So, you did your research, checked reviews, compared prices, and you finally went through the process of buying your new TCL TV. You brought it home and hooked it up…now what?
In addition to great upscaling performance (e.g. displaying lower resolution content well on a 4K screen) found on TCL TVs, if the first thing you watch on your awesome new TV is an old episode of Cheers, you will most likely come away a little underwhelmed.
Now that you’ve got this great new TV, you want to see what it'll do, right?! Here are a few thoughts:
Get the Environment Right
- Control the lighting in your room. Ever wonder why movie theaters are dark? You can get the most of your image in a light controlled environment. Even if it means testing out your TV's range at night, or with the blinds closed, this will really help you enjoy. I would be remiss in noting that many TCL TVs are amongst the brightest TVs available, so watching a ball game on a Saturday afternoon with the blinds open still delivers an immersive experience that lets you feel the atmosphere. This is simply about “video nerd” watching 😊.
- The best seat is going to be front and center. If you went to a movie theater, would you choose to sit in the middle or off to the side of the empty auditorium? ‘Nuf said.
- Ideally, you’d make some tweaks to the TV. You might want to check TV reviewer settings, or use TCL’s iPQ Mobile Calibration app. At the very least, put the TV in Movie mode under Picture Settings. Or, try adjusting other settings like HDR to have the best movie watching experience.
Know What to Look For
Here are a few terms to understand when you’re when looking at clips to demonstrate picture performance:
- 4K – This is the BEST resolution available from all the top streaming services, and you can even use the 4K Spotlight Channel to look for your favorite movies!
- Dolby Vision – This is the BEST HDR format, with hundreds of movies and shows available to make the MOST of your new 5-Series, 6-Series, or 8-Series TV.
- HDR – This is the new way moviemakers are making their movies, with better colors, and super great brightness that *pops* off the screen!
But don’t worry, all this technology can be found on your TCL TV, which also makes even basic content look as good as it can get!
Here's What to Watch
Now that we are in the right setting, lets find some great content! Here are a few movies, clips and scenes that have left me and my guests slack-jawed when watching the performance on our TVs:
Want to knock your socks off in less than a minute? If you have a TCL TV with Dolby Vision, you’ll have the Dolby Access Channel automatically. While all the clips available within this app are AWESOME (including ones featuring TCL brand ambassadors like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Tia Blanco), I found that the clip under “Arts & Entertainment” called Cacti really showcases the contrast, punch, black levels and brightness of my 6-Series TV. What’s the magic there? TCL’s Contrast Control Zones allow you to simultaneously have the deep, inky blacks and super bright whites and colors, all on display at the same time.
Love movies? I’ve seen so many in 4K with Dolby Vision on my 6-Series, that it’s hard to pick a favorite demo scene, but here are a few good options:
- Kong: Skull Island – The scene 23-minutes in as the helicopters enter the storm surrounding Skull Island blew me away! I saw this in regular 1080p, but when I watched it again in 4K with Dolby Vision, I realized that what I thought might be faint flashes of lightning were, in fact, searingly bright bolts of lightning streaking across the sky.
- The beginning of Solo: A Star Wars Story has some amazing “specular highlights” (super bright, but small, localized, flashes) when Han is hot wiring the speeder. I actually said, “wow!” and re-watched that scene just to see the sparks!
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters – The battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah not only has great action, but the subtle darks and blazing fire makes it a treat to watch.
- Aladdin (2019) – Want to have fun with the kids while impressing yourself with great demo content? While the whole movie showcases amazingly vivid colors, my TCL really shines during some specific scenes: At 55-minutes in, Aladdin’s entrance to Agrabah is a sensory delight of bright vibrant colors. And, when Aladdin explores the Cave of Wonders!
- Last but certainly not least, Holy Disney+, Batman! Disney+ has a VAST library of Movies and TV shows for all ages, with a huge number of them available in 4K and Dolby Vision!
One last thing to note is a myth I must dispel regarding “old movies in 4K.” Many people comment that older, film-based movies would not benefit from viewing in 4K. However, they could not be more wrong! Not only is film itself much higher resolution than 4K, but also many of these movies are being lovingly restored by talented artists and colorists to take advantage of today’s resolutions and expanded color palettes.
Look no further than Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V). From the inky blacks of space in the opening scene, to the bright battle scenes during the AT-AT attack on Hoth, to the colorful splendor in the cloud city of Bespin, it’s incredible to watch. Aside from being one of my favorite movies, the picture quality will stand tall against the latest digital releases!
There is so much more out there to find and explore, so enjoy the best picture quality on your award-winning TCL TV with these suggestions and MANY MORE!