General discussion

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

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.

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Comments
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Comparison question

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.

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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Gamma 2.0?

Shouldn't it be closer to 2.4?

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

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