An affordable smart TV that offers the channel agnostic Roku streaming player built-in
Offers programming guides and live TV pausing for your antenna channels
Build quality and picture quality is not on par with higher-end smart TVs
If you’re in the process of setting up a smart home, you may have already started your collection of smart devices by buying a smart TV. If not, we have just one brand to recommend:
TCL has partnered with Roku, which means each of their smart TVs come with a Roku streaming video player built in. This allows you to combine a regular TV antenna or cable box with streaming networks such as Netflix, Amazon, Google, or…well, just about any streaming channel you desire. Roku is generally streaming channel agnostic.
Better yet, as more companies enter the cord-cutting streaming space, you can just skip OTA or cable programming and get your favorite networks via Sling, DIRECTV Now, or any one of about a dozen different offerings.
What do we love about TCL Roku Smart TVs?
Ease of set up – setting up and configuring the TCL Roku Smart TV is a breeze. You may worry about the complexity of setting up a smart TV and connecting it to your wifi network and preferred streaming channels, but Roku makes the entire process a breeze.
Ease of use – instead of having to juggle different remote controls, you get to use a single, easy-to-use remote that looks a lot like the remote you get with a Roku box.
OTA channel guide – when you plug in your TV antenna, Roku will tap into its smarts in order to overlay a TV channel guide–just like you get with satellite or cable TV boxes.
Mini DVR option – ok, so not a true DVR, but plug in a USB hard drive and you can pause live antenna TV shows while you pop to the kitchen or bathroom!
Smart mobile app -use your phone or tablet as a remote, plug in headphones for private listening, search with your voice or keyboard, and turn your phone into your very own entertainment guide!
What do we dislike about TCL Roku Smart LED TVs?
Packaging – not sure if this applies to every TCL TV you buy, but the one we bought from Amazon, came in a rather boring box that served as both the display and shipping box.
Simple remote – while the remote is easy to use, it’s also a little bit limited. You have to navigate to channels as there are no numbers you can enter directly. Also, it comes with some streaming channel preset buttons, but there’s no way to custom configure them to a different one.
Quality – the TCL Roku Smart TVs are cheap, cheap, cheap. Just keep in mind that with that great price, comes a TV brand that is not high-end. Common criticisms of the TCL Roku Smart TV is the picture quality and design of the TVs are nowhere as high as Samsung or Sony.
What else is important to know about TCL Roku Smart TVs?
Definition – be sure to get the best resolution TV you can afford. If your TV is 32″ or less then 720P HD is fine. Up to 50″ and 1080P HD is also adequate. However, once you get above 50″ then we recommend getting a TCL Roku Smart LED TV that offers 4K HDR resolution.
Refresh rate – for general TV watching, a refresh rate of 60Hz is enough. If you’re a sports fan or gamer, then make sure you get a TCL Roku Smart TV with at least a 120HZ refresh rate.
Software and hardware upgrades – if you buy a smart TV of any kind, then upgrades become tricky. You’re stuck with the hardware inside the TV. If Roku comes out with faster, better hardware, then you’ll need to spend hundreds of dollars on a new smart TV, whereas using a Roku streaming stick will set you back around $50. Also, if your TCL Roku Smart TV receives a software update that breaks your TV, then you could be up the fecal creek without the proverbial paddle.
…a TCL Roku Smart TV will be the best smart TV deal you will find anywhere!
Do you own a TCL Roku Smart TV? We’d love to hear your thoughts and review!
TCL Roku Smart TV Review
Great price, great features, and compatible with most streaming channel providers. Packaging, design, and build quality could use some improvement. Overall a great smart TV!