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TCL UP130 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Sep 02, 2016 at 09:33 am
TCL UP130 Picture
7.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.2
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.6
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.9
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.6
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.8
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
5.3
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
4.6
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
This TV was replaced by the TCL P Series/P607 2017
Type LED
Resolution 4k
Refresh Rate 60 Hz

The TCL UP130 is a budget 4k LCD TV, with above average picture quality. Unfortunately the motion handling is below average and the input lag is also far from ideal. It can't get very bright to deal with reflections, and when viewed at an angle the picture quality degrades rapidly. The Roku smart platform works great though.

Our Verdict

7.0 Mixed Usage

Slightly above average overall performance. Performs well in dark scenes. Above average picture quality. Unfortunately can't get very bright. Slightly better than average motion handling. Picture quality degrades rapidly when viewed at an angle.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio for dark scene performance
  • Roku smart platform works well
Cons
  • Visible dirty screen effect
  • Picture quality degrades at an angle
  • Can't get very bright
7.2 Movies

Better than average for movies in a dark room. Dark scene performance is good. No local dimming feature to improve performance. Colors are quite accurate.

6.6 TV Shows

Below average for TV in a bright room. Picture quality is above average but degrades rapidly when viewed at an angle. Can't get bright to overcome glare. Average at dealing with reflections. Smart platform works well for casual viewing.

6.9 Sports

Average for sports. Picture quality is above average, but degrades rapidly when viewed at an angle. Motion blur is slightly better than average. Uniformity is not good, so dirty screen effect is visible.

7.6 Video Games

Good for gamers. Picture quality is above average, and motion handling is good. Unfortunately for serious gamers, input lag is average but this should not be an issue for most people.

6.8 HDR Movies

Doesn't support HDR. Picture quality is above average, but highlights can't get bright and only supports a limited range of colors.

4.6 PC Monitor

Below average PC monitor. Motion blur is slightly better than average. Input lag is average which may be noticeable to some. Picture quality is above average but degrades when viewed at an angle.

  • 7.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.2 Movies
  • 6.6 TV Shows
  • 6.9 Sports
  • 7.6 Video Games
  • 6.8 HDR Movies
  • 5.3 HDR Gaming
  • 4.6 PC Monitor

Test Results

Design
6.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design is an improvement on most TCL TVs. It won't stand out in any room, but still looks better than average. It is a simple plastic TV, with some metallic finishes that look quite good.

Design
Stand

The stand is quite wide, and requires a fairly large table. The feet have a metallic finish, which looks quite good.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 8.5" x 38.7"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

The back is simple, but provides easy access to most of the inputs which are located to the side.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.71" (1.8 cm)

The borders are of an average thickness, with a thin metallic finish on the side. Most of the border is plastic.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.64" (6.7 cm)

The TV has an average thickness, and will stick out slightly if wall mounted. The widest part is near the bottom of the TV.

Picture Quality
9.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
6306 : 1

Native contrast ratio is very good. One of the best contrast ratios seen in the budget TV range. Blacks are very deep, resulting in a great dark room performance.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

There is no local dimming feature on the TCL UP130. This video is for reference only.

6.6
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
186 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
220 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
221 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
220 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
222 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
222 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
220 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
221 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
220 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
222 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
222 cd/m2

Peak brightness performance is not so great. At around 220 cd/m², it will be good enough for a dark environment, but will certainly be lacking in a situation where the TV needs to fight the glare of a bright light or a window

N/A
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

This TV does not support HDR.

5.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.794 %
50% DSE
0.262 %

Gray uniformity is bad. All 4 corners are very dark and there is also some vertical bands that are a bit warmer and darker. Dirty screen effect is going to be noticeable in a scene with a big panning shot over an uniform background in a movie, or in sports like hockey or baseball.

4.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
LCD Type
VA
Color Shift
20 °
Brightness
30 °
Black Level
15 °

Viewing angle is below average. The color and contrast degrades really fast when viewed at an angle, leaving you with a faint and bland image when viewed from the side.

The viewing angle testing methodology has been updated, but the UP130 was not retested. The results have been interpolated.

Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.

9.5
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.694 %

Black uniformity is very good for this TV. No clouding or other problems can be seen on our set whatsoever.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The TCL UP130 has a 10 bit panel. It is not perfect though, because you can see some imperfections in the dark green and also some tints in the grayscale.

8.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.18
Color dE
1.30
Gamma
2.19

Prior to calibration the TCL UP130 delivers accurate colors and a good white balance which closely follows our target 2.2 gamma curve. This is a great result.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.41
Color dE
0.71
Gamma
2.18

To calibrate the TV, it is necessary to download the 'Roku' app on a phone or tablet. For iOS it can be found here and for Android here. It is easy to calibrate, and provided excellent results. Our settings for calibration can be found here.

7.5
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content like DVDs or SD TV channels look good, but the upscaled picture is a little softer than on other TVs.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content like cable TV looks good without any problems being noticeable once the image is upscaled.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays or other 1080p content look good and sharp.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

The native resolution looks sharp. Some of the pixel substructure can be seen from close up, but this is only visible within 1 or 2 feet.

6.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
75.13 %
DCI P3 uv
80.48 %
Rec 2020 xy
53.91 %
Rec 2020 uv
58.68 %

There is no wide color gamut support. Displays Rec. 709 content well, but not suitable for HDR content.

5.5
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
61.294 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
33.853 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
44.663 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
24.705 %

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.000 %

7.0
Picture Quality
Reflections
Reflection
2.4 %
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss

The UP130 is average at dealing with reflections. It has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses glare directly on the screen. For an average or dark room, this should not be an issue.

0
Picture Quality
3D
3D
No
3D Type
No
2D to 3D
No

The TCL UP130 doesn't support 3D.

Picture Quality
Pixels

Setting the color temperature to 'Warm' results in an unusual pixel pattern. Alternate blue pixels are dimmed. This can only be noticed from within 1 or 2 feet of the TV.

Motion
7.3
Motion
Motion Blur
Response Time
20.6 ms
Overshoot
0 ms

Motion performance of the UP130 is slightly better than average, and only a short trail can be seen following the logo. The backlight uses PWM to dim, with a 200Hz flicker. This is not a multiple of the 60Hz refresh rate, and results in fast moving objects appearing shaky.

3.3
Motion
Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
200 Hz
BFI
No
BFI Frequency
200 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
No

7.1
Motion
24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-free 24p via 60i
No

It does not have judder when playing movies from Blu-rays, DVDs or from streaming apps. On the other hand, it cannot remove judder from movies playing from 60p or 60i source like cable/satellite or set-top box. Most people don't notice judder, so this is not an issue.

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

The TCL UP130 has a 60Hz panel, and does not support any motion interpolation features.

Inputs
7.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
46.9 ms
1080p With Interpolation
N/A
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
46.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
39.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
N/A
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
N/A
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
N/A

The input lag remains the same regardless of the picture mode chosen. It is slightly better than average, so should be ok for casual gamers.

2.0
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
No
1080p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
No
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
No

The UP130 doesn't support chroma subsampling at any resolution or refresh rate. It also doesn't support a 120Hz signal. From very close to the TV you can see a strange pixel pattern, similar to the TCL US5800. This is shown here. From further away this is not an issue.

Inputs
Side Inputs

Inputs
Rear Inputs

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 1
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 2
Analog Audio Out RCA 1
Component In 0
Composite In 1
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0

It features 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
No
Dolby Vision
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 No
ARC Yes (HDMI 1)
USB 3 No
HDCP 2.2 Yes
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out Yes

Sound Quality
5.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
5.81 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
6.06 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
7.54 dB SPL
Max
85.7 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
151 Hz

Poor performance. Frequency response is below average, but maximum loudness and low-end cutoff are poor, even for a TV. This means that this TV won't get very loud and won't be able to produce much bass/punch. There is also some compression and pumping present at higher volumes.

5.1
Sound Quality
Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
0.069
Distortion @ 80
0.084
Distortion @ Max
0.273

Poor distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion at 75 and 85dB SPL are elevated. Additionally, there is considerable rise in distortion at maximum volume, even though the rise in volume will be minimal and the only noticeable rise will be in distortion.

Smart Features
Smart Features
Apps

All the major apps like Amazon Video, Netflix and HBO Now are available on the Roku 'Channel Store'. Since Roku is a very popular smart platform, you can be sure that most of the apps are going to be updated frequently and that any new popular apps are going to be available on it.

9.0
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Roku

The TCL UP130 features the Roku smart platform. Roku is very simple to use and feels responsive. Since it is a very popular platform, the app ecosystem is well maintained and kept well updated. The UP130 also has the capacity to play your media files straight from your own USB flash drive.

10
Smart Features
Ads
Ad-free
Yes
Opt-out
N/A

Smart Features
TV Controls

Controls are located behind the right side of the TV. They provide access to all of the TVs functions, but may be a little difficult to use if the TV is wall mounted.

Smart Features
Remote
Remote Smart

The included remote is simple and easy to use. It includes quick access buttons for some of the most popular applications. Unlike the TCL US5800, it includes a headphone jack on the side, allowing 3.5mm headphones to listen to the TV sound wirelessly.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • Earphones
  • Replacement earbuds
  • Cable management strap

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 67 W
Power Consumption (Max) 117 W
Firmware 7.2.0 Build 4104

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 55" (55UP130). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 50" (50UP130) and 43" (43UP130).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their TCL UP130 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Note that the 43" model has a slightly different VESA mount (100x200). 

Size Model
43" 43UP130
50" 50UP130
55" 55UP130

Compared To Other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: TCL US5800 (55US5800). Bottom left: Vizio D Series 4k 2016 (D50u-D1). Middle: TCL UP130 (55UP130). Top right: Samsung KU6300 (UN55KU6300). Bottom right: LG UH6100 (43UH6100).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The TCL UP130 is a budget TV, providing average performance. The biggest strength is the Roku smart platform, and would be the main reason for choosing the TV at this price point. Other similarly priced 4k TVs offer better picture quality or more features. Keep that in mind when viewing our recommendations below.

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