TCL 6-Sequence 2020 Roku TV assessment: Improved image, unbelievable worth

The brand new TCL 6-Sequence Roku TV has large footwear to fill. For 2 years working it has been my favourite TV for on a regular basis patrons, with glorious picture high quality, class-leading smarts and an reasonably priced worth. The 2020 model provides a brand new backlight system powered by mini-LED, improved gaming options and a 75-inch dimension, but retains the fee reasonably priced. The result’s the most effective image high quality for the cash I’ve examined this yr.

LikeExcellent general picture qualitySuperior brightness for the priceGreat sport mode performanceRoku good TV is easy, succesful

Do not LikeSome points with low-light dimmingNo Peacock, HBO Max or Apple AirPlay

These mini-LEDs maximize brightness, main to higher pictures in vivid rooms and with HDR. Native dimming, in the meantime, manages to maintain black ranges darkish and general distinction very good — though it is not excellent. And avid gamers will admire the brand new THX Licensed sport mode, which serves up quick response time with minimal lag and glorious picture high quality.

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TCL 6-Sequence Roku TV assessment: Brighter and higher than…


In comparison with the 2019 6-Sequence, which continues to be a wonderful TV if you will discover one in inventory, the 2020 model is best in just about each manner and price an additional $100 or so on the 65-inch dimension. The brand new 6-Sequence is not pretty much as good because the 2019 TCL 8-Sequence, nonetheless, which has a good brighter picture and higher native dimming. Usually there is a large worth hole between the 2 however when the 8-Sequence is on sale — because it typically appears to be — video high quality snobs who do not wish to spring for OLED ought to most likely select the Eight as an alternative.

I am going to replace this assessment when I’ve the prospect to check out extra 2020 TVs — coming quickly — however going into the vacation season the TCL 6-Sequence is already robust to beat, particularly as soon as the standard November worth drops kick in.

Purple Roku, metallic body, spectacular image mark TCL 6-Sequence
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Grey metallic physique, adjustable toes

TCL’s midrange TVs have a way more polished look than their funds units and the brand new 6-Sequence is not any exception. The slim body across the picture and thicker backside edge are darkish grey textured metallic, with refined TCL and Roku logos. Not-so-subtle is the massive accent mild beneath the central brand — it turns off if you activate the TV, fortunately, however I want there was a option to disable it totally (Replace: you’ll be able to! Go to Settings, System, Energy, and switch off the Standby LED. Due to commenter chazzsubscribe).

New for 2019 is a dual-position stand leg association on the 65- and 75-inch sizes that permits you to place the legs both out towards the sting of the panel, as seen within the pictures right here, or extra towards the middle. Each additionally embody a cable cozy within the legs that allow you to kinda disguise HDMI, energy and different connectors.

David Katzmaier/CNET
Good day, Roku, goodbye, HBO Max and Peacock

I am a fan of Roku TV, for causes I’ve documented extensively in earlier evaluations. Here is the brief checklist why:

Frequent updates and have enhancements.Easy menus with full customization, together with enter naming.Inputs on the identical dwelling web page as TV apps.Extra apps (and 4K HDR apps) than another good TV system.Cross-platform search covers many companies and permits worth comparisons.

Like different Roku gadgets, the TCL 6-Sequence is at present lacking apps for Peacock and HBO Max. HBO subscribers can nonetheless watch HBO exhibits utilizing the usual HBO app, however will not get entry to Max-specific exhibits akin to Mates or Love Life. There is no option to entry Peacock on the TV except you join one other streaming gadget.

One other factor at present lacking from the Roku platform — and obtainable on competing good TVs from Vizio, Samsung and LG — is help for Apple’s AirPlay system. The Apple TV app, which incorporates entry to Apple TV Plus, is on-board.

David Katzmaier/CNET

The 6-Sequence contains the straightforward Roku distant with built-in voice management. Roku’s voice operate is not practically as sturdy as Amazon Alexa, discovered on Hearth Version TVs, for instance, however it labored nice for searches, app launching, switching inputs and tuning to an antenna channel. If the TV is off, a voice command like “Launch Netflix” will flip it on and launch the app.

Mini-LED leads a giant checklist of options

Mini-LEDs are, as you might need guessed, smaller than commonplace LEDs, permitting them to be grouped into extra native dimming zones. Full-array native dimming is one of the simplest ways to enhance image high quality on LCD TVs. It permits the backlight — the half behind the LCD display that gives illumination — to dim and illuminate totally different areas concurrently. Smaller areas, or extra dimming zones, imply extra exact illumination, which in the end will increase distinction, a very powerful ingredient in a superb image.

Key TV options

Show know-how


LED backlight

Full array with native dimming

Variety of zones

55-inch: 128, 65-inch: 160, 75-inch: 240



HDR suitable

HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient

Sensible TV

Roku TV



TCL continues to be the one TV maker to make use of mini-LED know-how, first within the 8-Sequence and now within the 6-Sequence, however specs on the 6-Sequence aren’t practically as spectacular. The cheaper 6 has round 1,000 LEDs and 240 zones on the 75-inch dimension, whereas the dearer Eight has 10,000 mini-LEDs and 1,000 zones. That is possible the most important motive the 6-Sequence did not carry out in addition to the 8-Sequence in my checks.

Learn extra: Mini-LED is right here: How smaller lights might result in large TV enhancements

The 2020 Vizio P-Sequence might be the brand new 6-Sequence’ closest competitor and it truly has extra native dimming zones than the TCL — 200 on the 65-inch dimension. The Hisense H9G matches the TCL with 160 zones on the 65-inch dimension, whereas different TV makers like Sony and Samsung do not specify variety of zones. 

One other enchancment over the 2019 6-Sequence is a real 120Hz refresh price on all sizes within the sequence, which ends up in higher movement efficiency. Like most TVs in its class immediately the 6-Sequence makes use of quantum dots that assist enhance coloration in comparison with non-QD-equipped TVs. And naturally it helps each Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HDR10 excessive dynamic vary codecs. Today mainly the one producer that does not is Samsung.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Inputs are ample:

4x HDMI inputs1x analog (composite) video input1x USB port (2.0)Ethernet (wired web)1x headphone jack1x optical digital audio output1x RF (antenna) enter

The 2020 6-Sequence helps Auto Sport Mode that engages the brand new THX Licensed sport mode routinely when related to a suitable gadget. New for this yr it additionally has variable refresh price and the flexibility to just accept body charges as much as 120Hz. The latter are each vital capabilities of the upcoming PS5 and Xbox consoles, however hardcore avid gamers ought to notice that the 6-Sequence lacks the flexibility to do 4K decision 120Hz with HDR, as an alternative maxing out at 1440p decision. The Vizio P-Sequence and Sony X900H, in the meantime, can deal with 4K/120 with HDR. I am unsure how large a distinction it’ll make however I plan to check the brand new TVs with these consoles once they come out.

Image high quality comparisons

Click on the picture above to see CNET’s image settings.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Whereas the TCL 6-Sequence put out a wonderful picture, I can not say but the way it competes towards the 2020 Vizio and Hisense units talked about above, since I have never reviewed them but. In opposition to the TVs I’ve reviewed, nonetheless, its general image is best than another set that earned an Eight on this class — but not fairly worthy of the 9 I gave the brighter and dearer 8-Sequence and Vizio PX from final yr, not to mention OLED fashions just like the CX that earned a 10. The brand new 6-Sequence nails the fundamentals and appears nice for gaming, however some points with dimming in choose scenes held it again a bit.

Dim lighting: With commonplace Blu-ray and different SDR content material calibrated for a darkish room, the TVs seemed very related, and any variations could be robust to tell apart outdoors of a side-by-side comparability. General the Sony confirmed barely lighter black ranges than the TCLs, for a barely much less impactful and contrasty picture, and between the three TCLs the 8-Sequence seemed greatest by a nostril.

Watching 1917 on Blu-ray, for instance, after the soldier awakens in chapter 13 (1:06:38), the 635’s letterbox bars and shadows seemed more true and extra inky than the Sony’s, whereas I might discern extra of the folds of his uniform and partitions within the background than on the 625. In the meantime the 635 and the 8-Sequence have been closest of all, with the one actual distinction being barely higher shadow element on the 8-Sequence.

Throughout the extraordinarily darkish assault on Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 635 once more seemed greatest except for the 8-Sequence. In comparison with the 625 from 2019 its black ranges have been very barely worse however shadow element was considerably higher, and all three TCLs maintained black ranges higher than the Sony. 

In content material liable to blooming, for instance after I introduced up the playback controls throughout a black display, the TCLs all did a greater job controlling the stray illumination than the Sony, which lit up bigger parts of the picture. The 635 did present blooming extra with brighter content material, nonetheless, together with HDR (see beneath).

Brilliant lighting: The TCL 6-Sequence is the brightest TV I’ve ever measured at this worth. Brighter TVs just like the 8-Sequence and the Vizio PX value much more — as do quite a few dimmer examples just like the Sony X900H. 

Mild output in nits


Brightest (SDR)

Correct coloration (SDR)

Brightest (HDR)

Correct coloration (HDR)

Vizio PX65-G1





TCL 65Q825





TCL 65R635





Sony XBR-65X900H





TCL 65R625





Vizio M658-G1










The TCL’s brightest settings, “TV Brightness: brighter” and “Image mode: Vivid,” (or “Brilliant HDR” for HDR content material) are terribly inaccurate. An correct bright-room image is laudably straightforward to realize, nonetheless. Simply swap the mode to “Film” or “Darkish HDR” mode, which reduces mild output however delivers a a lot better picture. 

Beneath vivid lighting the 2020 6-Sequence’ TCL’s display carried out a bit higher than final yr’s mannequin, in addition to the Sony, at mitigating reflections and preserving black ranges and distinction. General its bright-room picture is simply as spectacular for the value as its dwelling theater image.

Shade accuracy: In line with my measurements the TCL 635’s coloration was glorious earlier than calibration in Film mode and even higher afterward. Watching 1917, for probably the most half I would name its coloration glorious as properly, as indicated by the numbers. It did seem barely much less saturated than the opposite three at occasions, for instance, within the faces of the troopers or the reddish glow of the firelight. Typically the distinction was minimal, nonetheless, and in different scenes it was a lot much less seen.

Video processing: The 6-Sequence is a 120Hz native TV with loads of choices for dealing with movement. The obvious is Motion Smoothing which has 4 settings. In Off the TV delivers right 1080p/24 movie cadence however within the different settings, Low and better, it causes the TV to have the buttery smoothness of the Cleaning soap Opera Impact.

These different settings, “Motion Readability” and “LED Movement Readability,” have an effect on movement decision and work together with each other. The excellent news is that attaining most movement decision would not require SOE. After I toggled LED Movement Readability on, participating black body insertion, and cranked Motion Readability to Excessive, I measured a wholesome 1,080 traces of decision — excellent, albeit inferior to the Sony or another 120Hz TVs I’ve examined. Turning LED Movement Readability off reduces decision out at 600 traces. I most well-liked to go away AC on Excessive and switch LED Movement Readability off as a result of the latter dims the picture barely and launched some flicker. Viewers very averse to blur would possibly wish to go away it on, nonetheless.

In comparison with final yr the 2020 6-Sequence added a pair milliseconds of gaming enter lag, clocking in at round 18/19ms for each 1080p and 4K HDR in sport mode. Twitch avid gamers would possibly discover, however no person else will. That mentioned, the possibilities of noticing lag go manner up for anyone who would not use sport mode in 4K HDR: I measured 134ms (!) in 4K with sport mode turned off.

“Sport mode” is definitely one other complicated setting on the 2020 6-Sequence. You possibly can apply it to any image mode (akin to Film) or select the precise “Gaming”https://www.cnet.com/”Gaming HDR” image mode, which invokes THX’s particular sauce. In each circumstances enter lag was mainly the identical.

Uniformity: With check patterns the 2020 6-Sequence was strong with out an excessive amount of brightness variation throughout the display: barely higher alongside the perimeters than the 2019 6-Sequence and higher within the center than the Sony. One blemish on my assessment pattern was a pair of very barely darker spots within the center proper. They have been fairly refined: I solely seen them on check patterns and demanding materials like hockey. From off-angle the 65R635 preserved extra black stage constancy than the 625 and the Sony, whereas off-angle coloration was just like the opposite TCLs and worse than the Sony.

HDR and 4K video: As typical with vivid, contrasty HDR materials I noticed extra variations than with SDR. To get a baseline I began with the video montage from the Spears and Munsil 4K HDR benchmark disc, and the 635’s benefits stood out over the Sony and the 2019 6-Sequence. Within the cityscape scenes just like the Ferris wheel at night time (4:49), the 635’s highlights seemed brighter than the opposite TCL, whereas the black ranges of the sky and shadows have been considerably darker than the Sony. In the meantime the 8-series seemed better of all, with blacks as darkish because the 635 and brighter highlights.

In tough scenes with objects towards black backgrounds all three TCLs confirmed related inky black ranges however the highlights have been fairly visibly totally different. The 635 was constantly brighter than both the Sony or the 625 (the pen at 4:12 was a superb instance) and dimmer than the 8-Sequence. In largely white scenes, just like the mountains and the horses grazing within the snowfield, the 2020 635 once more measured the brightest except for the 8-Sequence.

As with SDR the 635’s coloration did seem barely much less impactful and saturated at occasions, notably orange just like the sunsets or the wings of a monarch butterfly at 3:51. And similar to with SDR the distinction was refined and the sort of factor I would not discover outdoors of a side-by-side comparability. And in different scenes, just like the crimson, inexperienced and yellow of the tulip area, the 635 seemed simply as vibrant and punchy as the opposite three. 

Shifting on to the 1917 4K Blu-ray disc it was largely the identical story, however in a few combined vivid and darkish scenes that actually check native dimming, the 635 stumbled. When the troopers meet the final within the bunker (5:20), the 635 confirmed extra blooming and stray illumination within the troopers silhouettes, the shadows and letterbox bars than the others. I attempted decreasing the brightness setting from Brighter (which I like to recommend for HDR on this TV generally) to Regular (which put it at roughly the identical general mild output because the 2019 TCL) and or Darker (the dimmest possibility and far dimmer than both one). If I had to decide on between the Sony’s lighter black ranges and the 635’s blooming, I would nonetheless take the 635, however each of the opposite TCLs dealt with this scene higher.

And as typical the impact various fairly a bit. Within the subsequent darkish bunker scene, round 25:45, the 635’s blooming was a lot much less noticeable, maybe due to the way in which the flashlights and digicam moved via the rooms. Alternatively within the Chapter 13 awakening scene the TCL 635 was mainly unwatchable: its dimming kicked in aggressively to crush nearly all of the shadow element within the scene, the uniform and background have been invisible and blooming rampant. Altering the image mode to Brilliant HDR reclaimed many of the element however made different points of the picture look worse, particularly in brighter scenes. The 625 seemed a bit higher (however not nice) throughout this scene, the 8-Sequence seemed considerably higher, whereas the Sony seemed the most effective regardless of its lighter black ranges, exhibiting minimal native dimming results.

HDR coloration throughout 1917 confirmed the Sony because the palest and least saturated of the three on this pale and unsaturated film, and to my eye the 635 and 8-Sequence seemed probably the most balanced. HDR coloration accuracy measurements gave the Sony the benefit over the 635.

4K HDR gaming: For this check I performed The Final of Us Half 2 on a PS4 Professional within the TVs’ varied Sport modes: Gaming HDR (aka THX-certified Sport Mode) for the 635, Darkish HDR/Brighter/”Sport mode” toggle on for the opposite two TCLs and Sport mode on the Sony. In my comparability THX Sport mode did a wonderful job of balancing picture high quality and low enter lag.

In these settings the 635 had the most effective distinction, brightest highlights and most punch of the bunch — the opposite three seemed extra washed-out. While you’re crawling round a darkish constructing looking zombies, nonetheless, shadow element is extra vital than black stage and distinction, as a result of it lets you peer into darkish recesses to identify enemies. By that measure the Sony was higher than the 635, delivering each ounce of element within the darkest shadows whereas the 635 was a bit extra shrouded, albeit nonetheless higher than the opposite two. If I needed most zombie-spot potential on I would set the sport’s Distinction slider a bit decrease.

Shifting out into the day-lit Seattle streets the 635 once more seemed greatest general because of superior distinction, which as typical helped colours pop. In fact you’ll be able to reclaim the native distinction of the opposite TCLs by turning off the Sport mode toggle however the trade-off is excessive enter lag  — which was insupportable as I performed the sport. 

Geek Field

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Brilliant grey error (80%)



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Peak white luminance (10% win)



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TCL 65R635 CNET assessment calibration outcomes by David Katzmaier on Scribd

About the author: SubSellKaro

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