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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  • ddrіver - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - link

    If you have enough time reading them then I consider I'm doing a public service ;).
  • Notmyusualid - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - link


    Try to ignore ddriver - he could have an argument in an empty room.
  • ddrіver - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - link

    As long as it's a good argument? Why share a piece of crap with people when I can have a cake all by myself?
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, December 28, 2017 - link

    @ ddriver

    EVERY possible argument seems to be a 'good one' for you.

    Here, I think these people can help you:
  • Duckeenie - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - link

    Dude, seriously? Oxymoron?
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Thursday, December 28, 2017 - link

    There is nothing budget about this review. You are painfully out of touch with your readership. I've been on this website since 2001 and honestly don't know why I bother reading anything that isn't written by Ryan at this point. Really a shame what is left for Anands legacy.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - link

    Given that the primary point of the article was the HTPC itself, there's literally no point in your comment except to continue your pattern of abuse. This is equivalent to talking about "storage on a budget" and using an expensive CPU to test the storage solution.
  • ddrіver - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - link

    @lmcd: For your sake I hope you're pretty because you sure don't score any points on the IQ scale.

    The article is LITERALLY about "A Budget Home Theater & PC Setup". Not just "the HTPC itself". Reading comprehension fail. The article LITERALLY describes both. And although you may assume home theater is a wooden podium with really tiny actors putting on a play for you, it's actually not. A receiver is an integral part of a home theater. This is why the receiver is on the 3rd page of the article, before "the HTPC itself".

    Which brings us to my gripe: a $1000 receiver and a $2000 HTPC recommendation are not budget by any stretch of the definition. Which means the very first part of the title is complete and total BS. Kind of like your understanding of the text... or words in general. Literally.
  • Reflex - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - link

    As usual reading comprehension is not your strong suite. The article lists two receiver options, one for $999 and one for $430. Nether is top tier nor considered 'expensive' in the receiver space. It offered three HTPC options, two which could be configured for $600-800, and one that was gaming focused for $2000. Again, perfectly reasonable budget options while highlighting the current cream of the HTPC gaming crop as an option for those with the budget.

    If I have a complaint about this article its that I'd have liked for them to offer one or two steps up on each category, for instance I chose to focus on the display for my setup and dropped $2k on a 65" OLED and then went cheap on the HTPC by using a XB1S.

    None of the recommendations listed would be considered expensive, or even mid-range for the home theater space. Not even the $2k HTPC, honestly although it was the closest item. Mid-range in this space starts at around $20k, and goes up to around $200k before you get to the actual crazy setups (real home theaters).

    But again, reading comprehension is not your strength, nor is knowledge of the areas in which you spout word salad like something sold by RonCo.
  • ddrіver - Thursday, December 28, 2017 - link

    Oh Reflex, if only you paid more attention to making sense instead of just hurling whatever you pull out of your a$$.

    The fact that the author mentions another option once and then never describes anything related to it again is useless. If "mentioning" something was enough this article could very well have been a short table with the components needed. Basically the table on the last page (but one that actually lists the cheap AVR option).

    Secondly, reviewing a "budget" setup where the actual receiver used is $1000 redefines the meaning of "budget". The $2000 HTPC must be a stupid joke only the author gets. Google for "budget receivers" and tell me what the ENTIRE INTERNET believes "budget" means. But I'm sure you're smarter than everyone else... in your own tiny head.

    Only a bumbling moron can think these prices are "budget" because "midrange starts at $20000". And yeah, you refuse to actually read any of the comments that make good points here and prefer to focus on your own understanding of what I wrote, on rants about $20k midrange setups, and other stuff only you could think is reasonable. So you definitely fit that description.

    But but but wait. $200k is actually entry level pocket change, far from a "crazy setup" you seem to think it is. Compared to real home theater systems:

    But I need a good laugh. Keep going with your "knowledge". ;)

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