When comparing TCL R617 55" (55R617) 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 R617 55" (55R617) is ranked 176th. 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.
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Pro Good-looking picture
Regarding the overall picture quality, the TCL R617 performs on par with the noticeably pricier high-end TVs. In its price range, the TV offers exceptional performance no matter if it is placed in a dark or bright environment.
It can reproduce a wide range of bright and vibrant colors as well as some truly inky blacks because of its wide color gamut, high color accuracy, excellent gamma tracking, high native contrast ratio, and stellar peak brightness.
Colors pop and look realistic thanks to the low average color error dE of 2.33, which is noticeably below the color error margin that can be spotted by a human eye. Also, colors don't look flat due to the TV's near perfect gamma tracking. The colors look very bright thanks to the TV's high overall peak brightness that is measured at more than 700 nits. No other TV in this price range can get that bright.
Dark scenes look profound thanks to the high native contrast ratio and excellent uniformity of its blacks. The TV's native contrast ratio is measured at around 6000:1, which is significantly above what its competitors offer.
Pro Works well in a bright room
With this TV you will not have problems associated with reflections and glare even in fairly bright environments thanks to the TV's amazing brightness and semi-gloss screen finish that helps it to diffuse reflections fairly well.
The TV's peak brightness measures at around 700 nits, which is far above what the other TVs in this price range offer.
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 Poor viewing angles
To enjoy the exceptional picture quality of this TV, you need to sit right in front of it as the overall picture quality of the R617 decreases drastically when viewed from an angle. Black levels start to degrade once the vertical viewing angle gets higher than 11 degrees.
Though, this is a widespread issue for the VA TVs.
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.