By Don Lindich
Week 19, 2020
Q. After reading your positive review (as well as many other reviews) I decided to order the 65-inch TCL 8-Series television from Best Buy. I went to their website to order and to my surprise the price was $1,249.99 with free delivery, reduced from $1,999.99. It will be delivered this week and needless to say, I am very happy with this deal! Do you have any recommendations for the picture settings to get the best image quality?
-G.F., Danville, CA
A. Congratulations on your new TV! For those unfamiliar with the TCL 8-Series, it is TCL’s best television and designed to compete with the best televisions on the market, while usually selling for significantly less. It uses MicroLED technology to create a bright, colorful and very sharp picture. It also includes built-in Roku so you get the best streaming interface available, has Dolby Atmos sound and the stand acts like a small soundbar. You can learn more about the 8-Series at tclusa.com or at the exclusive retailer’s website, bestbuy.com.
If you check the 8-Series review on rtings.com you will find the picture settings they used to give their review sample the most accurate picture possible. I often use this site as a reference when testing televisions and usually find their settings to be practically spot-on to my own tastes. I usually tweak the settings slightly from their recommendations because “accurate” does not always mean the most pleasing for enjoying home entertainment. I like an image that is a just bit brighter, more colorful and sharper than what is technically the most accurate, and adjust accordingly. These tweaks are modest and not far from rting’s published settings.
The most important setting for any home television is the color temperature, which usually ships set at “Cool” which makes colors brighter but shifts the overall color very blue. The “Warm” setting is accurate and definitely what you should be using. When you first change it to Warm the colors may look less vivid, but watch for a few minutes before changing back to Cool and you will quickly set it back to Warm again. Once you see what it is supposed to look like, the Cool setting is unwatchable.
All TCL television owners should download the Roku app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store because it will unlock additional picture settings not found on the television itself. The most important of these is Noise Reduction, which should be turned off and resulted in quite a noticeable improvement on my own TCL 6-Series.
I contacted TCL to see how long the 8-Series special would be running. Their PR representative said, “Your reader should know the price will be going even lower, during a flash sale we will be having soon. We have several of these flash sales planned for May, on both the 65-inch and 75-inch 8-Series televisions. I can’t tell you when they will be, but anyone interested in buying one should keep an eye on the Best Buy website.” I wrote this column the day after I spoke with him and checked the pricing. The 65-inch TCL 8-Series was only $999.99, a full $1,000 off and $250 less than you paid. Best Buy has price protection so you can contact them to get the $250 difference refunded. The price of the 75-inch version was the regular retail price of $2,999, but it was $1,999 the first day I checked so I think it is likely the potential buyers will see some special pricing soon as well.