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TCL P Series/P607 2017 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jun 26, 2017 at 11:46 am
TCL P Series/P607 2017 Picture
7.7
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.3
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.3
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.2
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.5
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.6
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.3
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.1
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
This TV was replaced by the TCL 6 Series 2018
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The TCL P607 p series is a very good HDR TV with better than average picture quality thanks to its deep blacks. It has local dimming to enhance its contrast, and it is packed with HDR features such as a large color volume and high brightness. It also has low motion blur and input lag, making it a versatile choice suitable for sports and video games as well. Unfortunately though, its picture quality degrades very rapidly when viewed from an angle, and the overall picture uniformity could be better. The TCL P605 offers the same performance and picture quality, but has a different remote.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

Very good TV overall. The P607 is a versatile TV that covers all essential bases. Its picture quality is better than average, and it gets bright enough for every environment.

Pros
  • Good local dimming produces deep blacks
  • Low input lag, great for gaming
  • Wide Color gamut for HDR
Cons
  • Overall uniformity could be better
  • Picture quality degrades at angle
7.3 Movies

Great TV for watching movies in a dark room. The TCL's better than average local dimming does a good job at enhancing the blacks and giving the picture a lot of depth. The uniformity of the blacks could be a bit better though.

7.3 TV Shows

Decent TV for watching TV shows. The P607 has a good image, but it lacks a soap opera effect feature. Its handling of reflections leaves a bit to be desired, and its picture quality degrades at an angle.

7.2 Sports

The P607 is average for sports watching. It gets bright enough for most environments, and its good motion keeps fast moving content crisp. Unfortunately though, the mediocre uniformity can lead to some field sports looking slightly blotchy.

8.5 Video Games

The TCL P607 is a great TV for gaming. Its input lag is excellent, and it produces very little motion blur, giving a clear image free of annoying trail.

7.6 HDR Movies

Great TV for HDR movies. The TCL gets bright, can display a wide color gamut without major gradations and features a good local dimming feature that enhances the blacks. This combines into a well featured package that produces a very good experience.

8.3 HDR Gaming

Impressive TV for HDR Gaming. The TCL P607 has exceptionally low input lag in every picture mode, and the TV's great HDR performance is well translated into gaming. It even features Dolby Vision which some HDR games support.

8.1 PC Monitor

Decent PC monitor. The P607 supports chroma 4:4:4 for clear text, and it has both low motion blur and input lag which keeps it responsive. Unfortunately though, the uniformity issues can be annoying when used as a monitor, and the narrow viewing angles will be problematic when used from up close.

  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Movies
  • 7.3 TV Shows
  • 7.2 Sports
  • 8.5 Video Games
  • 7.6 HDR Movies
  • 8.3 HDR Gaming
  • 8.1 PC Monitor
  1. Update 3/12/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Update 1/19/2018: There is a problem with how the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X detect the audio passthrough capabilities of TCL TVs; a workaround is detailed in the Additional Review Notes.
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  4. Update 8/1/2017: Local dimming now works with 'Game mode' enabled, as of software version 7.7.0 (build 4111).
  5. Update 7/18/2017: It was discovered that 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed in PC mode. The TV forces PC mode when it detects a PC input. The review has been updated.

Test Results

Design
6.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the TCL p series is similar to most other TCL TVs we have tested, such as the UP130 from 2016. The wide stand supports the TV well and feels stable, but may be harder to fit on some tables. It doesn't stand out as much as premium TVs but is quite functional. 

Design
Stand

The stand is almost as wide as the TV itself, and so requires quite a large table. It is very similar to the UP130 from 2016.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 8.0" x 38.5"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The rear of the TV is made of metal, which is nice. There is only a single velcro strap for cable management at the bottom of the TV.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.67" (1.7 cm)

The borders have an average thickness but look quite good. They are made of plastic but have a silver accent which is nice.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.99" (7.6 cm)

The TV has an average thickness when viewed from the side, and is thickest near the base of the TV. If wall mounted it will stick out a bit.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
93 °F (34 °C)
Average Temperature
88 °F (31 °C)

The TV runs fairly cool, only getting warm to the touch in a few places on the back. The bottom is one big vent, as with most TVs, and there is another vent midway up the back of the TV.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the p series is okay. The metal back is nice, and screws throughout the TV hold it together well.

Picture Quality
9.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
6437 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
7269 : 1

The TCL P607 has an excellent native contrast ratio and is on par with some of the best high-end LED TVs we have tested and even better than most Samsung top tier LED TVs. This high native contrast means the TCL p series can display very deep blacks, which is very important for dark scenes in movies, especially when the TV is set in a dark viewing room.

When the local dimming is turned on, the contrast ratio goes up by about 11% to reach 7269:1 which is a great result.

6.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Full-Array

The local dimming on the TCL p series is decent, and improves the contrast ratio on our black checkerboard pattern significantly.

It isn't without some flaws though. On a side by side comparison, we found it to be better than the Vizio M Series 2017 but just a bit shy of the Sony X900E. Unfortunately, it darkens the moving white highlight too much compared to the Sony X900E. It is easier to see on the smaller highlights, but the behavior is present event with the bigger one. The darkening is more obvious when the moving highlight crosses the limits of each dimming zone. It seems the algorithm is a bit too aggressive here.

Update 07/10/2017: Testing with the latest firmware shows no visible changes to the local dimming performance. The algorithm remains very aggressive, often dimming small highlights and turning backlight zones on and off quickly instead of gradually as highlights move across the screen, which produces flashing as visible in the above video.

Update 07/17/2017: Enabling 'Game Mode' unfortunately disables local dimming, which means picture quality is a little worse in 'Game Mode'.

Update 08/01/2017: Local dimming now works with 'Game mode' enabled, as of software version 7.7.0 (build 4111).

8.5
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
504 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
521 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
687 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
624 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
567 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
332 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
519 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
684 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
621 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
563 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.039

Plot over time

Great SDR peak brightness. The real scene brightness is very strong, and in an ideal case the TV's local dimming can make highlights even brighter. However highlights in very dark scenes will be dimmed below what they should be, as shown by the low brightness in our 2% and 10% white window tests. Still, the P607's SDR brightness is much better than any of its competitors like the Vizio M Series 2017 or the Samsung MU6300.

7.3
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
489 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
327 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
515 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
683 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
623 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
566 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
323 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
512 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
681 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
620 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
563 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.041

Plot over time

Decent HDR peak brightness. The real scene brightness is decent, and in certain scenes the TV's local dimming will be able to make highlights even brighter. Unfortunately the TV dims highlights in very dark scenes, as shown by the low brightness in our smaller window tests. The HDR brightness is comparable to that of the Vizio M Series 2017, but much brighter than any of its other competitors like the Samsung MU6300.

5.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
5.950 %
50% DSE
0.250 %
5% Std. Dev.
1.644 %
5% DSE
0.135 %

The gray uniformity of the P607 is disappointing. All the corners and edges are darker than the center the screen and the top and bottom also have a warmer look than the rest of the screen. The dirty screen effect isn't too bad, but is noticeable for sports.

Looking at our 5% gray uniformity test picture, overall the screen is pretty uniform with only the sides being a bit more bright than the center, but this is mostly due to the effect of the narrow viewing angle rather than a uniformity problem of the screen itself.

4.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
20 °
Brightness
32 °
Black Level
11 °

Bad viewing angle, even for a TV with a VA panel. Blacks turn grey very rapidly even at a small angle, followed by colors shifting and brightness decreasing when viewed from larger and larger angles. This TV is not well suited for a room where people often view the TV from the side.

6.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.774 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
0.837 %

The TCL p series has a decent overall black uniformity. Most of the issues are due to some visible clouding in each corner of the TV screen on the native black uniformity picture (with local dimming turned off). Luckily the clouding is not too bad and is barely visible in dark scenes.

When the local dimming is turned on, the uniformity of the screen is much better, as seen with our standard deviation number (1.774 to 0.837) and also visually when looking at both test pictures. The local dimming takes care of the blooming that was visible in each corner and the blooming around the middle cross is also kept to a minimum, which is great and also a good sign that the local dimming is pretty effective.

7.6
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.7 %
Indirect Reflections
0.6 %

The TCL p series has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses reflections across the screen. It is fine for an average-lit room but the reflections may be distracting in a well-lit room or with a few windows facing the TV.

7.7
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Movie
White Balance dE
3.04
Color dE
2.34
Gamma
2.13
Color Temperature
5959 K

Very good accuracy after changing to the 'Movie' picture mode out of the box. The white balance is a bit on the warm side and the dE just over 3 is almost not perceivable unless you are used to using a calibrated monitor. Gamma is not far off too, as the curve tracks pretty closely to our 2.2 target. As for the color reproduction accuracy, with a dE of 2.34, this is a great result and most of the inaccuracies are due to the slightly warm white balance.

For most people, the TCL P could be used as is without any need of a calibration.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Movie
White Balance dE
0.15
Color dE
0.65
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6508 K

Amazing accuracy after calibration. The white balance is almost perfect, with only small imperfections in the brighter end of the grayscale, and the gamma curve tracks much more closely. As for the color, many of the problems noted before calibration are corrected, and most of it is due to the white balance being more precise.

The calibration process is fairly easy to do with the Roku app and the 11 points white balance and color space management really help here. Note that on the TV itself, there is no calibration menu and it has to be done via the Roku app itself (on a smart phone or tablet).

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Upscaling of low quality content such as DVDs is good. As with other TCL TVs, the image isn't too soft and details are preserved.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p sources such as cable TV are upscaled well. Details remains clear.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Full HD content such as Blu-rays look good. The image remains clear.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

With some 4k images (such as for PC monitor use) the sub-pixel dimming algorithm results in some strange artifacts when viewed from up close (see the pixels photo here). This isn't an issue for most content.

7.9
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
89.40 %
DCI P3 uv
91.88 %
Rec 2020 xy
65.23 %
Rec 2020 uv
68.84 %

Good wide color gamut, similar to some high end TVs like the Sony X930E and LG SJ8500, and wider than any of the P series's competitors. The Rec 2020 gamut can show very saturated red and blue, only struggling with green, which is a common problem with modern TVs. The P3 gamut on the other hand is significantly smaller when tested at our standard brightness (75% stimulus), but is as wide as the Rec 2020 gamut at lower brightness, as seen in the P3 Color Volume plot to the right.

The TV's EOTF follows the HDR PQ curve fairly closely, though very dark shades are dimmed too much. The EOTF when 'Game Mode' is enabled, shown here, is very similar, differing only because local dimming is disabled in game mode.

Update 11/27/2017: Local dimming now works with 'Game mode' enabled, as of software version 7.7.0 (build 4111).

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
77.6 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
32.5 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
64.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
27.2 %

Decent color volume, as good as many high end TVs and better than any of the P series's competitors. The TV's local dimming helps it bring its wide color gamut to a large range of brightnesses. In the P3 volume though the gamut narrows significantly at very high and very low brightness, more than the Rec 2020 volume. In both volumes the darkest colors (10% stimulus) are dimmed far too much.

8.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.096 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.094 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.091 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.115 dE

The TCL P607 has an excellent gradient performance and looking at our test picture, not many imperfections can be noticed, which is great. None of the banding normally seen on an 8-bit panel can be noticed which is good for HDR content.

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 %

The TCL P did not present any image retention while doing this specific test, which is good news for gamers out there who will engage in long sessions of gaming or PC user who might use this TV as a monitor.

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

This image of the pixels is taken with a 100% white background. Note that the way the TCL dims some colors results in artifacts which are only visible from very close to the TV. This image of the pixels was taken of a 50% gray, showing the patterns which appear.

Motion
8.8
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.2 ms
100% Response Time
12.1 ms

The response time is excellent, so only a short trail can be seen following fast-moving objects. This is a noticeable improvement over TCL 4K TVs from 2016, the US5800 and UP130.

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 reduces backlight amplitude, while duty cycle remains constant. This results in duplications following fast-moving objects, visible in the motion blur box.

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

Like with other TCL TVs, there is no option to reduce the flicker frequency to 60 Hz, although its 120 Hz PWM flicker does help somewhat to make motion look more clear.

0
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
No
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The P607 doesn't have any motion interpolation features, so fans of the soap opera effect may be disappointed.

7.2
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
29.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
4.6 ms

The TCL P Series 2017 can display 60fps content without stutter, but stutter may be visible with 24p movies - especially if they have wide panning shots. This is a result of the fast response time, which results in very little blur to smooth between frames.

5.6
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
No

24p movies playing from 24p sources like DVDs and Blu-rays are judder-free on the TCL p and no specific option needs to be turned on, as the TV displays the correct cadence without any extra input from the user. On the other hand, 24p movies playing from 60p/60i sources like cable or satellite boxes will present judder and no option in the TV picture setting is available to remove judder from 24p movies on those sources.

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

The TCL P Series has a 60 Hz panel. Like other 2017 TVs, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.

Inputs
9.7
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
13.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
14.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
47.8 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
14.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
14.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
14.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
14.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
32.1 ms
4k With Interpolation
N/A
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

Outstanding low input lag, which should please nearly any gamer. All picture modes have the same low input lag when the 'Game Mode' setting is on, and all modes show 4:4:4 color properly. This is a massive improvement over other TCL TVs like the S305, where the 'Game Mode' setting doesn't improve the input lag.

Update 07/17/2017: Enabling 'Game Mode' unfortunately disables local dimming, which means picture quality is a little worse in 'Game Mode'.

Update 07/18/2017: The TV only shows 4:4:4 color properly when in 'PC mode'. For most sources this is accomplished by changing the input's icon to 'Computer'. For a PC, if the TV detects a PC as its source it forces PC mode, and this cannot be avoided except by intercepting the AVI infoframes sent from the PC. The 4:4:4 input lag measurements were in error, but all input lag measurements have now been updated (essentially unchanged).

Update 08/01/2017: Local dimming now works with 'Game mode' enabled, as of software version 7.7.0 (build 4111).

Update 08/15/2017: The 'Game mode' input lag with local dimming on and off was compared, and both were nearly identical.

8.3
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No

Most input resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color is only supported if the HDMI input used has been set to HDMI 2.0 in the TV's settings. 4:4:4 color is always shown properly, in any picture mode.

The TV's chroma 4:2:0 support is inconsistent. When 4:2:0 video is played from some sources like a PC, white becomes pink, blue becomes green and scanlines appear across the screen. Also 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:0 @ 12 bit wasn't displayed at all from a PC. Our HDR Blu-ray player had no such issues. These inconsistencies could be a problem for 4k @ 60 Hz sources that only support HDMI 1.4, as 4:2:0 is often needed to remain within HDMI 1.4's bandwidth limitation.

Update 07/18/2017: The TV only shows 4:4:4 color properly when in 'PC mode'. Sharpness also has no effect in PC mode, even though the slider can still be changed. For most sources PC mode is activated by changing the input's icon to 'Computer'. For a PC, if the TV detects a PC as its source it forces PC mode, and this cannot be avoided except by intercepting the AVI infoframes sent from the PC. Changing the input's icon does not avoid this forced PC mode. This behavior was not known during initial testing, leading to the incorrect assumption that 4:4:4 color is displayed properly in all modes.

Inputs
Side Inputs
Inputs
Rear Inputs

The only inputs are located out of the side of the TV.

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 3
USB 1
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 2
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 0
Composite In 1 (incl. adapter)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0

The p series has two 3.5mm analog audio jacks. One is situated on the back of the TV and the other one is on the left side of the remote. This is very practical for those who want to listen to the TV privately without the need of a long extension cord.

Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
Yes
HLG
No
3D
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
No
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
USB 3.0
No
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

With CEC enabled, HDMI devices do turn off when the TV is turned off, but the TV's remote can't be used to navigate the menu of our PlayStation 3 or Samsung UHD Blu-ray player, which is possible on many other TVs with CEC.

Update 01/19/2018: There is a problem with how the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X detect the audio passthrough capabilities of TCL TVs; a workaround is detailed in the Additional Review Notes.

Sound Quality
4.4
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
142.54 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
6.21 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
6.57 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
8.45 dB
Max
84.2 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
4.43 dB