The Display: TCL 55P607

In the early days of 4K, we had cautioned consumers against hasty purchases related to the upcoming technology. As a recap and update, consumers looking for a relatively future-proof home theater display component need to have the following checklist in hand:

  • 4Kp60 capabilities with RGB 4:4:4 support
  • HDR support (preferably with Dolby Vision)
  • HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2 support
  • Audio Return Channel (ARC) support

Thanks to the rapid adoption of 4K, the technology has come down in price. There are a wide variety of TVs and projectors fulfilling the above criteria. The budget often decides the size class as well as the TV panel technology (OLED vs. LCD/LED). The OLED vs. LCD/LED debate is beyond the scope of this piece, but, suffice to say that if the budget allows, one should go for an OLED television. Based on my particular installation location and budget considerations, I narrowed down my options to a LCD/LED TV in the 46 to 55" class. Available options included the Vizio M-Series, the Sony X800E, the Samsung MU8000 and MU7000 series, the TCL P- and S- series TVs, and the LG 55UH7700. Readers interested in the technical analysis of the above displays can refer to reviews on sites dedicated to analyzing TVs. From a specification viewpoint, the Samsung TVs were ruled out because of their lack of support for Dolby Vision. HDR10+ (the competing open HDR standard with features comparable to Dolby Vision) is yet to take off in a big way with respect to content and hardware support. In the meanwhile, there is a lot of content in OTT services that are encoded with Dolby Vision HDR. UHD Blu-rays with Dolby Vision have also started appearing inthe market. The TCL S- series was also ruled out for its 'fake' HDR nature (covered in the next section).

In the end, we decided upon the TCL 55P607 as an upgrade from the Sony KDL46EX720 in our test setup. The TV has been well-reviewed. For all practical purposes, 3D is dead, and we were not worried about the absence of 3D capabilities in the TCL model.

The TCL 55P607 is also an impressive smart TV platform, thanks to the integrated Roku features. It also enables network control of the unit. As a power user, I am not a big fan of Roku beyond its ease of use for premium OTT streaming services. In our previous evaluations, its local media playback capabilities turned out to be abysmal. In its recent iterations, the excessive advertising push has also been a bit disconcerting. In any case, it essentially comes for free with the 55P607, and for its price, it is a welcome option. Further down in this review, we will also look at how the built-in Roku platform performs for typical modern HTPC usage.

In the course of usage, I found that the TCL 55P607 delivered good value for money. However, it was not without its share of problems. One minor issue was the relatively rare flashing while playing back certain scenes (also brought out in the RTINGS review of the set). It is related to the local dimming algorithm used in the TV.

The other aspect was its high power consumption when the display was switched off. Admittedly, I do not have other comparison points, but, 24.65W in standby mode (just being able to turn it on over the network using the Roku app) seems a bit high. Finally, we found that the firmware originally on the TV when I purchased it (v7.7) had a compatibility issue with certain HDR sources that was later silently resolved in a firmware update (v8.0). That particular issue is covered in detail in the UHD Blu-ray playback section.

Introduction The AVR: Denon X3400H
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  • Azethoth - Monday, January 1, 2018 - link

    Why don't you go read an article on _not_ home theater, and regale everyone with how awesome the sound from your shitty TV speakers are. Home theater is simply not for your budget, but don't pretend everyone is living in mom's basement.

    This article may be out of touch with the 5 of you, but it is not out of touch with the rest of the readers.

    Why not go whine in articles about supercars about how they are out of touch with 99.999999% of the planet. Oh noes! I still want to read about them though.
  • Sivar - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    Most Anandtech readers are tech-savvy, but not tech experts and have normal homes, eyes, ears, and middle-level income (of those in the United States).
    Talk of an OLED TV or projector tells me that it is you who is out of touch with readers, and it doesn't help that your statement to the author was inappropriately rude.

    OLED TVs have an objectively better picture quality, but are much more expensive and the difference is not that noticeable to most people.

    Projectors are great (I use one) but are impractical for many (most?) homes because they need light control and, for good pricing, a large flat wall for the screen.

    Regarding speakers, if the implication is that there is no noticeable difference between them, then yI suspect you are not at all an enthusiast of home theater. This isn't even a reasonable debate, it just leaves me dumbfounded. True that there is little difference between an extremely fancy speakers (say from Focal or Magico) and a good set of well-designed towers such as those from Ascend or JBL, and indeed the audio industry has a lot of snake oil like expensive cables and any Bose product, but to say that a speaker "works or it doesn't" proves little experience with sound systems, even in the sub-$500 range.
  • SunnyHours - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - link

    Totally agree with you there!
    Especially your comment about Cables, Bose (I HATE BOSE!) and mostly the comment that "either a speaker works or it doesn't" that just really surprised me and made me wonder how this person can even entertain the idea of giving tips on a subject you know nothing about...especially on the internet where people will put you on the spot and call you for being an ignorant person and at the same time being a "know it all".

    Next thing he will say is that "Vinyls sound like crap and cassettes were a much improved product" LOL.
  • Dug - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    He's not out of touch. A good balanced receiver will last much longer in a system than video. Most people upgrade video (tv's, monitors, etc), than they do sound. Projectors don't really fall into the family room scenario either. Usually too much light, sound, maintenance, setup, etc. Plus there's no real 4k hdr affordable projectors out.
  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Thursday, December 28, 2017 - link

    "So you want a home theater system but don't want to get an AV receiver?"
    Why not?

    I have a 35 Watt dual-core Sandy Bridge with optical audio output to my Digital EQ (Behringer DEQ24/96) and Balanced XLR to each JBL LSR305 powered monitor

    (Behinger AD converters sound like crap but with an optical input, it sounds Fantastical)
    Much better than a Denon receiver I do believe

    Sure, it's completely Gimped when its running Windows 10 DRM garbage

    But, if I want to run 4K on a Gimped System, I can boot to 7 / 8.1 or Spyware Platform 10

    I'm running Windows XP right now so I don't need to worry about Bluescreens of Death, malware, or Viruses like I do with Spyware 10

    Burns BlueRay Disks fine and can boot to a stock install of XP in 3-4 seconds from a Samsung 850 Pro

    Any computer newer than Sandy Bridge is nothing more than a Locked Down Gaming Console with a web browser attached and they make for really piss poor home theater setups

    "Personal" Computers died with Sandy Bridge!
    You are just renting a JukeBox
  • Azethoth - Monday, January 1, 2018 - link

    I am missing the part where your "fantastical" Behringer DEQ24/96 decodes Dolby Surround.

    You are failing at Home Theater. There are standards. One of them is surround sound.

    Stereo is for listening to old timey music. I am willing to put my Denon in surround stereo up against your stereo thing anytime. I will also pretend that Denon is better, except it would actually be true unlike your imaginings where an optical in somehow makes a difference.

    Just so you know, hard science and engineering tells us that an optical in connection means you 100% do not have what this article is about: the more part of 4k blu ray. Atmos does not fit into optical. Hell, 7.1 and 9.1 surround did not fit.

    So you and the rest here are just bloviating without saying anything relevant to the topic.

    tl;dr If it is beyond your budget, quit whining and read the follow up article next year. Everything will be cheaper and better.
  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Monday, January 1, 2018 - link

    "I am missing the part where your "fantastical" Behringer DEQ24/96 decodes Dolby Surround.

    You are failing at Home Theater. There are standards. One of them is surround sound."
    There is no "Standard" to Home Theater!

    Surround Sound is one of many so called "Standards"

    Your "Budget" demands "Your Standards"

    3.1 / 5.1 / 7.1 / 9.1 are simply additions to the 3.0 "Standard" that I created over 30 years ago

    They do not Image a "Standard" stereo output as well as mine and yet you claim "They" are the "Standard"

    Advertising propaganda has taught you well

    Now go forth and spew nonsense

    A "Budget" Home Theater can be whatever you want it to be

    Racing Stripes and RGB lighting may cost extra
  • Reflex - Monday, January 1, 2018 - link

    I am unclear on how your setup will do positional audio in a home theater setup. For instance, if I play back DD5.1 content, will your setup put the appropriate audio and effects behind a viewer? If I play Dolby Atmos or DTS X content, will it additionally place the appropriate audio above the viewer's head? If so, how are you handling the decode operation for those standards to translate them to your proprietary speaker number and arrangement?

  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - link

    "If I play Dolby Atmos or DTS X content, will it additionally place the appropriate audio above the viewer's head? If so, how are you handling the decode operation for those standards to translate them to your proprietary speaker number and arrangement?"
    I support my original "Reference Standard" which preceded Atmos and DTS X

    I do not support other "Non-Standards" which came later

    The only way a "Non-Standard" Home Theater experience can match the "Stereo" Imaging accuracy of my Reference "Standard" is to steal my design

    If Dolby or anyone else can claim to match the Imaging accuracy of my Reference Design, then there are really only two possibilities here that I can see

    A: They stole my design
    B: They are Liars

    There either ONE Reference, or there is no reference

    Choose Now!
  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - link

    There is either ONE Reference, or there is no reference at all

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