Vet my buying decision! A videophile on a budget. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Vet my buying decision! A videophile on a budget.

Hello AVS!

This forum has proven invaluable to me in the past, and I'm hoping you can shed some light on my current buying decision.

Summary: my old Pioneer Elite Plasma TV has died, and I'm looking for a replacement. Budget is under $1000, with less being better. 55" is the my target size, and I'm planning on calibrating it myself with HFCR. I already own an i1 Display Pro and have used HFCR in the past with good results.

Priorities: color accuracy, stable performance, good contrast, as little modification of the source content as possible. 4K/HDR support is desired, but not required.

Current equipment and viewing environment: a Denon AVR-1712, with a B&W 601s3 surround sound setup and a Rythmik Audio F12. Harmony Hub for control. Sources are virtually all high quality 1080p, from blu ray and Netflix/Amazon/Vudu/HBO/misc streaming services, some gaming via Steam Link. I'm seating about 8' from the display, with moderate control of light in the room. Most critical viewing is done at night. All seating is relatively close to on-axis (about 20 degrees off at most).

Option 1: TCL P Series 55P605. Seems like a great buy, and I love the idea of using the Roku platform. The calibration application looks great, too. I would use the installed Roku app to view HDR/4K content (which my receiver cannot pass) then send audio back to the receiver via ARC. Denon has confirmed this is a viable setup. However, I'm worried about the reports I've read regarding flash lighting and screen uniformity.

Option 2: Vizio P55-E1 (2017 model). Given how the 2016 P series performed, it seems like this would be overall a more capable display than the TCL, and the software upgrades in the 2017 model sound useful. However, there are no reviews as of now to confirm this. Also, without the Roku platform I would lose the ability to view HDR/4K streaming content in the configuration described above. In short, I'm not positive if this is worth the extra cost over the TCL.

Option 3: Who knows? Doesn't seem like Samsung or LG have anything that competes in this price range. The Sony X900E is a bit out of my price range, as are any decent OLED displays.

Thoughts? What would you do in my situation? Are there any options I'm ignoring? Thank you in advance!

- Andrew
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 11:24 AM
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I have the TCL, and it is great for me. I think the flashlighting issue is overrated. The uniformity issue is less overrated, but I don't have that issue.

It sounds to me like the Vizio M series made tradeoffs: better HDR performance at the price of 1080p performance. Sounds somewhat worse than 2016.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 12:51 PM
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go for option 1
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 01:44 PM
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There are no upgrades for the 2017 P series. It is the same as the 2016. The only thing that has changed are the marketing terms.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 02:03 PM
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I'd probably go for the 55" Vizio (an IPS display with better angles and more FALD zones) and pair it with a Roku 4k/HDR box or a Chromecast Ultra if the built in Vizio stuff isn't good enough for you.
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 03:35 PM
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Just throwing it out there-alil cheaper than the p-series but also very good...2016/2017 m-series

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post #7 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 06:21 PM
 
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If you want good contrast and don't need wide viewing angles, the P55 is already out of the question with its IPS display.
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eelpout View Post
I'd probably go for the 55" Vizio (an IPS display with better angles and more FALD zones) and pair it with a Roku 4k/HDR box or a Chromecast Ultra if the built in Vizio stuff isn't good enough for you.
He says he is a videophile. No serious viewer would be happy with the shoddy black levels of the IPS Vizio. OP should get the TCL.
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Very helpful feedback. Thanks everyone. I was already leaning towards the TCL but this sealed the deal. I'll post my experiences with burn in and calibration in the owners forum next week.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-09-2017, 10:52 PM
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I swear, sometimes reading these threads I think if AVSForum was a Lifetime movie, the main protagonist would be seen screaming at an IPS panel, “You should never have been born!” 😉
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post #11 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, haha. Personally I don't have that aversion to ips panels (for color critical work they're pretty useful. Especially on a pc where you're sitting close enough to the display to be seeing the corners effectively off axis).

That said, if the TCL can really deliver that accuracy with a VA panel, I'm happy to benefit from the improved contrast.
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 11:45 AM
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I have a Vizio M60-D1, which also uses an IPS panel, and unless the P55 is times better at keeping things dim, I'd say that it's quite terrible at dark room viewing. Especially when there's a dark scene with a lot of near-black details.
The image just becomes dim and washed out.
Nothing can beat a panel with a high native contrast, FALD can't really save the IPS panel. When playing HDR, the letter box bars are grey, and there's no true black on the screen, just grey in the darkest areas.
That said, a bit of light in the room improves things considerably and makes it watchable. Bias lighting may be a good thing to get if you get an IPS panel TV, even if it has FALD.

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Vizio M60-D1 | T95M with LibreELEC | Vizio SB3851-D0 | Calibration + Settings
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Coolest View Post
I have a Vizio M60-D1, which also uses an IPS panel, and unless the P55 is times better at keeping things dim, I'd say that it's quite terrible at dark room viewing. Especially when there's a dark scene with a lot of near-black details.
The image just becomes dim and washed out.
Nothing can beat a panel with a high native contrast, FALD can't really save the IPS panel. When playing HDR, the letter box bars are grey, and there's no true black on the screen, just grey in the darkest areas.
That said, a bit of light in the room improves things considerably and makes it watchable. Bias lighting may be a good thing to get if you get an IPS panel TV, even if it has FALD.
With that argument, you might as well just get a KS8000. It has higher contrast than a VA Vizio P-series or the TCL P-series, its brighter, the anti-glare is way better, the design is better, you can probably get it for around the cost of a TCL P-series at this point, grey uniformity is better, color gamut is better and color volume is about the same.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Coolest View Post
I have a Vizio M60-D1, which also uses an IPS panel, and unless the P55 is times better at keeping things dim, I'd say that it's quite terrible at dark room viewing. Especially when there's a dark scene with a lot of near-black details.
The image just becomes dim and washed out.
That might just be a difference of panel quality and FALD zone count of M-series vs P-Series (2x for 2016 and 4x for 2017). A number of people with the P55 seem to like them.
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm. Now I'm rethinking the TCL. In practice, what does the Vizio and Ks8000 get you? Sounds like contrast and color trade offs exist in every case. The $400 difference is meaningful to me, but doable for a real improvement. Is there one?
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzledyoungman View Post
Hmm. Now I'm rethinking the TCL. In practice, what does the Vizio and Ks8000 get you? Sounds like contrast and color trade offs exist in every case. The $400 difference is meaningful to me, but doable for a real improvement. Is there one?
The KS8000 series is certified Ultra HD Premium.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/ultra-hd-premium

It is edge lit, though, which brings in a number of compromises that some people can't tolerate. I believe that the Vizio P series is not certified, even though they are FALD (full array local dimming) monitors.

The TCL P60X series aren't certified either, but their specs suggest that they may give the best images of any $600 monitors currently on the market. There may be QC issues with the TCL, but the Samsung displays are not free of them. (You must bear in mind, though, that lots of KS8000 sets have been sold. The slightly superior KS9000 models seem to have been bought by a fraction of the people who have bought KS8000 sets.)
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-10-2017, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audacious nick View Post
With that argument, you might as well just get a KS8000. It has higher contrast than a VA Vizio P-series or the TCL P-series, its brighter, the anti-glare is way better, the design is better, you can probably get it for around the cost of a TCL P-series at this point, grey uniformity is better, color gamut is better and color volume is about the same.
Not exactly. I'm not saying that FALD doesn't make things better, it does. It just doesn't make it great, at least to my eyes, on my display. Maybe the P55 achieves lower nits on a black screen than my M60 does.
I can tell you, though, that my M55-C2, which has a native contrast ratio of 8800:1 after calibration, does a much better job (albeit not perfect) at dark scenes.
The problem of the KS8000 is that 1. It's discontinued, and the Q7 series is far more expensive, and 2. It's edge lit, so whatever benefits it holds with a high native contrast doesn't help it much when it illuminates columns of the screen at a time. Blooming on a FALD set can be distracting, but it would be annoying to me on an edge lit set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eelpout View Post
That might just be a difference of panel quality and FALD zone count of M-series vs P-Series (2x for 2016 and 4x for 2017). A number of people with the P55 seem to like them.
The M60-D1 is the 2016 model, and it has 64 dimming zones. The number of zones is also meaningless when you have a completely black image on screen and it still measures 0.01 nits in HDR mode. In a dark room it's easily visible. In SDR it's not bad, my i1Display Pro can't even register a luminosity level. In a dark room you can see the letter box bars, but it isn't distracting. The problem I had was with dark scenes looking washed out just because the display was incapable of providing the required depth to the scene. Maybe more zones would've helped, I don't know.

It's also possible that I'm a bit too critical, maybe some people just don't mind it as much as I do, or maybe the P55 just dims more than the M60 does at a certain maximum luminosity level.
My suggestion is try it before you buy it, if possible, you may like it just fine or you may not, depending on your expectations and requirements.
For example the M60 has great viewing angles, with little discoloration or wash out due to it being an IPS panel, so it's not all bad. It also does pretty well in bright-ish scenes in HDR, the picture can look phenomenal on it.

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post #18 of 18 Old 07-16-2017, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello!

So I posted this in the TCL P series owners thread as well, but I wanted to share my first impressions here too.

I just booted up my new 55P605, and unfortunately my first impression is very poor. 4K streaming content looks great, but any 1080p streaming video from youtube, netflix, showtime via either the built in Roku app or a separate Amazon Fire TV stick looks like absolute crap. Very noisy and rough. Heavy mosquito noise around edges, a shimmering moire kind of issue with any dense textures or skin tones, and a pronounced stair stepping issue around text, graphics or menu interfaces. Overall it looks like low bitrate MPEG2.

I've applied rtings.com recommended settings, with noise reduction turned off and sharpness set to 0. Picture size setting doesn't seem to affect the issue, regardless of whether it's set to Direct or Auto. If anyone has any thoughts as to why this is happening and what would fix it, I'd appreciate it. But if this is just how the TCL looks, I'm returning this for a Vizio P series or a Sony X900E. Or f*ck it, let's just go for an LG B6 why not.
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