Home Theater Review

 

LeEco Super4 X65 UHD LED/LCD TV Reviewed

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HTR Product Rating

Performance
3 Stars
Value
3 Stars
Overall
3 Stars

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Measurements
Here are the measurement charts for the LeEco Super4 X65 TV, created using Portrait Displays' Spectracal CalMAN software. These measurements show how close the display gets to our current HDTV standards. For both gray scale and color, a Delta Error under 10 is considered tolerable, under five is considered good, and under three is considered imperceptible to the human eye. Click on each photo to view the graph in a larger window.

LeEco-X65-gs.jpgLeEco-X65-cg.jpg

The top charts show the TV's color balance, gamma, and total gray-scale Delta Error, below and after calibration in the Movie mode. Ideally, the red, green, and blue lines will be as close together as possible to reflect a neutral color/white balance. We currently use a gamma target of 2.2 for HDTVs and a darker 2.4 for projectors. The bottom charts show where the six color points fall on the Rec 709 triangle, as well as the luminance (brightness) error and total Delta Error for each color point.

LeEco-X65-eotf.jpgWe also measured the TV in HDR mode. It measures a maximum brightness of 398 nits at 100 IRE in a 10 percent window. The chart to the right shows the HDR mode's EOTF (aka the "new gamma") tracking; the yellow line is the target, and the LeEco (gray line) does not track closely along it.  

The Downside
For me, the biggest performance concern is the screen's lack of brightness uniformity, as it hinders performance with darker movie and TV scenes. Higher-end edge-lit designs use a more effective, more aggressive dynamic backlight to deal with this problem, while some of the other value-oriented manufacturers have switched back to direct LED backlighting to avoid the problem.

I haven't had a chance to review any other value-oriented TVs that support HDR, so I can't say how the X65's HDR performance compares with others in its price class. What I can say is that the X65's HDR performance is underwhelming. The TV can't get as bright as higher-end HDR-capable TVs, it doesn't support the wider P3 color gamut, and its accuracy in the HDR picture mode is sub-par.

On the ergonomic front, the picture adjustment menus actually cover almost half the screen, which makes it trickier to perform a precise setup...or at least slower, since you have to quit out of the menu to check your work and then navigate back into it to make further adjustments. And sometimes, my adjustments were not saved; I'd tweak a setting and then later notice it was back at the default.

Comparison & Competition
It's ironic that, arguably, LeEco's biggest competition in the U.S. market comes from the company it almost purchased: VIZIO. VIZIO's new E65-E0 ($849.95) and E65-E1 ($899.99) are HDR10-capable UHD TVs with full-array LED backlighting and 16 zones of local dimming to produce better black levels and brightness uniformity. VIZIO's models are not Android TVs per se, but they do have Chromecast built in to stream content directly from mobile devices and computers--and VIZIO recently added the ability to stream HDR10 content to the E Series. The VIZIO models lack an internal TV tuner, which might be a drawback for cord-cutters who want to tune in live local channels.

TCL's new C Series Roku UHD TV supports Dolby Vision HDR and uses a full-array LED backlight with 72 zones of dimming and wide color gamut support. The 65-incher costs $1,099.

Other UHD/HDR competitors include Hisense's H6D Series ($828), Samsung's edge-lit UN65MU6300 ($1,299), and LG's edge-lit 65UH7700 ($1,299).

Conclusion
Is LeEco's Super4 X65 a good choice for someone who's looking for a sub-$1,000 TV? That depends on what you're looking for. Performance-wise, the X65 is a decent option if you need a TV for a brighter viewing environment and you mostly still watch Blu-ray, DVD, and HDTV content. It's also a solid choice for someone who wants an integrated Android TV interface and plans to do a lot of streaming via Chromecast. And it has a nicer design than many of the basic black-box TVs in the sub-$1,000 category.

If, on the other hand, you watch a lot of movies in a dark room and/or are excited about adding HDR to your AV setup, the X65 isn't your best option. I haven't yet tested VIZIO's new 2017 E Series that supports HDR10 or TCL's Roku UHD TV with Dolby Vision, but both use full-array backlighting with local dimming, so I'm going to assume they'll perform better in the black-level and screen uniformity departments.

The U.S. TV market is cutthroat, and LeEco certainly faces a lot of tough competition in the value-oriented category. I think improvements need to be made in the backlighting and motion-resolution categories if the company wants to make real headway with home theater enthusiasts. The question is, will the company even stick around long enough to evolve? According to Bloomberg, LeEco was recently forced to scale back its U.S. ambitions after missing its 2016 sales forecast by a large margin and cut back on its U.S staff. That doesn't inspire much confidence.

Additional Resources
• Check out out Flat HDTVs category page to read similar reviews.
• Visit the LeEco website for more product information.
LeEco Enters U.S. TV Market at HomeTheaterReview.com.

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