Reviews

QLED TV TCL S546 4K – great contrast, Quick response, VRR support…

The 50″ TCL S546 TV is excellent for video gaming. It has a fast response time and very low input lag for a soft and responsive gaming experience. It provides a several additional gaming functions such as FreeSync and ALLM support, but it’s restricted to HDMI 2.0, so you can’t take 100 % benefit of the PS5 or Xbox Series X. It’s very good for dark room gaming as it has a high contrast ratio, but the local dimming option is not anything extraordinary.TCL S546 50

The TCL 5 Series is really fine for watching HDR movies. It offers deep and uniform blacks many thanks to its excellent contrast and fantastic uniformity. It has a full-array local dimming function, but it does not do much to increase the picture quality in dark scenes as there is blooming around bright objects. It supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision and displays a wide color gamut, but doesn’t get bright good enough to produce highlights pop.

The TCL S546 TV has a respectable build quality. It’s a combine of metal and plastic material, and it feels stable in general. The plastic-type feet are durable, but they don’t feel as high quality as metal feet. The bottom bezel is brushed plastic meant to imitate aluminum, but it feels a bit inexpensive. The back panel has a little bit of flex on the metal part, and there is more on the plastic, but it’s not that relating to.
The TCL 5 Series has a VA -panel with a impressive contrast ratio. It displays deep blacks, and the local dimming feature further more enhances the contrast with our checker board structure, but it seems to bring up the black levels in real content. Keep in mind that contrast can differ among units.

There are certain gray uniformity problems with our unit. There are some small vertical bands that you can notice, and there is dirty screen impact in the center, which might get distracting during sports. You can view the red-colored tint from the warm color temperature here. Uniformity is far better in near-dark scenes, but the bands are still there, and there is backlight bleed in the corner. Note that uniformity can are different between units. The TCL S546 50″ has outstanding black uniformity. With no local dimming, the tv screen seems to be blue, and there is clouding all through. The image is a lot more black with local dimming enabled, but there’s much more blooming around the center cross. Note that uniformity can vary between devices.TCL S546 50

The TCL 5 Series supports adjustable refresh rate technology to minimize screen tearing, which is a fine improvement in comparison to the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED. The VRR range is minimal simply because it has HDMI 2.0 inputs and a 60Hz panel. TCL does not promote which formats it supports, but we verified it has native FreeSync support with our Radeon RX 580 graphics card. It additionally supports HDMI Forum VRR, since it’s suitable with the PS5’s variable refresh rate feature, which usually mainly supports that kind of VRR.

The TCL S546 TV is really decent for watching movies in dark rooms. It has a VA -panel with a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks and great black uniformity. It has a full-array local dimming feature that is not poor, but it leads to blooming all-around bright objects and seems to increase the black levels. This TV does not have problems displaying 1080p or 4k content, but it has issues correctly upscaling 480p content, so it’s not really a good option for watching DVDs.
The TCL S546 50″ is quite decent for HDR video gaming. It has good gaming capabilities for instance a great response time, very low input lag, and VRR support. However, it has a 60Hz panel and HDMI 2.0 inputs, so you’re limited to 4k @ 60 fps games. HDR content also seems good due to the fact it displays deep blacks and has a wide color gamut, but it does not get highly bright in HDR, and its local dimming feature causes blooming around vivid objects.
The TCL 5 Series is really fine to use as a PC monitor. It offers low input lag for a responsive desktop experience, and action looks good many thanks to the effective response time. It displays chroma 4:4:4 with 1080p and 4k signals, which is significant for reading textual content. Nevertheless, our unit has gray uniformity troubles recognizable with website pages or docs and has narrow viewing angles, meaning the picture looks incorrect at the edges if you sit very close.

TCL 5 Series/S546
TCL’s AiPQ Engine is driven by machine-learning algorithms to give you the best-possible viewing experience with vibrant color, sharp clarity, and dramatic depth.

The TCL 5 Series/S546 QLED is a 4k LED TV. It’s a innovative TV in TCL’s 2021 line-up, and although it’s meant as an improvement from the TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED, it’s not a direct substitute since they’re both still available as part of the 5 Series line-up. It uses Google TV, which is a pretty user friendly smart interface with many applications available to download through the Google Play Store. You have accessibility to Google Assistant via the built/in mic on the TV. There are a several more video gaming functions like variable refresh rate (VRR) support to decrease screen tearing, but it’s still limited to HDMI 2.0 inputs. It has a VA -panel that displays deep blacks, and there is a local dimming feature, but it’s not that efficient at enhancing the picture level of quality in dark scenes. Furthermore, our unit has poor out-of-the-box precision, giving everything a reddish tint, but this can also vary between units, so your practical experience could possibly vary. Photo: TCL

TCL S546 50″ specs:

Model50S546
Screen Size50″
Viewable Display Size49.5″
DescriptionPremium Picture QLED HDR 4K TV
WiFi802.11ac 2×2 Dual Band (supports 2.4GHz & 5GHz)
Advanced PQ Setting with Mobile AppYes
Control ButtonsOne button
Multilingual On-Screen-DisplayEnglish, Spanish, French
Closed CaptionYes
Parental Control (V-Chip)Yes
Accessible Menu System (CVAA)Yes
Sleep TimerYes
Easy Voice ControlWorks with Alexa and Hey Google
Integrated Hands-Free Voice AssistantGoogle Assistant
Live TV Pause from antenna (up to 30 minutes)Yes (compatible with USB drive)
Audio Power (Watts)8W + 8W
Audio PassthroughDolby Atmos / Dolby Digital Plus / Dolby Digital
Dolby ProcessingDolby Atmos
Natural MotionNatural Motion 240
Panel Resolution3840 x 2160
ResolutionUHD
Display Colors1.07 billion
High Dynamic Range FormatDolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
Auto Game Mode (ALLM)Yes
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)48Hz – 60Hz @ 4K
AV InputComposite Video + L&R Audio In (Mini 3.5mm connector)
Audio Output (RCA)
No
RF Input (NTSC, ATSC)1
Ethernet1
USB1 USB 2.0
HDMI3 ports, 1 with eARC
SPDIF Digital Audio Optical1
Audio Output Headphone1

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