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General discussion

TCL 65R625 (2019 6-Series) picture settings and HDR notes

Oct 9, 2019 10:24AM PDT

Review:
TCL 65R625

Related products:
TCL 55R625

Calibration report:
[see below]

TV software/firmware version tested: version 9.1.2, build 6121

Picture settings tested: CNET is no longer publishing advanced picture settings for TVs we review. Instead, we'll give more general recommendations to get the best picture without listing detailed while balance or color management system (CMS) settings. As always, if you want the most accurate picture for your TV, you should get a professional calibration.

Before adjusting any settings the TCL's Darker brightness setting combined with its Movie picture mode delivered the best image for a dark home theater. I measured all three of the local dimming settings (called "Local Contrast" in the menu) and High, the default for Movie, delivered the deepest black levels and the best gamma for my lighting environment.

Grayscale accuracy out of the box was solid, although my review sample was a bit minus-green. Calibration was a breeze, however, thanks to the superb app-based system with an 11-point grayscale adjustment and full CMS (seriously, other TV makers should just copy TCL's system -- it's hands-down the easiest and most accurate for multipoint grayscale/gamma that I've ever used). Afterward the TV's color accuracy was superb.

My only gripe is that the adjustment for 10% didn't have much effect and ended up pushing color into less-accurate territory after I ventured into the extreme parts of the range, so I ended up leaving it zeroed out. I also would have liked a basic 2-point system, but the multipoint worked so well, and so easily, it was worth the extra effort.

The settings below assume the 11-point grayscale and CMS controls on the app are zeroed out. I ended up using the 2.0 gamma setting because in default mode its near-black measurements came closer to my target 2.2 gamma than the actual 2.2 setting.

Dark room settings:

TV brightness: Darker
Picture mode: Movie*
Picture size: Auto

Advanced picture settings:

Picture mode: Movie*
Local contrast: High
Dynamic Contrast: Off [grayed out]
Backlight: 56
Brightness: 50
Contrast: 90
Sharpness: 0
Color: 45
Tint: 0
Color Temperature: Warm
Action Smoothing: Off
Natural Cinema: On
LED Motion Clarity: Off
Game mode: Off

Roku app Settings/Expert picture settings menu:

Picture mode: Movie*
Gamma: 2.0
Noise reduction: Off

Bright room settings:

TV Brightness: Brighter
Picture mode: Movie
Picture size: Auto
[no other adjustments on-screen or in app]


HDR notes: Just like with SDR TCL offers different HDR settings tailored to room brightness, but their names can be a bit misleading. The best and most accurate setting according to my measurements was TV Brightness = Brighter and Picture Mode = Dark HDR. It delivered the best combination of light output and black level, and stayed admirably close to the target EOTF -- something few of the other modes, including Darker/Dark HDR, could muster. Regardless of room lighting, I would recommend using Brighter/Dark HDR with all HDR10 material. In that mode color checker was decent, if not spectacular.

As for P3 color gamut I did measure an improvement over last year: 97.4% coverage for 2019 compared with 94.6% for 2018 -- likely due to the inclusion of quantum dots this year. The TCL 6-Series' 2019 number is basically the same as the 2019 Vizio M8 and better than the Samsung Q70R, if you're keeping score.

The above applies to HDR10 only; I didn't measure Dolby Vision.

Discussion is locked

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Comparison question
Oct 10, 2019 3:28PM PDT

You say bigger is better, but what would you choose between a 2018 75 inch 6 series vs a 2019 65 inch 6 series?

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Get the 2019 8 series.
Oct 10, 2019 9:08PM PDT

Get the 2019 8 series. 25,000 mini LED's and 1000 dimming zones. Vastly superior to either 6 series you stated.

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2018 model
Feb 6, 2020 3:20PM PST

I’d take the 75” older model because there isn’t much of an advantage for this years model. It has better local dimming but no more zones and better colour. However, the 2018 model is a lot brighter for hdr content. Between the two I’d take 75” for i bigger screen because of this.

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Gamma 2.0?
Oct 10, 2019 9:03PM PDT

Shouldn't it be closer to 2.4?

Post was last edited on October 10, 2019 9:06 PM PDT

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Movie Setting is Looks Unnatural and Yellow
May 18, 2020 10:34AM PDT

So this is the 2nd expert I've seen that says to adjust the out of the box setting, which comes in "Low Power," to the "Movie" setting. The "Movie" setting looks completely unnatural though, with everything being in a yellowish tint. I don't care what type of lighting you have in your entertrainment room, this setting will make your picture look yellow.

Word of advice, flip through the other modes and see which one you like the best. I prefer "Vivid."

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Movie Settings are accurate
Jul 4, 2020 1:09PM PDT

Okay first off, you need to realize that the movie setting is targeting the D65 White point. You should really do your research before attacking these reviewers. I own the r625, and can confirm the Movie Mode is the most accurate. Maybe you need to get your eyes checked, but if you’re comparing it to the vivid or normal modes, of course it’s going to look more yellow, bc it’s defaulted to warm color temp, which is correct. See, the problem is that so many people are used to the ice cold blue of tvs vivid modes. If you have a trained eye, you’ll be able to tell the differences immediately. Sure, this might look better to you, bc it’s so bright and pretty, but it’s totally inaccurate. You’re also not following the EOTF curve nearly as close as you would using the movie setting either. I highly recommend you do real testing and truly pay attention to the way the picture presets change the source. This is exactly why these manufacturers put these tvs in dynamic modes out of the box. Because so many people want that bright, over saturated, cold as ice, picture. I can’t stand that, and truly appreciate all the work these content creators and directors put into their work of art.

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To KOR-rey
Jul 19, 2020 1:46AM PDT

Just bought this to. I have it in a dark living room about 20” square feet. What settings would you suggest so I get the best picture. I mostly just watch cable tv and Netflix. Alot of football during the fall. Thanks

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Oversaturation is a Problem
Sep 14, 2020 7:57PM PDT

The problem with oversaturation, which is more color than is found in nature, is that it can cause colors to blur and flare over the image, which reduces the image quality. Basically, the color will spill over and cover details by being too strong. What I have found is after a while on an accurate color setting if I switch to a more vivid (oversaturated) setting everything looks like poor CGI, even if it is real life footage. The human eye and brain knows realistic colors and image so ultimately the color accurate setting will look better. The oversaturated colors are like candy to kids; there isn't any substance to it and it's actually bad for you to always seek it. After a while on color accurate setting the oversaturated store demo settings will not be appealing, just like cutting out excessive sugar in your diet.