When comparing Sony X900E 49" (XBR49X900E) vs TCL S517 55" (55S517), the Slant community recommends Sony X900E 49" (XBR49X900E) for most people. In the question“What are the best TVs?” Sony X900E 49" (XBR49X900E) is ranked 5th while TCL S517 55" (55S517) is ranked 21st. The most important reason people chose Sony X900E 49" (XBR49X900E) is:
The X900E looks true-to-life with really deep blacks, clear details, and captivating colors. Pictures look realistic with lots of details. There’s great depth to them and you’ll be able to see everything in the picture stand out. Dark scenes are excellent with nice shadow details that are not overly dark to the point where some details get drowned out. This is thanks to really deep black levels, enabled by the panel’s contrast ratio of about 5500:1 which means it can produce blacks that are 5500 times darker than the brightest white. This can be pushed even further to over 6500 with local dimming. The colors are lifelike and accurate even without any calibration by the user. They will look really vibrant even in bright scenes because of the panel’s high peak brightness levels of ~500 nits for SDR & ~550 nits for HDR. Even in a decently lit environment, the X900E’s picture quality can still hold up as the panel is great at handling reflections and it can get bright enough to fight off glare.
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Pro Excellent picture quality
The X900E looks true-to-life with really deep blacks, clear details, and captivating colors.
Pictures look realistic with lots of details. There’s great depth to them and you’ll be able to see everything in the picture stand out.
Dark scenes are excellent with nice shadow details that are not overly dark to the point where some details get drowned out. This is thanks to really deep black levels, enabled by the panel’s contrast ratio of about 5500:1 which means it can produce blacks that are 5500 times darker than the brightest white. This can be pushed even further to over 6500 with local dimming.
The colors are lifelike and accurate even without any calibration by the user. They will look really vibrant even in bright scenes because of the panel’s high peak brightness levels of ~500 nits for SDR & ~550 nits for HDR.
Even in a decently lit environment, the X900E’s picture quality can still hold up as the panel is great at handling reflections and it can get bright enough to fight off glare.
Pro Excellent for HDR content
On top of the excellent picture quality, the X900E has everything essential to an immersive HDR experience: decent local dimming, great coverage of HDR colors, and high HDR peak brightness level.
Its excellent black levels are further improved with local dimming, which can make parts of the screen darker when the image calls for it. This results in an increase in overall picture quality with black levels becoming much deeper, so highlights will stand out further.
The panel can reproduce the wide range of colors required for true HDR playback because of its wide color gamut, which covers ~65% of the standard colors required for HDR according to the Rec. 2020 color space. This is considered great for reproducing HDR details, and it can display these colors accurately at different brightness levels.
Along with the the high peak brightness level of ~550 nits, HDR scenes will look stunning and you'll be able to see HDR details really pop.
Pro Great at handling glare
Even in a decently lit room, the X900E's picture quality will remain more or less the same as in a dark room.
The colors will still look vibrant because the panel is bright enough to fight off glare. It has peak brightness levels of ~500 nits for SDR & ~550 nits for HDR, and reflections are also significantly reduced by the panel's semi-gloss finish.
Pro Great versatility
Apart from being an excellent TV for movies, the X900E is a decent choice for gaming and sports thanks to its decent input lag, low motion blur, great screen uniformity, and a 120 Hz native refresh rate that makes images look smoother.
The input lag of ~35ms is sufficient for most gamers, apart from competitive ones, to stay in sync with what's on the screen. The low motion blur of ~11ms and a refresh rate of 120 Hz ensures that everything will look smooth - fast-moving objects won't leave any trails on the screen.
It’s also viable for watching sports because the panel also has no issues with displaying large, same-color objects on screen, like football fields.
Pro Excellent at handling highly dynamic content
The X900E can display fast-paced or rapidly-moving objects very well without any trails behind it. The panel only requires ~11ms to fully change the pixels color, which eliminates virtually all motion blur. It also has a native refresh rate of 120Hz that makes images look smoother.
Pro Interface is ads-free
There are no ads on the X900E's interface.
Pro Great ecosystem of third-party apps
The X900E runs on Android TV that has access to the Google Play Store. The Play Store has a nice selection of apps, but normal Android apps won't work unless they support Android TV.
Pro Virtually no reflections
The X900E's panel has a semi-gloss finish that significantly reduces the intensity of glare.
Pro Google Assistant is available
The X900E runs on Android TV that has Google Assistant. It has voice commands that are pretty useful as you can open apps with it, ask for the weather, and even turn the TV off.
Pro Excellent at upscaling low-res content
The X900E can upscale 480p, 720p, 1080p content to 4K with no issues. All the details are preserved and most won't notice any imperfections.
Pro A well-rounded option
The TCL S517 is a decent option for pretty much everything, be it gaming, movies, sports, or HDR content. It has noteworthy picture quality, good all-around responsiveness, decent smart features, nice motion handling, and, most importantly, a great price.
Pro Impressive picture quality
In terms of picture quality the S517 is comparable to high-end TVs. It displays remarkably deep blacks due to its great contrast and reproduces details in color very well due to its good color gradient.
The 6000:1 native contrast ratio allows the TV to reproduce dark scenes particularly well. It is easily one of the best in this price range – it’s often compared to high-end counterparts.
The S517 has superb black uniformity and contrast that create pleasant, deep blacks. They are much better than those of the similarly-priced competitors. The maximum deviation sits at around 1.02% .
The TV is good at capturing small differences in color such as skin tones, green colors in nature, details in shadows, etc. This is because of the color gradient, which is on par with other options of the same price. There is almost no banding and the standard deviation of color doesn't go past 0,11%.
Pro HDR playback
The S517 is a much better fit for HDR content and HDR gaming than its competitors due to the wide color gamut, decent color depth, and high contrast.
The TV can display a lot more colors than its similarly-priced counterparts. The coverage of the Digital Cinema P3 color space is very good - 90%.
The color depth is on par with competing options. The S517 has 10-bit color depth, which means that it can display approximately 1.07 billion colors in total. This is important for HDR content because HDR media takes advantage of 10-bit.
The S517 can display deep blacks in the HDR mode because of it's high native contrast ratio of 6000:1, which is easily one of the best in the given price range.
The TV can also play all HDR content, because it supports both standard formats of HDR - HDR10 and Dolby Vision. They enhance the viewing experience by editing the metadata, that is, the extra information that tells the TV how to display HDR. The formats differ in the way they deal with it however - Dolby Vision edits the picture on a per scene basis, whereas HDR10 edits everything at the start of the video.
Pro Handles 4K scaling well
The S517 does a reasonably good job with upscaling most content to 4K quality, be it 480p DVDs, HDTV or full HD Blu-rays.
Pro Optional video smoothing feature
The S517 offers the possibility to make movement in videos smoother, also known as the "soap opera effect". This is done by making the TV take two frames and try to guess what would a frame in between of those look like, also known as motion interpolation. The frame rate can interpolate up to 60 frames per second.
Pro Accessible inputs
All of the inputs are conveniently placed on the side of the S517, so you won't have to worry about leaving space between a wall and the TV.
Pro Well calibrated out-of-the-box
The picture quality when you first open the TV up is quite decent. The only settings that could potentially require tweaking are grey inaccuracy and color inaccuracy. Either way, these are things that most people won't even notice.
Pro Decent for use as a PC monitor
The S517 offers a pleasant PC monitor experience not only due to the good responsiveness, but also because of the video signal's compression.
The TV won't make text appear blurry while connected to a PC because the signal has no compression and transports color data and luminance fully. This is also known as chroma 4:4:4, and the “Computer” and “Game” modes display it properly at 60Hz.
Pro Functional mobile app
The mobile remote app for both iOS or Android can fully and comfortably substitute the real remote – launch apps, input text in apps, control most TV settings, etc.
Also, colors can easily be adjusted close to perfection thanks to the app’s calibration menu.
Pro Suitable for gaming
The S517 is fit for all gamers because it offers a clear, lag-free experience. The TV is very responsive - it has struck a good balance between decent refresh rate, solid input lag, and good response time.
The TV is an ideal choice for console gaming in terms of its native refresh rate. It caps at 60Hz, which is perfect since most games won't benefit from anything higher than this.
The S517 is fast. An action shows on the screen in around 18 miliseconds, which can make the difference between managing to get a frag or waiting for a respawn. The time doesn't substantially increase when gaming in HDR or 4K either - it goes up to roughly 20.5 ms. The only thing to remember is to keep "Game" mode enabled for the lowest possible input lag.
The TCL S517 also handles motion and fast-paced content quite well, it has a good response time. This makes sure you can keep up with fast-moving objects and a lot of action without it all appearing blurry. A full pixel color transition takes only 15.8 ms.
Pro Great smart features
The S517 comes with the Roku TV smart platform, which provides a comfortable interface and a big app selection.
The interface is quite basic and easy to overlook. It’s smooth and simple to swap to your favorite apps.
Roku TV offers a huge app store with all the most popular apps – Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, HBO Go, Vudu and much more. Some apps are even absent from other TV manufacturers Smart TV platforms and unique to Roku.
Con Not suitable for group watching
The X900E has a narrow viewing angle that makes it unsuitable for group watching.
Its picture quality gets worse when viewed from off-center angles. At ≥20° away from the center, the blacks start degrading into greys and colors will start looking dull. Brightness levels start decreasing at ≥50° away from the center.
Con Bad sound quality
The sound quality of X900E's built-in speakers is bad. It can't produce much bass and sounds rather flat. There is also noticeable distortion at high volumes.
Con Lacks support for Dolby Vision
The X900E currently only supports the HDR10 format for HDR content.
Con Bad viewing angle
The S517 is a bad choice for a wide room because colors and blacks shift when viewed even slightly off center.
Basically, leaning sideward just a little bit will drastically alter what you see. Colors shift at 18 degrees, brightness shifts at 28 degrees, but the blacks shift at the extremely tiny angle of 9 degrees.
Con Struggles with reflections
While the S517 is okay for dimmer environments, the weakness shows in bright rooms and especially rooms with the light source facing the TV. The reflection handling of the TV is a bit worse than that of its competitors. It reflects approximately 6% of light off the screen.
Con HDR content lacks brightness
Small bright details in dark scenes won’t stand out. Unfortunately, this is usually the case with TVs in this price range. The TV's brightness for HDR media peaks at only 273 nits. Moreover, the TV doesn't support local dimming, which is also a big drawback for HDR content.
Con Inconvenient calibration access
The only way to access the calibration menu is via the mobile app. This might be uncomfortable for people without smartphones or for people who prefer all control on the real remote.
Con Some dirty screen effect is present
This might cause some discomfort to sports fans because the playing surface might look darker at points. The S517's gray uniformity is decent at best, which, unfortunately, is often the case for lower-end TVs. The image is a little darker around the edges and the middle of the TV. The standard deviation of sits at around 3.1%.
Con Runs ads
The main interface page contains big advertisements that can’t be disabled.
There’s also a “Featured” tab that promotes all kinds of apps and channels.
Con Can't overcome glare
The S517 is better fit for dim environments or dark room viewing, since the brightness can’t peak very high, only at 277 nits. This is common for TVs in this price range.