TCL 5-Series (S555) Roku TV review: unsurprisingly good

TCL 5-Series (S555)

MSRP $700.00

“The TCL S555 offers solid picture quality at a really nice price.”


  • Solid HDR performance for the worth
  • Good out-of-box color in certain modes
  • Low input lag
  • High value

The TCL S555 5-Series Roku TV is one I’ve been looking forward to testing. I reviewed the 2021 5-Series Roku TV (S535), which was a solid TV, but then the 5-Series Google TV (the S546) got here out and boasted some improvements over it. This was a little bit of a departure for TCL – normally I’d have expected it could be essentially the identical TV, slightly below a unique Smart TV platform.

Well, the S546 — which you may still buy, by the best way — performed slightly higher. And even though it was a bit buggy on the time, as is the case with its more premium sibling, the 6-Series S646, those bugs have now been largely worked out.

I’ve been desperate to try the S555 since it is supposed to have the identical picture quality improvements of the Google TV version, but is built on the Roku platform. That being the case, I feel like I knew exactly what to anticipate from this TV — no surprises in store. But since I hadn’t yet gotten a likelihood to guage it for myself, I wasn’t comfortable including it in a few of my Best TVs lists for 2022. Different sizes of the S555 could have potentially made the very best under-500 dollar list and the very best under $1,000 dollar list.

Well, it isn’t too late. This TV continues to be going to be relevant for a lot of months to come back. So, let’s see how this TV does, what you may expect from it, and whether it is advisable to buy this TV or a competing model, just like the Hisense U7H.

Out of the box

Above, I said I expected no surprises from this TV. What does that mean? Well, starting with getting the TV out of the box, it means the S555 looks and operates lots like I assumed it could.

It’s not flashy, nevertheless it isn’t trashy either.

The 65-inch TCL 5-Series is comparatively inexpensive at $600, nevertheless it isn’t the most cost effective you may buy. And that just about describes the TV’s looks and construct quality. It’s not flashy, nevertheless it isn’t trashy either.

The one thing that struck me as odd as I assembled this TV was that the screws didn’t appear to wish to seat of their holes as I screwed them in. All’s well that ends well – the feet are actually secure on the TV – nevertheless it was an interesting touch point. Still, removed from a surprise.

Now, the feet only go in a single spot on this TV. Unlike some models where you may position them inward so you may set it on a smaller media stand or shelf, you’ll need some width to accommodate this TV. Within the case of the 65-inch model, about 50.25 inches.

There’s no real cable management, so I’d suggest getting some Velcro ties to maintain the cable mess to a minimum – I also find those ties clutch for while you’re wall-mounting, too.

Should you do wall mount, I feel you’ll like the best way it looks. Like most decent TVs as of late, it has minimal bezels on the highest and sides, and a matte black strip along the underside. There may be a light-weight under the TCL logo in the middle that may be turned off within the Roku menu if you happen to prefer.


For connectivity, this TV has 4 HDMI inputs, and none of them offer full HDMI 2.1 bandwidth. But that doesn’t mean this can be a poor TV for gaming — in truth, it’s pretty solid.

What really makes this a good gaming TV, though, is the very low input lag.

It’s got a 60Hz native panel, so it is going to max out at 4K 60Hz, nevertheless it does offer VRR, including basic Freesync. Now, how useful that might be to you, I’m undecided. It principally comes right down to 48Hz and as much as 60Hz, which isn’t an enormous range, but that seems to mitigate slightly little bit of screen tearing in games that aren’t locked at a low refresh rate.

What really makes this a good gaming TV, though, is the very low input lag of about 11 milliseconds in game mode at most resolutions, which is awesome. The HDR performance in game mode, as I’ll discuss shortly, can be quite nice.

Picture and brightness

Now, before I get into some picture quality measurement data, I do wish to discuss one slight annoyance that is still from prior 5-Series models I’ve tested, and that’s slightly little bit of lag within the interface operation. Infrequently, clicking around at a quick pace will get you hung up. It unfreezes eventually, but I’m easily annoyed by that. Also, if you’ve the TV connected to a soundbar, powered speakers, or A/V receiver via ARC or EARC — yes, it does support it — then you definately’ll notice that changing the amount is a very slow affair. Again, an annoyance that I expected, as I experience this on other TCL Roku TVs.

The picture tuning menu on the TCL-5 Series (S555).Zeke Jones/Digital Trends

For my nit nerds on the market, listed here are the fundamentals. This TV punched as much as about 550 nits in SDR, and just shy of 800 nits in HDR when calibrated to D65 white point. The SDR brightness I got is a tad bit lower than what another reviewers charted, while the HDR peak brightness is a bit higher than what some others achieved. That’s within the Dark HDR setting, with the colour temperature set to warm and the TV’s local dimming feature maxed out.

My tackle this TV includes that 800-nit result because I factory reset this TV and rechecked that number persistently over. I would love to think it’s representative of what’s in the marketplace, but my review sample did come straight from TCL, so keep that in mind.

Picture quality rock-solid for the worth.

The out-of-box white point and color errors on this TV within the Movie mode for SDR and Dark HDR mode for HDR10 weren’t bad at just shy of 4 on the white balance, and concerning the same for color. That’s technically visible, but not by much — anything under a DeltaE of three is supposed to be indiscernible by the typical human. And while it didn’t take lots for me to correct the intense white balance, for some reason, my adjustments through the Roku app were ineffective at white stimulus levels of 10%, 20%, and 30%. I used to be going to succeed in out to TCL about this, but I’ve recently learned that is something I might have to take up with Roku.

Realistically, though, I actually don’t see anyone getting this TV calibrated, so what’s vital to me is that it looks great out of the box, and in those picture modes. it does. In Standard, it’s unsurprisingly way too blue, and in fact, Vivid looks like hot garbage, but that’s true on nearly any TV.

Here’s my tackle the image quality: it’s rock-solid for the worth. For anyone who remembers how impressed reviewers were with the TCL 6-Series from three or 4 years ago, it’s like that. Today’s TCL 5-Series looks like yesterday’s TCL 6-Series, but at a cheaper price. And, I mean, who can complain about that?

The SDR brightness and HDR brightness are good for the worth, though not the very best on the market – I’ll get to that in a minute. The contrast is superb for the worth, because of solid backlight control, even when it doesn’t have a ton of local dimming zones. The colour is sensible and well saturated – on angle no less than – and motion is perfectly acceptable, though you won’t get as smooth an image from this TV as one which does 120Hz. You do, nonetheless, get a bit less stutter, for the reason that response time isn’t as quick, which I feel some people will actually prefer.

I only have two real complaints about this TV. One is that off-angle viewing shouldn’t be great. Should you’re sitting dead-on-center, you’re getting a very, very nice picture. Should you sit off to the side, you actually aren’t. Because of the VA panel, we get those deep blacks and great contrast, but additionally attributable to the beautiful basic VA panel, we also get disappointing off-angle viewing. It’s what it’s.

Also, I didn’t exactly win the panel lottery on this TV with regard to dirty screen effect. It isn’t terrible, but I see it. Should you don’t really see dirty screen effect, now isn’t the time to remove the veil out of your eyes – not if you happen to’re considering this TV or one other at this price point. It’s just a part of the deal.

Sound quality

The TV’s sound is unsurprisingly quality shouldn’t be great. And by that, I mean that I’d personally not have the opportunity to go without no less than a basic soundbar. I almost hate bringing this up because it is so common at this price point, however the Hisense U7H sounds higher than it should and, well … that’s pretty much as good a segue as any to what I feel is an inevitable comparison.

Stiff competition

So, who can buy this TV, and who can buy the Hisense U7H? Well, first, I do know there are some who may not feel that may be a fair comparison, and that’s because, as of this writing, the Hisense U7H costs a bit greater than the TCL S555. Actually, the S555 sits between Hisense’s U6H and U7H by way of price, which makes doing a direct comparison difficult. But for the reason that picture quality is so similar between the 2, I’m going to go ahead and make the comparison anyway, because I feel quite a lot of shoppers will do the identical.

A man watching a movie on theTCL-5 Series (S555).Zeke Jones/Digital Trends

Should you prefer the Roku OS built-in, then the S555 is the alternative. But when we take the smart TV platform out of consideration, you do recuperate specs from the Hisense U7H. It’s a brighter TV in each SDR and HDR, and it has a 120Hz panel with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth support from two of its HDMI inputs (even though it does appear to struggle with proper 4K 120Hz gaming a bit). Also, the Hisense U7H manages to supply judder-free 24 frames-per-second (fps) movie content while you get it from a 60Hz source like a cable box, whereas the TCL S555 seems to falter with that a bit. Not lots, but a bit.

Then again, the TCL S555 has lower input lag across its supported resolutions, and to me is a less flickery TV. And I’m undecided the brightness differences between the 2 are going to be super meaningful for many viewers. So, I suppose I’d say if you happen to are a nit nerd and need probably the most brightness on your money and need the 120Hz panel and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, well, the U7H could also be a more sensible choice, no less than on paper.

But when you ought to save slightly money, the TCL S555 strikes an excellent balance between cost and performance – the type of performance that’s impressive enough to deliver some wow to your eyes, without punching much of a hole in your wallet. I actually have enjoyed watching it very much. Now, personally speaking, if the fee increase wasn’t a priority, I’d say step as much as the TCL 6-Series if you happen to can. The return on investment is well price it if you happen to are a video enthusiast. But if you happen to’re just on the lookout for a solid TV that’s loaded with value. the TCL S555 is a wonderful alternative – no surprise there.

Editors’ Recommendations

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Elgin Shopping Mall
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart