TCL 1 Series/D100 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Reviewed Aug 14, 2017 at 10:50 am
TCL 1 Series/D100 Picture
5.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
5.4
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
6.4
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
6.7
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
6.0
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
4.4
HDR Movies
3.9
HDR Gaming
6.4
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 1080p

The TCL D100 is a basic 1080p TV with decent picture quality. It lacks many of the features found in higher end TVs to improve the picture quality further, and has sub-par motion performance. Unlike most other TCL TVs, it almost completely lacks a smart platform.

Our Verdict

5.7 Mixed Usage

Mediocre TV for a mixed usage. 1080p TV with decent picture quality when viewed from directly in front, but degrades at an angle. Lacks features found on higher end TVs such as local dimming, and unlike most TCL TVs doesn't have a smart platform.

Pros
  • Great contrast makes blacks look deep
Cons
  • Could be brighter
  • Image quality degrades when viewed from an angle
  • Cannot play 24p content without judder
5.4 Movies

Poor for watching movies in a dark room. Great native contrast so blacks appear dark, but lacks local dimming to improve this further. Picture is inaccurate and doesn't support high quality 4k content.

6.4 TV Shows

Decent TV for casual viewing in a wide room. Image degrades rapidly when viewed at an angle. Won't be able to overcome reflections in a bright room, and lacks a smart interface.

6.7 Sports

Okay for watching sports. Picture quality is decent, and response time is good so only a short trail follows fast moving objects.

6.0 Video Games

Decent for gamers. Doesn't support higher 4k resolutions of new consoles, but has low input lag. Picture quality is decent and response time is good so only a short trail follows fast action.

4.4 HDR Movies

Doesn't support HDR. Can't get bright, doesn't have a wide color gamut and doesn't support 4k content.

3.9 HDR Gaming

No support for HDR gaming. Doesn't support HDR features such as wide color gamut or high peak brightness.

6.4 PC Monitor

Okay choice for PC monitor. Doesn't support resolutions higher than 1080p but picture quality is decent. Narrow viewing angle so the sides of the screen lose accuracy when viewed from up close. Feels responsive with low input lag and fairly good motion blur.

  • 5.7 Mixed Usage
  • 5.4 Movies
  • 6.4 TV Shows
  • 6.7 Sports
  • 6.0 Video Games
  • 4.4 HDR Movies
  • 3.9 HDR Gaming
  • 6.4 PC Monitor
  1. Updated Mar 08, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.6.
  2. Updated May 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  3. Updated Feb 21, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.
  4. Updated Feb 28, 2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  5. Updated Mar 12, 2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  6. Updated Aug 14, 2017: Review published.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style
Curved No

The TCL D100 is a very basic looking TV, and certainly won't be the centerpiece of any room. It has a wide plastic stand, with a similar design to other TCL TVs such as the S305. It appears a bit thick when viewed from the side, but the HDMI inputs are fairly easy to access. 

Design
Stand

Like other TCL TVs, the D100 has a wide stand. It is made of plastic and feels cheap, but does support the TV well.

Footprint of the 40" TV stand: 7.6" x 29.7"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The rear of the TV is made of metal, which is nice and feels quite solid. The component inputs on the rear of the TV may be difficult to access if wall mounted.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.67" (1.7 cm)

The borders have an average thickness, and look fine.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.87" (7.3 cm)

The TV appears a bit thick if viewed from the side. It will stick out a bit if wall mounted, especially due to the thicker section near the base of the TV.

6.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the D100 is decent. It does feel cheap and has a fully-plastic exterior and stand but shouldn't present any problems with normal use.

Picture Quality
8.5
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
4,287 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

The TCL D100 has a great contrast ratio and with a contrast ratio hovering around 4300:1, this means it can produce blacks that are very deep. When set in a dark room, the D100 can reproduce dark scenes very well.

5.7
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene Peak Brightness
227 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
265 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
262 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
260 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
258 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
258 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
263 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
260 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
259 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
258 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
258 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.001

Plot over time

Okay SDR peak brightness. The brightness remains constant no matter the content shown, which is good (the real scene brightness is measured near the edge of the screen where it's not as bright). Unfortunately this brightness, while good enough for a dim room, isn't good enough for a very bright room. However few budget TVs like this are any brighter, in fact the D100 is brighter than the pricier TCL S305 and S405.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

The TCL D100 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming In Game Mode
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct
0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
Real Scene Highlight
N/A
Peak 2% Window
N/A
Peak 10% Window
N/A
Peak 25% Window
N/A
Peak 50% Window
N/A
Peak 100% Window
N/A
Sustained 2% Window
N/A
Sustained 10% Window
N/A
Sustained 25% Window
N/A
Sustained 50% Window
N/A
Sustained 100% Window
N/A
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
N/A

The TV does not support HDR.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness In Game Mode
Real Scene Highlight
N/A
Peak 2% Window
N/A
Peak 10% Window
N/A
Peak 25% Window
N/A
Peak 50% Window
N/A
Peak 100% Window
N/A
Sustained 2% Window
N/A
Sustained 10% Window
N/A
Sustained 25% Window
N/A
Sustained 50% Window
N/A
Sustained 100% Window
N/A
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
N/A
6.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.834%
50% DSE
0.203%
5% Std. Dev.
1.232%
5% DSE
0.107%

The gray uniformity is average for the D100. Looking at our 50% gray uniformity picture, you can clearly see that most of the uniformity issues are from the corners being too dark. The center is more even though and although dirty screen effect is present at some level, is not too distracting.

Looking at the 5% gray test picture, we see that the edges are a bit brighter, but this is not very apparent in dark scenes with normal content.

7.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.910%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Excellent black uniformity for the TCL D100. Not much clouding can be seen on our test picture besides some brighter edges along the screen, similar to what was present on the 5% gray uniformity picture. Overall, this is a very good result and great for movies, especially in dark scenes.

6.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
38°
Color Shift
44°
Brightness Loss
46°
Black Level Raise
41°
Gamma Shift
16°

Poor viewing angle, not as good as TVs with an IPS panel but better than most TVs with a VA panel. Blacks turn grey and colors shift when viewed from a moderate angle, with brightness dropping to half soon after. This TV is not a good fit for a room where people often view the TV from the side.

7.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.0%
Indirect Reflections
0.4%
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.6%

The D100 is decent at handling reflections. It has a semi-gloss finish which slightly reduces the intensity of direct reflections by diffusing them across the screen. It is okay for an average room, but for a room with a few wide windows or lots of light this may be an issue.

4.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
5.95
Color dE
4.90
Gamma
1.85
Color Temperature
7,478 K
Picture Mode
User
Color Temp Setting
Warm
Gamma Setting
N/A

Out of the box, TCL D100 accuracy is sub-standard and the white balance, even when set to the color temperature 'Warm', the final temperature color is cooler than what is usually preferred. With a white balance dE of 5.95, this level of inaccuracy is high enough that most people could notice it. As a result of the bad white balance, since the gamma and white balance are closely related, the gamma is also off our 2.2 target.

Unfortunately, the color dE is not better. With a dE 4.90, the color accuracy is high enough so that almost anybody could notice that the color are wrong. Most of the issues start with the fact that the white point is off target and the same drift can be seen for all the other color, resulting in a high dE for all of them.

4.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
5.95
Color dE
4.90
Gamma
1.85
Color Temperature
7,478 K
White Balance Calibration
No
Color Calibration
No

Unfortunately, there is no calibration option on the TCL D100, so it is impossible fix those imperfections. If this bothers you, the Vizio D3 Series 2021 has much better accuracy, both before and after calibration.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Low quality content such as DVDs are upscaled well.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable looks good (but a bit soft) once upscaled. The native resolution isn't a multiple of 720p, so the TV applies a zoom and it isn't possible to fit to the screen. This also causes some added softness, so it may be worth increasing the sharpness slightly for low quality content. An example of sharpness 10 can be seen here.

10
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Native 1080p content is displayed well, and no issues can be seen. It is necessary to use 'Point to point' scaling to fit to the screen.

0
Picture Quality
4k Input

The D100 is a 1080p TV.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input
Picture Quality
Pixels

The horizontal VA pixel structure looks almost identical to the S305.

6.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
73.13%
DCI P3 uv
77.84%
Rec 2020 xy
52.49%
Rec 2020 uv
56.79%

Narrow color gamut, only good enough for SDR content. However the TV doesn't support HDR, so this is not an issue.

5.6
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
65.0%
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
18.7%
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
46.1%
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
13.2%

Poor color volume. The TV's already narrow color gamut narrows further for very dark colors, and fully saturated red can't get bright enough.

7.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.132
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.172
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.125
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.144

The TCL D100 has an 8-bit panel, as the banding usually seen with 8-bit panel is visible on our test picture. Beside the 8-bit panel, the D100 is very good at displaying our test image, as no real tint or color shade issues can be noticed.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00%
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00%

Perfect result for the image retention on the D100 as no image retention could be noticed at all during our test.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Motion
6.7
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.6 ms
100% Response Time
21.2 ms

The response time of the D100 is good, resulting in a short trail following moving objects. This is adequate for most people when watching fast-paced content. It also has some overshoot, visible as a lighter trail following our logo in the above picture. This is a better response than the 1080p TCL S305, but worse than the 4K S405.

4.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz

The TV uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 100/100 backlight setting. Lowering the setting shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlight PWM helps clear up motion slightly, but results in duplications following moving objects.

5.4
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
No
Min Flicker For 60 fps
120 Hz
60Hz For 60 fps
No
120Hz For 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

The D100 has no options to reduce its flicker frequency to 60 Hz, although its 120 Hz PWM does help somewhat to make motion look more clear.

Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
No
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The D100 has a 60 Hz panel and has no interpolation options for lower frame rate content. People who like the smoother motion known as soap opera effect may be disappointed.

8.5
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
20.5 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

The TCL D100 is great at displaying content smoothly. Even 24 fps content, which has long static images between frames, appears smooth as the pixel response time helps to blur the transitions.

0
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
N/A

The TCL D100 can't remove judder from 24p movies regardless of the frame rate of the source. If judder bothers you, check out the Vizio D3 Series 2021 instead. It's a similar TV, but it can remove judder from 24p sources and the native apps.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
HDMI Forum VRR
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC Compatible
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
1440p VRR Maximum
N/A
1440p VRR Minimum
No VRR support
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR support

This TCL TV has a 60Hz panel, and doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.

Inputs
7.9
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
30.7 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
30.7 ms
1440p @ 60Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz + 10-Bit HDR
N/A
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
N/A
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
N/A
4k @ 60Hz With Interpolation
N/A
8k @ 60Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 120Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A

Low input lag, though not as low as many TVs with a 'Game Mode' option like the TCL S405. As the TV does not have a game mode and shows 4:4:4 color in any picture mode, the input lag is always the same.

One flaw is that the TV's input lag cycles by ~6 ms: it starts at 27.9 ms, increases to 33.5 ms then loops back to 27.9 ms. This isn't really a concern though, and should only be noticeable by very competitive gamers who are sensitive to input lag. Most TVs do not show this cycling, they maintain a constant input lag (though some take a minute or so to settle, like Samsung TVs).

Another interesting detail is that the TV refreshes the screen from the bottom to the top, so the bottom has the lowest input lag. This is the opposite of most TVs because they refresh from the top to the bottom. We always measure input lag at the center of the screen so this doesn't affect our measurements.

1.7
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
No
4k @ 120Hz
No
8k @ 30Hz or 24Hz
No
8k @ 60Hz
No

The TV has a 1080p @ 60 Hz panel, so the best resolution it can show is 1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4. 4:4:4 color is supported globally, in any picture mode, which is great.

Inputs
Advanced Console Compatibility
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
No
PS5, 4k @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
No
PS5, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, 1080p @ 120Hz
No
PS5, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz + HDR
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 4k @ 60Hz + HDR
No
Xbox Series X, 1440p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, 1080p @ 120Hz
No
Xbox Series X, Variable Refresh Rate
No
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
No
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
No
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
CEC Yes
HDCP 2.2 No
USB 3.0
No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support No

The TV does not support DTS, only Dolby Digital, which shouldn't be a concern because most sources and Blu-rays support both formats.

Inputs
Input Photos
Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 3
USB 1
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
Analog Audio Out RCA 1
Component In 1 (shared)
Composite In 1 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 0
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Audio Passthrough
ARC
Yes (HDMI 2)
eARC support
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
No
Sound Quality
5.1
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
190.27 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
6.92 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
6.64 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.44 dB
Max
90.0 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
2.28 dB

Poor frequency response. The D100's higher frequencies are subdued giving it a dark signature. Its bass does not extend very far either, which means it will lack a lot of thump and presence. Unfortunately, there is no self-calibration feature available to take care of these issues.

6.3
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.055
Weighted THD @ Max
1.922
IMD @ 80
5.86%
IMD @ Max
30.47%

Average distortion performance. While it won't be noticeable in most cases, the TCL D100 does have a fair amount of distortion at higher volumes. IMD shows a strong bump when volume is maxed which is in part caused by the TV's use of aliasing in the higher frequencies.

Smart Features
5.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS No
Version N/A
Ease of Use
Easy
Smoothness
Very Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
N/A
Time Taken to Change Backlight
4 s
Advanced Options
Few

The TV's interface is very basic, only containing TV centric options and settings. It is very responsive, reacting almost instantly to button presses on the remote, partly because there are no animations.

10
Smart Features
Ad-Free
Ads
No
Opt-out
No Ads
Suggested Content in Home
No
Opt-out of Suggested Content
N/A

The TV has no ads or suggested content in its interface.

1.0
Smart Features
Apps and Features
App Selection
N/A
App Smoothness
N/A
Cast Capable
No
USB Drive Playback
Limited Support
USB Drive HDR Playback
N/A
HDR in Netflix
N/A
HDR in YouTube
N/A

The TV does not support apps. It can play photos and music from an attached USB drive, but not videos.

6.0
Smart Features
Remote
Size
Large
Voice Control
No
CEC Menu Control
Yes
Other Smart Features
No
Remote App No App

The TV's remote is rather large, but unfortunately it doesn't make very effective use of that size. Its buttons aren't as wide as on similarly sized remotes, and so aren't as easy to press; and there's a lot of wasted space between the buttons, so there's fewer buttons than on comparable remotes like the large Sony remotes. Also the LG basic remotes are smaller yet have more buttons than the TCL remote, because they make more effective use of space.

Smart Features
TV Controls

The TV has three physical buttons that can power the TV on and off and change inputs, volume and channels.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 28 W
Power Consumption (Max) 64 W
Firmware V8-0MS5 3P1-LF1V044

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 40" (40D100). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 32" (32D100) and 49" (49D100) versions. The 32 inch (32D100) has a 720p resolution.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their TCL D100 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model Resolution
32" 32D100 720p
40" 40D100 1080p
49" 49D100 1080p

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: TCL S305 (40S305). Bottom left: Element Fire TV (EL4KAMZ5517). Middle: TCL D100 (40D100). Top right: LG LJ5500 (43LJ5500). Bottom right: Samsung MU6300 (UN55MU6300).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The TCL D100 is a passable inexpensive TV that can suit those with basic needs for a TV quite well. It doesn't offer a load of features but it's also often much cheaper than its competition. See our recommendations for the best TVs under $300 and the best budget TVs.

TCL S Series/S305 2018
28" 32" 40" 43" 49"

The TCL 3 Series (S305) is marginally better than the TCL 1 Series (D100).  The TCL S305 runs the Roku TV smart platform whereas the TCL D100 does not have a smart feature platform. If you wish to use it as a smart TV, you need to use an external box or dongle. The TCL S305 can remove 24p judder from movies whereas the TCL D100 can display crisp text when used as a monitor.

Vizio D3 Series 2021
40" 43" Full HD - 24" Full HD - 32" HD - 24" HD - 32"

The Vizio D3 Series 2021 is much better than the TCL 1 Series/D100. The Vizio has better contrast, and it can remove judder from 24p sources, including the native apps. Finally, the Vizio has much better accuracy out of the box, whereas the TCL has poor accuracy and can't be calibrated.

Samsung N5300
32" 43"

The Samsung N5300 is marginally better than the TCL D100. The Samsung N5300 has a good smart platform whereas the TCL D100 is a plain TV. The Samsung also has better viewing angles due to its IPS panel, and better reflection handling which makes it a better choice if your room has many small light sources. The TCL D100 has better dark room performance due to the high contrast ratio of its VA panel, and a lower input lag to please those who play video games.

LG LJ5500
43" 49" 55"

The TCL D100 is a better choice if you have a dim room and will be sitting right in front. The D100 has a better contrast ratio and a better black uniformity, and thus blacks look deep, and the overall picture quality is improved. On the other hand, if you will be viewing the TV from the side, then the LG LJ5500 is a better choice due to the better viewing angles. The LG LJ5500 is a smart TV and runs LG's WebOS, whereas the TCL D100 has no smart features. To get access to smart features on the D100, you must connect it to an external device or a dongle.

Samsung M5300
32" 40" 43" 49" 50"

The Samsung M5300 is somewhat better than the TCL D100 and is more suitable for a wide room as it has an IPS Panel with better viewing angles. The TCL D100 has a VA panel and thus better contrast and better black uniformity so it can display better blacks is a dark room. The Samsung M5300 is a smart TV whereas the TCL D100 has no smart platform and you need to use an external device so that you get smart features. Finally, the Samsung M5300 has a motion interpolation feature for the fans of the soap opera effect.

Vizio D Series 1080p 2017
24" 32" 39" 40" 43" 48" 50" 55"

If you have a room with a wide seating arrangement, the Vizio D series 1080p 2017 is a better choice as it has better viewing angles. On the other hand, the TCL D100 has much better contrast and can display a better picture quality if you sit directly in front. The Vizio is a smart TV whereas the TCL D100 does not have a smart feature platform. If you wish to use it as a smart TV, you need to use an external box or dongle. The Vizio has a lower input lag, and this is great if you play video games, whereas the TCL D100 can display crisp text when used as a monitor since it supports 4:4:4.

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