TCL 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

Last updated date: March 15, 2019

DWYM Score
8.2

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We looked at the top 1 4K TVs and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including Tom's Guide, CNET, Tech Radar, Consumer Reports, New York Times Wirecutter, RTINGS.com and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best 4K TV you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 89 expert reviews, the TCL TCL 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV placed 4th when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 6, 2019:
Checkout The Best 4K TV for a detailed review of all the top 4k tvs.

Expert Summarized Score
8.1
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.3
1,060 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
TCL is using the latest version of the Roku TV platform, a popular decision among manufacturers, particularly in the budget-friendly models. The Roku platform offers a wide variety of apps and services, with Roku touting impressive streaming options with access to "over 500,000 movies and TV shows."
- Tom's Guide
May 9, 2018 | Full review
Watching Showman, the TCL's color was excellent, with as much saturation and accuracy as any of the other LCD sets.
- CNET
The obvious advantage TCL has here is its full array panel and several dozen contrast control zones - they help each scene obtain higher contrast and even help SDR content look its best.
- Tech Radar
November 1, 2018 | Full review
This 65-inch 4K UHD smart TV from TCL, a Roku TV model in TCL's step-up 6-series sets for 2018, delivers excellent high-definition picture quality and very good UHD performance. HDR performance was generally effective, just below the very best sets.
- Consumer Reports
TCL’s Roku interface is our favorite on any TV you can get today, thanks to its ease of use, excellent app selection, and frequent updates.
- New York Times Wirecutter
It has good dark scene performance due to the full-array local dimming and high native contrast so blacks appear deep even in a dark room.
- RTINGS.com
Gamers will be happy to know the TCL 6 Series continues the trend of allowing pretty good input lag during 1080p/4K gaming.
- Reviewed
What experts didn't like
If there's a weak spot in the 6 Series' display quality, it's the viewing angles. While 4K movies looked good even when viewed off-axis, single-color test screens (which are far less forgiving) showed subtle but noticeable color shifting even when viewed a foot or so off-center. A blue test screen would shift ever-so-slightly periwinkle, while a violet screen started to go nearly pink at only a 45-degree angle
- Tom's Guide
May 9, 2018 | Full review
Color accuracy and video processing were also a bit worse than those others, but by no means poor, and TCL improved uniformity significantly, which was an issue last year.
- CNET
But move the 6-Series into a brightly lit room, say in a living room near a window, and some of these advantages begin to crumble. Black details begin to get lost, colors begin to fade some and the brightness that the TV once had - or, more accurately, felt like it had - dims.
- Tech Radar
November 1, 2018 | Full review
However, to get top performance you need to shut off noise reduction, a setting that's available only on the Roku app, not the TV itself. The set has a full-array LED backlight with local dimming, which can help with blacks and contrast. But the TV's sound is only fair.
- Consumer Reports
The TCL also suffers from some vignetting at the corners, where they are darker than the rest of the image. You can’t always see it, but the other picks don’t suffer from this. Some people have also run into issues with banding on their sets.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The picture quality also degrades rapidly when viewed at an angle, which is bad for those with wide seating.
- RTINGS.com
The 65-inch R617 has a lot of dimming zones (120) for what you're paying, that doesn't mean it's perfect. Every now and then, you're bound to see flashlighting.
- Reviewed

From The Manufacturer

TCL 65R617 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (2018 Model)

Overall Product Rankings

3. TCL 55-Inch 4K Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
4. TCL 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 7
6. Sony 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
9. LG 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 2
10. Vizio 65-Inch LED TV
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 3
11. LG 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2
12. Sony 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 3
13. VIZIO 40-Inch LED Smart TV
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 4
14. Sharp 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Smart HDTV
Overall Score: 6.8
Expert Reviews: 1
15. Sharp 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD LED Smart HDTV
Overall Score: 6.7
Expert Reviews: 1

An Overview On 4K TVs

Televisions have likely come a long way since the last time you were in the market for a new screen. TVs have followed the typical tech trajectory of slimming down and dropping weight while increasing screen sizes. Even if your current TV is only a couple years old, technology has skyrocketed in that time to produce incredible visual effects. That’s largely due to the introduction of 4K TVs. These 4K TVs bring along crisper, brighter and more colorful picture quality than ever before.

There are truly outstanding 4K TVs available with four times the amount of pixels as their 1080p predecessors. On top of that, they boast the latest and greatest screen technology. All of that adds up to the ultimate in viewing experiences, no matter what you choose to watch. Quite frankly you’ve never seen your favorite shows or anything from around the world so vividly from the comfort of your couch.

But all these new and improved features can make choosing a new TV complex and confusing. There are many new numbers and acronyms in the descriptions that can sound like a foreign language to a new buyer. However, armed and ready with a bit of knowledge and a few tools of the trade, you can make an informed purchase and find the best 4K TV for you.

One of the first factors to consider is size. Measure and understand how much space you have for your TV. You’re more likely to mount a 4K TV on your wall than set it on a console, but some models have legs and can sit on a stand. It’s worth noting, these legs are generally at the outer edges of the TV, instead of in the center, affecting the overall dimensions of the stand. Additionally, TVs are measured diagonally, so take that into consideration when you assess your space and size needs.

Now, the standard resolution is 4K Ultra HD, which offers four times the pixel resolution as previous 1080p HD. That means crisper, more detailed images. It also lets you sit closer to larger TVs without the usual image degradation.

Pixels alone aren’t responsible for the wow factor that comes with 4K TVs. For that, you need to dive into the additional differentiating acronyms. When you combine screen technology like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG), that’s when those extra pixels really pop.

What’s more, these 4K TVs have all the features you need seamlessly integrated. They are smart TVs. That means there are no more gadgets or cords required to connect to apps, streaming services and more. It’s all in one.

The latest and greatest technology doesn’t always come cheap. While there are three excellent budget-friendly buys in the top 4K TVs, there are also spendier versions. They start under $500 for the budget-friendly TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV, $600 for similar TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD and $750 for the Vizio P Series 55-inch. The splurge version is the Samsung QN65Q9FN FLAT QLED 4K UHD 9 Series Smart TV at $3,000 for the 65-inch. At that price, the Samsung delivers much more than a standard TV viewing experience. In fact, it includes a new Ambient Mode, which displays decorative content, useful information, personal photos or background music to blend with and enhance your interior décor.

You can rest assured it’s a good time to upgrade your TV. There are always updates and new technology in the works, but the next big change to 8K resolution is still a ways off.

DYWM Fun Fact

Most televisions 50 inches and larger available for sale today are 4K. However, this high-definition resolution and massive size wasn’t always the norm. The earliest televisions were very primitive in comparison. RCA began selling the very first television sets and broadcasting regular programs back in 1939. These had 5-by 12-inch (12.7 by 25.4 cm) picture tubes.

Television technology has progressed by massive leaps and bounds since the early days. Still, for decades, the primary resolution used to describe TVs was the vertical resolution. The switch to 4K, or horizontal resolution, only came in recent years.

Even now, not all content will come in at 4K level. There isn’t any U.S. broadcast TV at this level yet. However, you can find 4K content in from many streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and Vudu. You can also access 4K content with Ultra HD Blu-ray players and gaming consoles, like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

What you can expect in the future is even more shifts, including increases in pixel resolution and more innovative technology. No matter what, the future of TV viewing is getting clearer and crisper with each new innovation.

The 4K TV Buying Guide

  • Remember to measure twice before selecting a new 4K TV. The screen measurements listed on TVs reflect the diagonal distance on the screen. The other measurement is the width of the TV, for sitting on a stand as well as hanging on the wall.
  • The newest 4K TVs have four times the pixels of the previous 1080p TVs from a few years ago.
  • There is new, advanced pixel technology in the works. However, it is a few years away still, so it’s a good time to upgrade to the latest and greatest 4K TVs available now.
  • The larger the number of pixels, the closer you can sit to the TV and still see a crisp clear image.
  • The new 4K TVs vary widely in price, so researching each of their distinguishing features could help you choose a more cost-friendly option.
  • The official resolution for 4K TVs is 3,840 by 2,160, so they are just shy of truly 4,000. The simplified description is much more user-friendly, so it stuck.