TCL 55C717 4K TV Review • You will definitely love the TCL C717
CL is one of the largest brands in the television world with a diverse portfolio of products. The company recently launched a range of 4K TVs, including 4K QLED TVs and the flagship 8K QLED. Among the new products is TCL С717. This is the entry-level 2020 TV lineup. In this series, the company offers a QLED display, support for 4K, HDR10 + and Dolby Vision.
Dolby Vision and SDR content plays pretty well. The TV runs on Android TV, which provides access to the Play Store and a good library of apps. The user interface is smooth enough. There are 4 far-field microphones for hands-free operation. In the TCL 55C717 QLED TV 4K HDR review as a representative of this series, we will get acquainted with the functionality and features of the new product.
TCL 55C717: Design
The TCL C717 TV is not the thinnest and that’s ok considering it’s a QLED TV with a whopping 1296 direct backlight control zones. Despite this, it is hardly thicker than most flagship TVs, and that says something. Outwardly it resembles TV TCL P8US . All ports are neatly located on one side and there are no ports on the back of the TV.
This simplifies the connection of the connectors when installing the TV on the wall. Nothing will prevent you from moving the case closer to the wall. The blue metal bezels around the screen are thin and practically do not interfere with viewing. The body is mounted on a pair of V-shaped legs. For ease of placement on different types of TV furniture, the distance between the legs can be selected from two options.
Let’s dive into what matters most – panel and image quality. The C717 4K QLED TV has a VA panel supporting 4K and HDR10, HDR 10+ along with Dolby Vision. For Dolby Vision content, it has two settings – Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark. When displaying HDR10 content, the panel gives some yellowish tint.
This problem will be resolved shortly after purchasing the TV by updating the firmware. The C717 has a VA panel, which means it can reproduce good black levels, but you have to compromise on viewing angles. However, when viewed in a dark room, the screen will not look grayish due to the low contrast, as is the case with IPS matrices.
4K and HDR
There is a plethora of 4K and HDR content to watch on TV, available through services such as Netflix and Prime Video. Netflix has a large portfolio of Dolby Vision content, and most of the content on Prime Video is in the HDR10 or HDR 10+ section. YouTube also has a portfolio of HDR 10 content, which gives us streaming content in all HDR standards available.
The TCL C 717 TV allows you to select one of two Dolby Vision presets – Bright and Dark mode. For most cases, the Dark setting is acceptable. It has the most adequate combination of details in bright and bright areas of the scene. These are details that are overlooked on other budget HDR TVs.
HDR 10+ and HDR 10 content looks good overall, but has a warmer tone. Of course, most viewers won’t notice this shift. But if you know what you are looking for, you will see it. This is only noticeable in close-ups of people’s faces in some test scenes. But in the overall picture, colors are perceived as expectedly sharp and attractive, especially in scenes with bright light.
Full HD performance
Full HD (1080p) content is in SDR. SDR color rendition is good, and in dynamic display mode produces sharp colors that may not be to everyone’s liking. In Standard mode, colors are consistent with the original and look good. Overall, the handling of FHD and SDR content on this TV is good. It should be noted, though, that the outlines of objects in SD and 720p content may have jagged edges. But this is more true for the 65-inch models.
This is where things get really interesting. Games like Doom Eternal look really good in HDR. The color rendition is decent, the TV automatically switches to HDR. But you have to manually enable game mode to help with output lag. The TV supports 4K HDR and 50Hz refresh rate. And does not support HDMI 2.1.
Unlike the TCL C815, the C717 lacks Onkyo sound. It is equipped with standard downward-firing speakers with a total output of 20W. For normal TV viewing, they do an excellent job. The voice in movies and TV shows is clear and clear. There is even a hint of bass punch.
In mixed content – in games and movies, where there are a lot of heavy bass gunfights, superimposed with rock music and random dialogue, the sound loses its competence. An external soundbar or soundbar can come to the rescue here. The built-in speakers don’t quite match screen standards, and even excellent audio format support doesn’t really matter. It should be noted that even though the TV’s audio settings show Dolby Atmos, don’t expect audio to come from the top or the back.
TCL QLED TV 55C717 runs on Android TV platform (version 9). It can be operated by voice without using the remote control. Android offers a number of pre-installed apps and also gives you access to the Play Store. TCL says it will support the TV for the next three OS versions.
Android TV was notorious for being sluggish with TVs. But times are changing and the OS is smoother and more responsive. For the most part, the Android experience on the TCL C717 is smooth, with a few random app crashes, which is fine. The TV has 4 far-field microphones. To use them, you must physically turn them on.
Once enabled, you can enter the settings to enable or disable speakerphone recognition on the TV. But so far this voice control system does not support the Russian language, and it works with periodic freezes. We have to go back to the remote control, which is extremely rare in the implementation of this function on the Sony AG9 OLED TV .
The TCL C717 TV comes with a very minimalistic remote control with a curved back for a comfortable grip. It has a dedicated button to launch Netflix only. I would like to have a second programmable hotkey for Prime Video, YouTube or any other service. The buttons are conveniently located, self-explanatory and easy to use.
For connectivity, the C717 has 3 HDMI ports (one with ARC support), 2 USB ports, an Ethernet port, good old antenna jack, optical audio output, analog AV input and headphone output. There are many connection options. The TV also supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
Buyers often pay more attention to TV size and resolution rather than screen type. The new TCL C717 series offers the best type of LED backlighting without a significant price spike, especially in the 55-inch TV segment.
However, the TCL 55C717 software is far from perfect and is frustratingly slow at times. Also, while the TV does very well with 4K content, lower resolution videos are far from ideal. If you are planning to settle into streaming services, then it is better to consider a TV box to replace the TV software. Then you will definitely love the TCL 55C717.