

However, fortunately, the excellent news right here is that, regardless of not trying anyplace near nearly as good because the 4K/HDR content material seems to be, HD/SDR content material is palatable right here … even in case you’ll discover a number of main points right here and there with oversaturation and poor upscaling. 

You’ll discover these failings essentially the most when watching live-action content material (amongst different issues, we watched Indiana Jones and the Final Campaign and the Olympic Video games in HD/SDR) and fewer when watching something animated. Animation, by its very nature, performs properly with the C-Sequence vibrant shade palette whereas actual human pores and skin tone tends to skew off-kilter. 

It’s additionally straightforward to simpler to note the lackluster black ranges while you’re watching HD/SDR content material. Any scene that tries to painting true darkness comes out an inky gray – which is partly a limitation of the panel expertise, particularly when stacked towards OLED or the future-facing MicroLED expertise.

Most of those issues come all the way down to the panel expertise TCL has chosen to go along with on the C-Sequence. Edge-lit LED panels are cost-effective, certain, however they usually give rise to uniformity points that plague the display screen. (See: oversaturation.)  

These points detract from the TV viewing expertise and with no higher upscaling engine on-board HD/SDR content material usually seems to be like … effectively, HD/SDR content material.

HD/SDR TL;DR: That is an space the place TCL’s C-Sequence might use some actual enhancements sooner or later. Upscaling, oversaturation and black ranges are all comparatively giant points, and whereas the ensuing pictures are satisfactory, they’re removed from class-leading.

4K/HDR Efficiency

In fact, a 4K HDR TV actually shines when it has 4K HDR content material. To that finish, we’re grateful that Altered Carbon – the brand new Sci-Fi collection on Netflix primarily based on the ebook of the identical identify – was lately launched and out there to observe in Dolby Imaginative and prescient. 

The present is the idyllic check topic. One second you’re looking at a bleak cityscape that might make the cinematographer for Blade Runner resentful, and the subsequent you’re bathed in brilliant neon and even brighter blues of the sky that encompass the Bancroft Mansion. 

In 4K Dolby Imaginative and prescient, colours seemed downright vivid with distinctive distinction and superb readability. Positive, there have been nonetheless points with uniformity and oversaturation (once more, an issue that’s attributed to the panel expertise itself) however they have been at a extra tolerable degree right here. 

Placing apart the great-looking Dolby Imaginative and prescient spec for a second, TCL has finished effectively to deliver a few of its personal clever, proprietary show expertise to the TV, our favourite of which is NBP Photon. This expertise is what brings Extensive Shade Gamut (WCG) to the C-Sequence, and in observe, the outcomes are extraordinary – blues are bluer, greens are greener and so forth. (We’ve our suspicions that that is what causes oversaturation with HD/SDR content material – however, with regards to 4K/HDR, colours look vivid and brilliant, however nonetheless plausible.)

In sum whole, the C-Sequence does much better with 4K/HDR content material than it does with HD/SDR. Dolby Imaginative and prescient and NBP Photon can actually showcase the TV’s stronger fits, and whereas they don’t erase the problems talked about above, they do a improbable job lessening their affect.

4K/HDR TL;DR: Right here’s the place the C-Sequence actually shines. 4K/HDR content material seems to be exceptionally clear, vivid and colourful, thanks in no small half to applied sciences like Dolby Imaginative and prescient and TCL’s proprietary NBP Photon expertise.

Sound

The explanation you’d wish to decide up a C-Sequence display screen as an alternative of the P-Sequence is two-fold. First, you’re in it for the sleeker design. The second purpose, and the extra pragmatic one, is for the improved audio. To that time, hidden beneath the mesh grille is a decently highly effective set of audio system. (We’ll consult with it as a soundbar, though, technically talking, we’re unsure it qualifies.) 

With the soundbar in toe, the C-Sequence ought to theoretically supply an actual benefit over different screens in TCL’s arsenal … it ought to, however in our opinion it doesn’t. Dialogue remains to be tough to listen to at instances, even when the amount is round 50%. You’ll increase the amount with the intention to hear the dialogue, solely to have a sudden burst of sound within the subsequent scene. 

Furthermore, sound can come out a bit muddled if it’s not within the speaker’s tonal candy spot – highs can change into piercing and decrease bass tones change into distorted or much less highly effective than they may very well be with one other set of audio system. The bass response doesn’t kick in till 80Hz or so, and which means a lot of these wall-shaking explosion results come out to be nothing greater than a boring roar.

That’s to not say the built-in choice sounds unhealthy – it doesn’t. It fulfills its position dutifully, if not completely. We simply really feel separate soundbar, usually talking, could be a less expensive resolution and would doubtless sound higher within the overwhelming majority of instances. 

Sound TL;DR: The hooked up audio system on TCL’s C-Sequence wasn’t our favourite. It had some points on the outer limits of the audio spectrum, reproducing dialogue and usually didn’t carry out as much as our expectations. 

Ultimate verdict

If all you’re on the lookout for a low-cost, excellently designed and Dolby Imaginative and prescient-compatible 4K HDR TV, the C-Sequence encapsulates the whole lot you’re on the lookout for. It does the entire above with none points, full cease. However, in case you’re thinking about higher efficiency with HD/SDR content material, audio and a direct-lit LED display screen, effectively, you’ll should look some other place.

All else equal, we’d suggest snatching the improbable (and even cheaper) TCL P-Series P607. It’s solely out there in a single dimension, 55-inches, but it surely provides a direct-lit display screen with 4K HDR, Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Roku TV all for rather less than the 55C807 – simply make sure to provide your individual soundbar.