When comparing TCL S405 55" (55S405) vs VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1), the Slant community recommends VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) for most people. In the question“What are the best TVs?” VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) is ranked 1st while TCL S405 55" (55S405) is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose VIZIO M-Series 50" (M50-E1) is:
The M-Series is the best pick for HDR content in this price bracket. Compared to its direct competitors, it offers the best HDR experience because it has all the essentials for true HDR playback that its competitors lack: local dimming, fairly high peak brightness level, and a wide color gamut. Its deep 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 a slight increase in overall picture quality - the black levels become deeper by a small margin, so highlights will stand out further. Colors look vibrant in both dark and bright scenes, and the panel can reproduce the wide range of colors required for true HDR playback. In addition, it can also get bright enough to light up these colors sufficiently for HDR details to stand out, thanks to the peak brightness level of ~400 nits.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Decent for casual movies/TV watching
The S405 is a decent, affordable pick if you're a casual viewer. You'll get decent picture quality and a good 4K experience, but the HDR performance might be lacklustre due to the lack of local dimming, wide color gamut, and low HDR peak brightness.
Pro Highly versatile
The S405 is versatile enough to be used as a general-purpose display.
The picture quality is decent for movies and TV shows, and it checks all the boxes that makes a TV suitable for gaming, sports, and as a computer monitor: low input lag, low motion blur, good screen uniformity, and full 4:4:4 color support.
Pro Well-balanced side inputs
Even when the S405 is mounted on a wall, you'll still have access to all essential inputs and outputs which are situated on the side of the unit.
Pro Decent picture quality
The S405 looks decent with adequately deep black levels, above-average color accuracy, and sufficient peak brightness levels for most content.
It’s especially great at reproducing dark scenes thanks to the panel’s contrast ratio of about 4000:1, which means blacks can get really dark at about 4000 times darker than the brightest white it can produce.
Colors are spot-on even without calibration, and the panel can get bright enough with a peak brightness level of ~200 nits to make them pop in dark environments.
The best viewing experience will be in a dark environment where the panel won’t have to compete with light. The S405’s screen can’t really get bright enough to perform as well in bright environments.
Pro Colors are accurate even without calibration
The S405 is excellent at reproducing colors accurately out of the box.
Even without calibration, the colors are spot-on - they're very close to what the source signal demands, and any inaccuracies are generally considered imperceptible to most end users.
The overall average difference between the source signal and the panel's reproduction of the color is measured in Delta-E, where lower means better accuracy. The S405 has a Delta-E of below 2.0, and anything below 3.0 is generally considered accurate for most end users.
Pro Colors are easy to calibrate
Color calibration can be performed easily via the Roku mobile app. You won't have to fiddle with the remote trying to set the values correctly.
Pro Main interface has no ads
The S405 has no ads on its main interface, although there can be ads in third-party applications. Third-party ads can't be blocked, but the tracking and personalisation can be limited through the TV's settings.
Pro Excellent for gaming
The S405 is excellent for gaming - the overall experience will be very responsive and fluid, thanks to the really low input lag and barely noticeable motion blur.
It has an input lag of ~15ms that makes the TV highly responsive to user input - gamers will have no issues keeping their actions in sync with what's on the display. The panel can fully change its pixels color in under 15ms, resulting in fast-moving objects not leaving any trails on the screen, eliminating virtually all motion blur.
It's also suitable for HDR gaming because there is no increased input lag for HDR, and it has full 4K suport @ 60 FPS, which makes it suitable for all new 4K games.
Pro Intuitive & smooth user interface
The S405 runs on the Roku TV smart platform, touted for its simple, straightforward, and lag-free UI.
It’s easy for anyone to grasp how navigation works, thanks to its two-column design with the menu on the left and options on the right.
There’s also no noticeable lag during navigation or menu selection.
Pro Decent for watching sports
The S405 is a good pick for watching sports thanks to its low motion blur and reasonably consistent color uniformity.
Fast-moving objects, like footballs, won't leave any visible trails on the screen due to the low motion blur of ~15ms. While there are slight uniformity inconsistencies in the edges of the panel when displaying large, same-color objects on screen, like football fields, the issues generally go unnoticed by most.
Pro Works well as a computer monitor
The S405 works well as a computer monitor thanks to its low input lag, barely noticeable motion blur, and full 4:4:4 color support. The 43" model can even be used up close due to its small minimal viewing distance.
The low input lag and low motion blur of ~15ms makes it highly responsive to input and gives it the ability to handle dynamic content well.
It also has full 4:4:4 color support, so text or shapes with hard edges on the screen won't be blurry.
Pro Excellent value for money
The S405 strikes a nice balance between picture quality, screen size, and input lag, all for an affordable price of below $500. It's a great choice for watching and gaming casually without breaking the bank.
Compared to its direct competitors, it offers decent picture quality that is a tad below them, bigger screen size, and lower input lag.
Content looks decent enough for most casual viewers - the black levels are sufficiently deep, colors are vivid, and it gets bright enough for most types of content in a dark room.
The size difference is pretty huge as options with similar size of 49", or even smaller, cost fairly more than the S405.
Its low input lag of ~15ms contributes to a more responsive gaming experience. It's barely noticeable, and it’s also one of the lowest among 4K TVs, which is an impressive feat in this price bracket.
Pro Great for HDR content
The M-Series is the best pick for HDR content in this price bracket. Compared to its direct competitors, it offers the best HDR experience because it has all the essentials for true HDR playback that its competitors lack: local dimming, fairly high peak brightness level, and a wide color gamut.
Its deep 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 a slight increase in overall picture quality - the black levels become deeper by a small margin, so highlights will stand out further.
Colors look vibrant in both dark and bright scenes, and the panel can reproduce the wide range of colors required for true HDR playback. In addition, it can also get bright enough to light up these colors sufficiently for HDR details to stand out, thanks to the peak brightness level of ~400 nits.
Pro Supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision
The M-Series can play all HDR content because it supports both HDR10 & Dolby Vision formats.
Pro Great picture quality
The M-Series looks great with vivid colors.
Dark scenes look amazing with great details, thanks to the panel’s contrast ratio of roughly 5500:1, which means it’s capable of producing blacks that are 5500 times darker than the brightest white pixel the screen can produce. This can be pushed slightly further to about 5800 with local dimming, which results in a slight increase in overall picture quality.
The colors are quite lifelike and accurate even without any calibration. They will look vibrant even in bright scenes because of the panel's high peak brightness levels of ~300 nits for SDR & ~400 nits for HDR.
Even in a decently-lit environment, the picture quality of the M-Series won't deteriorate by much. The panel is good at handling reflections and it can get adequately bright to fight off glare.
Pro Decent at handling glare
The M-Series is decent in bright environments.
The colors won't look dull thanks to the panel's high peak brightness levels and good handling of reflections. It's bright enough to fight off glare with peak brightness levels of ~300 nits for SDR & ~400 nits for HDR, and the intensity of reflections are reduced by panel's semi-gloss finish.
Pro Comes with Chromecast built-in
You can stream content to the M-Series from smart devices or apps that support streaming media to Chromecast.
Pro Has a remote app for iOS & Android
The M-Series runs on VIZIO's SmartCast OS which has a brilliant, well-integrated phone and tablet app for iOS & Android. It can turn your smart device into a fully-functional remote, which makes it easy and convenient for you to control the TV without the physical remote. It's also particularly handy for text input, especially when it comes to searching for content from streaming services.
Pro Interface is ads-free
The M-Series has no ads on its interface.
Con Can't fight glare very well
The S405 can deal with low amounts of light, such as sunlight through curtains, but it won't be able to deal with significantly bright light.
Apart from being unable to get bright enough, its handling of reflections is only average. The panel has a semi-gloss finish which helps in reducing reflections a little, but its peak brightness level of ~200 nits is not enough for fighting glare.
Con Not suitable for group watching
The S405 has a narrow viewing angle that makes it unsuitable for watching with groups.
People sitting away from the center of the screen will not experience the same picture as those sitting in the center because the picture quality starts to deteriorate significantly when viewing from just ≥30° away from the screen's center.
Con Lacks support for Dolby Vision
The S405 only supports the HDR10 format for HDR content.
Con Remote lacks functionality
The S405 has a basic remote that is only capable of navigation, playback control, and volume control. It doesn't have fancy stuff like voice command found in remotes of other TVs.
Con Poor sound quality
The speakers on the S405 are too bassy, so distortion becomes a huge problem at high volumes. A relatively cheap speaker system or a soundbar will make a huge difference in sound quality.
Con HDR support is basic
The S405 can't reproduce HDR pictures very well because it lacks various important features.
HDR won't look much different from SDR due to the lack of wide color gamut and low peak brightness. It can't reproduce the full range of colors necessary for HDR, and the brightness level of only ~200 nits is barely enough for HDR content to stand out.
The black levels are also insufficient for highlights to stand out, and it won't be as dynamic as one would expect for HDR due to the lack of local dimming.
Con Local dimming could be better
Unless you're in a really dark room and the brightness is set to really high, the effects of local dimming on the M-Series isn't very noticeable. You'll be able to see some differences in dark scenes, but it's not enough to improve the picture quality by much. The contrast ratio with local dimming enabled increases from roughly 5500:1 to 5800:1, a difference that has little impact on the overall experience.
Con Interface can be sluggish and slow
The interface of VIZIO's SmartCast OS can sometimes be sluggish. Some users have reported experiencing choppy animations, frame drops when browsing through the menu, and slow response to input/selection.
Con Mediocre sound quality
The M-Series sounds too bassy and some details will be drowned out because of that. There is also noticeable distortion at high volumes.
Con Not suitable for group watching
The M-Series has a narrow viewing angle that makes it unsuitable for group watching.
Its picture quality gets worse when viewed from off-center angles. At just ≥20° off from the center, the colors start looking dull and blacks turns into grey.
Con Lacks TV tuner
The M-Series, along with several of VIZIO's latest TV lineups, does not have a TV tuner built-in. If you plan to watch local over-the-air broadcasts, you will need to purchase a TV tuner separately.
Con Not the best value choice for gaming
The M-Series is not the best choice for gaming in this price bracket due to its relatively high input lag of ~40ms. Gaming TVs requires low input lag so the player won't feel out of sync, which is why most of the TVs suitable for gaming have a low input lag of ≤20ms.
This may be negligible to some, but input lag can make a world of difference to demanding or competitive gamers.