TCL 6-series model 65R648 review


It’s been just a couple of years since TCL was competing exclusively in the entry-level to mid-tier TV market. The introduction of mini-LED backlighting has allowed the company to play at the top tier, and the 8K UHD model number 65R648 reviewed here shows that was no technoogical fluke.

The good news for interested consumers is that TCL’s 65R648 is not only one of the best 8K UHD TVs we’ve tested, it’s also easily the least expensive.

Design and features

The TCL 65R648 is a 65-inch class (64.5 inches measured diagonally), 10-bit, 120Hz TV with 8K UHD resolution (7680 x 3840 pixels). The array backlighting uses the aforementioned mini-LEDs, which are divvied up into 160 zones (240 zones on the 75-inch model). More on the significance of that number later.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best smart TVs, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.

The TV has a very thin bezel, weighs a considerable 70.1 pounds (about 73 pounds with the stand), and sports a 400mm square VESA mount pattern. It’s a good-looking unit; though honestly, you really need to dig to the bottom of the bargain bin to find an ugly one these days.

tcl 65r648 ports TCL

The port selection on the TCL 65R648 will accomodate most people’s needs. 

There are four HDMI ports, two of which support the full HDMI 2.1 bandwidth spec (8K at 120Hz). Port four supports eARC for uncompressed 7.1 audio output. Other ports include coax for cable and antennas, ethernet, optical audio out, 3.5mm audio out for headphones, and a single USB-A 2.0 port.

The Wi-Fi is 802.11ac, but as with all Roku TVs (regrettably), there’s no user Bluetooth. Roku is trying to leverage users into purchasing proprietary Roku audio devices—as if the market needs yet another standard.

The TCL 65R648 supports most of the most recent technologies, including variable refresh rates, THX gaming mode, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital Plus; but it seemingly lacks support for DTS. High dynamic range support includes Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG, but there’s no HDR10+ support if the specs are correct. Siri, Google, and Alexa are also supported.

How can TCL market an 8K UHD TV for so much less than the competition? We’re not sure, especially given today’s shipping realities. Market shenanigans? Proceed as your conscience dictates. 


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