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TCL Roku TV

Old 09-22-15, 10:23 PM
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TCL Roku TV

I just heard about these. They are very cheap smart TVs with a built-in Roku so they're much better at streaming than any most other smart TVs.

I googled and there is very little talk about these TVs. I find that kind of odd. They are very cheap, less than $600 for a 55" TV, which is even cheaper when you consider it already has Roku built into it.

I found one review on cnet which seems to indicate it is a pretty decent TV. They say the picture quality is good but obviously nowhere near as great as the top end brands, but it is still good enough for most people. Probably good enough for me too because top end TVs are way way way out of my budget range.

The reviews on amazon seem favorable too. Although there are quite a few reviews stating the TV breaks quickly too, so I'm not sure how reliable they are long-term, which is troubling.

Does anyone here have one? I am considering getting one, but I would like to find out more before I do.
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Old 09-22-15, 10:28 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

I pondered on getting this because of the Roku, but I ended up with a Vizio since it had just about all the widgets I was looking for. The only reason why I went that route was due to the look and size which was better for where I wanted to put it. Also, Wal-Mart sells Hisense, which also includes Roku. Hisense seems to have good reviews on it as well.
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Old 09-22-15, 10:34 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

A couple of points. Rokus are constantly getting hardware upgrades by way of new models and they have obsoleted older models before, practically putting them out of commission. Most of the streaming apps built into my 2012 Panasonic plasma are already broken and providers have stopped supporting it. The streaming apps get too many updates for me to be comfortable sticking with a built-in Roku. Get a standalone Roku if possible.

I have a relative that has had a smaller TCL display for a couple of years. The Cnet review is largely right given my experience with it. It's an off-brand that likely uses other manufacturers to build their lower-spec LCD displays. Given the cost-cutting needed to produce it, they'll never be as reliable as a mainstream brand. That is something you will have to weigh with your budget in mind.
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Old 09-22-15, 11:54 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

I have the 40-inch TCL Roku TV. It was only $300 at Sam's Club, and came with $20 Vudu credit and a month of Hulu. At the time, I'd been planning on buying an LG TV and Roku 3, which would have run me around $500. So getting the TCL was a great deal.

Anyways, I love the TCL and I think it's perfect for a bedroom. The picture is really nice and the audio is decent. The remote is simple and the sleep timer works great. I don't even have it hooked up to anything. Just connect to WiFi, and it's ready to go.

But if it's for a primary TV or home theater, I'd probably go with something else. There's not many options for tweaking the picture. And the remote is based on the Roku remote, so it's not good for a home theater set-up. And there's no ethernet port (although it might work with an ethernet/usb adapter).

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
A couple of points. Rokus are constantly getting hardware upgrades by way of new models and they have obsoleted older models before, practically putting them out of commission. Most of the streaming apps built into my 2012 Panasonic plasma are already broken and providers have stopped supporting it. The streaming apps get too many updates for me to be comfortable sticking with a built-in Roku. Get a standalone Roku if possible.
This is an excellent point. Which is why I don't recommend the TCL Roku for a primary TV. I don't mind for a $300 bedroom TV. It's so cheap I can replace it in a few years if the apps become obsolete. But for a home theater, I'd recommend a normal TV and a separate streaming device.
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Old 09-23-15, 08:37 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

I don't mind the lack of options for tweaking the picture. I never mess with that stuff anyway. The only thing I am concerned with is having the picture in OAR and not in one of the zoomed in modes. Other than that I may mess with the picture calibration for a couple minutes when I first buy a new TV, but I never touch it after that. I don't have an eye for that kind of stuff, so I rarely notice any difference anyway.

The Roku remote wouldn't bother me either since I don't have a home theater and will never have a home theater. I may at some point in time buy a cheap soundbar, but that is as far as I would ever go with a home theater.

As far as the Roku becoming obsoleted in a few years, couldn't I just buy a new standalone Roku to replace it?

This TV still seems like a better deal than any other TV I have seen. The 55" 3700 model is only $550 on Amazon. I haven't seen any other 55" TVs that cheap, and it's even cheaper when the built-in Roku is factored in. Another 55" TV plus standalone Roku would cost me significantly more than $550.

I am working with a very limited budget. I want a 50"-55" TV for less than $600. It's almost impossible to find that size in that price. A 48" TV wouldn't be bad either, but I wouldn't want any smaller than 48". Of course bigger is always better, and I would be willing to sacrifice a slightly better TV model for a cheaper model that is a bit bigger. As said above, I don't have an eye to notice significant difference in picture quality and I don't need extra bells and whistles either.
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Old 09-23-15, 09:04 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
I want a 50"-55" TV for less than $600. It's almost impossible to find that size in that price. A 48" TV wouldn't be bad either, but I wouldn't want any smaller than 48". Of course bigger is always better, and I would be willing to sacrifice a slightly better TV model for a cheaper model that is a bit bigger. As said above, I don't have an eye to notice significant difference in picture quality and I don't need extra bells and whistles either.
In that case, I'd probably go for the 55-inch TCL Roku. I'm really happy with mine.

If you can run an ethernet wire to the TV, consider getting an ethernet/usb adapter. Read this post from RokuShawnS in the Roku forum:

http://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php...dapter#p455800
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Old 09-23-15, 09:15 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

The Roku TV has wifi, doesn't it? Why would I need ethernet?
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Old 09-23-15, 09:50 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Ethernet will give you a stronger, more stable connection. I use the WiFi and it works fine. But if you have the option, a wired connection is always better.
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Old 09-23-15, 10:24 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
Ethernet will give you a stronger, more stable connection. I use the WiFi and it works fine. But if you have the option, a wired connection is always better.
That makes sense, but I have never really noticed any difference on my own home internet. I don't have multiple devices connected to my home internet though, and I know a lot of people do use multiple devices. I just have one computer and that's it. When/if I get a Roku I would have two connected devices.

Another thing I just thought of is that Black Friday is right around the corner, so maybe I should wait until then. Are there usually decent 50"-55" TVs for under $600 then?
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Old 09-23-15, 11:00 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

If you don't need the TV right away, you might want to wait a couple weeks. There's been a lot of rumors that the new Roku 4 will be announced very soon. It'll be interesting to see if it's just a slight upgrade, or if they make any big changes. After that happens, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Roku TV makers announce new models.

https://www.roku.com/roku-tv
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Old 09-23-15, 11:09 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Another thing I just thought of is that Black Friday is right around the corner, so maybe I should wait until then. Are there usually decent 50"-55" TVs for under $600 then?
I don't know about Black Friday, but during the Christmas shopping season last year, the TCL Roku TVs would often drop around 10%. The 40-inch model was normally $330, and it would go on sale for $299. And I think there was a $500 model that would drop around $450. But they would often sell out. I remember Amazon was frequently out of stock during those price drops.
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Old 09-23-15, 11:37 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

How are the apps on those Roku TVs? I have used some of the dedicated apps on other non-Roku tvs and Tivos before and found them to be overall extremely slow to load and clunky. The standalone Roku apps were much quicker. Also, the standalone apps were much more refined. But I havent tried a dedicated Roku TV.
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Old 09-23-15, 12:21 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
How are the apps on those Roku TVs? I have used some of the dedicated apps on other non-Roku tvs and Tivos before and found them to be overall extremely slow to load and clunky. The standalone Roku apps were much quicker. Also, the standalone apps were much more refined. But I havent tried a dedicated Roku TV.
It's just like a standard Roku. All the apps are there and they work great. I don't notice any difference between my Roku TV and my Roku 3. Although I've read some reviews that claim it's slightly slower than the Roku 3. It seems just as fast and responsive to me.

I think the Roku 3 remote is a bit more responsive since it uses WiFi Direct. The Roku TV remote is similar to Roku's basic IR remotes. But it's not a big deal.
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Old 09-25-15, 01:32 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

An expensive Roku is only $99. Chromecast I've seen as low as $20. Complete meh on smart TVs in my head.
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Old 09-25-15, 08:03 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by jjcool View Post
How are the apps on those Roku TVs? I have used some of the dedicated apps on other non-Roku tvs and Tivos before and found them to be overall extremely slow to load and clunky. The standalone Roku apps were much quicker. Also, the standalone apps were much more refined. But I havent tried a dedicated Roku TV.
The Tivo apps got a major step up, maybe 1.5 years ago? Definitely on par with other devices after that, esp the Netflix app is nearly identical in usage and speed. I still use my Roku more often, though.
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Old 09-25-15, 08:44 AM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
An expensive Roku is only $99. Chromecast I've seen as low as $20. Complete meh on smart TVs in my head.
If you're on a budget, then these TCL Roku TVs can be a good deal. Like I said, the 55" model is $550 at Amazon. Subtract out the $100 Roku, and the TV itself is then $450. Where else are you going to find a 55" TV for $450?
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Old 09-25-15, 01:01 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
It's just like a standard Roku. All the apps are there and they work great. I don't notice any difference between my Roku TV and my Roku 3. Although I've read some reviews that claim it's slightly slower than the Roku 3. It seems just as fast and responsive to me.

I think the Roku 3 remote is a bit more responsive since it uses WiFi Direct. The Roku TV remote is similar to Roku's basic IR remotes. But it's not a big deal.
Well that is good then. If the TV side of the unit was decent, I would seriously consider one.

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
The Tivo apps got a major step up, maybe 1.5 years ago? Definitely on par with other devices after that, esp the Netflix app is nearly identical in usage and speed. I still use my Roku more often, though.
Yeah. It's been a while since I tried the tivo apps. At the time, they were excruciatingly slow, and also had decreased functionality. I just started using the roku app, and haven't stopped. There wasn't any reason to.
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Old 09-25-15, 03:24 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Roku TV will probably last you quite a while. Plus most TVs with built-in Rokus tend to lean toward the Budget side of the scale, so you won't really be putting yourself out by buying one with the feature.

TCL is in the upper echelon of off-brands. Support sucks like any off brand (and most on brands) but they were a major manufacturers for Samsung's LCDs and LEDs for quite some time and the quality is really solid despite the price, I've had one in my bedroom for 4 years now with no issue. Though I agree, they're best left to bedrooms rather than being a "main TV" but even then, they aren't bad.

I was quite surprised that they paid for naming rights to the Chinese Theater in LA but it seems fitting.

The one thing that differs the Roku TV from a lot of other Smart TV brands, is the fact that even though support has ended for older Rokus, they still function with a majority of their apps, and likely will for a while (the Netflix app hasn't been updated in ages on older Rokus. Still works.).

Last edited by RichC2; 09-25-15 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 09-25-15, 04:02 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

What's the difference between a "bedroom" TV and a "main" TV other than size? I really don't know. I never have shopped for a "bedroom" TV because I am poor and can't afford luxuries like a TV in every room. TCL has Roku TVs up to 55" so that seems plenty big enough for a "main" TV.

The TCL Roku TV has HDMI inputs too, so even once the built-in Roku becomes obsolete it seems to me you would still be able to plug in a newer standalone Roku.
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Old 09-25-15, 04:44 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Main TV has to do with overall quality and the aesthetic of the TV itself. Regardless, I like my TCL a lot and they seem to have only gotten better.
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Old 09-25-15, 04:58 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

I think most people assume that the living room would have the better equipment and be the "optimum" viewing experience along with seating, sound, etc. so you buy as nice of a TV as possible. While a bedroom TV is just a cheapo thing to have on while lying in bed before going to sleep, so quality and size is less of a big deal.

My apartment is the same, I have a bigger 55 inch TV in the living room where most of the tv/movie/games are played, but a smaller 32 inch TV in the bedroom to turn on TV or throw on netflix on occasion. I don't even bother with the built in apps on my Vizio TV, I end up using a game console (either a PS3 or XBox One) for Netflix and other streaming stuff.
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Old 09-25-15, 05:12 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

What if you live in a studio apartment where the living room and bedroom are the same room? My apartment isn't quite that small, but it is close.

Personally to me, a bedroom TV just seems pointless. If I'm in the bedroom, I'm there to sleep. I don't need to watch TV before falling asleep. I can do that in the living room. When I'm tired enough to fall asleep quickly, then I go to the bedroom and fall asleep right away. That's just me though. Maybe I'm weird.

Bedroom TVs to me are as pointless as reading on the toilet. I don't sit on the toilet to read. I sit there to poop, then I get up and leave. It takes me less than two minutes to poop. I can't do much reading in two minutes because I am too busy concentrating on pooping quickly and getting out. People that sit on a toilet for 15 minutes reading seem weird to me.

And yes, I'm aware I just went off in a very weird vortex. Reading in the bathroom is just a very weird concept to me. My vortexes might be weird, but you bathroom readers and bedroom TV watchers are just as weird.
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Old 09-25-15, 08:13 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Obviously a studio would be a different situation. Plus if you live with any one else and ever have to compete for the TV in any way it's handy. Regardless, even if it doesn't apply to you i'm just trying to explain the difference since you seemed confused by the concept.
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Old 09-25-15, 08:43 PM
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Re: TCL Roku TV

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Obviously a studio would be a different situation. Plus if you live with any one else and ever have to compete for the TV in any way it's handy. Regardless, even if it doesn't apply to you i'm just trying to explain the difference since you seemed confused by the concept.
I get the concept. I just wanted an excuse to ramble. I like to ramble in case you never noticed.
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