Updated Jun 26, 2017
By Eric Bousquet
TCL P607 LED TV Calibration Settings
These are the settings we used to calibrate the 55" TCL P607 (55P607). These setting are good for most content, from TV shows to movies and gaming. For gaming, some changes are needed to have the best input lag, and they are listed below.
We used the 'Movie' picture mode to get as close as possible to our calibration goal. The 'TV brightness' was set to 'Darker' for our totally dark room, but you can set it to a brighter setting if you have a room with more light. The 'Picture Size' was left to 'Auto' since under this setting, the TV will adjust the picture size to match the screen size by itself.
In the 'Advanced picture settings', we set the 'Local contrast' off for the calibration process, but for regular use, you should set it to 'High' ('Local contrast' is TCL's local dimming option). If you find that the screen luminance changes too much by itself depending what is displayed on the screen, you can set it to be less strong or simply turn it off. The 'Backlight' was set to 0 for our completely dark room, but here again, you should set it to match your room lighting. Note that here the 'backlight' works in combination with the 'TV brightness' option, giving you a more granular control of the TV luminance. 'Brightness' was left to 50 and the 'Contrast' to 100. The 'Sharpness' was set to 0 so that no oversharpness is added to the original content. 'Color' was left to 45 and 'Tint' to 0, their default values. The 'Color temperature was set to 'Warm' since it is the color temperature the closest to our calibration goal, but you can set it to a colder temperature if you find the screen to be too yellow or red.
If you intend to watch HDR content via an HDR UHD Blu-ray player or via an HDR video game console connected via HDMI, you will have to set the 'HDMI mode' to 'HDMI 2.0' for the HDMI port. This option is situated in the 'TV inputs' menu. For HDR content, the TV will change picture mode to match the type of HDR content (Dolby Vision or HDR10) by itself, but if you want to be sure you have the best setting, just verify that the 'TV brightness' is set to the brighter setting (from the 'Options' menu), that the 'Backlight' is set to maximum and 'Local contrast' is set to 'High' (both from the 'Advanced picture settings').
Update 01/26/2018: There is a bug with the 'Color' slider in HDR: sometimes when the slider is increased then decreased immediately, or vice versa, the TV freezes, crashes and reboots. This shouldn't be a problem for normal usage though.
For playing video games in SDR or HDR, via video game console or PC, simply turn on 'Game mode' from the 'Advanced picture settings to have the best input lag possible.
Note: When in game mode, the local dimming feature (named 'Local contrast') is not available. If you want to play video games with local dimming turned on, you will have to turn off the local dimming feature. The input lag outside game mode with a 4k@60Hz resolution is still very reasonable on this TV, as it is of 34.1 ms in SDR and 31.8 ms in HDR.
Expert Picture Settings
There are some settings that are only available via the mobile Roku apps. The Roku app is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded via either the Apple App Store or via Google Play store. For more in for on the Roku app itself, you can access this page. To access those setting, you need to go to the 'Setting' tab, and then go to 'Expert Picture Settings'.
In the 'Expert Picture Settings' menu, you can set the 'Picture mode', 'Gamma', 'Noise Reduction', 'Color temperature', the '11 points White balance' calibration and the 'Color Space' calibration. Some settings like the picture mode and color temperature are redundant and don't need to be changed again if already set from the TV settings. For our calibration and to get the best picture quality, set the 'Gamma' to 2.2. If you are watching SDR or HDR content and you find that you are losing too much detail in the dark area of the screen (black crunsh) or the white (clipping) you can change the 'Gamma' value to a lower or higher setting. We also set the 'Noise Reduction to 'Off'. This can be turned on if you are watching some older low-resolution video since it can help to reduce compression artifacts often present on older content. If you intend to do a calibration, then you will need to change the value in the '11 Pt WB' (the white balance control) and change the 'Color Space' setting to 'Custom' and change the value for each color. Note that each color temperature has it separate calibration data, so if you calibrate on the 'Warm' color temperature, your correction won't be applied if you change the color temperature to another one.
The following are the results of the white balance and colorspace
calibration on our unit. They are provided for reference, and should not be
copied as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same
model and same size as the TV we reviewed due to manufacturing tolerances. If
you want to try them you will need to enter all values shown, as all of them
are active at the same time.
If you end up with worse picture quality, simply reset them to the default
Questions & Answers
19 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear on the color space question. What was the color space of HDMI connection at the source device? RGB or YCbCr? 4:4:4 or 4:2:0 or 4:2:2? Rec.709 or Rec.2020?
We send a 16-235, 8 bit RGB signal and calibrate to the Rec. 709 standard. On Nvidia Control Panel, these settings are 'Output color format' set to RGB, 'Output color depth' to 8 bits per color, and Limited 'Output dynamic range' for the 16-235 color range. Different graphics card control panels may have different names for these options.
I'm not too knowledgeable on gaming input lag, but if I play a PS4 Pro (or Xbox One S) outside of Game Mode in order to take advantage of Local Contrast, is the 31 ms in HDR at all noticeable?
It can be noticeable, yes. The TCL'S input lag of 47ms without game mode enabled is still reasonable though, and it should still make for a compelling experience for more casual gamers.
Update: It is now possible to enable the local dimming feature in game mode.
What was the color space selected during the calibration process?
We selected the 'Custom' color space and changed the values for each color, as per the image at the bottom of the page. These values are only provided for reference because the optimal calibration values vary between units of the same model. If you want to try them and you end up with worse picture quality, simply reset them to the default values.
I'm a person who prefers a brighter screen. I copied your setting with the difference of having my brightness on brighter. My problem is when I play a game on my Xbox; the HDR setting is turned on and it dims my TV. It looks very good on the Xbox menu, but the moment I start a game HDR kicks in and it looks terrible. Is there a setting where I can change that?
The backlight needs to be at maximum for HDR. Besides that, I just tested Forza Horizon 3 in HDR on our Xbox One S, and these were the best settings:
- TV brightness: Brighter
- Picture mode: Dark HDR
- Local contrast: High
- Dynamic Contrast: Off
- Backlight: 100
- Brightness: 50
- Contrast: 100
- Sharpness: 0
- Color: 45
- Tint: 0
- Color temperature: Warm
- Game mode: On
If the picture is still too dim in HDR you can turn off 'Local contrast', and change the 'Gamma' to '1.8' in the Roku app under 'Expert Picture Settings'. Note that the Dark picture mode doesn't make the screen darker, it just has the most accurate picture quality in a Dark room, which is what we calibrate for. You can experiment with the other picture modes if you still find the picture too dim.
How do I go about calibrating white balance and colorspace in a professional manner? Do you use some sort of program on a computer? I would like to know so I can calibrate my TV to the best of it's abilities. Thanks!
Colorspace and White balance calibration require the use of a probe such as a Tristimulus colorimeter or Spetroradiometer. These tools can be quite expensive, and also require dedicated calibration software such as CalMan or HCFR adding even more to the cost and complexity. For most TVs, the difference made by these adjustments isn't worth the money for the average viewer.
How do I know what resolution is being displayed? Is there a way to check this at anytime? I know the HDR or DV icons come on for HDR, but what about if I am wondering if what is displayed is 480p or 480i, 720p etc? Also what do I have to do to upscale content? You ranked how well the TV upscales from 480p and 720p etc, but I cannot find out how to achieve this.
Pressing the 'OK' button on the remote will bring up a small menu that lists the resolution playing. If that doesn't work, turn off 'CEC' in the TV's 'System' menu and try the 'OK' button again. The TV always upscales according to the mode set in the 'Picture size' setting of the (*) quick menu ('Auto' by default), so it's likely already upscaling just fine; if it's not upscaling then there will be black bars around the image.
I used your settings for my Xbox One X and everything appears way too dark. In HDR the colors appear more washed out than SDR. Our TV is in a moderatly dark room all day. How can I make the color pop out more and increase the brightness?
To enhance the brightness, you can set the "TV brightness" setting to high and raise the Backlight setting without issue. The color slider can also be raised if you want to have more saturated colors, although unlike the backlight setting, this one affects the accuracy of the picture.
Why did you guys pick the Vizio M series’s as the best budget tv over the TCL 55p607? It seems the detailed review lends itself to the TCL being better but you guys picked the vizio as the best budget tv, just wanted to know why.
Depending on your usage, either TVs can be an equally good choice. The Vizio M lends itself better for movie buffs, since we've found its picture quality to be slightly better than the TCL thanks to its more accurate local dimming and more even blacks. However, the TCL offers great gaming and HDR gaming performance thanks to its great motion and exceptionally low input lag.
Based on your ratings, I purchased a TCL P605
from Bestbuy. I have been using it for a few weeks. The picture quality is great, but the viewing angle is terrible! The Sony X900E
and Samsung MU8000
are also VA panels, but their viewing angle is much better than TCL. Is there any settings that can improve this? Viewing angle is kind of important for me. The Sony is a bit expensive and the Samsung is not as good as I thought.
The TCL P607
we tested did have a worse than average black level viewing angle, that may be what you're sensitive to; you could raise the 'Brightness' setting to raise the black level, but this will hurt the picture quality. If you're fine with the viewing angle of the X900E
, the Vizio M Series 2017
is the P607/P605's chief rival as long as you don't play a lot of video games; if you do then a Samsung like the MU6300
may be preferable due to its lower input lag. If you want an even better viewing angle, the Sony X720E
has an IPS panel with a decent viewing angle.
Do the settings for color space and white balance used for SDR calibration have an effect on HDR content? Could a beneficial SDR calibration results have a negative HDR impact?
Yes, the settings for white balance and color space apply to both HDR and SDR. The white point calibration modifies the white point used, say 'Warm', and applies wherever 'Warm' is used. After 'Warm' has been modified it becomes 'Warm*'. The white point calibration should be equally beneficial for SDR and HDR, so you would want to use 'Warm*' for both.
Where things get a little more complicated is with the 'Color Space' calibration; only the 'Custom' color space can be modified, and no picture mode uses it by default. If you calibrate 'Custom' for SDR then you should only manually enable it for SDR, because it will likely hurt HDR color accuracy.
Is there a way to enable HDR10 in Windows 10 with a good picture quality? My Windows 10 looks really bad. And if I set in the nvidia settings RGB 8bits limited, I lost the ability to select HDR both in Windows and the TV.
Windows HDR isn't very polished at present. Because HDR is meant to be run at max backlight Windows dims everything to avoid blinding people; the problem is that it dims to a dark room appropriate level which is too dim in a bright room, and there's no way to change it. HDR content like movies will run without dimming because they're designed for maximum backlight, but everything non-HDR will be dimmed. Also Windows HDR is disabled for 8 bit color depth, but it can occasionally be tricked into working: if you set 1080p @ 4:4:4 (or RGB) @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit, turn on HDR, then switch to 4K, Windows will often remain in HDR while the bit depth drops to 8 bit due to bandwidth constraints.
Luckily many applications that go into full screen exclusive mode can play in HDR even when Windows HDR is disabled; this is how current HDR games work, and some video players like MPC-HC with madVR can do this.
Is there any way to copy the calibration to each HDMI input, or do I have to do it manually for both?
hi and thanks for contacting us. From what we could find out with the TV and the mobile app, it seems that the calibration need to be manually copied to each HDMI inputs.
Does anyone have a remote code for this display for Xbox One X? I've tried a few I found online but none work. I use the Xbox One media remote so it would be nice to control volume with it!
We've never tried this ourselves, but for the Xbox One the code (T1756) should work for TCL Roku TVs, according to this support article
What are the best settings for an Apple TV 4K with Dolby Vision enabled?
Most of our 'General' and 'HDR' picture settings should work equally well for Dolby Vision. In both HDR10 and Dolby Vision we recommend the 'Dark' picture mode (aka dark room), because it's the most accurate.
I am buying a switch and zelda breath of the wild soon. Do you have picture settings suggestions for this? I have seen for other TV's people suggest to turn on full RGB on both the TV and the switch, I don't see that as an option for this TV.
TCL TVs detect the input format automatically, so if you set the Switch to full RGB it should work without any settings change. We did notice that if full/limited range is changed on the fly, TCL TV's won't re-detect until you go to the home menu and back, but this only needs to be done once. As for the picture settings, our 'General' and 'Game' settings should work well for the Switch ('Movie' mode, 'Game mode' ON, warm color temperature).
Does the TV brightness setting have any effect on how the TV follows the EOTF in HDR or is it just entirely an overall light output setting that you set for preference?
Altering the TV brightness setting maintains the EOTF quite well, so it is pretty safe to use if you find the image too bright. only when the setting is set to its lower levels like darker (especially when combined with adjustments to the backlight settings) will the EOTF be darkened across the board to dim the entire picture.
Thanks for the calibration tips. They make such a difference, even on cable. My question is, when I am in hdr or Dolby Vision do I change the sharpness to 0 or leave at 20? I think I have everything else figured out. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.
You should definitely leave the sharpness at 0, especially when dealing with high quality sources displaying in HDR or Dolby Vision.
I am finding the brightness of the TCL P 55" to be extremely dim for my liking. Even when using a bright setting in a dark room, the picture still seems extremely dark. This is when playing Dolby Vision or HDR content with local dimming on. I prefer local dimming on to get the deep blacks. Is there any model tv you can recommend to get better brightness? I've noticed your sustained brightness window findings for the TCL P series are almost backwards when compared to other TV's. ex., peak brightness gets lower with a smaller window where as on the Sony X900E
, Vizio M, and most other sets behave the opposite. Is there any reason the TCL P series behaves this way?
If you find the TCL P607
too dark when watching HDR content, you can try adjusting the Gamma setting in the expert settings using the Roku app on your smartphone. Don't expect a significant improvement, but it does help a bit. We've seen other screens peak in the 10% - 25% window like the Sony X930E
. If you are looking for a brighter screen, the Sony X900E
is about 10% brighter on HDR content.
Good day! I purchased this TV for Xbox One X gaming only. Does this TV support RGB Full? I'm just wondering if I should change my Xbox One X settings from 8 bit and RGB Limited to 10 bit and RGB Full. Would this enhance the picture? Would this introduce any additional input lag? Thank you!
TCL TVs support full RGB and detect the input format automatically. You should set the Xbox One X to 10 bit, and black levels to RGB Full. This won't add any additional input lag but it might slightly improve the picture (especially gradients).
We are not taking any more questions for this product because we no longer have it in our lab.