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Reviewed on Sep 02, 2016

TCL UP130
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.0
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
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
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.

Test Results
Design 6.5
Picture Quality 7.2
Motion 6.5
Inputs 6.4
Sound Quality 5.2
Smart Features 9.0
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

Check Price

6.5

Design

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.

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"

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 200x200

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

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.

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.

7.2

Picture Quality

The picture quality is above average for the TCL UP130. The native contrast and the black uniformity are great and should perform really well in a dark room. The coverage of the color gamut is below average but luckily, the TV displays a relatively good color gradient, so banding should not be a problem. Picture quality degrades when viewed at an angle a bit faster than other TVs and finally, the peak brightness is very low, gray uniformity is bad and there is no local dimming feature.

9.2 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 720p Input

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

9.0 1080p Input

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

9.5 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 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 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 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 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 3D
3D
:
No
3D Type
:
No
2D to 3D
:
No

The TCL UP130 doesn't support 3D.

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.

6.5

Motion

Motion handling is bellow average. Fast moving objects appear slightly more clear than average. The TV lacks any motion interpolation features, so those who like the soap opera effect may be disappointed. 

7.3 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 Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
200 Hz
BFI
:
No
BFI Frequency
:
200 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
:
No

7.1 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 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.

6.4

Inputs

The input lag of the TCL UP130 is slightly better than average, and for most people this should not be an issue. It supports the basic resolutions for PC use.

7.2 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 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.

Side Inputs
Rear 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 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

5.2

Sound Quality

The UP130 has poor sound quality. The frequency response is not accurate, and distortion is always present, especially pronounced at higher volumes. Even a cheap sound bar would be an improvement over the TV audio.

Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.

5.2 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 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.

9.0

Smart Features

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.

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.

10 Ads
Ad-free
:
Yes
Opt-out
:
N/A

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.

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.

In The Box

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

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

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.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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.
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.

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