4K HD TV

Best 4K TV under 1000 | with Latest Vizio , TCL reviews

Hello folks, this is Brian from BNL, helping out Sam with reviews. In this review segment for budget 4K TV’s, we’ll be looking at the best budget picks from 2016 and 2017 including the ‘just arrived’ models. This is on public demand 🙂 with viewers saying we should cover Vizio, TCL, Sharp and other budget picks.

The range of 4K TV’s extends quite a bit with the higher end OLED’s commanding greater than $5500 in pricing – and there being no standard definition of ‘budget’. So, for the purpose of this review, we would consider a model below $800 for 55″ inch, and below $1200 for 65″ as a budget 4k TV. We’d also only look at 2016 and 2017 model’s so as to keep the review current.

TCL C Series - The New Contender

TCL C Series – The New Contender

TCL P Series - Performance Series 2017 by TCL

TCL P Series – Performance Series 2017 by TCL

We will ranking and rating these best 4K TV’s under 1000 bucks on various parameter in brightness, contrast, colour range, viewing angle, up-scaling etc. and then provide the result. So let’s get started.

TV Brightness in Budget 4K TV’s

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1Peak brightness of around 250-270 nits.6.3
Vizio M55-E0Better brightness with peak at 600 nits and full-screen brightness of 350 nits. This is comparable to Samsung MU series brightness and even brighter.7.2
TCL 55P607 , TCL 55C807Yet to be out but previews suggest these would be comparable or better to the M series of Vizio.7.2
Vizio E55-E2E series 2017 has peak brightness closer to 250 nits but due to Local Dimming + decent blacks, it gives decent contrast. Doesn’t look great in bright rooms.6.2
TCL 55US5800Isn’t very bright and not suitable in a bright room. Think it has a peak brightness of about 200-250 nits.6
Why it’s Important: Brightness is an important factor for overall picture quality and clarity in 4K TV’s. Brightness is measured on factors such as peak brightness and overall SDR , HDR brightness. Samsung leads in peak brightness but that is for models with premium pricing. For budget models, 4k TV’s with more than 400-500 nits peak brightness are likely to be decent.

Verdict: Vizio M 55” rules here which is good pick and Vizio M55-E0 brightness is well above average for a budget model competing with the likes of Samsung MU series we’d reviewed and which are much higher priced.

Picture Quality & Colour Review for Budget 4K TV’s

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1WCG not supported, 8 bit color but pretty good for a budget model like this6.3
Vizio M55-E0WCG supported , better suited for HDR7.2
TCL 55P607 , TCL 55C807Estimated score as not out yet for a proper review7.2
Vizio E55-E210 bit color support present on such a budget model is good but no WCG. Overall OK for the budget but HDR content may not show that great, also bright scenes. But great picture quality in dark rooms.6.2
TCL 55US5800No10 bit but acceptable for a budget 2016 model which this is.6
Why it’s Important: Here we’re talking about picture quality from the point of view of color handling. Earlier TV’s handled 8 bit color but now many models, even the budget 4K one’s are handling 10 bit color and WCG (Wide color gamut). The difference will be clearer from the picture below. If you look at the difference you will notice that 10 bit color with WCG support will make the picture show every shade of color across the color spectrum that exists in that scene.

The 10 Bit difference

The 10 Bit difference

Verdict: The new TCL P model is likely to be the winner here by a small margin over the Vizio M series of 2017, based on the previews and specifications.

Contrast and Blacks in Budget 4K TV’s of 2016 – 2017

Vizio E Series E2 2017

Vizio E Series E2 2017

Vizio M series 2017

Vizio M series 2017 – Great Performance, great price

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1Slightly better than the TCL at around 4300:1. But no perceived blooming.7.1
Vizio M55-E032 Dimming zones – lead to even better contrast, truer blacks. Even comparable to that of QLED’s according to Engadget magazine.7.8
TCL 55P607 , TCL 55C80772 dimming zones in the P series so likely to be as good if not better than Vizio M55. C series does NOT have local dimming. P is direct lit whereas C is edge-litLikely 8 +
Vizio E55-E2Good contrast of 4500-5200:1 range. Full Array Local Dimming helps – 12 dimming zones7.3
TCL 55US5800Lower contrast than the Vizio and the new TCL model at around 3500:1. No local dimming6.8
Why it’s Important: Some consider truer and deeper blacks to be even more important than brightness. Together with brightness, this factor is important for high contrast ratio and the better the contrast, even the dark scenes appear very clear and crisp. This factor will make the night scenes come alive. Deepest and truest blacks are found in LG OLED TVs but again that is pretty high end. The more dimming zones your TV has, the better contrast and truer blacks it will provide.

Verdict: Better blacks, contrast and clearer images on such a budget is a big score for Vizio so much so that in a Hidefdigest review, Vizio E65-E0 even scored over Samsung UN65MU7000 during a typical demo test. Even setting calibrations aside, the Vizo would probably have given the same results as a model which is $600-$800 more expensive. TCL 2017 P series is just to be released (as on May 2017) so first reviews are expected but from the specs it is likely to even better the Vizio M55 E0.

Input Lag & Motion Blur ratings for Budget 4K Tv’s – Gaming

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D160 Hz. Better input lag handling than TCL and even the E series. Judder felt when playing movies over cable, satellite box although low motion blur. 7.1
Vizio M55-E0120 Hz effective (which means 60 Hz native most likely). Still seems to have a pretty low input lag. Motion blur is also handled well using Clear Motion technology. Good for gamers.7.8
TCL 55P607 , TCL55C807Not much details have come but its 60 Hz Native and considering earlier versions the Input lag would be similar or better to the M series Vizio. One industry review claims pretty good HD Game handling.7.8
Vizio E55-E260 Hz Input lag and OK for some gaming. Competitive Gamers may feel some issues but Decent budget pick for gamers overall. Better response time than 2016 TCL or Vizio D55u-D27.3
TCL 55US580060 Hz Input Lag at 47 ms at 1080p which is about average, although can be better6.7
Why it’s Important: Low input lag is important for gamers and so is motion blur. If your budget TV has a 120 Hz native refresh rate that’s great – but even 60 Hz works fine, if judder etc. is handled well. HD gaming brings it’s own challenges and for that:

Verdict: Vizio M is the winner here with TCL 55P607 and TCL55C807 as possible close seconds. Both of these would have motion blur and input lag handling comparable to top-end models.

4K TV Budget models – Upscaling , Multiple Format Types

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1Decent upscaling capabilities – above average for it’s budget. No Dolby vision, No HDR 107.3
Vizio M55-E0HDR10, Dolby vision support, better up-scaling than Vizio E7.7
TCL 55P607 , TCL55C807Dolby Vision support. Isn’t out in the market but in terms of the preview comments, up-scaling appears to be comparable to the M series. 4K Creative Pro Upscaling7.5
Vizio E55-E2OK up-scaling. Nothing great.7
TCL 55US5800Ok upscaling for Blue Ray, DVD etc.6.8
Why it’s Important: Up-scaling of content is important because normal DVD, cable is at 720p and Blue ray at HD. Content via USB and on internet may be of even lesser resolution. So your 4K TV should be able to display this content without a grainy, blurred look of details. A great 4K TV should also support HDR content types such as Dolby Vision or HDR10. Supporting Multiple of these isn’t really necessary though.

Verdict: Vizo M appears to score a little better than the others but the details on TCL55P607 aren’t fully out yet, so it may be that both end up pretty much equivalent.

Wide Angle Viewing for 4K Budget Models

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1Lowering of color and brightness on side viewing but loss of brightness is lesser than in TCL6.3
Vizio M55-E0Some loss of color and contrast but not as much in E and D series.7
TCL 55P607 , TCL55C807Likely to be better than the earlier model as the numerous dimming zones will also make a difference here.7
Vizio E55-E2Quality Does deteriorate when sitting off centre in wide couch6.3
TCL 55US5800Lowering of color and brightness on side viewing but loss of brightness is lesser than in TCL6
Why it’s Important: Tolerance for Wide or Low angle viewing in conventional LED LCD’s is important as picture quality and brightness should not deteriorate when you’re viewing from the side of your couch or not directly in front. OLED’s perform the best here but Vizio M and the new TCL models do not lose brightness or picture quality as much. This is comparable with even models 2 – 2.5 times their price.

Verdict: Vizio M is again a clear winner and for the price it is available at, this is one of its strong points.

Reliability

TVReview Scores (as on May 2017)
Vizio D55u-D14.5 out of 5 over 534 reviews (Best Buy)
Vizio M55-E04.2 out of 5 over 374 for 2016 version (Best Buy). 2017 version just entered the market.
TCL P55P607 , TCL55C8072017 version just entered the market
Vizio E55-E24.2 out of 5 over 375 reviews (Best Buy)
TCL 55US58004.0 out of 5 over 742 reviews (Amazon)
Why it’s Important: Reliability is one of the most important factors for your 4K TV and the overall reliability, firmware updates, customer support and feedback all form important components of this aspect.

Verdict: It’s difficult to give a score here but if I was talk about reliability as a whole I could see some problems with Vizio QC in 2015- early16 sales of 4k whereas TCL appeared to be consistent (Source: random sampling of reviews on ecommerce sites). BUT, Vizio appears to have recovered and has improved it’s customer service so that now I would say both the companies are working hard to maintain customer support and quality. Vizio bought in a proper remote in 2017 versions as the casting and hacks required to make its tablet work fine with the earlier version was one problem. So on the whole both TCL and Vizio are in acceptable parameters of reliability.

Styling of the 4K Budget TV’s of 2016 – 2017

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1Normal looks, somewhat dull finish but sturdy6.7
Vizio M55-E0Normal looks7.1
TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807Metallic trim frames, premium audio concealed by a cloth grill, and a beautiful stand is what the C807 offers and even the P607 is having a nice Slim Design7.2
Vizio E55-E2Normal looks, somewhat dull finish but sturdy6.7
TCL 55US5800Normal looks, somewhat dull finish but sturdy6.7
Why it’s Important: Styling is perhaps not that important a factor for many of us looking at a budget range 4k TV but the TV should at-least have decent finishing and sturdy design. Slimness of design is something that is appreciated. Here the TCL 2017 series C807 etc. comes up better in styling.

Verdict: A subjective elements but as per the claims in various previews TCL 55C807 styling will be slightly better than all of these models. Otherwise even the P607 and Vizio M model are pretty good to look at.

Smart Features

TCL 4K Roku TV review

TCL 4K Roku TV – a simple but powerful smart platform

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D1Has a remote and the smart apps but does not have the Roku TV. Also basic remote but no need for smartcasting6
Vizio M55-E0Has a smart remote as well as phone based control feature, voice control. No included android tablet like in 2016 model.6.5
TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807Roku TV with updated auto search and remote as well as mobile control. 4000 streaming channels and TV tuner as well.8.3
Vizio E55-E2Does not have smart remote . Uses google casting via android app on phone to play Netflix etc, other smart features. Bit of a hassle to use.5
TCL 55US5800Roku TV with streaming channels. TV Tuner as well. Simple remote7.9
Why it’s Important: Any proper 4K TV should provide easily searchable, manageable streaming entertainment options and other smart features to find and play content, multiple content sources.

Verdict: It is here that the TCL beats the Vizio models, The Vizio 2016 models and even the 2016 models are found lacking here as the Roku TV provides for very intuitive and easily stream-able multiple entertainment sources. Using the TCL TV is easier as well, especially compared to the 2016 Vizio model with its confusing smart-cast etc. And Vizio TV’s still don’t come with an in-built TV tuner.

Sound Quality & Inputs.

TVCommentsScore
Vizio D55u-D110x2 W, not very loud sound6.1
Vizio M55-E0Decent sound and bass for budget model6.5
TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807The P607 Also has an easy to use remote with headphone jack for private listening – a small but ingenious improvement. Premium Sound in C8076.8
Vizio E55-E2Subpar – agree it’s a budget TV but still quality could be better. HDR content can only be played via HDMI input 1; HDR is not played properly when it is cast to the TV or played from a USB drive5.8
TCL 55US5800Sound is subpar.5.8
Why it’s Important: Sound is important and so are the inputs. HDMI inputs are par for the course but should be HDCP 2.2 capable in order to display 4k content from HD internet streams / Ultra Blue Ray Players etc.

Verdict: Although the C807 will probably have the best integrated sound, the sound in Vizio M series has been reported to OK. Those looking for extra high quality may have to get a sound bar if using the E series / D series though.

Results of Complete Review of Budget 4K TV under $1000

TVOverall ScoreLatest Prices / Deals
Vizio D55u-D16.6
Vizio M55-E07.2
TCL P55P607 , TCL55C8077.4 |
Vizio E55-E26.4
TCL 55US58006.5
Final Verdict
Let’s talk about the Vizio E series first. It really has a great price but if you’re upgrading from an HD and not a first time buyer, to really experience the difference I would not suggest a TV with so many limitations.
Coming to the M series, it is the series which finds the real balance between price and performance in the case of Vizio. Our view is that the difference in prices between the M and E series being very low you should definitely go with the Vizio M rather than Vizio E series 2017 for a noticeable difference in all picture quality aspects.

But it’s the TCL P series appears to the big revelation here. This is just going to be out so not all details are clear but from what the early reports indicate – the TCL P 55” offers HDR, Wide Color Gamut, 4K quality , great Roku smart features (something which is one up on Vizio). The TCL P series 2017 models also include the TV tuner and so coupled with the power of Roku smart TV, great picture quality and very affordable price, for us the WINNER IS: TCL 55P607 and the close runner up is VIZIO M55 E0.

Vizio Confusing model numbers and what they mean:
I have written in the past that Vizio has been using some pretty elaborate model numbering and at the end, it’d perhaps it’d make sense to revisit these. Let’s do this with an example considering the Vizio D65u-D2. If a D series has a ‘u’ in it, then it’s ultra HD or 4K. The 65 obviously stands for the size 65 inch. The 2 in D2 shows the year of the model: for example: D65u-D2 – this is a 2016 D series Vizio with Ultra HD i.e. 4K.

3 Comments

  1. Jayson May 23, 2017
    • Sam Sethi May 25, 2017
  2. Glen Johnson May 28, 2017

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