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Is the TCL 6 Series of 2020 worth buying for gaming?

BluRayHiDef

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TCL has formerly announced their 6 Series of 2020, which is a series of 4K-HDR televisions. Whereas 2019's 6 Series sported traditional LED technology, this year's 6 Series will feature the novel LED technology introduced in 2019's 8 Series: mini LEDs, which are LEDs that are so small that they can be grouped into hundreds or even thousands of local dimming zones rather than only dozens. For those of you who don't know what local dimming zones are, they are sections of an LCD display's backlight that can be turned on or off - or varied in brightness - independently of one another, which vastly increases the display's contrast ratio.

The 6 Series will be available in three screen sizes: 55", which will have 128 local dimming zones ($649.99); 65", which will have 160 local dimming zones ($899.99); and 75", which will have 240 local dimming zones ($1,399.99) [the models of 2020's 8 Series will have thousands of local dimming zones].

What makes this series of televisions relevant to gaming is its partial implementation of HDMI 2.1 and its THX-certified gaming mode. These two features will specifically enable the following:

1. HDMI 2.1: Variable Refresh Rate, which enables a display to alter its refresh rate on the fly in order to match the inconsistent frame rate of whatever is being displayed, such as a video game. This minimizes or eliminates screen tearing and stuttering, resulting in a smoother experience.

2. HDMI 2.1: Auto Low Latency Mode, via which the TV automatically activates its lowest degree of latency when it detects that its input source is a game.

3. THX Certification that assures retention of maximum picture quality when game mode is enabled, including High Dynamic Range.

Additionally, the 6 Series of 2020 supports HDMI 2.1's eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which supports higher bandwidth than ARC. Hence, audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

However, there is a caveat: the TCL 6 Series of 2020 will not be able to support 4K-HDR @ 120Hz but will be able to support only a maximum resolution of 1440p-HDR @ 120Hz.

Considering this caveat, do you think that the TCL 6 Series is a good choice for pairing with a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X?

Amazon

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Kuranghi

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Why not, for the money its a great deal for what you get. TCL is like a less-good Samsung so the image processing and motion is suspect but good enough for most people, I'd definitely get it if you are on a budget.

I just watched the video earlier, was very surprised at how cheap it is, why not take a punt on it.
 

BluRayHiDef

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Why not, for the money its a great deal for what you get. TCL is like a less-good Samsung so the image processing and motion is suspect but good enough for most people, I'd definitely get it if you are on a budget.

I just watched the video earlier, was very surprised at how cheap it is, why not take a punt on it.

I have had a TCL 55R617 since June of 2018, and I have been very satisfied with its image quality. However, I've been waiting for this year's 6 Series so that I could get a TV that supports the new features of next-gen consoles, namely 4K @ 120Hz. However, now that I've learned that the 6 Series doesn't support 4K @ 120Hz, I don't know if I should buy one, even though very few games will support 4K @ 120Hz.
 
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Dave_at_Home

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TCL has formerly announced their 6 Series of 2020, which is a series of 4K-HDR televisions. Whereas 2019's 6 Series sported traditional LED technology, this year's 6 Series will feature the novel LED technology introduced in 2019's 8 Series: mini LEDs, which are LEDs that are so small that they can be grouped into hundreds or even thousands of local dimming zones rather than only dozens. For those of you who don't know what local dimming zones are, they are sections of an LCD display's backlight that can be turned on or off - or varied in brightness - independently of one another, which vastly increases the display's contrast ratio.

The 6 Series will be available in three screen sizes: 55", which will have 128 local dimming zones ($649.99); 65", which will have 160 local dimming zones ($899.99); and 75", which will have 240 local dimming zones ($1,399.99) [the models of 2020's 8 Series will have thousands of local dimming zones].

What makes this series of televisions relevant to gaming is its partial implementation of HDMI 2.1 and its THX-certified gaming mode. These two features will specifically enable the following:

1. HDMI 2.1: Variable Refresh Rate, which enables a display to alter its refresh rate on the fly in order to match the inconsistent frame rate of whatever is being displayed, such as a video game. This minimizes or eliminates screen tearing and stuttering, resulting in a smoother experience.

2. HDMI 2.1: Auto Low Latency Mode, via which the TV automatically activates its lowest degree of latency when it detects that its input source is a game.

3. THX Certification that assures retention of maximum picture quality when game mode is enabled, including High Dynamic Range.

Additionally, the 6 Series of 2020 supports HDMI 2.1's eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), which supports higher bandwidth than ARC. Hence, audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

However, there is a caveat: the TCL 6 Series of 2020 will not be able to support 4K-HDR @ 120Hz but will be able to support only a maximum resolution of 1440p-HDR @ 120Hz.

Considering this caveat, do you think that the TCL 6 Series is a good choice for pairing with a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X?

Amazon

Best Buy

Sorry to break it to you, but this new 6 series does not have HDMI 2.1
It only does 1440p at 120 because it's HDMI 2.0
I was really excited about this since I'm in the market for a new TV for PS5, but this totally let me down. Also, they say it's mini-LED, but why so few dimming zones? Bizarre. I am still looking forward to their 8 series Vidrian, though.
 
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Kuranghi

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I have had a TCL 55R617 since June of 2018, and I have been very satisfied with its image quality. However, I've been waiting for this year's 6 Series so that I could get a TV that supports the new features of next-gen consoles, namely 4K @ 120Hz. However, now that I've learned that the 6 Series doesn't support 4K @ 120Hz, I don't know if I should buy one, even though very few games will support 4K @ 120Hz.

I think 4K@120 support isn't that necessecary yet, I wouldn't worry. If you are updating your TV every 2 years and getting 6 series TVs each time then you are going to spend $650 in 2022 and again in 2024. You could spend $1500 dollars and not upgrade for 6 years and you'd save $450 and have a better TV for all that time. An OLED from 2020 will almost certainly still be better than any 6-series or even 7/8-series LCD you can buy in 2024. I don't think even a 1280 zone mini-led would be as good as OLED, let alone 128 zones.

Go on, get an OLED 😬
 

BluRayHiDef

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Sorry to break it to you, but this new 6 series does not have HDMI 2.1
It only does 1440p at 120 because it's HDMI 2.0
I was really excited about this since I'm in the market for a new TV for PS5, but this totally let me down. Also, they say it's mini-LED, but why so few dimming zones? Bizarre. I am still looking forward to their 8 series Vidrian, though.

It does have HDMI 2.1, but doesn't support the full feature set of HDMI 2.1. If it didn't have HDMI 2.1, then it wouldn't support VRR, ALLM, or eARC (on all four ports).
 

K1ngP3n

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Already have the 55" ordered and it tells me that it should be here Thursday! Here's hoping it's a good TV! Bought the TCL P605 a few years ago and I've loved it since day one.
 
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KINGMOKU

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I have had a TCL 55R617 since June of 2018, and I have been very satisfied with its image quality. However, I've been waiting for this year's 6 Series so that I could get a TV that supports the new features of next-gen consoles, namely 4K @ 120Hz. However, now that I've learned that the 6 Series doesn't support 4K @ 120Hz, I don't know if I should buy one, even though very few games will support 4K @ 120Hz.
I've got the 55 and the 65 of the r617 and am still shocked at the image quality for the price. Hell, it's amazing regardless of price. They both wreck my 60' ks8000.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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I think 4K@120 support isn't that necessecary yet, I wouldn't worry. If you are updating your TV every 2 years and getting 6 series TVs each time then you are going to spend $650 in 2022 and again in 2024. You could spend $1500 dollars and not upgrade for 6 years and you'd save $450 and have a better TV for all that time. An OLED from 2020 will almost certainly still be better than any 6-series or even 7/8-series LCD you can buy in 2024. I don't think even a 1280 zone mini-led would be as good as OLED, let alone 128 zones.

Go on, get an OLED 😬
I'll NEVER get an OLED. The peak brightness levels are atrocious, especially for SDR content.
 

Kuranghi

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I'll NEVER get an OLED. The peak brightness levels are atrocious, especially for SDR content.

Okay then that narrows it down at least, I'd say get a Sony X900F then, if you can find one. Should be ~$700, but I know you want 4K@120hz. So I dunno I think you have to increase your budget.
 
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KINGMOKU

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I'll NEVER get an OLED. The peak brightness levels are atrocious, especially for SDR content.
I understand how beautiful the picture can be, a buddy of mine has a premium model but the brightness is poor, and I will never be able to get over the potential for burn in.

I just cant overlook those flaws.

I've heard some good things about the new quantum (?)dot LED T.V's though.

Another thing about the r617 line from TCL are the amazing and deep blacks you get from them.
 

Dave_at_Home

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It does have HDMI 2.1, but doesn't support the full feature set of HDMI 2.1. If it didn't have HDMI 2.1, then it wouldn't support VRR, ALLM, or eARC (on all four ports).
You can absolutely support VRR, eARC, and ALLM on HDMI 2.0. I know this because even last years high-end Samsung supported these features on HDMI 2.0 ports. I'm sourcing my info here on TCL. They also don't mention anywhere on TCL's main website about HDMI 2.1. It only says it has "4 HDMI inputs (1 eARC)". The dead giveaway here is one of the HDMI ports being dedicated to eARC. There is no need whatsoever if this TV actually had 2.1 to limit only one of its ports for eARC. Sorry my dudes, but it's true.

It's limited to 1440p at 120 because of HDMI 2.0. Also, it has no freesync capabilities.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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You can absolutely support VRR, eARC, and ALLM on HDMI 2.0. I know this because even last years high-end Samsung supported these features on HDMI 2.0 ports. I'm sourcing my info here on TCL. They also don't mention anywhere on TCL's main website about HDMI 2.1. It only says it has "4 HDMI inputs (1 eARC)". The dead giveaway here is one of the HDMI ports being dedicated to eARC. There is no need whatsoever if this TV actually had 2.1 to limit only one of its ports for eARC. Sorry my dudes, but it's true.

It's limited to 1440p at 120 because of HDMI 2.0. Also, it has no freesync capabilities.
HDMI 2.1.
 
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On paper it's great. If you're a console gamer you are not going to need 120hz at 4K so not a big deal. Will be interesting to see how it actually performs picture wise. If it can compete with the H9G for that low of a price then it'll be the set to get.

It does have HDMI 2.1, but doesn't support the full feature set of HDMI 2.1. If it didn't have HDMI 2.1, then it wouldn't support VRR, ALLM, or eARC (on all four ports).
No it doesn't. It does not have an HDMI 2.1 port and so can't do 4K at 120hz. It has "features" of it which is nothing but marketing. allm, vrr can be done on 2.0
 
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Dave_at_Home

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I'm not really sure why you put that there. My point still stands that HDMI 2.0 supports HDMI 2.1 feature set. The difference is bandwidth. You can absolutely have VRR, ALLM, and eARC on 2.0. I'm not saying you can have all these at the same time, which is why one port on the TCL is dedicated to eARC. This is not some sort of mystery. Last year Samsung's Q9FN (top of the line) supported both VRR and Freesync.

I'll say this one more time. If the TV is limited to 120 at 1440p, than it does not have HDMI 2.1

Edit: Place your eggs in TCL's 8 series "Vidrian" basket if you want 2.1
 
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It's a great deal as long as you understand all the negatives. It's a budget tv, and the quality control will reflect that. In my personal experiences with TCL they have the absolute shittiest quality control and build quality of any tv brand I've ever owned. The DSE and banding is beyond anything I've seen.

When you use a TCL beside something from Sony or Samsung the difference in quality is readily apparent. As long as you keep your expectations in check and can't afford something proper they are worth it I guess?
 

BluRayHiDef

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I'm not really sure why you put that there. My point still stands that HDMI 2.0 supports HDMI 2.1 feature set. The difference is bandwidth. You can absolutely have VRR, ALLM, and eARC on 2.0. I'm not saying you can have all these at the same time, which is why one port on the TCL is dedicated to eARC. This is not some sort of mystery. Last year Samsung's Q9FN (top of the line) supported both VRR and Freesync.

I'll say this one more time. If the TV is limited to 120 at 1440p, than it does not have HDMI 2.1

Semantics.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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It's a great deal as long as you understand all the negatives. It's a budget tv, and the quality control will reflect that. In my personal experiences with TCL they have the absolute shittiest quality control and build quality of any tv brand I've ever owned. The DSE and banding is beyond anything I've seen.

When you use a TCL beside something from Sony or Samsung the difference in quality is readily apparent. As long as you keep your expectations in check and can't afford something proper they are worth it I guess?

It's a lottery. My 55R617 has no banding and very minimal DSE.
 

Gamernyc78

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I've got the 55 and the 65 of the r617 and am still shocked at the image quality for the price. Hell, it's amazing regardless of price. They both wreck my 60' ks8000.

I have 2019 6 series 65inch I bought few months ago for 700 HDR and image quality is fucking great. Ima rock this out for several years and of course thy have low input lag compared to any brand.
 
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Reallink

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At this point I'd wait for objective measured performance reviews and hold out to see where the cheapest full HDMI 2.1 sets fall in price and how they compare.
 

Dave_at_Home

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Semantics.
It's not really semantics, though. Either it is HDMI 2.1 or it's 2.0. You either want a TV that has the bandwidth to carry a 4K, HDR, 120Hz signal with widest VRR possible, or not. I'm not trying to be a jerk here cause I was just as excited when TCL finally revealed their 6 series. Unfortunately, despite using mini-LED, they only have 120 zones on the 55', and no HDMI 2.1? I can totally live with "just" 120 zones on the 55' if TCL fixes their blooming issues, and uses an active matrix panel this time around for their mini-LED. I do know they're doing that for the 8 series, which is great.

Depending on price, I may just have to make a 65' set work in my living room. I'm looking for the complete package television and I hope Vidrian delivers. I'll wait on reviews, though. I may just get a LG CX OLED despite my worries of burn-in, especially considering how games will be utilizing HDR and the effect that will have on an OLED panel. TCL needs to knock it out of the park for me.
 
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At this point I'd wait for objective measured performance reviews and hold out to see where the cheapest full HDMI 2.1 sets fall in price and how they compare.

The Vizio 2020 lineup will more than likely be the cheapest HDMI 2.1 sets. Every 2020 set from Vizio supports 2.1, and though they are still a budget brand they have much better quality control than TCL.
 
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KINGMOKU

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At this point I'd wait for objective measured performance reviews and hold out to see where the cheapest full HDMI 2.1 sets fall in price and how they compare.
Yup. I usually play my 1X on my gaming monitor so I'm waiting a full year to upgrade both my monitor and primary gaming TV.

It usually takes a year to find out what's best.

For now what I've got will work beautifully.
 

Dave_at_Home

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The Vizio 2020 lineup will more than likely be the cheapest HDMI 2.1 sets. Every 2020 set from Vizio supports 2.1, and though they are still a budget brand they have much better quality control than TCL.
According to Consumer Reports, Vizio is the least reliable brand. Always be careful when purchasing a Vizio.
 
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Vroadstar

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I recently bought series 8 TCL, suffice to say after 3 days I returned it due to screen suddenly turning red. Sister also bought one before and also got quality issues they got rid of it as well.
They are bang for the buck and features wise they are impressive but still long ways to go in terms of quality compared to Sony, Samsung, LG. Just my two cents.
 
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According to Consumer Reports, Vizio is the least reliable brand. Always be careful when purchasing a Vizio.

Pff not in my experience of owning multiple sets from both companies. Though really in the end it is splitting hairs. They are both low tier brands and neither can really be defined as "reliable", you get what you pay for. I will say Vizio honestly has the best customer service of any electronics manufacturer I've had to deal with. Had an issue with my 2019 M series, sent a few pictures through live chat and a few days later had a replwcement tv scheduled for delivery.

I dread the day something (knock on wood) happens with my Sony, my experiences with them haven't been very good.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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I'm not really sure why you put that there. My point still stands that HDMI 2.0 supports HDMI 2.1 feature set. The difference is bandwidth. You can absolutely have VRR, ALLM, and eARC on 2.0. I'm not saying you can have all these at the same time, which is why one port on the TCL is dedicated to eARC. This is not some sort of mystery. Last year Samsung's Q9FN (top of the line) supported both VRR and Freesync.

I'll say this one more time. If the TV is limited to 120 at 1440p, than it does not have HDMI 2.1

Edit: Place your eggs in TCL's 8 series "Vidrian" basket if you want 2.1

I am indeed hoping that the 8 Series of 2020 will have HDMI 2.1. However, the issue is that based on last year's 8 Series, there likely won't be a 55" model but only 65" and up, which are too large for my space.
 
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I'm not really sure why you put that there. My point still stands that HDMI 2.0 supports HDMI 2.1 feature set. The difference is bandwidth. You can absolutely have VRR, ALLM, and eARC on 2.0. I'm not saying you can have all these at the same time, which is why one port on the TCL is dedicated to eARC. This is not some sort of mystery. Last year Samsung's Q9FN (top of the line) supported both VRR and Freesync.

I'll say this one more time. If the TV is limited to 120 at 1440p, than it does not have HDMI 2.1

Edit: Place your eggs in TCL's 8 series "Vidrian" basket if you want 2.1

Waiting for Vidrian brings forth the budget tier paradox for me though. The same goes for the Vizio Quantum X. Sure these sets will be impressive but they both carry price tags (Vidrian price is assumed to be) well over $1000 which places them square in the sights of top quality brands like Sony and Samsung.

For me, I could never justify dropping that kind of dough on a budget brand tv that still carries the same shit quality control as their $500 sets. It just makes no sense to get one at those price points. They need to stay well withing their price ranges to be even remotely appealing. The TCL 6 series and Vizio M series are at a pretty decent sweet spot for price I think. Beyond that it starts to get iffy.
 

BluRayHiDef

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Vincent Teoh refers to it as 2.1 (watch the video in the OP) but notes that it's only partially so, because a TV doesn't have to have all of the features of the specification in order to be considered 2.1 but only some. Having said this, I don't want to argue about this anymore.
 
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Xenon

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Picked up a TCL 8 series and very happy with it so far. Blacks are legit amazing. Hearing that the 2020 6 series only has 250 local dimming zones was a huge shock. The lack of 2.1 was disappointing as well. Other than the Fisher Price remote I have no complaints.
 

wtftad

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I will have one this week. I will run some ps4 pro (Ghosts of Tsushima) on it and I will put a few of my pc gaming rigs on it.

I will let ya know how I think it performs (just my opinions obv) but if you have specific stuff you want to know drop me a dm.
 
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magaman

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Why not, for the money its a great deal for what you get. TCL is like a less-good Samsung so the image processing and motion is suspect but good enough for most people, I'd definitely get it if you are on a budget.

I just watched the video earlier, was very surprised at how cheap it is, why not take a punt on it.

You clearly have never owned a TCL. It's my favorite TV, and I own two Bravias and a Samsung LED.
 
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BluRayHiDef

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I will have one this week. I will run some ps4 pro (Ghosts of Tsushima) on it and I will put a few of my pc gaming rigs on it.

I will let ya know how I think it performs (just my opinions obv) but if you have specific stuff you want to know drop me a dm.

Which model are you getting?
 

ShirAhava

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Think i'll get the 5 series it has all the HDR features for movies, QLED and game mode I don't care about the HDMI 2.1 features at all because zero next-gen games interest me
 

BluRayHiDef

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55’ inch. 55R635.

The 65 and 75’ are sold out/unavailable on amazon and Best Buy. For the price that 55’ is worth testing out.

I live in New York City and If I were to order it, it wouldn't arrive until August 21st. I wonder why the delivery would be earlier for you.
 
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wtftad

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There is an Amazon and Best Buy DW (district warehouse) in my city. Amazon is same day delivery for most of the stuff I buy. Everything else is typically next day, same for Best Buy.
 
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Allforce

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I got the older 75" TCL 6-series and it's a huge jump. Fantastic picture and reinvigorated gaming for me. You'll stop fiddling with settings after a month and just love it and wonder why you ever sweated the decision.
 

BluRayHiDef

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Does anyone think that the 8 Series of 2020 will have a 55" model or completely support HDMI 2.1?
 

-Arcadia-

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It's kind of an interesting choice, this close to the wire. TCLs are the best deal you're going to get, and an absolutely legendary quality to price ratio, but...

Consigning yourself to 1440p at 120 FPS for the entire generation is something that warrants careful consideration. If this is to be your TV for the next five years or so, you'll have to be okay with missing out on a subset of games (I'm guessing older, Indie, cross-gen, comp multiplayer) in optimal quality.

But if you don't have a 4K set yet, or a whole lot of money to spend, I feel like, pending reviews, 4K HDR at 60 FPS is going to be amazing for you, and gaming through the new launches at 1080p wouldn't make sense. In that case, I'd go for it.
 

BluRayHiDef

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It's kind of an interesting choice, this close to the wire. TCLs are the best deal you're going to get, and an absolutely legendary quality to price ratio, but...

Consigning yourself to 1440p at 120 FPS for the entire generation is something that warrants careful consideration. If this is to be your TV for the next five years or so, you'll have to be okay with missing out on a subset of games (I'm guessing older, Indie, cross-gen, comp multiplayer) in optimal quality.

But if you don't have a 4K set yet, or a whole lot of money to spend, I feel like, pending reviews, 4K HDR at 60 FPS is going to be amazing for you, and gaming through the new launches at 1080p wouldn't make sense. In that case, I'd go for it.
I currently have a TCL R617; I've had it since June-2018 and I love it. However, I'm tempted to upgrade soon.

EDIT:

I've considered models by other brands, such as the Sony X900H, which will support 4K-HDR @ 120Hz via a firmware update. However, the Sony X900H has lower contrast and overall lower brightness levels in both SDR and HDR than even my 55R617, as you can see via the following link:

Link: https://www.rtings.com/tv/tools/compare/tcl-r617-vs-sony-x900h/613/12284?usage=11114&threshold=0.1

Ironically, though the Sony X950H is higher-speced than the X900H, it will not support 4K-HDR @ 120Hz as it does not have an HDMI 2.1 port. The same applies to the X950G.

If the 8 Series of 2020 won't satisfy my requirements, I think I'll just settle for the 6 Series of 2020, because it still supports Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode, and eARC.
 
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scydrex

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I was thinking of getting a Series 6 of 2018 or 2019 but the lack of support of 120fps is stopping me. I really don't care about 4k 120hz but at least I would like to have 1440p 120fps. I don't think that there will be a lot for games or AAA targeting 4k 120fps. I would prefer 4k 60fps or 1440p 120fps with better settings. I have a Vizio 1080p TV it has like 4 or 5 years. No problem so far... never. The only thing is that the apps are slow but I use the PS4.
 
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-Arcadia-

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I currently have a TCL R617; I've had it since June-2018 and I love it. However, I'm tempted to upgrade soon.

EDIT:

I've considered models by other brands, such as the Sony X900H, which will support 4K-HDR @ 120Hz via a firmware update. However, the Sony X900H has lower contrast and overall lower brightness levels in both SDR and HDR than even my 55R617, as you can see via the following link:

Link: https://www.rtings.com/tv/tools/compare/tcl-r617-vs-sony-x900h/613/12284?usage=11114&threshold=0.1

Ironically, though the Sony X950H is higher-speced than the X900H, it will not support 4K-HDR @ 120Hz as it does not have an HDMI 2.1 port. The same applies to the X950G.

If the 8 Series of 2020 won't satisfy my requirements, I think I'll just settle for the 6 Series of 2020, because it still supports Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode, and eARC.

Honestly, if you upgrade every two years, and at TCL prices, I'm not sure there's a downside for you in getting this one. You'll probably end up just picking up a 4K/120 TCL in a couple of years, anyway.