I’m a big fan of technology, but I had never watched a movie in 4K with HDR before. I reached out to TCL about reviewing their award-winning P-series TV that I’ve read so much about, and they were kind enough to send me one. Vudu provided me with 4K Ultra HD copies of the entire DC Films Universe including Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Man of Steel.
In this review, I’m going to tell you all about the TCL P-series TV and what it was like seeing the DC heroes come to life in 4K HDR for the first time.
The TCL P-series (55p607) comes in one size: 55 inches, which is perfect for my living room. It retails for $650 and comes with Roku’s Smart TV platform built in, so there’s no need to buy another device to get 4K movies. I just loaded up the Vudu app and had a huge library of 4K HDR movies to choose from.
There are two features that really set the TCL apart from other choices, especially when compared to my older 1080p set that it’s replacing. The first is Dolby Vision HDR, which expands the TV’s contrast ratio and color palette to offer incredible brightness. We’ll come back to this later in the review when I talk about Wonder Woman and the other DC movies.
The second, which is equally as important, is the 72 HDR Contrast Control Zones, also known as “local dimming” on other TVs. But what sets the TCL apart is the huge number of zones that it has. 72 is extremely rare for a TV in this price range. The local dimming zones detect the content that’s being displayed and darken or brighten the TV accordingly. That means you get extremely dark black levels and brighter brights. I thought that my old TV produced decent blacks, but when compared to the TCL P-series I now realize that it was just very dark grey. I was blown away by the picture quality on the TCL.
Wonder Woman in 4K HDR
The first thing I did once I set up the TCL P-series was fire up the Vudu app and launch Wonder Woman. I should note that Vudu recommends at least an 11mbps internet connection to stream 4K movies and the TCL has fast WiFi built in, as well as an ethernet port if you prefer to go wired.
The jump from a 1080p Blu-ray to 4K isn’t as big as going from VHS to DVD, or even DVD to Blu-ray. Things definitely look sharper and more detailed, but I wouldn’t call it a night and day difference. What does make a huge difference, though, is the Dolby Vision HDR.
Pictures or videos don’t do it justice, you really have to see it for yourself. But the best way I could describe it is that the colors just look much more vibrant. They “pop” more, yet that darks also appear to be much more detailed as well. If you thought that Themyscira looked beautiful before, wait until you see it in Dolby Vision HDR. This is truly the closet you can get to a movie theater experience in your own home.
Other DC movies in 4K HDR
As I mentioned, Vudu also provided me with 4K HDR copies of Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Man of Steel. I went back and rewatched some of my favorite scenes from those movies, and again, was really impressed by the Dolby Vision HDR.
For Batman v Superman, I loaded up the big fight between the two heroes. The part that stood out in particular was when Superman uses his heat vision on the guns that Batman set up as traps. This causes a huge fiery explosion that just looks incredible in Dolby Vision.
Suicide Squad’s color palette was perfect for the Dolby Vision HDR. It was much more colorful than the other DC movies, but it also took place at night for a lot of the movie. I watched the scene where the team was taking out the “creatures” for the first time. Again, all the explosions and gun shots here really “popped” off on the screen. It actually felt like night time too. The scene was a bit darker than I was used to, but it felt much more cinematic.
For Man of Steel I watched my favorite scene, which is where we see Superman learn to fly for the first time. This scene didn’t “wow” me as much as the other movies, but the sun is noticeably very bright. I then decided to watch part of the final Superman vs. Zod fight, and that’s where the Dolby Vision HDR really got to show off. Everything from the heat vision, to the explosions, to the blues of the spaceships looked absolutely incredible.
It may not be a huge difference, but the bump up to 4K resolution is definitely noticeable too. Everything looks more detailed, and with so many easter eggs packed into these movies, you may spot things you didn’t notice before.
Overall, I can definitely say that the TCP P-series lived up to the hype, and certainly deserves all of the awards its received since debuting over the summer. The 4K resolution is great, but the Dolby Vision HDR is what really shines (no pun intended). The Justice League premiere was at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and presented in Dolby Vision. The TCL P-series is one of the best and most affordable ways to get that experience into your living room.
Due to its popularity, TCL P-series is currently out of stock at Amazon, but a cheaper version is available at Best Buy. It’s the same TV that I reviewed here, it just comes with a simpler remote control.
Thanks again to TCL for providing the TV to review, and Vudu for supplying the movies.