TCL’s focus is on a 65-inch 4K TV at a reasonable price, which should certainly be of interest to a potential buyer. TCL C815 series are LCD TVs with LED backlight. Consider the TCL 65C815 QLED Dolby Vision review, which boasts a beautiful design and great feature set.
TCL C815 review
TCL C815 models support the major HDR, Dolby Vision and HDR10 + dynamic metadata formats , including the conventional HDR10 standard. A highlight is the Onkyo 2.1’s built-in soundbar at the bottom of the screen. Therefore, in the specifications of the TCL Ts815, you can see Dolby Atmos decoding with ARC support through the first HDMI interface. DTS sound was also not overlooked.
The TCL 65C815 TV fits perfectly into the modern interior. On a thin screen, almost no bezels are noticeable. The side surfaces are decorated with a brushed metal strip. The design is dominated by sharp corners and straight lines. At the bottom of the screen is a soundbar finished in dark gray fabric. Built-in speakers are “validated” with the Onkyo logo. The rear of the 65C815 TV is made of dark plastic with a light texture.
TCL C815 TVs are equipped with a digital TV tuner (DVB-T2 / C / S2). Available slot CI +. Despite all kinds of over-the-air interfaces, recording to removable media is not possible. TCL only offers this feature when the model has a twin tuner, but not in the C815 variant.
Sure, the C81 series has a Chromecast, but no Airplay. This miss can be partially imitated in functionality using some applications. It is possible to stream YouTube HDR (HDR10 and HLG) and Netflix (HDR10 and Dolby Vision) content. One of the advantages is the ability to use your smartphone as a remote control. You can simply send media from your smart to your TV using the TCL T-Cast app.
Quality image processing is now more important than ever. Moreover, now there are more and more different sources of content with different original quality. The TCL C81 provides excellent scaling and decent in-frame noise reduction. The user can adjust the sharpness to slightly emphasize the image.
Compression noise (blocking on the screen) may remain slightly noticeable. The 65C815 offers “superior gradation” of the color gamut and a separate setting to prevent color streaks. Unfortunately, varying the corresponding parameters in the settings give poor results.
The borders of the color bars become a little blurry, but this is noticeable if the color bars on the screen are very thin. The C815’s advanced image adjustments can get rid of them, although not entirely. In addition, some image detail is inevitably lost at maximum settings. Try to avoid the “highest” settings.
The image processor easily recognizes most movie and video file formats. But the best quality can be obtained by eliminating the 1080i input. Better to use 1080p or 720p sources.
Performance The TCL 65C815, despite its 65-inch LED-backlit LCD panel, has good detail in action scenes. Only the smallest details can be displayed incorrectly. The motion interpolation algorithm is relatively smooth, it accurately detects the motion of the contour in the image.
Although sometimes you can observe the left trail or some image artifacts are observed. The “Reduce Fade” setting is best left at 10, setting “Reduce Flicker” from 4 to 10 according to your preference. Avoid abrupt changes to the LED movement erase, which will flicker bright pixels in the image.
The 65C815 TV uses LED side lighting. Quantum dot panel with VA technology. Picture uniformity is good, although blue flickering is sometimes noticeable at the bottom and in the upper right quadrant of the screen. The “dirty screen effect” is almost invisible.
The VA panel provides a good ANSI contrast ratio of approximately 4200: 1. The matrix does not use local dimming. The “dynamic backlight” setting controls the entire screen, and it is better to leave this parameter on “Auto” in the settings.
In Film mode, the calibration was excellent, even exemplary from the first time the TV was turned on. Grayscale is neutral, but color reproduction is excellent. The image hides a minimum of black details, but tinkering with the black level adjustment is a thankless task in order not to reduce the overall image contrast.
Color depth. Here it is worth making some digression and clarifying that on some resources the bit rate is indicated as 8bit + FRC for the 55C815 model, and in other diagonals 10 bit (65C815 and 75C815). In the TCL 55C815 TV, the native frequency of the matrix is 60 Hz, in all other versions – 120 Hz. Therefore, the preferred option for buying a TV TCL 65C815.
With support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 + modes, which complement HDR10 and HLG, the TCL C81 TV series has a big advantage over the competition. Quantum Dot Film is also different from Samsung films. Therefore, the screen has a slightly wider color range than the Samsung models: 96% DCI-P3 and 73% Rec. 2020.
Unfortunately, TCL’s C815 cannot boast a solid maximum brightness. The manufacturer claims brightness at just under 400 nits both in a 10% window and on a completely white screen. For true HDR quality, this should be at least 500 nits. Thus, small sparkles or white dots lose their accent on the entire background of the image.
For the TCL 55C815 TV, the maximum brightness is even lower. Therefore, in these TVs it is recommended to dim the backlight slightly to maintain the black level. The TCL tonal map really gives excellent results and the image makes a good impression.
Viewing angle and inputlag
The VA screen of the C815 series has poor viewing angles while maintaining normal contrast. It falls off quickly when you deviate from the center of the screen, although the color rendition is still sufficient. In normal picture modes, the video latency is 65.9ms, which is acceptable, but still too much for hardcore gamers. In game mode, the input lag is about 19.7 ms, which is a good result.
For a mid-range TV, and TCL C815 belongs to such models, the sound quality is excellent. A rather large woofer is located at the back. The common speaker bar is at the bottom of the screen. It provides very good sound quality. There is a lot of bass in the music and the voices are crystal clear.
Of course, you can observe some distortion, but only when the volume is almost at the maximum position. The user can expect excellent results in both movies and music. TCL’s C81 series supports Dolby Atmos and gives your soundtracks a lightweight dimension. Referring to some resources of the Runet, you can find options with a “unfastened” soundbar, but this is an incorrect presentation of the topic.
Smart TV in TCL C815
The TCL C815 series TVs use ARM Cortex-A55 and Mali-470 MP quad-core processors, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. This stuff provides a reliable, but not very smooth experience with Android. The model uses Android 9 Pie.
In previous models, TCL used a different proprietary menu for all settings, which seemed very confusing. All of these options are now integrated into the standard Android menu. The subsections are neatly organized into categories. In general, this is a clear plus for the manufacturer. Something remains of the old menu though is the options menu, which changes the picture or sound mode.
TCL C815 version comes with two remote controls. The classic remote is a long and narrow option with nice rubber keys and a sturdy layout. It is identical to last year’s remotes. While some operations are not easy to use, there are no obvious key association errors.
The second remote is smaller, more compact and works over Bluetooth, so you don’t have to aim at the TV. It looks a little more luxurious. The console is made of lightweight metal. The number of keys is limited, which can be inconvenient with frequent use of internal TV tuners. This remote has a microphone for voice commands and a button for Google Assistant.
All connections to the 65C815 TV are made from the side. The model has three HDMI connectors. All of them are suitable for UHD HDR, one of the interfaces is equipped with ARC. TCL has decided not to offer HDMI 2.1 connections or functionality just yet. In addition, there are two USB connectors, a composite video input and a stereo audio input, two antenna connectors, and a headphone output. The TVs are equipped with wired and wireless networking and Bluetooth for connecting a mouse, keyboard or wireless headphones.
TCL has good top models, but the manufacturer is still targeting the broader mid-range segment. And a series like the C815 hit the shelves with very good performance at a competitive price. The main disadvantage of the C81 is its maximum brightness, which is too low to truly “claim an HDR standard.”
HDMI 2.1 features are completely missing and the VA panel has limited viewing angles. On the other hand, the TCL 65C815 offers excellent SDR performance, excellent contrast and quality image processing. In fact, a lot of work has been done on the performance of the software platform, when compared with the models of last year.
The new models use quantum dot technology to provide a wide color gamut and beautifully display tones on the screen. Overall, the HDR picture is good quality despite its limited maximum brightness. When using content in HDR10 + or Dolby Vision, the result on screen is even better. Great sound is a great addition to the look.
Android TV 9 offers many features. Here, performance and ease of use have improved significantly over last year. All in all, the TCL 65C815 model is competitively priced for a 65-inch TV with quite powerful hardware.