Whereas it’s a disgrace that TCL doesn’t but grace Europe with the identical spectacular fashions it releases within the US, the 65C815K is a stable effort for its cash – particularly should you tone down its extra excessive instincts
- Potent sound system
- Honest worth for what’s on provide
- Impressively vibrant and vibrant footage for the worth
- Colors can go nuts with out-of-the-box settings
- Darkish scenes reveal uneven backlighting
- Lack of distinction with off-axis viewing
- Assessment Worth: £899
- Constructed-in Onkyo ‘soundbar’
- Android 9.0 good system
- Native 4K decision
- Three HDMIs
- QLED Quantum Dot color expertise
Due to a profitable mixture of aggressive pricing and more and more acclaimed efficiency, TCL has in current instances risen from just about nowhere to rivalling the likes of Samsung and LG with the variety of TVs it shifts annually.
This success has been pushed principally by the US and Asian markets. In Europe, the TCL model has taken longer to seek out its ft – not least as a result of we haven’t been fortunate sufficient to get the identical TCL product line that’s been such a business and significant hit within the States.
This stays the case with the 65C815K, which, regardless of being a high-end mannequin by TCL Europe requirements, doesn’t get the complete array with native dimming design that’s been so necessary to TCL’s success elsewhere. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply the 65C815K can’t additional TCL’s European trigger.
TCL 65C815K worth and availability
The TCL 65C815K is obtainable within the UK and Australia from quite a lot of retailers, most notably ao.com, and bootskitchenappliances.com within the UK, and thegoodguys.com in Australia. It prices £899 from each UK retailers, and $1,595 from the Australian retailer. It additionally seems on TCL’s EU web site, so it’s presumably accessible in some EU nations, too.
This mannequin isn’t accessible within the US.
TCL 65C815K design – In case you’ve acquired it, flaunt it
- Seen soundbar
- Tremendous-thin outer edges
- Uncommon tri-foot help
There are a selection of surprising components to the 65C815K’s moderately enticing design. First, it contains a very apparent, blue-tinted soundbar hanging from its backside edge. This wears the branding of famend Japanese audio model Onkyo, elevating hopes this is likely to be the rarest of issues: an reasonably priced TV with a built-in sound system that doesn’t sound horrible.
The 65C815K can also be notable for the way exceptionally slim its display is at its outer edges. A lot so that you just’d be forgiven for considering it have to be an OLED reasonably than LCD TV.
The rear does all of a sudden turn out to be chunkier just a few inches in from these super-svelte edges, however even then the set wears this additional space of bulk fairly properly. The chunkier space doesn’t simply home the display’s processors and connections; it additionally supplies area for TCL to construct in a strikingly massive rear-facing bass driver – once more adorned by the Onkyo emblem.
Whereas TV designs usually appear eager to crow about protecting audio system hidden away as in the event that they’re some kind of soiled secret, personally I’ve no downside with the TCL’s public show of sound-quality affection.
The third quirk of the 65C815K’s design is the way in which it rests on three separate ft reasonably than the standard two. Two of those protrude ahead, the third, centrally mounted one protrudes backward. I’m not satisfied the aesthetic affect of this method justifies the trouble of getting to connect a 3rd foot throughout set-up. On the identical time, nonetheless, it actually doesn’t look ugly. It additionally helps the TV’s moderately sturdy construct high quality fairly stably.
TCL 65C815K options – Quantum Dots with a facet of Android
- QLED color expertise
- HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR help
- Constructed-in Onkyo-designed audio system
- Android 9.0 good system
The headline sights of the 65C815K are its use of QLED expertise, regardless of solely costing £899, and its built-in Onkyo-designed sound system.
The QLED terminology means it makes use of Quantum Dots reasonably than the standard LCD filters to ship its colors, opening up the potential for a wider spectrum of colors. This premium expertise would usually solely be discovered on 65-inch TVs that value considerably greater than £899.
The two.1 Onkyo sound system supplies 70W of energy by way of two forward-firing drivers, and one massive bass radiator on the rear. There’s built-in Dolby Atmos decoding, too.
The 65C815K makes use of edge LED lighting to light up a VA kind of LCD panel. The VA panel guarantees higher distinction than the IPS various, however edge lighting usually delivers much less spectacular backlighting than LEDs mounted straight behind the display.
There’s no true native dimming within the edge LED lighting system, regardless of the set carrying a Micro Dimming function. This function truly refers back to the means the TV’s processor breaks down pictures into small areas in order that it could actually extra precisely decide how greatest to render the completed picture.
The one different actually notable image processing function is Clear Movement, which provides black frames into the picture stream to offer 24p film sources a extra cinematic look.
Impressively, the 65C815K helps each of the so-called lively excessive dynamic vary (HDR) codecs: HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Most rival TVs help just one or different of those codecs, or neither of them – and, as we’ll see, this twin lively HDR help is particularly necessary to the 65C815K’s efficiency.
Naturally, TCL’s set additionally helps the extra frequent HDR10 and broadcast-friendly HLG HDR codecs.
Connections embody three HDMIs and two USBs, which is cheap for an £899 65-inch TV. Nevertheless, not one of the HDMI ports help the newest gaming options of 4K at 120Hz, variable refresh charges or automated low-latency mode switching.
That’s to not say the display is a bust for gaming, after all. Not everybody has a PS5, Xbox Series X or one of many newest Nvidia or AMD high-end PC graphics playing cards, in spite of everything, and the display solely takes a really respectable 16.2ms to render picture knowledge when operating in its Sport mode. It’s presently the case, too, that solely very premium TVs are likely to help the newest sport options, so that you received’t discover such help on any of the 65C815K’s equally priced rivals.
One final connection level to notice is that the 65C815K’s HDMIs solely help the usual ARC system, not the higher-bandwidth eARC that will have unlocked lossless Dolby Atmos passthrough.
TCL has turned to Android TV for its smart TV features. This looks like a fairly sound transfer for a model unlikely to have as many relationships – not less than in Europe – with all the important thing content material suppliers as Google/Android does. The 65C815K’s Android implementation is sound, too. It runs slickly, helps Google Chromecast and Google Assistant voice recognition (full with a far-field mic), and the help for each HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient means you at all times get the optimum image high quality any streaming supply gives. The one massive app absentee is Apple TV.
TCL 65C815 image high quality – The nice, the dangerous and the ugly
- Extraordinarily daring colors – to a fault with among the out-of-the-box settings
- Some backlight clouding points
- Good 4K readability with static pictures, however some movement blur
The 65C815K’s footage are… difficult. A singular mixture of surprising strengths and extra predictable weaknesses.
Probably the most evident instance of this mixed-bag efficiency comes from its colors. With some sources and settings its QLED-driven colors are strikingly good, attaining saturations and volumes seldom if ever seen on the 65C815K’s worth level. However at different instances its colors go what’s in all probability greatest described as ‘off highway’.
The extraordinary colors are at their greatest with Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+ sources. The additional scene-by-scene image data these two codecs present seems to assist the set rein in its most aggressive color instincts to ship punchy but additionally principally plausible and balanced tones. A lot in order that footage truly look rather more dynamic and daring than the great (for this worth stage) peak measured brightness of round 540 nits would lead you to count on.
With out the scene-by-scene image date of Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10+ to information it, nonetheless, the 65C815K’s presets reasonably lose the plot. Saturations with the trade customary HDR10 sources that truly make up nearly all of HDR content material are pushed means too far, dropping delicate shading and element within the course of. In consequence, vibrant footage can find yourself resembling bizarre hand-painted caricatures reasonably than pure video.
Peak white elements of the picture lose shading particulars, too, leaving them trying extra like white holes within the picture reasonably than pure elements of it. Pores and skin tones don’t look proper, both; oversaturated hues and an absence of subtlety make individuals seem two-dimensional and unrealistic.
I ought to stress that these color points solely crop up with vibrant HDR10 scenes/picture areas. Darkish HDR10 pictures and scenes look fairly regular the place colors are involved – though, finally, this simply makes the excesses with vibrant scenes all of the extra evident.
Happily, TCL does present just a few instruments for mitigating the worst excesses of its HDR10 playback. My most well-liked resolution was to decide on the Low Energy mode, flip dynamic distinction off, set Micro Dimming to Low, after which tinker with the color saturation, brightness and distinction settings to attain an honest stability between color punch and naturalism.
You can additionally take the same method to the Film mode settings, should you don’t thoughts colors trying fairly considerably flatter.
Nevertheless, with each these options brightness can have lowered to round 400 nits by the point you’ve carried out what it’s good to do to take away all the color ‘exaggerations’.
The 65C815K displays combined fortunes with its distinction. Watching it in a darkish room utilizing its out-of-the-box presets, three distinction factors instantly stood out: two good, one dangerous.
On the great facet, the set brings out first rate quantities of shadow element in darkish areas. Additionally, if there’s a vibrant object towards a darkish backdrop, the 65C815K retains that object vibrant. It doesn’t aggressively dim it down like, say, Samsung’s non-Mini LED TVs.
The issue is that the set’s edge-based lighting system simply can’t management its mild regionally sufficient, with the consequence that everytime you’re watching a darkish scene, particularly an HDR darkish scene, some supposedly darkish areas look lighter than others, despite the fact that they shouldn’t. A few of these ‘cloudy’ areas are each central to the image, and fairly massive. So there’s no ignoring them.
Sadly, there isn’t a lot you are able to do about this downside. The one factor that basically impacted it considerably was activating the set’s Clear Movement processing. The best way this provides black frames to the image appears to restrain the backlight clouding. Sadly, it additionally dims the image fairly closely, and may trigger flickering.
Movement dealing with utilizing the 65C815K’s different, non BFI (Black Body Insertion) processing, isn’t the perfect. There’s a good bit of undesirable processing ‘mess’ to accompany the lowered judder and blur, however the blurring with out the processing in play can also be fairly heavy by right now’s requirements.
The 65C815K’s sharpness with comparatively static 4K pictures is definitely fairly useful for such a reasonably priced TV, apart from the place clipping or ‘exploded’ colors kick in. And whereas some elements of its processing might really feel a bit primary, TCL’s set does a fairly good job of upconverting HD sources to 4K. There’s a contact extra sharpness to the ensuing pictures, and that is achieved with out exaggerating or too aggressively smoothing away supply noise.
With SDR sources, the 65C815K can look fairly good – not least as a result of it suffers far much less with backlight clouding than it does with HDR. Though, clearly, you additionally don’t get the identical wealthy colors that the 65C815K can ship with HDR. The set does carry an SDR to HDR conversion system that works fairly effectively when it comes to enhancing brightness and color volumes – nevertheless it additionally throws up rather more backlight clouding than you get in customary SDR mode.
TCL 65C815K sound high quality – Hello-Fi assist pays off
- Ahead-firing drivers present loads of affect
- Good detailing and readability
- Bass can typically trigger buzzing interference
Calling in Onkyo to assist out the 65C815K’s sound high quality leads to a powerful audio efficiency for such an reasonably priced TV.
Notably welcome is how effectively the sound swells ahead and out from the built-in soundbar. This supplies much more affect and element than the extra ‘swallowed’ impact you usually get with TVs that home all their audio system behind their screens.
The soundbar manages to radiate sound up in addition to ahead, creating not less than a imprecise sense of peak with Dolby Atmos mixes – though there aren’t actually any particular overhead results to talk of.
There are a few niggles. Vocals typically sound a bit indifferent from the motion, due to a mixture of occasional slight lip-sync lag when watching Dolby Atmos sources, and the way in which comparatively deep vocal tones can appear to be coming from beneath the picture.
Second, bass might be lighter in its contribution to the general soundstage than the massive measurement of the rear bass driver had me hoping for, and may also trigger a bit chassis buzzing underneath prolonged bass strain.
TCL 65C815K conclusion
There’s loads of potential within the 65C815K. Its QLED-inspired color vary actually is a sight to behold; it’s able to going brighter than most of its equally priced friends, and its sound system is likely one of the greatest I’ve heard on a sub-£1k 65-inch TV.
The one downside is that TCL has let its enthusiasm to point out off its key image strengths get the higher of it. The 65C815K merely pushes for extra brightness and color than its core LCD applied sciences are sensibly able to supporting, leading to just a few too many backlight and color flaws for consolation.
You can purchase the TCL 65C815K if…
- You will have a very vibrant room
The 65C815K’s aggressive method to image high quality means pictures nonetheless look vibrant and punchy in vibrant rooms. You’re much less prone to see the backlight flaws in such situations, too.
- You don’t need an exterior sound system
The built-in Onkyo-designed speaker system is sweet sufficient to imply you’ll be able to handle with out including a pricey exterior audio resolution.
- You desire a massive, well-featured display for an affordable worth
Contemplating it’s TCL’s present flagship TV, with loads of options to help that standing, the 65C815K gives loads of inches to your buck.
You shouldn’t purchase the TCL 65C815K if…
- You typically watch movies in darkish rooms
The 65C815K’s backlight issues with darkish HDR scenes are unimaginable to disregard/disguise in a dark-room setting.
- You aren’t ready to sacrifice a bit of the TV’s brightness
Working in its brightest, most dynamic mode, colors in vibrant HDR10 scenes can look distractingly gaudy and unnatural
- You need the newest gaming options
The 65C815K’s HDMIs don’t help 4K gaming at 120Hz, or variable refresh charges.