TCL C745 QLED 4K Google TV for the masses (AV review)

The TCL C745 is a QLED (Quantum Dot), FALD (Full Array Local Dimming), Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ compatible LED/LCD TV that produces a bright, colourful, quality image at a value price.

Before the review, let’s understand where the TCL C745 sits.

  • Edge-Lit, no dimming zones (lowest brightness and image quality). All lower-cost TVs use this tech. Some deceptively claim to support Dolby Vision but only to the panel’s brightness (300 nits typical) and contrast (1500:1) capability. This describes most generic TVs.
  • Back-lit (or Direct Lit/Direct LED), no dimming zones (improved brightness, similar image quality). This describes the TCL C645.
  • FALD Direct Lit, with dimming zones (improved brightness and better image quality). This describes the TCL C745.
  • Mini-LED, with dimming zones (super bright and better image quality). This describes the TCL C845.
  • OLED – each pixel is a dimming zone. LG owns this space.

We have reviewed its big brother, the TCL C845 – a superior Mini-LED with the lot that uses a Mini-LED backlight and has more dimming zones for an even more impressive image. Interestingly we had the TCL C745 and C845 side-by-side, and both essentially use the same electronics. The key difference is that it has a 1000-nit peak brightness (vs 2000) and 160 local dimming zones (vs 576).

The question you need to ask (and we hope to answer) is, given that the 65” C745 has an RRP of $1999 and the C845 has an RRP of $2999 (before discounts), what are the compromises?

A philosophical discussion first

Consumer research overwhelmingly shows that the majority buy the biggest TV for the available money. Most TVs now sold are 65” and 75” is not far behind. Few understand the differences between panel types, HDMI Ports, screen refresh, backlights, Dolby Vision, etc. The purpose of CyberShack deep-dive reviews is to give information to those who care.

So for the rest of you, let’s make it easy. Of the 36 brands/models of 65” TVs that range in price from $699 to $12,995, the TCL C745 outperforms every TV below its RRP of $1999 (lower if you shop around) and will show ‘real’ HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. The only other TV you should consider is the TCL C845 Mini-Led.

Why? Because you will have to spend closer to $2500-3000 to get anything similar in performance and features from another brand.

Read – Confused about TV tech? That’s just what they want! For a more in-depth guide.

TCL is #2 in the world TV market, #1 in China, and #1 in Android Smart TVs.

The TCL C745 2023 model uses the new AiPQ 3.0 video processor (same as the C845) with the latest AI image processing equal to the mainstream brands covering:

  • AI Contrast – dynamic brightness management based on the image to display maximum precision, detail, and sharpness in the screen’s dark and light areas.
  • AI Colour – constantly adjusts shades to optimise the DCI-P3 colour gamut.
  • AI Clarity – reduicing signal video noise, improve contours, and improve upscaling to 4K.
  • AI Motion – adjusts the frames per second for better fluidity even with rapid movement.
  • AI HDR – HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ, and renders them to preserve the artistic intentions of content creators.

This accounts for better performance over standard Quantum Dot LED/LCD TVs.

Australian review: TCL C745 FALD, dimming zone, LED/LCD TV

Note: We have updated all specs to reflect Australian electricity at 50Hz. This means that a 60/120Hz panel operates at 50/100Hz. TCL websites still show refresh speeds based on 60Hz power. All specs are based on a 65” model (55” tested).

WebsiteProduct Page and Manual
Price55/65/75/85/98” $1699/1,999/2,999/3999/8999, but shop around as the 65” has been seen as low as $1299 plus delivery.
FromHarvey Norman, JB-Hi Fi, Good Guys, and more.
Warranty3-years ACL
Made inChina
CompanyTCL Technology (originally an abbreviation for Telephone Communication Limited) is a Chinese electronics company headquartered in Huizhou, Guangdong Province. It designs, develops, manufactures, and sells consumer products, including television sets, mobile phones, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and small electrical appliances. Its sister company CSOT (China Star Optoelectronics Technology), makes the panels and has bought Samsung’s LCD patents and factory in China. Samsung and other brands now buy Mini-LED, ULED (Quantum Dot) and LED/LCD panels from CSOT.
MoreCyberShack TCL news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below.  You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – Pass+

This is between the C645 (Direct Lit, no dimming zones) and C845 (Mini-LED, dimming zones). It supersedes the 2022 TCL C735 QLED – good mid-range performance and has a similar design and finish.

I like the centre pedestal design (limited height adjustment), although it can interfere with a soundbar. The ports are all on the right rear side, and power is on the left rear side. There are no bezels, and the back has a pleasing metallic finish. It can be 300 x 300 M6x18 VESA wall-mounted, but you must ensure you fix it to the studs.

Dimensions with the stand are 1444 (W) x 896 (H) x 314 (D) x 20.9kg, and wall mounted is 1444 (W) x 835 (H) x 70 (D) x 19.9kg.

Remote – Pass

Its RC902V IR/Bluetooth remote control is logical and has dedicated buttons for Netflix, Stan, Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube and TCL Channel. It is a standard Google TV layout. Had it been backlit, it would have earned Pass+.

Setup – Google/Android TV 11 – Exceed

Google/Android 11 TV is easy to use. Log in via your email account, set up Wi-Fi (or Ethernet), and agree to sign your privacy away (all TV brands now want to know everything). TCL also wants you to sign in for TCL added-value features, but you don’t need it for Google TV use. If you want privacy, set up a junk Gmail account.

We won’t go into Android TV 11 except to say that it has all Australian digital free-to-air channels and a vast array of apps. It also uses Google Assistant to allow for Google Home and voice control. It has Apple HomeKit and Chromecast support, but PCs must use a Miracast dongle.

A dedicated TCL ad-supported channel comprises live channels plus hundreds of on-demand shows (not tested).

Connectivity – Pass+

Note: we have converted to 50Hz AU electricity refresh rates

  • #1 HDMI 2.1 4K@120/144Hz PC only (48 Gbps) – Uncompressed Dolby Vision (DV), ALLM, VRR, FreeSync Premium Pro
  • #2 HDMI 2.0 4K@100/120Hz (18 Gbps) – Compressed DV usually to 50/60Hz, marked ‘SERVICE’
  • #3 HDMI 1.4b 4K@50/60Hz (10Gbps) – HDR usually to 30Hz
  • #4 HDMI 1.4b 4K@50/60Hz eARC/ARC – HDR usually to 30Hz
  • 2 x USB-A 5V/.5A/2.5W – fine for Flash Drives but not enough for external SSD.
  • Ethernet
  • AV in (3.5mm to RCA adapter needed)
  • 3.5mm 3-pole stereo headphone socket
  • Optical Out (Toslink)
  • RF antenna for a single tuner

Per the C845 review, we seek confirmation of the four HDMI port standards.

Comms – Pass

  • Wi-Fi 5 AC 2.4/5GHz supports 866Mbps half-duplex. If you intend to do much streaming, connect via Ethernet to the router or buy the C845 with Wi-Fi 6 AX full-duplex.
  • BT 5 supports earphones, speakers and keyboard/trackpad.

Unlike some TVs, it does not have NFC pairing or support two BT headphones, but there are adapters for that.

Gaming – Not Tested

TCL heavily promotes this as a perfect Gaming TV. That is not our expertise but international reviews seem to agree its a good gamers TV.

It has Game Master Pro 2.0, ALLM, VRR and FreeSync Premium Pro to optimise the frame rate. You can connect your console via the #1 HDMI 2.1 port. The 144Hz rate is only for PCs with a suitable gaming GPU.

The TCL DLG Game Accelerator can reach a refresh rate of 1080p@240Hz. The lag is <10ms in game mode.

Power Use – Pass+

Unlike the C845 Mini-LED at 2.5 stars/812kWH, this is 4.5 stars/520kWh (maximum). Power costs about 40 cents per kWh.

Out tests show:

  • Netflix HDR movies around 180Wh (7 cents per hour)
  • Free-to-Air TV around 140Wh (6 cents per hour)
  • Standby <1W (negligible)

Image Tests

Before we get into these, remember that this is a FALD Direct-Lit with 1000 nits peak and 160 dimming zones. The real question is how it performs against similar brand TVs, especially as most do not have dimming zones.

Like the C845, out-of-the-box defaults to Low Power and Eco brightness. This needs to be set to at least Movie Mode, Full Brightness, and contrast backed off a little to achieve more natural colours.

SDR Picture modes include Vivid (saturated colour and high brightness), Low Power (OK for night viewing), Sports (allegedly to reduce the impact of large green grass areas), Movie (for most natural colours), Game (changes TV parameters for performance) and PC (only for 144Hz with a suitable Graphics Card). Or just use Smart Image.

AI Smart HDR (select this for HDR and Dolby Vision) uses metadata to adjust the image.

Colour and Purity – Pass+

It is a 10-bit (8-bit+FRC) VA-type LCD panel that provides 6000:1 contrast and deeper blacks. The downside is that it has narrower viewing angles.

It can reproduce 1.07 billion colours/shades with a 100% SRGB and 97% DCI-P3 colour gamut.

Our tests’ primary colours, red, green, and blue (RGB), were 100% accurate in SDR (standard dynamic range), although that was after a bit of tweaking.

Secondary and tertiary colours (like skin tones) were mainly accurate. Using Smart AI HDR settings, it has close to 100% DCI-P3 gamut.

Delta E out of the box is 4.6 (<4 is good). If you tweak it, you can get it to around 2, and a professional calibration should bring it close to 1.

Dolby Vision content – Pass+

The TV needs to be set to Smart HDR to decode DV content. It considers the filmmaker’s intent and adjusts images on a frame-x-frame basis.

Brightness – Pass+

TCL claims 1000 nits peak HDR brightness. After calibration, our tests show that it reached 978 nits in both 2 and 10% windows – excellent and enough for good Dolby Vision reproduction.

It can have up to 600 nits SDR full screen, which is excellent and bright for Aussie lounge rooms.

Contrast – Pass+

TCL claims 6000:1, which is certainly possible with HDR content and this VA panel. Blacks are very good.

Typically it is closer to 1000:1 for SDR Free-to-air content – again, higher than most.

Local dimming – Pass+

It has 160 dimming zones and, overall, does a very good job. There is a halo effect above 60fps when a white test object moves between the zones. It is not noticeable as a TV at 24/30/60fps.

Motion smoothing – Pass

It has a native 100/120Hz panel and Motion Smoothing 200. It inserts one black frame between each frame, and due to more AI processing, it removes more noise and judder.

We noticed some tearing above 100fps (Hz), and the judder test shows the image breaking up. Don’t worry – you cannot see that with your eyes. We recommend that you turn Motion smoothing off.

Blooming – Pass+

There is no blooming on stationary white-on-black images. It is more noticeable when the white text is moving across several zones.

Dirty Screen Effect (DSE) – Pass

DSE in an LCD panel means inconsistent luminance performance across its surface area. It can appear as random splotches, uniform lines, wide bars, and sometimes vignetting (slightly darkening toward the corners).

The TCL C745 had a slight DSE at the corners. We could read down to 10-point text.

Reflectivity – Passable

It is almost a mirror that reflects nearly every bit of ambient light in the room. You need reasonable ambient light control from the back and sides of a room.

Off-angle viewing – Passable

The VA panel starts colour shifting and losing definition after 135° (45° past the 90° viewing zone). That plus reflectivity makes it more critical for the viewing zone to be more ‘straight-on’.

Upscale – Pass

It uses the same processor as the C845 and does a terrific job overall. Because brightness and contrast are lower, the image is not as saturated as the TCL C845.

Voice Control – Pass+

It can support Google Assistant (dedicated mic button on the remote). Alexa and Siri (HomeKit/Airplay 2) require an external smartphone or speaker.

Sound – Passable

It has 2 x 15W speakers in a 2.0 channel set-up. That means a decent maximum volume of 83.5db, which gets choppy and unpleasant. The sound stage approximates the screen – voices and sounds come from where you expect them to.

The speakers cut in at 60Hz for mid-bass and build to 200Hz (high bass), which remains flat to 7kHz before declining to avoid harshness and flat to 20kHz. This is a neutral signature (flat with a decent mid-high-bass. A flat response that neither adds nor subtracts from the original music.

You can read more How to tell if you have good music (sound signature is the key – guide)

This is fine for all free-to-air SDR content.

It can decode PCM mono-5.0 and Dolby Digital formats (up to 5.1), DTS formats, Dolby Atmos (128 sound objects), and downmix to 2.0. As such, there is little (frankly no) 3D height or surround sound on spatial audio content. If you want decent surround sound and Dolby Atmos. Read How to buy a soundbar that meets your needs? and Five tips for better TV sound – Dolby Atmos for beginners

It supports Bluetooth and 3.5mm cabled headphones simultaneously with internal TV speakers – good for the hearing impaired.

Our advice – let the Intelligent Sound (adaptive volume and content) do its thing.

CyberShack’s view – The TCL C745 punches well above its weight

As we said at the beginning (philosophical discussion), this is currently the best, most full-featured, Direct Lit, FALD dimming zone, Quantum Dot, and Dolby Vision TV under $2000. You would be looking at up to $1000 more to get better.

It has good brightness, a full colour gamut, excellent contrast and blacks, impressive blooming control, one full spec 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 port, displays real HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and has a terrific operating system.


Because RRP prices are so ‘rubbery’ at present, it is hard to compare on price. For example, the 65” ($1995) can be seen for as low as $1299 and is at JB for $1395 (which means Harvey Norman will price match).

We have yet to review any 2023 Hisense models, but this sits well above the U6KAU ($1499) – see Hisense 2023 TV and Laser range. Hisense uses its proprietary VIDAA U7 Operating system, and TCL uses Google Android.

Sony has the X85L FALD ($1995) but only supports HDR10 (vs 10+) and has a shorter warranty. It also has the X90L FALD ($2995), which sits slightly above the TCL C745. Compare both Sony’s here.

Samsung is out as it does not support Dolby Vision in its TVs.

LG has its QNED75SQA and QNED81SQA, but these are Edge-Lit Quantum Dot, so don’t compete.

Summary: TCL C745 has the most feature and best value in this Direct Lit, diming zone, Quantum Dot segment.

Rating – TCL C745

  • Features: 90 – it is the same as the C845 with a Direct-Lit FALD panel. The Google OS offers a complete viewing experience.
  • Value: 95 – It is class-leading on a feature/value basis, and even better if you can get it for less by shopping around.
  • Performance: 90 – It would have scored even more if the out-of-the-box calibration was better. Regardless it is a great image for a Direct Lit, dimming zone, Quantum Dot, LED/LCD.
  • Ease of use: 90 – Google TV is like a comfy pair of slippers. It does everything you need in a relatively easy-to-use interface. Plus has more streaming and Apps than other User Interfaces.
  • Design: 90 Subtle and elegant and easy to wall mount.

TCL C745 QLED 4K Google TV

RRP$1999 but seen as low as $1299







Ease of use





  • Full-featured and great value
  • Quite a jump from C735, which was pretty good anyway
  • SDR, HDR, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG
  • Google TV works well and has 24GB of flash memory
  • 1000 nit HDR brightness and 6000:1 contrast – exceptional for this style of TV


  • Out-of-the-box calibration needs to improve
  • No anti-glare filter on the panel – it needs ambient light control
  • Typical VA narrow field of view
  • Needs clarification on HDMI port standards
  • Sound is basic stereo – no spatial experience at all