With the staggering number of TVs flooding the market, even a quality panel like TCL’s 55R617 4K HDR offering can get lost in the crowd. But if you’re taking your first steps into the 4K world or are looking to upgrade your connected living room experience, and you’re not looking to become a penniless pauper in the process, the TCL55R617 is a seriously good option. It's the #1 pick in our best gaming TV guide. Right now the TCL55R617 is 20% off at Amazon, making it less than $650 - a genuine bargain.
On the technical side, it’s an impressive piece of technology, offering HDR via the ambitious Dolby Vision format, the proprietary solution competing with the more prolific but less capable HDR10. More vivid highlights and deeper blacks combine with a broader color spectrum to make images mastered in Dolby Vision really pop. There’s also the 96 contrast control zones, which mean a smoother contrast gradient and better differentiation between brighter and darker portions of the screen. The overall effect is a greater sense of depth, especially in busy scenes with complicated lighting and multiple light sources. That's great for gaming - especially with titles like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Assassin's Creed Origins.
There’s also the impressive iPQ Engine, TCL’s technology for ensuring accurate color representation, and HDR Pro Gamma, which means the panel will display clear, vivid images in any environment, even in full sunlight. And it’s not short of bells and whistles, most notably the built-in Roku OS functionality which means quick, easy access to all the major streaming services without any additional hardware. There are also fun extras like the voice controlled remote, and the entire package is wrapped in a slim, brushed steel chassis that feels sturdier than a lot of its plastic counterparts.
At its current price point ($650 for the 55-inch model and $999 at 65-inch) it’s an easy recommend, and if you can get it during the Amazon Prime Day 2018 sale or discounted elsewhere, it’s a no brainer. The 60Hz refresh rate is a bit of a disappointment, but hardly a deal-breaker in this price range, and without committing almost twice as much cash you’re unlikely to find a more well rounded and high performance panel anywhere.
It's ideal for gaming, thanks to the excellent color contrasts, and perfect for streaming Netflix and other services thanks to the HDR functionality and Roku OS. In short, it's the mid-budget TV we'd recommend above all others for gaming and streaming - at this price it punches well above its weight.
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