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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  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Thursday, December 28, 2017 - link

    Quote from edzieba.....
    "That's... not how things work. At all. Adding an S/PDIF cable is not going to magically allow transport of audio streams that:

    a) Are too high bitrate for S/PDIF (which cannot even carry 5.1 LPCM)
    b) Were developed decades after the S/PDIF standard "
    You seem to be forgetting that "I make the standards for MY Home Theater Setup" / Not You!
    I was designing multi-channel Audio Systems before "your" alleged standards existed

    You are once again thinking you must use what the market dictates, even when the market standard is pure CRAP!

    I build for "MY" standards which seem to be considerably higher than yours
  • gerz1219 - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - link

    By that logic, why even bother adding an AVR? You could just use the built-in TV speakers.

    The point of this article is to lay out what equipment is necessary to enjoy all the latest home theater formats and features. Keeping your old 720p plasma from 2008 is always the "budget" solution for people who don't need the latest and greatest. That's irrelevant in the context of this article.
  • Gasaraki88 - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - link

    You obviously don't know anything about new technology. TOSLINK is not going to pass Dolby Atmos and DTS:X from the TV to the receiver.

    So get out of here.
  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Friday, December 29, 2017 - link

    "You obviously don't know anything about new technology. TOSLINK is not going to pass Dolby Atmos and DTS:X from the TV to the receiver."
    LOL, I obviously do

    I created better standards than Dolby ever did and was doing it before Dolby ever created their very first surround format

    I simply choose to get better audio imaging accuracy through carefully matched drivers, hybrid crossovers and components and custom circuitry

    I could easily encode audio to the vast majority of new technology "Standards" you ramble on about but can easily surpass the imaging accuracy of others by using a higher standard........

    My own!

    But for a "BUDGET" Home Theater system, I cannot personally make a better speaker than the JBL LSR305

    and I DO NOT need an AVR if I will not be using the pseudo Standards of others

    Tell me, if the "New Technology" you speak of is the "Standard" that everyone must use, then what EXACTLY is NEW and why so many "Standards" ?
  • Reflex - Friday, December 29, 2017 - link

    I can't wait to try all the content coming out in the BJM standard!
  • Bullwinkle-J-Moose - Friday, December 29, 2017 - link

    "I can't wait to try all the content coming out in the BJM standard!"
    It may be a long wait
    Much of the best tech fails in the audio market

    Blatant Lies, slick/false advertising and pseudo standards usually win in the marketplace

    Does that make them better?
  • Reflex - Friday, December 29, 2017 - link

    It's just not important. The content is being mastered in Dolby Atmos. It's reasonable to build a system that supports that so that I don't miss out. No clever component choices nor ideal speaker placement can change the fact that if I'm running a setup that isn't Atmos capable it won't generate Atmos effects when I play back such content. And quite frankly Atmos is the biggest leap in audio I've seen since 5.1 first hit.

    I'm glad what you have works for you. If that's all you need there is nothing wrong with that. For myself after trying Atmos at a friend's I wanted it at home and it was well worth the upgrade.
  • JSStewart - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Hokey smokes, who cares what a stupid moose troll thinks?

    I will go with the squirrel any day.
  • wiyosaya - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    It's called technological progress.
  • wiyosaya - Friday, January 5, 2018 - link

    or even DTS HD-MA or Dolby TrueHD

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