Best TCL TVs

Updated July 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
136 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best tcl tvs

There is no shortage of TVs for those who love home theater. Live sports, hit movies, and new series can all be enjoyed in your living room.

As technologies evolve, it’s easier than ever to find a TV to fit your needs and budget. TCL has been offering excellent and affordable TVs for years.

The company has grown in popularity over the last decade with the advent of the Roku. Along with Hisense, it was one of the first companies to release Roku televisions. This platform allows owners to use popular apps and streaming services with ease.

While it still mainly offers Roku, the product line has expanded. There are new interfaces and tech that make it easy to enjoy your favorite content. Read our shopping guide to see what separates these TVs from the pack. Don’t forget to check out our favorites list for the best TVs of all.

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Key considerations

How Roku and Android television work

These TVs use Roku or Android as their smart platform.

Roku TV has a simple interface. It is frequently updated so new services and apps are available. A Roku account is free. The service database includes popular apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV.

Android TV is also popular. A few options by TCL offer it. It communicates with a range of devices, like tablets and smartphones. Like Roku, it offers a vast catalogue of apps and services. This catalog is regularly updated. As it is a Google product, voice control through Google Assistant is available.

Some users feel the interface is more complicated than it needs to be. Also, the ads and sponsored content can’t be avoided.

Screen size

You can get a TV as small as 32 inches and as big as 75 inches. Screen size is measured from one diagonal to the other.

Most homes do well with a 55-inch or 65-inch TV. If you want a bedroom TV, opt for something smaller. A 75-inch model would be best for a big living room.

Display technology

LED TVs light the screen from behind. This is the most common type of display.

Among your options are Quantum LED, or QLED TVs. These first came online by Samsung. Now, some budget-friendly brands offer them too.

QLED uses small quantum dots to amplify color and brightness. It has been under some scrutiny because many people think it’s as much a marketing term as it is a new technology.

TVs with mini-LEDs are a similar option. This is also a type of backlight LED technology. They are smaller LEDs within the TV that allow for more detailed picture quality.

Contrast Control Zones is a trademarked brand technology. This tech is available across newer TV models. It means that some lights can change brightness in certain screen areas based on the content. It’s basically the same as any full-array TV where local dimming can occur. Some of the best TVs from the company have up to 240 zones.

If you buy a 4K set, make sure you have 4K content available. This means subscribing to a service that offers it or using a console that plays 4K discs.

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Resolution and HDR

Most TVs offer 4K resolution. It has quickly become an industry standard. 4K resolution, also known as Ultra High Definition or UHD, features 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is four times what a 1080p HD TV has.

4K TVs are paired with high-dynamic range, or HDR. While resolution concerns detail, HDR deals with brightness. It also allows content producers to decide how bright a TV show or movie should be. HDR 10 is not the newest version, but it is a popular, worthy technology.

Other offerings include Full HD, or FHD TVs, as well as some HD models with 720p.

Gaming

Most of these TVs cater to gamers using PlayStation or Xbox. The TVs include a game mode that reduces lag and enhances visuals.

For newer games, we suggest a 4K TV. We suggest using the HDMI cable that comes with the console for high-speed transfer.

For those competing online or playing the newest games, you’ll want a refresh rate of at least 90Hz. Serious and frequent players should seek 120Hz.

Series

These TVs are divided into four series. Each has its own characteristics that help buyers make their choice.

6-Series: New high-end TVs in the 6-Series are some of the largest and most powerful. They range in size from 55 inches to 75 inches.

They feature 4K HDR displays and QLED technology. They also boast quality sound with Dolby Atmos. There is a game mode to reduce motion blur and lag for those using a console like PlayStation or Xbox.

5-Series: Most users will find a quality option in the 5-Series. This series includes 4K HDR QLED TVs from 50 inches up to 75 inches.

While 5-Series has standard full array backlighting technology, it doesn’t use mini LEDs. There are fewer Contrast Control Zones. What’s more, the display lacks the brightness and range of color of the 6-Series. However, some people do not notice a difference. This depends on the content they watch.

4-Series: These TVs range in size from 43 to 75 inches. They use Roku or Android as their smart platform. Models in the TCL 4-Series are 4Ks with HDR. However, they may struggle to avoid blur or lag with some online gaming, live sports, and fast-paced action.

3-Series: These TVs are great if you want something simple and small. There is a 32-inch and a 40-inch HD TV with a Roku Smart platform. These are good for dorms, bedrooms, and other small spaces.

TCL TVs
These TVs are great for streaming music. Roku’s streaming platform supports many of the most popular music streaming services, including Pandora and Spotify.

Must-have TCL TV accessories

 

Wired headphones

Some remotes include Roku’s “private listening” feature. You plug in a set of headphones and “hush” your TV by directing the sound to your ears. This is nice for times when you don’t want to bother others or just want the best sound.

External hard drive

These TVs are great with local media. That could be your personal photo collection, favorite MP3s, or home movies.

To fully unlock the potential of your TV, grab an external hard drive and load it with your favorite content. (Hard-disk and solid-state drives work best. Flash-based storage like a thumb drive can be tricky with Rokus.)

  

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Roku smartphone app

Roku’s app is a virtual remote control. It's great for times when you lose your remote or you want to use voice commands.

Soundbar

Although these TVs provide wonderful graphics, the sound may not match the visuals.

For better sound, we recommend a soundbar. It is made to enhance the audio experience. Some include a built-in subwoofer or a separate unit for deep, booming bass.

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Expert Tip
Check connectivity options. Most of these TVs have three HDMI ports. If you want to connect multiple devices to your TV, make sure you have the space.
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Prices

As you shop, keep the following two price ranges in mind: $150 to $499 and $500 to $1,000.

$150 to $499: In this range, expect to see legacy technology perfected: 1080p TVs in smaller sizes. If you are short on space or just don’t need newer tech like 4K resolution, a low-end TV is a good choice.

$500 to $1,000: In this range, you will find the best TVs with features that would cost more from other makers. This includes 4K and HDR. If you want cutting-edge TV that is more affordable than the rest by a mile, get one of these premium sets.

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Did you know?
With a TCL television, you determine what appears when you first power it on. For example, you can set it to always default to a specific HDMI input, or you can set it to the Roku home screen.
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Tips

  • Calibrate the video settings. Most TVs look decent with their default settings, but they don’t truly shine until properly adjusted. Search your TV model number on the web for recommended settings. Use suggestions from the internet as a starting point. Then, make adjustments based on your preferences.
  • Hardwire your TV to your local network. Wired internet connections are faster and more reliable than WiFi. Most of these TVs have a built-in Ethernet port. For 4K televisions, bandwidth speed between 15 and 25 Mbps is best.
  • Mount your TV. For the optimal viewing, mount your TV to a wall. This saves space, and it puts the TV at a proper height so it can be best enjoyed.
TCL TVs 2
You can customize how subtitles and closed captions appear. Go to Settings to adjust the size, color, and background color of subtitle text based on your preferences.

FAQ

Q. Can I use my Google Chromecast or Apple TV with my TCL?

A. Yes. The TVs feature HDMI ports so you can connect other video devices. This includes streaming media boxes and video game consoles or your cable TV box.

Q. What should I expect when setting up my Roku TV?

A. Setup is fairly straightforward. When you first turn on your TV, select your language preference. Set the TV for home use. Then, connect to the internet, checking for software updates.

You will need to create a free Roku account to connect your TV. There will be no charges or fees associated with the Roku account in the immediate or in the future. Lastly, you can connect any devices, like a gaming console or cable box. Then you’re ready to stream!

Q. Can I watch live TV on my Roku TV?

A. Yes, you can get access to live programming, including news and sports, if you have access or a subscription to those channels or services. For example, you can get a Hulu subscription that allows access to a variety of live entertainment, or fuboTV if you love live sports.

Roku TV offers the Roku Channel, which grants access to live news, sports, movies, and shows. It may be worth browsing their list of ever-changing content. You also have the option to add new channels for a fee.

Q. Are the remotes for these TVs the same as Roku remotes?

A. Yes and no. The former have the same basic design and functionality as their streaming box equivalents. But, not all of them offer the same features. For example, some come with Roku’s “private listening” remotes (remotes with headphone jacks).

Similarly, not all remotes have Roku’s “Remote Finder” feature. This helps you find the remote if it gets lost.

If you love the bells and whistles that Roku’s remotes are famous for, look at the brand’s largest and priciest sets.

 

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