The TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED is a budget 4k TV released in 2022 that runs the Roku OS smart interface. It sits below the much more advanced TCL 6 Series/R655 2022 QLED and replaces the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. It's available along with the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED, which runs the Google TV smart interface instead of Roku TV. It has a few new features compared to the S535, including variable refresh rate support, but like the S546, it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and doesn't support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. It has a full array local dimming feature, but like most budget models, it doesn't use Mini LED backlighting and has a small number of dimming zones. It's available in 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch sizes, so there are options available for many different needs, and all sizes perform the same.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a great TV for mixed usage. It's an impressive TV for watching movies in a dark room thanks to its superb contrast, fantastic black uniformity, and decent local dimming feature. It looks good in a bright room, with high peak brightness and decent reflection handling, but it's not a good choice for a wide seating arrangement, as the image fades and looks washed out when viewed at an angle. It delivers a great gaming experience, with low input lag and a very good response time, but it's a bit limited by its 60Hz refresh rate and lack of HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is an impressive model for watching movies in a dark room. It has a superb contrast ratio, resulting in very deep, uniform blacks in a dark room. Bright highlights stand out well in dark scenes without causing blacks to appear washed out. It automatically removes judder from 24p sources, but unfortunately, it can't remove judder from 60Hz sources like most cable boxes. It upscales 1080p content, like Blu-ray movies, well, but DVDs aren't displayed properly.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a good model for watching shows in a bright room. It has great peak brightness and decent reflection handling, so it can overcome moderate amounts of glare with no issues. It upscales most lower quality content well, but it doesn't display 480p sources properly, so it's not good for watching shows on DVD if you have an older player. The built-in Roku smart interface has a great selection of streaming apps, so you can quickly find your favorite shows. Unfortunately, it has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice for a wide seating arrangement, as the image appears dull and washed out from the side.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a good model for watching sports in a bright room. Thanks to its great peak brightness and decent reflection handling, it can easily overcome glare in moderately-lit rooms. The response time is good enough that you won't see much blur behind fast-moving objects. It has decent gray uniformity, but there are a few uniformity issues that are distracting when watching sports. Unfortunately, it has a narrow viewing angle, so it's not a good choice for a wide seating arrangement, as the image fades and colors look washed out when viewed from the side.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a great model for playing video games. It has a very good response time, so there's just a bit of blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has superb low input lag, ensuring a responsive gaming experience, and supports a variable refresh rate to reduce tearing in games. Unfortunately, it's a bit limited by its 60Hz refresh rate, as it can't take full advantage of the performance modes offered by the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a great model for watching movies in HDR. It has a superb contrast ratio and fantastic black uniformity, so dark scenes are displayed well, with little blooming around bright objects. It has alright peak brightness in HDR, so bright scenes aren't as bright as they should be, but midtones are displayed well. It also has a great color gamut, ensuring HDR content looks vivid and lifelike. It has just good gradient handling, so you'll notice more banding in areas of similar color than on higher-end TVs with better processing.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a great model for gaming in HDR. It delivers a great gaming experience with low input lag and a fast response time, ensuring a smooth, clear gaming experience. HDR looks great, thanks to its superb contrast ratio and decent local dimming feature, so bright highlights stand out well in darker scenes. It has just alright peak brightness in HDR, though, so it bright scenes aren't as bright as the content creator intended.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a very good TV for use as a PC monitor, but there are some limitations. It displays chroma 4:4:4 signals properly, which is important for clear text from a PC, and it has low input lag for a responsive desktop experience. On the other hand, it has a narrow viewing angle, so the sides of the screen appear dull and non-uniform if you're sitting up close. It also has some noticeable uniformity issues, which can be distracting when browsing the web.
We bought and tested the 65-inch TCL 5 Series Roku TV, and our results are also valid for the 50, 55, and 75-inch models. There's another 5-series TV still available, the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED; it's a very similar TV but it runs the Google TV smart platform instead of Roku.
You can see the label for our unit here.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV is a good budget TV that performs well overall. It offers better picture quality than most other budget models, like the Hisense U6H and the Vizio M6 Series Quantum 2022. There are a few uniformity and quality control issues, but you can find the same issues on any budget TV, so unless you're willing to spend a lot more, it's one of the best TVs in its price range.
The TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED is better than the Hisense U6H. The TCL gets a lot brighter, so it can better overcome glare in a bright room. The TCL also has better contrast and better black uniformity, meaning it's a better choice for a dark room. Finally, the TCL is better for gaming thanks to its much faster response time, resulting in clearer motion with less blur behind fast-moving objects.
The TCL 6 Series/R655 2022 QLED is a noticeable step up from the TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED. The R655 gets significantly brighter and has much better reflection handling, meaning it can handle more glare in a bright room. HDR also looks noticeably better on the R655 thanks to its higher peak brightness, and bright highlights stand out better. Finally, the R655 is a much better TV for gaming thanks to its faster refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, allowing for 4k @ 120Hz gaming from the latest consoles.
The TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED is much better than the model it replaces, the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. The S555 is significantly brighter, so it can handle more glare in a bright room, and HDR content stands out better. The S555 is also better for gaming, as it supports a variable refresh rate feature to reduce tearing in games.
The TCL 5 Series/S555 2022 QLED is a bit better than the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series. The TCL is a lot brighter, so it can better overcome glare in a bright room, and HDR content is a lot brighter. The TCL is also much better for use as a PC monitor, as chroma 4:4:4 is displayed properly, resulting in much better text clarity.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has a very nice, premium design. The side and top bezels are extremely thin, and other than a small gap of dead space between the frame and the first pixels, it blends into your surroundings well. The bottom bezel is a bit thicker, with a brushed metal finish, and it looks nice.
This TV isn't part of our accelerated longevity test, but its predecessor, the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED, is.
The v-shaped feet are pretty basic, but they support the TV well. There are two positions for the feet, which is great if you have a smaller TV table and aren't planning on wall-mounting it.
Footprint of the 65" stand in the narrow position (as shown): 26.7" x 12.7". In the wide position (as shown here), the footprint is 50.9" x 12.7". In both positions, the feet lift the screen about 3.11" above the table, so most soundbars fit without blocking the screen.
The bottom half of the screen houses all the electronics and inputs, and it's thicker than the top half. The thicker section prevents the TV from sitting completely flush against the wall if it's wall-mounted.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has decent overall build quality. The stand is stable and supports the TV well, and although there's a bit of flex in the back panel, it's not too bad and won't cause any issues. It's mostly made of cheap plastic, and although it doesn't feel very premium, it looks good, and there are no serious issues. There are a few spots on the display that you can see when displaying uniform images (like football or hockey). They appear to be pressure points and are likely a factory defect.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has superb contrast. Dark scenes are displayed well, with deep blacks, even when bright highlights are on the screen. The local dimming feature increases contrast a bit, but it's limited by the relatively large size of each dimming zone.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has great peak brightness in SDR. It's bright enough to handle moderate amounts of glare in a bright room, and there's very little variation in brightness with different scenes. Very small highlights in near-black scenes are dimmed by the TV's local dimming feature, though.
These measurements are after calibration in the 'Movie' Picture Mode with the Backlight at '100', and TV Brightness set to 'Brighter'. Local Contrast was set to 'High', Contrast was set to '100', and the Color Temperature set to 'Warm'.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has a decent full array local dimming feature. There are only 30 zones, so each zone covers a relatively large area of the screen. The TV gets around this by averaging the backlight out over a greater area than it needs to, so blooming is softened and not as noticeable. Zone transitions are a bit noticeable with fast-moving bright objects in dark scenes, but the TV's processing does a decent job minimizing trails behind bright objects.
The TV averages out bright highlights across multiple zones, resulting in raised blacks in most scenes. It results in very little black crush, which is good, as fine details in near-black scenes, like a starfield, are preserved. It also results in a bit of noticeable blooming around bright objects in dark scenes, including with subtitles.
The local dimming feature performs the same in Game Mode as in the other picture modes.
Unfortunately, this TV has just okay peak brightness in HDR. Some bright highlights stand out well, but very bright scenes aren't bright enough to stand out.
These measurements are in the 'Dark' HDR Picture Mode with the Backlight at its max, TV Brightness set to 'Brighter', Contrast at '100', Local Contrast on 'High', and the Color Temperature set to 'Warm'.
Switching to 'Game' mode doesn't result in any noticeable difference in peak brightness with HDR games.
The TV has excellent PQ EOTF tracking. Shadow details are preserved well, but near blacks are dimmed a bit. With content mastered at lower peak brightness levels, there's a sharp cutoff near the TV's peak brightness, but content mastered at 4,000 nits has a smoother roll-off, so fine details are well-preserved in bright scenes.
This TV has good gradient handling, but there's more noticeable banding than you'll see on higher-end TVs. Blues are the best, but all colors and shades of gray show signs of banding. There's a noise reduction feature that you can enable through the companion app, but it doesn't reduce banding at all.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has decent gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are a bit darker than the center, and there's some dirty screen effect in the center that can be distracting when watching sports like football or hockey. There are also a few round spots, especially four large spots along the top edge of the screen. These appear to be pressure points that occurred during assembly.
The black uniformity on this TV is fantastic. Even with local dimming fully disabled, the screen is remarkably uniform, and the dark spots noticeable in the gray uniformity slides aren't noticeable. Enabling local dimming (Active Contrast) worsens the black uniformity, as the large size of each zone causes a halo around bright objects, like the test cross.
Unfortunately, the TCL 5 Series Roku TV has a sub-par viewing angle. Colors fade and appear washed out as you move off-center. This TV isn't a good choice for a wide seating arrangement or if you like to move around with the TV on, as you'll see a degraded image from the side.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has just decent reflection handling. The semi-gloss finish reduces the intensity of direct reflections but causes some smearing across the display. It's bright enough that glare won't be an issue for most people, though.
The overall accuracy of this TV in SDR before calibration is excellent. There are no noticeable issues with colors, but very bright shades of gray are a bit off. The color temperature is very close to our calibration target of 6500K. Gamma is close to the target of 2.2 we chose for a moderately-lit room, but darker scenes are a bit too dark, and bright scenes are slightly too bright.
This TV is very easy to calibrate with the Roku companion app, and the results after calibration are fantastic. We didn't have to adjust any colors, as they were already fantastic after calibrating the white point to D65.
You can see the full settings used for our calibration here.
Unfortunately, like the TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED, 480p signals aren't scaled properly. Adjusting the scaling setting has no impact on this. It isn't an issue unless you have a really old DVD player that doesn't support upscaling; it's unlikely that you'll encounter this issue with modern equipment.
720p content, like many cable TV channels, is displayed perfectly, and looks great.
1080p content is displayed well and looks almost as good as native 4k content.
4k content is displayed perfectly. There are no signs of subpixel issues like dithering.
Like most TVs on the market, this TV uses a BGR (Blue-Green-Red) subpixel layout instead of the traditional Red-Green-Blue layout. For video content, it doesn't cause any issues, but if you're planning on using this TV as a PC monitor, this reduces text clarity a bit, although there are easy workarounds for it. You can read more about this here.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has a great color gamut in HDR. It has fantastic coverage of the DCI-P3 color space used by most current Ultra HD Blu-ray movies. Its coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space is more limited, though, which isn't ideal. The tone mapping is very good for the most part, which is important for content that exceeds the color space of this TV.
The color volume is just decent. Thanks to its superb contrast ratio, it displays dark saturated colors well. Unfortunately, it's limited by its relatively low peak brightness in HDR.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on this TV.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has a very good response time. There's very little black smearing in dark scenes, which is great, and transitions are consistent for the most part. There's some motion blur behind fast-moving objects when watching sports or playing games, but it's not that noticeable.
Unfortunately, the TCL 5 Series Roku TV isn't flicker-free. It uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to dim the backlight, and it flickers across all picture modes with all settings. It flickers at a very high frequency, though, which won't bother most people.
There's an optional backlight strobing feature, commonly known as black frame insertion. It only flickers at 60Hz, but unfortunately, the timing is off, causing a duplicate image. The score for this test is based on the flicker frequency and not the actual performance.
This TV has an optional motion interpolation feature to improve the appearance of motion. Like most budget TVs, it works best with slow motion, as it can't keep up with busy scenes, and there are noticeable artifacts.
There's a bit of stutter when watching movies or other low frame rate content. It's especially noticeable in slow panning shots.
Unfortunately, unlike the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED, this TV can't remove judder from 60Hz sources like a cable box. Enabling the Natural Cinema feature is necessary to remove judder from 24p sources, including anything with a Match Frame Rate feature like an Apple TV.
This TV supports a variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing when gaming. Unfortunately, due to the 60Hz max refresh rate, the screen can only refresh within a narrow range, and low framerate compensation (LFC) isn't supported, so you'll see more tearing in games that are locked at a lower refresh rate or in busier scenes.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has superb low input lag, resulting in a very responsive gaming experience. The input lag is also low in 'PC' mode, which is great as you can enjoy clear text and a smooth desktop experience.
This TV has good compatibility with most resolutions at 60Hz. Chroma 4:4:4 is displayed properly with all supported resolutions, even when 1440p is forced, which is great as this is necessary for clear text from a PC.
This TV can't take full advantage of the PS5, as its HDMI ports lack the bandwidth for 4k @ 120Hz gaming from the new-gen consoles, and it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate anyway.
This TV can't take full advantage of the Xbox Series S|X, as it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate and its HDMI inputs don't have the bandwidth necessary for 4k @ 120Hz gaming from the new-gen consoles.
Unfortunately, this TV doesn't support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. All four HDMI inputs are limited to 18Gbps, so despite TCL's advertising, we don't consider this to be HDMI 2.1. Unfortunately, it doesn't support ATSC 3.0, so over-the-air broadcasts are limited to 1080p.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV supports eARC, but strangely, it doesn't support the two most common audio formats supported by eARC. If you watch content mastered with those formats, it instead downmixes the signal.
The TCL 5 Series Roku TV has a disappointing frequency response. Like most TVs, it has very little bass, with no thump or rumble. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, and there's very little distortion, even at higher volume levels. Sadly, there's no room correction feature, and it can't get very loud, so it's not a good choice for a noisy environment.
There's some noticeable distortion on this TV, even at moderate listening levels. It hardly increases at all at high volume levels, though.
This TV runs the Roku TV smart interface, which is very simple, with fewer animations and a simpler user interface than you'll get with more premium TVs. It's very fast, though, and easy to use.
Unfortunately, like all Roku TVs we've tested, there are large ads on the home screen and they can't be disabled.
The Roku app store has a great selection of streaming apps, with many free streaming apps built-in.
Unfortunately, this TV comes with the same basic remote found with most Roku devices. This means there's no built-in voice control; you have to use the Roku companion app instead for that. There are a few quick access buttons for popular streaming services, but like most TVs, you can't change them.
The power button is on the back of the TV on the right, and you can change inputs with it too.