TCL C845 – a superior Mini-LED TV with the lot (AV review)

The TCL C845 Mini-LED is an excellent TV and a worthy successor to the 2022 TCL C835. It has more brightness and dimming zones and is perfect for bright Aussie lounge rooms. Each generation keeps getting better.

Can the TCL C845 stand up to Mini-LED/Quantum Dot offerings from LG, Sony, Hisense, and Samsung (no Dolby Vision support)?

The answer is a solid yes. It is based on the 2022 TCL C835 Mini-LED – bang for buck (rating 90/100), addressing two key areas. First, it has 2000 nits peak brightness for Dolby Vision (1000 for C835) and, second, nearly doubled the number of dimming zones. This is a good TV for an Aussie lounge room. We will look at price competitiveness later.

What is Mini-LED and Quantum Dot?

Most LCD TVs use full-sized LEDs. At the low end is edge-lit, followed by direct-lit, backlit, and Full Array Local Dimming (FALD).

Without getting too deep into the tech, Mini-LED replaces full LED and is the brightest backlight for an LCD screen.

This sounds good, but a 4K screen is 3840×2160 or about 8.3 million pixels. Mini-LED It uses thousands of Mini-LEDs (instead of hundreds of full-sized LEDs) and has about 200-500 (65”) dimming zones (compared to <200 in FALD). Compare this to OLED, where each pixel is self-emissive (turns on or off).

Mini-LED gives increased brightness and contrast and, with Quantum Dots, provides bright, saturated colours.

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

The TCL C845 2023 model uses a 4th generation mini-LED panel with an OD10 (Optical Distance of 10mm compared to 12mm in 2022) and Dynamic Alpha Technology for excellent uniformity and to eliminate blooming. It supports all HDR modes, Dolby Vision/Atmos, and Imax Enhanced Mode. Finally, a new AiPQ 3.0 video processor 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 – reducing 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.

Australian review: TCL C845 Mini-LED 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” for $1999/2999/3999/4999, but shop around
FromHarvey Norman, JB-Hi Fi, Good Guys, Bing Lee
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+

The TCL C845 resembles the 2022 model, with a height-adjustable pedestal stand (with cable management), a well-finished rear panel, and a prominent rear ONKYO sub-woofer.

Power comes in from the left rear, and all ports are on the right rear. A power button on the bottom frame can turn it on/off and brings up a basic on-screen start menu.

The 65” is 1446.6 x 827.2 x 68.5mm x 23kg (wall mount) or 1446.6 x 868.1 x 319mm x 26kg (stand). Wall mounting is VESA standard 400 x 400 using four M6 screws, but at over 20kg, the mount must be screwed into the wall studs behind.

Remote – Pass

Its 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

While the specs state ‘4 x HDMI Inputs (1.4b, 2.0 & 2.1)’, according to HDMI.ORG, 1.4b does not support eARC. We will seek clarification from TCL, and for the most part, this will only concern gamers.

That means you need to use HDMI #1 for a PC/Xbox X/PS5 4K@/120HHz connection, HDMI #2 for 100Hz, #3 for 4K devices up to 30Hz, and #4 for CEC-controlled ARC soundbars or 4K@30Hz devices.

Comms – Pass

  • Wi-Fi 6 AC 2.4/5GHz supports full duplex speeds up to 1200Mbps.
  • BT 5.2 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

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.

Power Use – hungry – Pass

All Mini-LEDs are power-hungry, and this has 2.5 stars. The Clean Energy Council rates this as 812KWh or about 32 cents per hour (at 40 cents per KWh). That is at 100% brightness, vivid mode, and sound at full blast. Out tests show:

  • Netflix HDR movies around 200Wh (8 cents per hour)
  • Free-to-Air TV around 150Wh (6 cents per hour)
  • Standby <1W (negligible)

Image Tests

We use testing equipment that does an accurate direct screen grab instead of photographing the screen.

But we want to remind readers that, like the 2022 C835, the out-of-the-box default Low Power settings are slightly off. Colours appear less vibrant, contrast does not use this panel’s abilities (only showing about 90% of the contrast range), and we needed to tweak the settings before testing. The problem is that the manual does not tell users how to do this.

There are pre-sets for Vivid, Low Power (default and OK for night), Smart HDR, Sports, Movie, Game, and PC. Vivid over-saturates the colour (that our eyes crave) but blows out details in the shadows and highlights. You can fairly easily calibrate this to your tastes. The most natural setting is Movie. Start here and adjust brightness and contrast to your taste.

Summary: This TV would benefit from professional calibration to be up there with the best. Calibration is about achieving as close to natural colours, brightness, contrast and sharpness as possible.

Colour and Purity – Exceed

It reproduces 1.07 billion 10-bit colours. The 65” model has 576 dimming zones (proportional for different size models), which is 3.6 times the C745 (160).

Our tests’ primary colours, red, green, and blue (RGB), were 100% accurate in SDR (standard dynamic range). 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 3.6 (<4 is good), and you can calibrate it well under 2.

Dolby Vision content only – Exceed

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+

Out of the box, its brightness was not quite right. There are pre-sets for Off/ECO/Brightness+, and like the colours, you need to go from Eco (default) to Brightness+ (at least in a bright room). Our tests use this.

  • 2000 nits peak (Dolby Vision 2% window) (test 1980)
  • 800 nits maximum HDR (test 765)
  • 500 nits typical SDR 100% (Test 502)


It has a maximum contrast of 7000:1, which is well above all LED/LCD TVs and many Mini-LEDs. Contrast is the difference between the blackest black and the whitest white, and only OLED exceeds as each pixel is switchable on/off, giving pure black and white infinite contrast ∞:1.

Out of the box, it achieves 6000:1 (same as the 2022 C835), and after calibration, it is close to spec (6070:1), and way ahead of any other tested Mini-LED.

For SDR content and most FTA TV, it is around 1000:1 – excellent.

Local Dimming – Pass+

The 65” has 576 dimming zones. There is a slight halo above 60fps when a white test object moves between the zones. It is not noticeable as a TV at 24/30/60fps.

Blooming – Pass+

Due to the number of dimming zones, there is little noticeable blooming around white text on a back background. We did notice slight blooming where a solid white object crossed diagonally over several zones.

Motion Smoothing – Pass

It uses variable Black Frame Insertion to smooth fast-moving images. This is unnecessary as most movies are at 24/30fps, but gamers will appreciate it at 120/144Hz.

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 C845  did not exhibit any DSE, giving extremely uniform colour, white and black screens. We could read down to 10-point text.

Reflectivity – Pass+

The TCL C845 (Right) has a darker matte panel that better controls front and side-on reflections than the C745 (Left).

Viewing Angle – Pass

The TCL C485 (right) retains colours and definitions better at 170° than the TCL C745 (Left)

Upscale – Pass+

Our Thunderbirds International Rescue 480p test was ‘A-OK, Mr Tracey’ with excellent details, great colours and contrast. This is usually washed out, soft and blurry on lesser TVs.

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 – Pass

It has a 60W, 2.1 system comprising 2 x 20W (left and right front-firing) and a 20W rear-firing ONKYO sub-woofer.

It is loud at 83.5dB with a sound stage approximating the screen – voices and sounds come from where you expect them to. But at full volume, it is harsh, and there is speaker vibration. Back off to 70% (still well over comfortable listening volume), and that disappears.

It can decode PCM mono-5.0 and Dolby Digital formats (up to 5.1), DTS formats, Dolby Atmos (128 sound objects), and downmix all to 2.1. As such, there is little 3D height or surround sound on spatial audio content.

The sub-woofer (not in C745) adds plenty of thump from about 60Hz and then is flat to 8kHz before a slight decline to reduce harshness and then flat to 20kHz. This is a neutral sound signature, and the Presets (Standard/Movie/Music/Voice/Game/Sports/Dynamic) make a slight difference as they can recess (not increase) bass, mid, or treble. Voice is for the hearing impaired and accentuates the 1-4kHz range at the expense of Bass and Treble.

This is fine for all free-to-air SDR content, but get a soundbar 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 – leave it on standard and let the Intelligent Sound (adaptive volume and content) do its thing.

CyberShack’s view – Is the TCL C845 Mini-LED TV worth it? Yes

I have seen several 2022 and 2023 mini-LED brands and models now, and the short answer is (after calibration) the TCL C845 is very bright, the colour is superb, and the image is immersive.

But side-by-side, the LG C3/G3 OLED has more authentic colours, its blacks are inky, and the 2023 models are now bright enough for Aussie lounge rooms. But they are also a lot more expensive.

Don’t be too concerned about calibration – we videophiles notice such things, and you can easily improve the image easily at home just through experimentation.

So, 10 points to TCL for its superb upgrade to the C835 (which was pretty good and awarded 9/10).


A word or warning – unless a TV specifically states Mini-LED AND Full Array Local Dimming (FALD), it may only use Mini-LED as an Edge-Lit or Direct Lit light source. Or it may use standard LEDs.

The LG QNED86SRA use a Mini-LED panel with 1200 nits peak brightness, 1000:1, 180 zones at 65/75/86” $3499/4499/5999.

Hisense has a U8KAU ($2499), U7KAU ($2095) and U6KAU ($1495). The TCL C845 (2000 nits peak, 7000:1, 576 zones). It is a direct competitor with the U8KAU (1500 nits peak, 5000:1, 900 zones). Read – Hisense 2023 TV and Laser Range.

Samsung uses the term Neo QLED and has QN90C and QN85C models. Still, neither supports Dolby Vision frame x frame adjustment for movies that play as vastly inferior HDR10 with movie x movie adjustment.

Sony has the 2022 X95K ($2999) with 1300 nits peak, 1700:1, and 384 zones.

On paper, at least, it comes down to the TCL C485 (Google TV) and Hisense U8KAU (VIDAA U7).

Would I buy it?

Yes, in fact, I have. The 2022 C835 was tempting, but I am glad I waited, as this is better. There is a noticeable lack of blooming, a massive jump in brightness and excellent Quantum Dot colours. It is replacing a seven-year-old Sony Edge-Lit X9300E that blooms too much, and the blacks are too grey (contrast) for immersive Dolby Vision.

TCL C845 Ratings – 92/100

  • Features: 90 – has everything you need and a comprehensive Google TV user interface with many choices and adjustments.
  • Value: 95 – It is class-leading on a feature/value basis, and even better if you can get it for less by shopping around (seen for $2295 at Harvey Norman).
  • Performance: 95 – The 2022 C835 was good, but this is great. It would have scored even more if the out-of-the-box calibration was better. Regardless it is an excellent image.
  • 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 C845 Mini-LED TV 2023

55/65/75/85” for $1999/2999/3999/4999, but shop around







Ese of Use





  • Excellent image quality, brightness and contrast, especially when calibrated
  • Class-leading value
  • Decent 2.1 sound for free-to-air TV at normal listening volumes
  • At least one HDMI 2.1 (48Gbps) and a mix of 1.4b and 2.0 for three others
  • At least one HDMI 2.1 (48Gbps) and a mix of 1.4b and 2.0 for three others


  • Out-of-the-box panel calibration could be better
  • You need at least a 5.1.2 or higher Dolby Atmos soundbar for movies
  • Sound is choppy and harsh at maximum levels – back it off to 70%
  • Confusion over the four HMDI Ports standards.
  • In addition to Google Log-in, TCL wants your details (optional)