On a budget, but want a decent gaming TV? You might want to check out TCL. The company, while positioning itself as a budget brand, has a good selection of quality TVs.
But are TCL TVs good for gaming?
Need to Know about TCL TVs and Video Gaming
TCL may be a budget brand, but it has a good selection of TVs that can handle gaming. Their top-tier models are great for casual gamers but professional and serious gamers will want to use a computer monitor for gaming to mimimize lag time.
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How Much Input Lag Do TCL TVs Have?
The lowest input lag you can get on a TCL TV set to 1080p resolution with Game Mode on is 11.2ms with a 60 Hz refresh rate.
The highest input lag you would get at this setting is 30.7ms.
However, at a 4k resolution, you can get an input lag of as low as 10.8ms with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
If you are looking at 120 Hz, the lowest input lag you can get is 8.8ms at 1080p resolution.
What Are The Refresh Rates On These Models?
TCL offers TVs with refresh rates of up to 60 Hz or 120 Hz, depending on the model.
Do TCL TVs Have a Variable Refresh Rate?
Most TCL TVs do not offer Variable Refresh Rate support.
Only the TCL 6 Series has this feature, and notably, it works with FreeSync, albeit with some bugs.
Do TCL TVs Have a “Game Mode”?
TCL TVs have a Game Mode feature you can use to improve the gaming experience.
Game Mode is a feature that diverts resources from graphics to improve input lag.
If you want to turn on Game Mode on your TCL, you can access it through the Picture settings of the TV.
Can All TCL TVs Be Used As Computer Monitors?
You won’t have any issues connecting a TCL TV to a computer as a monitor.
But the performance of each model varies.
- For instance, the TCL 3 Series can be used as a computer monitor, but its 720p resolution can limiting.
- The TCL 5 Series can handle higher screen resolutions.
You may have issues when it comes to a delay in mouse or keyboard inputs, which is true of all TVs when they’re used as monitors.
- That is where Game Mode comes in handy.
- You can turn on Game Mode to reduce the input lag from your mouse, keyboard, or any other input device you have.
What About TCL PlayStation and Xbox Compatibility?
Most TCL TVs have a refresh rate of only 60 Hz, which won’t be a problem for Xbox games.
- Most Xbox games were designed for 60 Hz with 30 – 60 frames per second (fps).
You may have issues with PlayStation games, as many of their titles were made for 120 Hz and 120 fps.
- These games are usually graphic-intensive and are often First-person shooter or racing games.
- If the PlayStation game is not as graphic intensive, you won’t have any problems using TCL for your gaming TV.
But if you are looking at 120 Hz gaming, then consider getting the TCL 6 Series, which supports 120 Hz gaming.
Do People Generally Use TCL TVs For Gaming?
TCL TVs aren’t the most popular choice for serious gamers.
But if you are looking for a budget-friendly option, then TCL is a great choice. If you aren’t playing games with fancy graphics or fast gameplay, many of TCL’s mid-tier TVs can do the job.
How Good Is the Image Quality and Resolution?
The image quality and resolution of TCL TV are generally okay, but the actual performance varies per model.
You can say that you get what you pay for.
- For example, the TCL 1 and 3 Series are limited to 1080p and 720p resolution respectively, but they are the cheapest in the brand.
- Meanwhile, the TCL 5 and 6 Series offer 4k resolutions and QLED displays but are the most expensive models in their product line-up. These TV models provide much more superior image quality than other TCL TVs.
Are TCL TVs Durable?
TCL TVs are generally durable, but the mileage you get depends on the usage.
On average, most modern TVs, including those from TCL, can last an average of seven years under heavy usage, with the highest brightness settings.
With the right settings, you can make your TV last up to ten years.
What Features Should I Look for in a Gaming TV?
Regardless of what brand you get for a gaming TV, there are important features that are highly recommended for the best gaming experience.
The first thing you need to look for in a TV for Gaming is low input lag.
- Input lag is a measurement of how fast an action is reflected on the screen after you press a key on your controller.
- The lower the input lag, the better.
- The best TVs for gaming should have an input lag of at most 30ms.
You should also look into a high refresh rate
- You might be able to get away with a 60 Hz refresh rate, but this might not be enough for some games, such as First-person shooters and racing games.
- To get the best results, go for a TV that has at least a 120 Hz refresh rate to help smooth motion in games with high frame rates.
If it’s within your budget, you should also consider a TV that has HDMI 2.1.
What Are the Best TCL TVs for Gaming?
If you are considering TCL for a gaming TV, there are a select few worth considering.
TCL 6 Series 2020
Launched as a flagship model for 2020, the TCL 6 Series is quite a powerful TV for its price.
- It comes with QLED and 4k resolution and comes loaded with the Roku TV operating system, which has a lot of apps that you can access.
- The input lag is low on the 6 Series, and it comes with Variable Refresh Rate.
- The response time is also instantaneous, making this TV quite powerful for games.
- Thanks to the QLED panel, the 6 Series can provide a rich color gamut for HDR content and can make highlights pop.
- Lastly, the contrast ratio on the 6 Series is also remarkable. For night owls, the 6 Series has full-array local dimming, perfect for nighttime viewing. This TV also does not disappoint in well-lit environments with its peak brightness and reflection handling.
For the disadvantages of the 6 Series, it has narrow viewing angles, there are instances of blooming around bright objects, and its FreeSync is still buggy. It could have been improved with an HDMI 2.1 port, but that would increase the cost of the TV.
TCL 5 Series 2020
Another viable option from TCL TV for gaming is the 5 Series.
- Like the 6 Series, the 5 Series also uses a QLED panel with 4k resolution. You also get a wide color gamut that is perfect for HDR content.
- There’s also a remarkable contrast ratio, and that makes the 5 Series ideal for dim room usage. Its local dimming is also decent.
- When it comes to lower resolution content, the 5 Series upscales without problems.
- When it comes to games, the 5 Series has a low input lag, a near-instantaneous response time, and Black Frame Insertion to decrease screen tearing.
- The sound quality can be mediocre, but the 5 Series comes with eARC support that lets you send high-quality audio to more powerful speakers via HDMI.
For the weaknesses of the 5 Series, expect that HDR content won’t be stellar, and the reflection handling is only average. It also lacks Variable Refresh Rate and only uses a 60 Hz panel.
TCL 8 Series 2019
The 8 Series from TCL is another TV worth checking out.
- First, you get a 4k QLED panel, which provides quite vivid colors that help make HDR content stand out.
- Contrast ratio and local dimming are remarkable and can produce deep blacks for nighttime viewing. It can also handle reflections and glare well.
- Its gaming performance does not disappoint. The response time is exceptional, and you get clear movement in fast-paced scenes.
- The 8 Series comes with the Roku TV platform, which gives you access to a wide array of apps.
For the weaknesses of the 8 Series, it does not have Variable Refresh Rate support. The input lag is OK, but if you are looking for really low levels, then this is not for you. The viewing angles are also narrow.
TCL might not be an obvious choice for a gaming TV, but it does have a diamond in the rough with the TCL 6 Series 2020.
While the lineup may be limited, you should not have a problem with their TVs if the games you play don’t have intensive graphic requirements. TCL TVs are a good option for casual gamers who aren’t too particular about the details.