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    Thread: TCL C8 55" 4K HDR/(Dolby Vision?) Unboxing and Review

    1. #1
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      TCL C8 55" 4K HDR/(Dolby Vision?) Unboxing and Review

      Hello reader,
      I bought this TV about a month ago and have used it extensively to the point where I am comfortable enough to give it a fair review.



      Unboxing

      Box:
      https://imgur.com/IkPf7Dz
      https://imgur.com/UQPOOXf

      What's included:
      https://imgur.com/EvEr09l


      The TV comes with the standard stuff that TCL has been providing in other models.

      Remote:
      https://imgur.com/X5kE9SV

      The remote is Bluetooth+RF capable and the batteries are included. Since you'll be using this remote to type in text on apps like YouTube and Netflix, the buttons do get mushy over time, so I recommend getting a bluetooth keyboard to prevent the remote from any unnecessary wear and tear and for faster typing anyway.

      TV:
      https://imgur.com/U9uG5jx

      Since this is an Android TV the remote has a built-in mic which on pressing the Google Assistant button starts to listen for commands.

      Strangely enough there is a mic On/Off slider at the back (bottom right) of the TV for an always on mic built into the TV itself, however this TV does not actually have that feature and you can't say 'Ok/Hey Google' to trigger the voice assistant.
      Since the chassis of this TV is being used by TCL in premium models around the world, I guess it was cheaper for TCL to just reuse the same instead of creating a new back without the slider.

      If you would rather use your Google Home device you are able to control YouTube but not Netflix.



      External Features

      Thickness:
      https://imgur.com/rWMQvrr
      https://imgur.com/5pSD4nW
      https://imgur.com/f9FQ7Si

      50% of the TV has an extremely thin profile, the rest has an additional plastic casing for the power supply and electronics. The entire panel is covered by a metal casing from the back.

      Ports:
      https://imgur.com/9Y6A1XY

      The USB 2.0 ports have enough bandwidth to play 4K HDR videos and even REMUXs without any problems.

      Soundbar:
      https://imgur.com/QKk39Q8

      The soundbar is definitely a good one. I do not know how it compares to the Harman Kardon one on the previous model but the sound quality is very good. They are good enough for a person to not want dedicated speakers.
      However if you really do care about the sound and especially bass then you're going to get a dedicated speaker system anyway.


      Grey Uniformity:

      https://imgur.com/WrEZMvh
      https://imgur.com/eMx8IPt

      I would say this is the part where you really start to see the difference between a more premium brand TV and TCL.
      Models from premium brands have this effect as well however it is much better controlled.
      The dirty screen effect is quite evident on this grey background, however all is not lost as this is only really noticeable when viewing a plain greyish screen like this one or the background of the YouTube app.
      During normal everyday use this is not noticeable and will not affect your viewing experience.



      Viewing Angles:

      https://imgur.com/8a9E4cl

      The colors do get a bit washed out when viewing from an angle however in normal use it is not very noticeable unless you are viewing from an extreme angle.


      Brightness (HDR/Dolby Vision)

      https://imgur.com/OEerypQ
      https://imgur.com/6X433o1

      The TV supports a maximum brightness of 350 nits, which is good enough for viewing even in a well lit room with a 40W LED light.
      However the screen is not bright enough to hide the glare from a bright light source.
      It is not very bright nor very dim and you'll be happy with the brightness.
      Where it really shines is in a dark room.

      Even though 350 nits is not the best for a true HDR experience, it is not that bad.

      As far as Dolby Vision is concerned, the specs of this model do not even come close and neither do premium models from Samsung.
      TCL here is basically advertising that the TV is able to decode and play Dolby Vision media, however it will not be a true representation of what Dolby Vision is and in my opinion this is just a marketing gimmick which they should've left alone.


      MEMC/Motion Smoothing

      TCL has now finally introduced this disgusting feature that was previously being provided by other brands.
      This is a motion smoothing feature that automatically smoothens any media playing at less than 60 frames per second.
      What makes it disgusting? It actually makes the quality of motion worse. It does get smoother but it introduces artifacts as it is trying to guess the next frame and failing at an accurate estimation.

      This is the worst feature possible for watching a movie as it creates that weird soap opera effect.
      The worst part about it is that even though TCL has allowed the setting to be turned off (called Judder Reduction in Settings -> Motion) it automatically turns back on (while still indicating that it is off in the settings) when changing the source of the display or power cycling it.

      I have however after thorough testing figured out a way to glitch it out and keep it disabled for an entire powered session. You'll have to do this each time you turn on the TV.

      Steps to turn it off:
      1) Enter any of the HDMI sources
      2) Change the picture preset to 'Game'
      3) Press the Home button to go to the Android UI

      This disables it for the entire session and you can easily change sources without it being turned on again. Even if you turn it on from the settings it will remain disabled.

      Note: I have the Judder Reduction setting set to '0' on all the picture presets.



      Picture Quality

      The TV has a Wide Color Gamut (Greater than 90% DCI-P3 coverage) and an 8 Bit+FRC panel.
      The picture quality is very good and on par with Samsung's entry level models.
      The colors are very accurate and you are able to professionally calibrate the display if you have the proper hardware.
      There is a blue filter available within the menu for some basic color calibration.



      Gaming/Input Lag

      I don't have the proper hardware to measure the display's input lag however after testing it with a Keyboard/Mouse setup the lag is minimal and not noticeable especially if you turn on 'Game Mode'.


      Conclusion

      The TCL C8 is a nice offering from TCL however due to some software issues where settings are not remembered (Judder Reduction) it makes it a pain to continuously have to configure the TV for the desired result that you want.
      It is also to be noted that the picture preset settings for SDR, HDR and Dolby Vision all have to be set differently as these settings are stored separately for each viewing mode.

      In my opinion, if you are looking for a budget TV that has good picture quality, get the TCL P8S. The P8S has almost the exact same panel quality as the C8, the only difference is that it supports max brightness of 300 nits. When I compared these two TVs in store they did not have much of a difference, the only advantage that the C8 had was that it was showing a bit more detail in shadows and dark areas. The P8S also does not have the MEMC Motion Smoothing feature so you won't have to worry about that either.


      Let me know if you have any questions below and we could have a discussion where more people are made aware of what they're buying.
      Last edited by HunainAQ; 18-01-20 at 10:53 PM.

    2. #2
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      I got the exact TV just 2 weeks ago. I'm really loving it. Looks amazing after upgrading from an old Sony 40" 1080p TV from 2014.

      The MEMC/Motion Smoothing is really shit. It still smooths the video even when turned off for me, so I have to keep checking the settings.

      Otherwise it is an amazing TV, Highly recommended!

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by HunainAQ View Post
      Hello reader,
      I bought this TV about a month ago and have used it extensively to the point where I am comfortable enough to give it a fair review.



      Unboxing

      Box:
      https://imgur.com/IkPf7Dz
      https://imgur.com/UQPOOXf

      What's included:
      https://imgur.com/EvEr09l


      The TV comes with the standard stuff that TCL has been providing in other models.

      Remote:
      https://imgur.com/X5kE9SV

      The remote is Bluetooth+RF capable and the batteries are included. Since you'll be using this remote to type in text on apps like YouTube and Netflix, the buttons do get mushy over time, so I recommend getting a bluetooth keyboard to prevent the remote from any unnecessary wear and tear and for faster typing anyway.

      TV:
      https://imgur.com/U9uG5jx

      Since this is an Android TV the remote has a built-in mic which on pressing the Google Assistant button starts to listen for commands.

      Strangely enough there is a mic On/Off slider at the back (bottom right) of the TV for an always on mic built into the TV itself, however this TV does not actually have that feature and you can't say 'Ok/Hey Google' to trigger the voice assistant.
      Since the chassis of this TV is being used by TCL in premium models around the world, I guess it was cheaper for TCL to just reuse the same instead of creating a new back without the slider.

      If you would rather use your Google Home device you are able to control YouTube but not Netflix.



      External Features

      Thickness:
      https://imgur.com/rWMQvrr
      https://imgur.com/5pSD4nW
      https://imgur.com/f9FQ7Si

      50% of the TV has an extremely thin profile, the rest has an additional plastic casing for the power supply and electronics. The entire panel is covered by a metal casing from the back.

      Ports:
      https://imgur.com/9Y6A1XY

      The USB 2.0 ports have enough bandwidth to play 4K HDR videos and even REMUXs without any problems.

      Soundbar:
      https://imgur.com/QKk39Q8

      The soundbar is definitely a good one. I do not know how it compares to the Harman Kardon one on the previous model but the sound quality is very good. They are good enough for a person to not want dedicated speakers.
      However if you really do care about the sound and especially bass then you're going to get a dedicated speaker system anyway.


      Grey Uniformity:

      https://imgur.com/WrEZMvh
      https://imgur.com/eMx8IPt

      I would say this is the part where you really start to see the difference between a more premium brand TV and TCL.
      Models from premium brands have this effect as well however it is much better controlled.
      The dirty screen effect is quite evident on this grey background, however all is not lost as this is only really noticeable when viewing a plain greyish screen like this one or the background of the YouTube app.
      During normal everyday use this is not noticeable and will not affect your viewing experience.



      Viewing Angles:

      https://imgur.com/8a9E4cl

      The colors do get a bit washed out when viewing from an angle however in normal use it is not very noticeable unless you are viewing from an extreme angle.


      Brightness (HDR/Dolby Vision)

      https://imgur.com/OEerypQ
      https://imgur.com/6X433o1

      The TV supports a maximum brightness of 350 nits, which is good enough for viewing even in a well lit room with a 40W LED light.
      However the screen is not bright enough to hide the glare from a bright light source.
      It is not very bright nor very dim and you'll be happy with the brightness.
      Where it really shines is in a dark room.

      Even though 350 nits is not the best for a true HDR experience, it is not that bad.

      As far as Dolby Vision is concerned, the specs of this model do not even come close and neither do premium models from Samsung.
      TCL here is basically advertising that the TV is able to decode and play Dolby Vision media, however it will not be a true representation of what Dolby Vision is and in my opinion this is just a marketing gimmick which they should've left alone.


      MEMC/Motion Smoothing

      TCL has now finally introduced this disgusting feature that was previously being provided by other brands.
      This is a motion smoothing feature that automatically smoothens any media playing at less than 60 frames per second.
      What makes it disgusting? It actually makes the quality of motion worse. It does get smoother but it introduces artifacts as it is trying to guess the next frame and failing at an accurate estimation.

      This is the worst feature possible for watching a movie as it creates that weird soap opera effect.
      The worst part about it is that even though TCL has allowed the setting to be turned off (called Judder Reduction in Settings -> Motion) it automatically turns back on (while still indicating that it is off in the settings) when changing the source of the display or power cycling it.

      I have however after thorough testing figured out a way to glitch it out and keep it disabled for an entire powered session. You'll have to do this each time you turn on the TV.

      Steps to turn it off:
      1) Enter any of the HDMI sources
      2) Change the picture preset to 'Game'
      3) Press the Home button to go to the Android UI

      This disables it for the entire session and you can easily change sources without it being turned on again. Even if you turn it on from the settings it will remain disabled.

      Note: I have the Judder Reduction setting set to '0' on all the picture presets.



      Picture Quality

      The TV has a Wide Color Gamut (Greater than 90% DCI-P3 coverage) and an 8 Bit+FRC panel.
      The picture quality is very good and on par with Samsung's entry level models.
      The colors are very accurate and you are able to professionally calibrate the display if you have the proper hardware.
      There is a blue filter available within the menu for some basic color calibration.



      Gaming/Input Lag

      I don't have the proper hardware to measure the display's input lag however after testing it with a Keyboard/Mouse setup the lag is minimal and not noticeable especially if you turn on 'Game Mode'.


      Conclusion

      The TCL C8 is a nice offering from TCL however due to some software issues where settings are not remembered (Judder Reduction) it makes it a pain to continuously have to configure the TV for the desired result that you want.
      It is also to be noted that the picture preset settings for SDR, HDR and Dolby Vision all have to be set differently as these settings are stored separately for each viewing mode.

      In my opinion, if you are looking for a budget TV that has good picture quality, get the TCL P8S. The P8S has almost the exact same panel quality as the C8, the only difference is that it supports max brightness of 300 nits. When I compared these two TVs in store they did not have much of a difference, the only advantage that the C8 had was that it was showing a bit more detail in shadows and dark areas. The P8S also does not have the MEMC Motion Smoothing feature so you won't have to worry about that either.


      Let me know if you have any questions below and we could have a discussion where more people are made aware of what they're buying.
      I am using C6 and pretty much satisfied with it. One annoying issue i am facing is while playing HDR the brightness keeps on changing itself. It becomes dim in dark scenes. Although I have turned off dynamic contrast etc but still it does this. One other issue is info bar keeps on popping randomly. I have turned off shop mode but still it keeps on popping up. Do C8 has these issues?

      Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk

     

     

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