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Is the TCL 4 Series 2020 (S435) TV suitable for PS5, Xbox Series X and other game consoles?

TCL released a new version of its budget friendly 4 Series (with a model number that ends with S435) in 2020. So, is this television set any good at displaying games from the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S as well as other videogame systems?

You can find out in this Seeking Tech guide.

Quick Summary

The entry level TCL 4 Series 2020 (S435) is not a good television set for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S due to the lack of HDMI 2.1 ports in addition to not supporting Dolby Vision, variable refresh rate or wide color gamut.

The television set is also too dim to display HDR colors effectively.

The new TCL 4 does have low input lag when its game mode is enabled. So, you may want to check it out if you are looking for an affordable television set to play non-HDR games on the PS3, PS4, Wii U, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

For even older consoles, the television includes an antenna input and composite input (although you will need to purchase an adapter).

If you are interested, you can also take a look at our wall mount guide for this TV set.

Screen Sizes

The 2020 version of the TCL 4 Series is available in five screen sizes as you can pick between 43 inches, 50 inches, 55 inches, 65 inches and 75 inches.

You can find the model number for each below:

  • 43-inch: 43S435
  • 50-inch: 50S435
  • 55-inch: 55S435
  • 65-inch: 65S435
  • 75-inch: 75S435

Does the TCL 4 Series 2020 (S435) have any HDMI 2.1 ports?

The TCL S435 does not include any HDMI 2.1 ports. Instead, the television sets include four HDMI 2.0 ports.

Due to the lack of HDMI 2.1 ports, the television set won’t be capable of advanced features such as playing PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games at up to 120 frames per second in 4K resolution.

Composite Input

The new TCL 4 comes with a composite input although you will need to purchase an adapter to convert your RCA plugs in order to connect old videogame systems like the PS1, PS2, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast and Xbox.

Antenna Input

The S435 does come with an antenna input, which you can use for input if you have retro gaming consoles like the NES, Super NES and Genesis.

TCL 4 Series 2020’s Supported HDR Features

The 2020 TCL 4 supports HDR10 but is not compatible with Dolby Vision, HDR10+ or wide color gamut.

PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games will be using HDR10.

The Xbox Series consoles will also be getting Dolby Vision support in the future.

TCL 4 Series 2020’s HDR Capabilities

The new TCL 4 does not get very bright at all when it comes to brightness levels with HDR.

We recommend television sets that is capable reaching 500 cd/m² in brightness to really showcase HDR. According to tests done by RTINGS, the S435 falls way below that threshold in all the scenes that were tested.

The entry level television set can only reach 199 cd/m² at HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness in addition to 221 cd/m² at both HDR Peak 100% Window and HDR Sustained 100% Window.

You can find the brightness test results below (via RTINGS):

  • HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness: 199 cd/m²
  • HDR Peak 2% Window: 220 cd/m²
  • HDR Peak 10% Window: 220 cd/m²
  • HDR Peak 25% Window: 221 cd/m²
  • HDR Peak 50% Window: 221 cd/m²
  • HDR Peak 100% Window: 221 cd/m²
  • HDR Sustained 2% Window: 219 cd/m²
  • HDR Sustained 10% Window: 220 cd/m²
  • HDR Sustained 25% Window: 220 cd/m²
  • HDR Sustained 50% Window: 221 cd/m²
  • HDR Sustained 100% Window: 221 cd/m²
  • HDR ABL: 0.001

Native Refresh Rate

The TCL 4 Series 2020 television has a native refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means that it can display games at up to 60 frames per second.

Even if a PS5, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S game can run at 120 frames per second, it will top out at 60 fps with this TV.

FreeSync, G-Sync and Variable Refresh Rate Support

The S435 does not support FreeSync, G-SYNC or Variable Refresh Rate. These features help smooth out the frame rates of games, which will remove any hitches as well as screen tearing.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is currently supported by the Xbox Series X and S while the same feature is expected to be added to the PS5 via a future firmware update.

TCL 4 Series 2020’s Input Lag

The new TCL 4 has pretty good latency reduction when game mode is enabled.

The TV is able to get below our recommend upper limit of 30 ms if you want a good responsive gameplay experience.

According to RTINGS, the input lag is 29.0 ms at 1080p/60Hz, 12.6 ms at 4K/60Hz and 12.4 ms at 4K/60Hz/HDR.

You can find the full test results below (via RTINGS):

  • 1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled): 29.0 ms
  • 4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Enabled): 12.6 ms
  • 4K resolution, 60 Hz refresh rate and 10-bit HDR (Game Mode Enabled): 12.4 ms
  • 4K resolution and 60 Hz at 4:4:4: 29.2 ms
  • 1080p resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled): 59.0 ms
  • 4K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate (Game Mode Disabled): 53.7 ms

Is the TCL 4 Series 2020 (S435) good for PS5, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X?

The entry level TCL 4 Series 2020 is not a suitable television set if you want the best picture quality when playing PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games.

The TV lacks support for HDMI 2.1, Dolby Vision, variable refresh rate and wide color gamut. Not to mention that it also has very low HDR brightness levels.

If you want to stick with the TCL brand, then we recommend checking out the 2020 version of the TCL 6 Series instead.

Is the TCL 4 Series 2020 (S435) good for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One?

The only redeeming feature of the 2020 TCL 4 when it comes to playing videogames is the low input lag.

For that reason, this should be a good cheap television set for playing older non-HDR games if you have a PS3, PS4, Wii U, Switch, Xbox 360 and/or Xbox One.