TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648)

Future-proof your TV affordably
PROS
Fantastic contrast
A brilliant display of color performance
Upconversion to 8K that looks good
CONS
Expensive
8K content still isn’t available

TCL 65-INCH 6-SERIES 8K ROKU TV (65R648) SPECS

Panel TypeLED
Screen Size65 inches
Resolution7,680 by 3,840
Video InputsHDMI, RF, USB
HDRDolby Vision, HDR-10
HDMI Ports4
Streaming ServicesYes
Screen Brightness1214.68 nits
Black Level0 cd/m^2
Contrast Ratio607,340:1
Refresh Rate120 Hz
VRRYes
Input Lag (Game Mode)7.9 ms
AMD FreeSyncNone
Nvidia G-SyncNone

There is still a significant price premium associated with 8K TVs despite the fact that next-generation technology is only just beginning to emerge from the proof-of-concept phase. However, the likelihood of 8K TVs being realistic mainstream purchases is growing. The 8K 6-Series of TVs that TCL offers is somewhat more reasonably priced than the $30,000 LG OLEDZ9P, but at $2,199.99 for the 65-inch 65R648 model that we tested, it bears a large premium in comparison to the company’s 4K 6-Series, which costs around half as much as the 8K 6-Series. Despite this, the 8K 6-Series is a really amazing range of LCDs, boasting some of the highest contrast we’ve seen in LED-backlit displays as well as excellent color performance. It is also the most reasonably priced 8K option that is currently available. Having said that, there isn’t yet any content available to take advantage of the TV’s highest quality, so it’s best suited for patient early adopters who are willing to wait for it.

Sophisticated Silver

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

The 65R648 is a sleek television that has an appearance that is slightly more upscale than that of the 4K 6-Series products. A small strip of brushed gunmetal runs along the bottom edge of the screen, and along the sides and top of the screen is a band made of silver. When the TV is turned on or when it gets a command from the remote, there is a slight bump in the shape of a rectangle that lies right below the center of that strip. The television is supported by a single base that is broad, rectangular, and made of brushed metal. The base has a V-shaped contour. It’s pretty to look at, but the two V-shaped feet on the 4K 6-Series TVs provide it a bit more stability than this one does.

On the back of the TV, the connector for the power cable is located to the left, while all of the other connections are located on the right. The 65R648 features an optical audio output, four HDMI connections, a single USB port, an Ethernet port, a 3.5mm headphone line, an optical audio output, and a connector for an antenna or cable. There is no input for analog video at this time. Below the various ports on the back of the TV is where you’ll find a button that controls both the power and the inputs.

The remote for the 65R648 Roku TV is tiny, rectangular, and made of a combination of two-thirds shiny silver metal and one-third matte gunmetal plastic, in contrast to the remotes that come with the vast majority of Roku TVs. Although it has a more elegant design than the short black wand that is typically associated with Roku devices, the interface is otherwise unchanged. Even though it is circular and gray, it still has a visible direction pad, but the only button that features the distinctive Roku purple color is the central one. In addition to a pinhole microphone for voice searches, the Power, Home, and Back buttons are located just above the pad. Immediately below it are the controls for playback, a button for voice search, and specific service buttons for Apple TV, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix. The right edge of the remote contains both a button to mute the sound and a rocker to adjust the volume. It is uncomplicated and straightforward, providing merely a superficial upgrade in comparison to the conventional Roku remote.

The identical Roku TV

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

Despite the fact that TCL has begun incorporating Google TV into some of its televisions, the 65R648 continues TCL’s tradition of using the Roku TV platform for their smart TVs. It has a strong interface with a ton of apps and services, but it does not have some of the more advanced capabilities that are available on Google TV and Amazon Fire TV, as well as on the smart TV platforms offered by LG and Samsung. Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube are among the nearly ubiquitous major streaming services that may be accessed here (though Twitch is still absent). Apple AirPlay is also supported by Roku TV, allowing users to stream content from their iOS devices, including their iPhones and iPads, as well as their Macs.

The Roku TV platform, on the other hand, does not have a voice assistant or any sort of control over a smart home. You can use voice search to find content by pressing the microphone button on the remote and speaking into it, but that’s about it; unlike Amazon Alexa on Fire TV devices and Google Assistant on Google TV devices, you can’t use the 65R648 to get weather reports, control smart home devices, or get any other useful non-entertainment functions out of it. Voice search is only available on the Fire TV and Google TV devices.

Outstanding Capacity on Display

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

The 8K resolution of the 65R648 TV comes in at 7,680 by 3,840 pixels, and it has a refresh rate of 120 hertz. High dynamic range (HDR) content in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma formats are supported by it (HLG).

During our testing of televisions, we use a Klein K-80 colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and the Calman software from Portrait Displays. Our methodology is based on the calibration methodologies developed by the Imaging Science Foundation.

In Movie mode and with an SDR signal, the 65R648 displays a moderate peak brightness of 312.136 cd/m2 with a full-screen white field and 426.238 cd/m2 with an 18 percent white field, with a black level of 0.009 cd/m2 out of the box. This is with a somewhat low 0.009 cd/m2 black level. On the other hand, the brightness intensity is only set to 40 percent in this default mode. When the backlight is turned all the way up to its maximum setting, the full-screen brightness is increased to 637.362cd/m2, and the 18 percent field brightness is increased to 1,133.929cd/m2, with a black level of 0.014cd/m2. In general, even when the settings are turned all the way up, SDR signals yield far lower brightness levels than HDR signals do. However, the photo you posted is one of the brightest and highest-contrast SDR images we’ve ever measured. In this regard, they are, to a large extent, equivalent.

When an HDR10 signal is input, and the picture mode is set to HDR (Dark), the TV displays a full-screen brightness of 678765cd/m2, an 18 percent field brightness of 1,214.680cd/m2, and a black level of 0.002cd/m2; however, the black level cannot be adjusted. Despite the fact that this is not significantly brighter than the TV is when it is receiving an SDR broadcast, the contrast ratio of 607,340:1 is still outstanding. When the color temperature is adjusted to the Warm setting, which provides a higher level of accuracy, the HDR (Bright) picture mode does not appear to achieve a discernible increase in brightness.

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

In comparison, the contrast ratio of the 4K TCL 6-Series is significantly lower than that of the 65R648, coming in at less than half of what it is on the 65R648. This is due to the greater black level (0.014cd/m2) and somewhat lower white level (1,114.897cd/m2) (74,326:1). Both are excellent, but the Hisense U8G achieves a far higher level of brightness with an HDR signal (1,763.368cd/m2) despite having a higher black level, which results in a contrast ratio that is significantly higher: 88,168:1. The 8K TCL 6-Series television undoubtedly reigns supreme when it comes to overall contrast numbers. Only OLED televisions such as the LG C1 are capable of producing perfect black levels, which is the sole reason they are the only ones that can offer better contrast. However, OLEDs are not nearly as bright as high-end LED-backlit LCDs such as the 65R648; the C1 shows a peak brightness of 565.692cd/m2 with an 18 percent white field.

The 65R648 also has an impressive color spectrum, and its color reproduction is spot on. The charts that are located above display the color levels of the TV with a standard dynamic range (SDR) signal compared to the Rec.709 broadcast standards, and with a high dynamic range (HDR) signal compared to the DCI-P3 digital cinema standards. It should not come as a surprise that the SDR colors are spot on; in recent years, we have seen very few televisions that do not nail Rec.709. Only yellow falls short of the 65R648‘s HDR color gamut capability, making it the only color in the DCI-P3 color space that it does not approach. The green color veers off a little amount, and the magenta hue veers ever-so-slightly toward the red, but other than that, the color performance is extremely good. It is not as powerful as the LG C1, which effectively nails DCI-P3 out of the box and has very little drift, but it is still stronger than this.

Have fun with the upward transition!

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

Due to the fact that there is no consumer 8K material currently accessible, we are unable to evaluate the 65R648 in its native resolution. To get an idea of how 4K video would look on an 8K display, we utilized our standard collection of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs in addition to the TV’s internal upconversion capabilities.

The clarity and sharpness of the picture on BBC’s Planet Earth II are preserved even when the viewer is moving and is some distance away from the television. There is very little to almost no visible upconversion artifacting, allowing for the obvious differentiation of fine elements such as hair and bark. The 65R648 does not attempt to create new detail in order to match the higher resolution, but at the same time, it does not degrade the detail that is already present. If you pause the video and look extremely closely at specific textures and edges, you might notice a bit of fuzziness. However, the blurriness won’t be really noticeable until you come within about a foot and a half of the screen. If you are able to position yourself in such a way that you are not too close to the screen, you will have a difficult time distinguishing between the upconverted picture and the view on a native 4K panel. It is a significant improvement over the early 4K TVs, which had a pixelated 1080p upconversion process.

Planet Earth II appears to have a vivid and authentic color palette when seen on the 65R648. The blues of the river and sky, as well as the greens of the plants, are vivid without appearing overly saturated, and the earthier tones of the rocks and soil create a harmonious contrast.

Even in the darker early moments of Deadpool, the crimson color of Deadpool’s suit appears vibrant and full of life on screen. During the battle that takes place in the flaming laboratory, the flames display a wide variety of orange and yellow tones, and the shadow features in the deeper sections of the frame can be seen out quite clearly and do not appear to be washed out.

Upconverting The Great Gatsby from 4K to 8K results in a picture that is, for the most part, fairly clear; but, noise in certain frames can result in a slight fuzziness. The noise is not obtrusive, and it can be heard on 4K TVs as well, but the 65R648‘s version of the noise seems to be more strong. The scenes from the party, which include a very high contrast, demonstrate the extremes in brightness and darkness that are possible with a TV. The blacks of the suits appear to be quite dark, while the whites of the shirts and jackets worn by the servers pop out. In point of fact, those suits can become so black as to appear a little muddy, yet even in that state, the shapes and cuts can still be distinguished. In these shots, the skin tones also have a realistic appearance.

Beneficial to the Players

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

The 65R648 has a THX Certified Game Option, support for variable refresh rate (VRR), and an auto low latency mode for games (ALLM). In addition to that, it demonstrates an exceptionally reduced input lag.

We were able to determine that the input lag in Game mode was only 7.3 milliseconds by making use of an HDFury Diva HDMI matrix. That is significantly less than the 20ms benchmark that we apply to determine whether or not a TV is suitable for gaming. However, when you wish to play, you must ensure that the TV is set to the Game mode. When the TV is in Movie mode, it displays an input lag of 95.4 milliseconds.

More Affordable, but Early Adopters Only for the Time Being

Outstanding color performance and some of the finest contrast statistics we’ve seen on an LED-backlit LCD are two of the highlights of TCL’s 8K 6-Series of TVs, which are also impressive. Nonetheless, its primary selling point and the explanation for its high price is that it has an 8K resolution; however, there is currently very little content that can be viewed in this format that is widely available. If you don’t have it, the highest resolutions the TV can handle are 4K and lower, and you’ll have to rely on its upconversion. Thankfully, that upconversion is, in most cases, rather satisfactory.

The color performance of the LG C1 OLED TV is superior, it has more smart TV features including the ability to use either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice control, and it has better gaming performance with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. You can get a similarly sized LG C1 OLED TV for roughly the same price. However, it only has 4K resolution, which is lower than the resolution of the Samsung Q9FN. If the 8K 6-Series is out of your price range, consider the 4K TCL 6-Series or the Hisense U8G. Both of these televisions provide superb performance despite costing just a little bit more than half as much as the 8K 6-Series. TCL’s 6-Series is the most cost-effective method to get ready for an 8K future now, especially if you want to prepare for it immediately.

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648) Review

TCL 65-Inch 6-Series 8K Roku TV (65R648)

Future-proof your TV affordably
PROS
Fantastic contrast
A brilliant display of color performance
Upconversion to 8K that looks good
CONS
Expensive
8K content still isn’t available

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