The best TCL TV
As people choose to cut the cord on their satellite or cable TV subscriptions, they often choose streaming services as a replacement. With a streaming service, programming arrives at your television through an internet connection.
To simplify using a streaming service, it's helpful to have an easy-to-use smart TV interface. And one of the best is Roku.
Roku has further simplified using its smart TV service by creating a TV brand called TCL. And if you want the best TCL TV, our top choice is the TCL 55-Inch 4K Smart LED TV. Read on for more tips on selecting a TCL TV that's right for you.
Considerations when choosing TCL TVs
Any time you're looking at purchasing a new TV, size is a significant consideration. You will want the television to fit properly in the room where you'll be watching it.
For small rooms where the seating area is within several feet of the TV, 50" and smaller TVs are appropriate. As you move the seating area farther from the TV, TCL televisions are available with screen sizes as large as 65".
Additionally, pay attention to the resolution of the television. It will fit into one of two categories. An HD, or high definition, TV has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Most current programming is available in HD, but within a few years, 4K programming will become plentiful. Also known as Ultra HD, 4K programming offers a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which is four times that of HD. To future-proof your TV purchase, you'll want to spend a little extra and gain 4K resolution.
Beyond the resolution and size of the TCL TV, there are a few other important features people commonly will want in the television.
Having multiple ports with your TCL/Roku TV will allow you to use it in multiple ways. A TCL TV should have both HDMI and USB ports available.
If you plan to connect gaming consoles, streaming sticks, set-top boxes, and other hardware to the TV, you'll want several ports available to accommodate all of it.
You'll have a few options for connecting your TCL TV to the internet, allowing you to use streaming services and the Roku smart TV features. For the highest level of performance, connect the TV to the internet router through a hardwired Ethernet cable. You also can use WiFi to create a connection to the internet, but the Ethernet cable will be more reliable.
If you're familiar with the remote control with the Roku set-top streaming box, you'll find a lot of the same features in the TCL TV remote control. (Having Roku built into the TCL TV eliminates the need for a Roku box.)
Certain TCL remote controls will have extra features -- such as a locator function and a headphone jack -- that are common with remote controls from Roku boxes. These usually are included with larger TCL TVs. However, less expensive TCL TVs will ship with a simple remote control that doesn't have extra features.
TCL TV prices
TCL TVs are not as expensive as some other brand-name TVs. You can expect to pay $100 to $250 for screen sizes of 43" or less with HD resolution. A TV with 4K resolution will cost anywhere from $250 to $1,000.
Q. Am I limited to using Roku with my TCL TV?
A. No. You can plug streaming hardware into the HDMI port on the TCL TV and use your favorite streaming service with its own interface.
Q. What does Roku cost per month?
A. Roku is free to use with your TCL TV. However, some of the apps that you can download and use will have a monthly fee associated with them. So, understand what any potential cost may be before you use a particular app through the Roku interface.
TCL TVs we recommend
Best of the best: TCL 55-Inch 4K Smart LED TV
Our take: This model delivers the best of all worlds, offering a great price, a handy screen size, and excellent color vibrancy.
What we like: Smart TV features are easy to set up and use. Works especially nicely for gaming console connections.
What we dislike: Side viewing angles don't offer a clear picture.
Best bang for your buck: TCL 40-Inch HD Smart LED TV
Our take: Outstanding price point for a smart TV that is perfectly sized for a small room.
What we like: Refresh rate is fast enough to make it a good gaming TV. Wide angle viewing performance is better than others.
What we dislike: Doesn't offer 4K resolution, which limits its usefulness into the future.
Choice 3: TCL 43-Inch 4K Smart LED TV
Our take: Low price for a TV that delivers outstanding image quality with 4K resolution and HDR technology.
What we like: Smart TV features are extremely easy to set up and use. Screen size is plenty large for a small- or medium-size room.
What we dislike: Sound quality is below average versus similarly sized TVs.
Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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