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.
This article has been updated in Fall 2017
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.
We will be 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
|Vizio D55u-D1||Peak brightness of around 250-270 nits.||6.3|
|Vizio M55-E0||Better 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 55C807||Yet to be out but previews suggest these would be comparable or better to the M series of Vizio.||7.2|
|Vizio E55-E2||E series 2017 has peak brightness closer to 250 nits but due to Local Dimming + decent blacks, it gives decent contrast. Doesnt look great in bright rooms.||6.2|
|TCL 55US5800||Isnt very bright and not suitable in a bright room. Think it has a peak brightness of about 200-250 nits.||6|
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
|Vizio D55u-D1||WCG not supported, 8 bit color but pretty good for a budget model like this||6.3|
|Vizio M55-E0||WCG supported , better suited for HDR||7.2|
|TCL 55P607 , TCL 55C807||Estimated score as not out yet for a proper review||7.2|
|Vizio E55-E2||10 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 55US5800||No10 bit but acceptable for a budget 2016 model which this is.||6|
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 D55u-D1||Slightly better than the TCL at around 4300:1. But no perceived blooming.||7.1|
|Vizio M55-E0||32 Dimming zones lead to even better contrast, truer blacks. Even comparable to that of QLEDs according to Engadget magazine.||7.8|
|TCL 55P607 , TCL 55C807||72 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-lit||Likely 8 +|
|Vizio E55-E2||Good contrast of 4500-5200:1 range. Full Array Local Dimming helps 12 dimming zones||7.3|
|TCL 55US5800||Lower contrast than the Vizio and the new TCL model at around 3500:1. No local dimming||6.8|
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
|Vizio D55u-D1||60 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-E0||120 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 , TCL55C807||Not 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-E2||60 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-D2||7.3|
|TCL 55US5800||60 Hz Input Lag at 47 ms at 1080p which is about average, although can be better||6.7|
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
|Vizio D55u-D1||Decent upscaling capabilities above average for its budget. No Dolby vision, No HDR 10||7.3|
|Vizio M55-E0||HDR10, Dolby vision support, better up-scaling than Vizio E||7.7|
|TCL 55P607 , TCL55C807||Dolby Vision support. Isnt out in the market but in terms of the preview comments, up-scaling appears to be comparable to the M series. 4K Creative Pro Upscaling||7.5|
|Vizio E55-E2||OK up-scaling. Nothing great.||7|
|TCL 55US5800||Ok upscaling for Blue Ray, DVD etc.||6.8|
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
|Vizio D55u-D1||Lowering of color and brightness on side viewing but loss of brightness is lesser than in TCL||6.3|
|Vizio M55-E0||Some loss of color and contrast but not as much in E and D series.||7|
|TCL 55P607 , TCL55C807||Likely to be better than the earlier model as the numerous dimming zones will also make a difference here.||7|
|Vizio E55-E2||Quality Does deteriorate when sitting off centre in wide couch||6.3|
|TCL 55US5800||Lowering of color and brightness on side viewing but loss of brightness is lesser than in TCL||6|
Verdict: Vizio M is again a clear winner and for the price it is available at, this is one of its strong points.
|TV||Review Scores (as on May 2017)|
|Vizio D55u-D1||4.5 out of 5 over 534 reviews (Best Buy)|
|Vizio M55-E0||4.2 out of 5 over 374 for 2016 version (Best Buy). 2017 version just entered the market.|
|TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807||2017 version just entered the market|
|Vizio E55-E2||4.2 out of 5 over 375 reviews (Best Buy)|
|TCL 55US5800||4.0 out of 5 over 742 reviews (Amazon)|
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
|Vizio D55u-D1||Normal looks, somewhat dull finish but sturdy||6.7|
|Vizio M55-E0||Normal looks||7.1|
|TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807||Metallic 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 Design||7.2|
|Vizio E55-E2||Normal looks, somewhat dull finish but sturdy||6.7|
|TCL 55US5800||Normal looks, somewhat dull finish but sturdy||6.7|
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.
|Vizio D55u-D1||Has a remote and the smart apps but does not have the Roku TV. Also basic remote but no need for smartcasting||6|
|Vizio M55-E0||Has a smart remote as well as phone based control feature, voice control. No included android tablet like in 2016 model.||6.5|
|TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807||Roku TV with updated auto search and remote as well as mobile control. 4000 streaming channels and TV tuner as well.||8.3|
|Vizio E55-E2||Does 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 55US5800||Roku TV with streaming channels. TV Tuner as well. Simple remote||7.9|
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.
|Vizio D55u-D1||10x2 W, not very loud sound||6.1|
|Vizio M55-E0||Decent sound and bass for budget model||6.5|
|TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807||The P607 Also has an easy to use remote with headphone jack for private listening a small but ingenious improvement. Premium Sound in C807||6.8|
|Vizio E55-E2||Subpar agree its 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 drive||5.8|
|TCL 55US5800||Sound is subpar.||5.8|
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
|TV||Overall Score||Latest Prices / Deals|
|TCL P55P607 , TCL55C807||7.4|