TCL 1 Series/D100 TV Review

Reviewed Aug 14, 2017 at 10:50 am
TCL 1 Series/D100 Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.2
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
5.3
Movies
6.7
TV Shows
7.2
Sports
7.0
Video Games
4.3
HDR Movies
4.2
HDR Gaming
7.0
PC Monitor
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

6.2 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.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
5.3 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.

See our Movies recommendations
6.7 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.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.2 Sports

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

See our Sports recommendations
7.0 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.

See our Video Games recommendations
4.3 HDR Movies

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

See our HDR Movies recommendations
4.2 HDR Gaming

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

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
7.0 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.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 5.3 Movies
  • 6.7 TV Shows
  • 7.2 Sports
  • 7.0 Video Games
  • 4.3 HDR Movies
  • 4.2 HDR Gaming
  • 7.0 PC Monitor
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
  1. Update 2/28/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 3/12/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.

Test Results

Market Context
Design
6.0
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.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
95 °F (35 °C)
Average Temperature
91 °F (33 °C)

The TV runs fairly cool, only getting warm to the touch in a few places on the back. The bottom is full of vents, which exit midway up the back.

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
4287 : 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.

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.

6.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
227 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
265 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
262 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
260 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
258 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
258 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
263 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
260 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
259 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
258 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
258 cd/m²
SDR 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
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
N/A
HDR ABL
N/A

The TV does not support HDR.

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.

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.

7.9
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.

7.6
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.0 %
Indirect Reflections
0.4 %

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
7478 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
7478 K
White Balance Calibration
No
Color Calibration
No
Auto-Calibration Function
No

Unfortunately, there is no calibration option on the TCL D100, so it is impossible fix those imperfections.

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.

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 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.172 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.125 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.144 dE

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.

Picture Quality
Pixels

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

Motion
7.9
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
60 Hz for 60 fps
No
120 Hz 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.

0
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.

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

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

Inputs
8.4
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
30.7 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
30.7 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
N/A
8k @ 60 Hz
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
N/A
1440p @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1440p with VRR
N/A
4k with VRR
N/A
8k with VRR
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
No

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 @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
No
1440p @ 60 Hz
No
1440p @ 120 Hz
No
4k @ 60 Hz
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
No
4k @ 120 Hz
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
No
8k @ 60 Hz
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
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
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
No
HDR10+
No
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
No
3D
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
No
HDMI 2.1
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
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