So I went from an RCA Full HD TV (1080p) to a TCL Series-5 QLED.
My RCA TV had an amazing display with a "fake" option to mimic HDR. The image was super crisp and vivid. Blacks were very dark and whites were very white. Turning this option off would make my TV look normal. Washed colors (grayish).
I thought about having a 4K TV for a long time before buying one. I was very impressed with my RCA 1080p and was afraid of spending money for a TV that would not meet the RCA quality.
My friends all thought I was crazy.
So I did the move.
I just bought a Series-5 3 days ago.
My first impressions are: Everything that I watch have colors kind of washed out. Also, I don't see the crispiness of the images. It's not blurry, but I like to see more edges detail.
I played with the settings two nights in a row. Last night, I decided to just watch something. Everything that I tried: Netflix, Prime Videos, PlayStation 4 and YouTube all have this weird kind of grayish colors. I have to boost the brightness, but then everything seems washed out. If I lower the brightness to have more blacks, everything gets gray.
One point I have to mention is that I am a UI/UX Designer. My life is focused on visuals. So I have an extreme taste for details. What I'm saying is, the problems that I see are not that bad. Anyone would say my TV is fine. But comparing it to my RCA 1080p, I see a major difference.
Right now, I'm using Vivid colors, brightness to normal. Contrast at max and sharpness at 75 (although, the sharpness changes are very light from 0 to 100. All smoothing options are turned off.
And yes, I did follow the calibration settings rtings website suggested. I didn't like it at all. Everything looks orange and dark (they say it's like that movies and real life are intended to be).
One thing though. The Dolby Access channel delivers what I expect from the TV (but still not as good as my RCA TV in my opinion). YouTube HDR channel does the same thing. So I know that my TV is not broken... I hope not...
I was reading on Google that a lot of people are complaining about the washed out colors especially in HDR. For me, HDR or not, everything doesn't look vivid even in vivid mode.
I finally found a website that was explaining that it's normal to feel like the colors are washed out because the HDR and Dolby technology is still new, and we have to be patient as more streaming content will be delivered in HDR and Dolby. They say that I am experiencing all this because I'm watching HD content (the upscaling could make it a little blurry around the edges). They also said that we will get used to this kind of washed out colors.
Getting used to experience washed out colors when I have a 1080p TV super vivid and crisp? No way!