In January, we named the 55-inch 6 Series TCL TV, the 55P607 (the 2017 model), the best value for a TV under $1,000, and now TCL has upgraded its 6 Series for 2018. Better yet, the company is selling its new 2018 model Series 6 TVs for the same price as last year's models - $649 for 55-inch 55R617 and $999 for the 65-inch 65R617.
TCL's new 6-Series models have more local dimming LED backlight control zones, an increase from 72 in both sizes to 96 in the 55-inch version and to 120 zones in the 65-inch set. The increased number of zones means more precise backlighting and less blooming, or leaking of light from one zone into another. This is especially important for HDR content. As with last year's models, the new 6-Series models support both the baseline HDR10 as well as Dolby Vision HDR.
TCL, now the #2 best-selling TV brand in the U.S. behind Samsung, has added a number of other features to boost color, contrast and consumer control. Inside the new 6-Series models is TCL's IPQ (Intelligent Picture Quality) engine, algorithms that constantly monitor performance to maintain color accuracy. TCL also has added new phosphor technology to widen the color gamut, and what it calls HDR Pro Gamma, essentially three levels of user-adjustable HDR contrast settings to compensate for ambient room lighting. There's "dark" for darker rooms, "light" for rooms bathed in sunlight, and "normal" for rooms with the lights on, all to enhance the details of a particular scene.
All of TCL's sets include Roku. But the new 6-Series models incorporate the latest iteration of the service including the Roku Channel, which includes 1,000-plus movie titles, along with the first Roku "live" channels that launched last September: ABC News with 24/7 news, Cheddar financial-focused news, PeopleTV celebrity news, and Newsy, which is described as news for millennials.
In addition, Roku has added a "continue watching" list for programs you haven't finished viewing and has created sub-"collections" categories to further parse major categories such as Thrillers, Drama, and Comedy to make it easier to browse and find the title you want.
[Image credit: TCL, Stewart Wolpin/Techlicious]