TCL R615 vs R617: How different are these two TVs?

If you are looking for a budget-friendly TV, you have landed on the right post. We always try to find the best possible TV solutions for our readers.  We have two very similar TVs in this TCL R615 vs R617 comparison. In fact, for most users, it might be challenging to find any difference between these two models. So, keep reading the article to find out the most interesting features! 

TCL R615 vs R617 – Quick Comparison

For unknown reasons, TCL decided to make these two TVs extremely similar. Basically, these TVs are just variants of the TCL 6 series. The biggest difference between the two comes down to different remote controls.

Older 6 Series models were limited to only one size. Since production couldn’t keep up with high demand, TCL decided to include different screen sizes of each model. In 2019, the screen sizes increased to three – 55, 65, and 75 inches.

TCL R615TCL R617
Screen Sizes55, 65, and 75 inches55, 65, and 75 inches
Screen PanelVA PanelVA Panel
ProcessorDual-core processorDual-core processor
Operating SystemRoku TV 8.0Roku TV 8.0
Refresh Rate60Hz (120Hz CMI)60Hz (120Hz CMI)
Variable Refresh RateNoNo
Resolution 4K4K
Contrast Ratio 5000: 15000: 1
HDMI Ports3 (HDMI 2.0)3 (HDMI 2.0)
USB Ports1 (USB 2.0)1 (USB 2.0)
WiFiYesYes
BluetoothNoNo
Speakers16 Watts16 Watts

At first glance, the TCL R615 and R617 have a lot in common. Their design and features are practically the same. Thanks to their high native contrast and full-array local dimming feature, they have a good dark scene performance. So, in this article, we will highlight all of their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the right model. 

TCL R615

TCL R615 TV
TCL R615 TV (2018)

Pros:

  • High contrast ratio
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Excellent choice for watching movies 
  • Suitable for dark environments

Cons:

  • Subpar viewing angles
  • No voice control via remote

TCL R617

TCL R617 TV
TCL R617 TV (2018)

Pros:

  • Voice control via remote
  • Shortcut buttons for apps on the remote
  • Suitable for streaming services
  • Fantastic contrast ratio  

Cons:

  • No VRR support
  • Narrow viewing angles

TCL R615 vs R617: Features Face to Face

Panel Technology

Both TVs are equipped with VA panels. One of the downsides of VA panels is narrow viewing angles. You definitely can’t rely on this panel technology when planning wide seating arrangements. 

However, VA panels are excellent at providing high native contrast. So, the TCL R615 and R617 might be good for those who like to watch movies or play games in dark environments. 

Winner: Draw

Image Processor

TCL decided to equip these TV models with a dual-core processor. The processor can detect and correct color inaccuracy. So, if you want vivid and accurate colors on your TV, you can rely on TCL’s image processor solution. 

Winner: Draw

Motion Technology

The TCL R615 and R617 have a native refresh rate of 60 Hz. Even though the manufacturer claims they have a 120 Hz Clear Motion Index, that doesn’t mean they support 120 Hz. TLC’s TVs with the Clear Motion Index use a combination of advanced signal processing and backlight scanning to improve the native refresh rate.  

TCL R615TCL R617
Response Time 12.4 ms12.4 ms
Refresh Rate60 Hz (native refresh rate)60 Hz (native refresh rate)
Variable Refresh rateNoNo

This is similar to Samsung’s Motion Rate or LG’s TrueMotion. Most often, these numbers only duplicate the actual refresh rate

Since these models have a 60 Hz refresh rate, you can expect some motion blurring and flickering. When watching TV content with fast-moving objects, these problems can be pretty noticeable. 

The TCL R615 and R617 don’t support variable refresh rate. However, they still have a good response time and high contrast ratio, which can increase your gaming experience. 

Another thing related to increased gaming performance is low input lag. The input lag is between 17 and 20 milliseconds with the game mode activated. So, if you have a 1080p console such as PS4, these TVs can deliver decent gaming performance.  

Winner: Draw

Picture Quality

The TCL R615 and R617 support 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolution at 60 Hz. However, these resolutions can’t work at 120 Hz since these TV models only support a 60 Hz refresh rate. 

ResolutionTCL R615TCL R617
4K/120HzNoNo
4K/60Hz/4:4:4YesYes
4K/60HzYesYes
1440p/120HzNoNo
1440p/60HzYes (forced resolution)Yes (forced resolution)
1080p/120HzNoNo
1080p/60Hz/4:4:4YesYes

Contrast Ratio / Black Level

Both TV models have a high native contrast ratio of around 5000: 1. This contrast ratio enables them to display deep blacks, especially in dark scenes. 

Even if we compare these TCL models to other high-end TVs with VA panels, their contrast ratio is high. In other words, these TVs are a great choice for watching content in dark rooms.  

Winner: Draw

Local Dimming

Unlike other TVs in this price range, the R615 and R617 have the full-array local dimming feature. It further improves the contrast ratio to 6000: 1. 

Unfortunately, you may notice blooming around moving objects due to the lack of local dimming zones. TCL has decided to increase the number of local dimming zones on the 75-inch models to reduce this problem. The 75-inch TVs have 160 local dimming zones

In general, if you turn on this feature, you can expect slightly deeper blacks and a better picture in dark rooms.  

Winner: Draw

Peak Brightness

Peak brightness is the parameter that shows how a TV displays content in bright rooms. These TCL 6 TV models can reach 700 Nits when displaying the SDR content. Therefore, they can fight the glare in most bright rooms. 

When displaying the HDR real content, they can hit around 840 nits. In other words, they have fantastic HDR and SDR brightness!  

Winner: Draw

Color

If you like a wide color gamut, you can choose either of these TVs. They deliver realistic colors thanks to TCL’s NBP Photon Technology. However, they have a good color gamut but could struggle with outdoor scenes. 

They provide the same performance when it comes to color volume and gradient performance. There might be some banding in darker red, green, and gray shades. 

Winner: Draw

Viewing Angle

If you are okay with narrow viewing angles, these models might be a good fit for you. On the contrary, if you prefer wide seating arrangements, they probably won’t be a great choice. They have VA panels, so you can expect the picture quality to degrade as soon as you move from the center. 

There is a significant color shift, brightness loss, and color washout as soon as you move 20 to 30 degrees from the center. 

Winner: Draw

Reflections / Anti-glare

Both TVs have a semi-gloss finish. As you may know, this finish helps the TV to reduce direct reflection and improve your watching experience. This is exactly the case with the R615 and R617 models. They are very good at reflection handling. 

They might struggle if you place them in direct sunlight or opposite from the source of light. However, they should be fine for most rooms.  

Winner: Draw

Sound Quality

The 6 series comes with two speakers, each 8 Watts strong. The only exception is the 75-inch variants which have 30 Watts speakers. All variants support the Dolby Digital Plus and the Dolby Digital.

The speakers do a good job when it comes to dialogues. But, they don’t produce a strong bass. So, if you want to watch action movies or listen to music, consider getting a soundbar

Winner: Draw

Smart TV Platform

Roku TV 8.0 is clean, smooth, and easy to use. It contains hundreds of apps such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, and many more.  

OS FeaturesTCL R615TCL R617
OS VersionRoku TV 8.0Roku TV 8.0
Ease of UseEasyEasy
Smoothness Very SmoothVery Smooth
Time to Load YouTube3 s3 s
USB PlaybackYesYes
USB Recording PVRNoNo
TimeshiftNoNo

In addition to streaming services, you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies from external devices such as SSD drives. The USB Playback feature is also available on both models. 

Winner: Draw 

Connectivity

Inputs

The inputs are placed on the side of the TVs. Therefore, it is much easier to mount these TVs on the wall.

However, neither of the models supports USB 3.0 or HDMI 2.1. Each model supports HDMI 2.0 via three ports and USB 2.0 through one port. They also have an ethernet port and digital optical audio out. 

Winner: Draw

Voice Assistants

As we mentioned earlier, the most significant difference between these TV models is their remotes. The TCL R615 TV is equipped with the Roku TV RC280 remote. This simple remote has only 20 buttons necessary to perform basic TV activities. The Roku TV RC280 doesn’t have the voice command feature or any app button.   

Remote ControlRoku TV RC280Roku TV RC580
TVTCL R615TCL 617
Compatible DevicesTCL Roku TVs from 2014 and 2015TCL Roku TVs from 2016 and later
Maximum Range30 Feet30 Feet
Battery DescriptionAlkalineAlkaline
Number of Batteries2 AAA batteries2 AAA batteries
Voice CommandNoYes
Netflix buttonNoYes
Sling ButtonNoYes
Hulu ButtonNoYes
Starz buttonNoYes

However, the R617 TV comes with the Roku TV RC580 remote which supports voice commands. Additionally, it has Netflix, Sling, Starz, and Hulu buttons. So, this remote provides easy voice control with Siri, Alexa, and Google. 

Winner: TCL R617 

Wireless technologies

It’s a little unusual that both models don’t support Bluetooth. However, WiFi support can help you overcome the lack of Bluetooth connectivity. 

The TCL R615 and R617 support internet connection (2.4GHz & 5GHz). For instance, you can connect your laptop to the TV wirelessly. Another benefit of using WiFi is automatic color calibration via the IPQ engine app. 

Conclusion

Whether you choose the TCL R615 or the TCL R617, you won’t make a mistake. These TVs offer great value for the money. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money to buy a TV with decent performance, these TCL models might be the best choice for you. 

In this TCL R615 vs R617 comparison, you have been able to see these TVs meet the most common requirements. In other words, they support 4K resolution, have a good response time, low input lags, and vivid colors. They are suitable for gaming and watching movies. 

The TCL R617 is slightly better when it comes to remote controls. If you like to use voice commands, this TV could be a good choice. But bottom line, both TVs are more than capable of displaying HDR and SDR content. 

Related Read: TCL 5 Series vs 6 Series: Which Roku TV should you choose?

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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