TCL TV's worth the Hype?

THRobinson

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I was looking at the 55" LG UK6300 TV at Walmart a few weeks back and was pretty happy with how it looked. I have a Sony Bravia 40" now that's 9yrs old and the LCD has some light bleed issues that are getting worse.

Price wise, looking at around $700CAD for the LG on sale. About my budget ideally.

Started to research a bit more, as I always do... top 10 lists and such, and TCL keeps showing up. I guess fairly big in the USA but only came into Canada a few month ago. Problem is... no one in Canada seems to really sell them... at least no one near me where I can see them. BestBuy Canada only seems to sell older refurbished ones, and Amazon.ca. So I can't see one before buying it. I have to reply on Amazon's return policies basically if it sucks.

I was looking at the TCL 55R617-CA ($850CAD) and the TCL 55S425-CA ($500CAD). 5-Series not sold in Canada apparently else it would likely be what I'm after.

Just wondering if anyone had experience with these... any good? last a while? worth the extra $350 jump in price to get the 6-series over the 4-series, stick with LG instead?

... or better still, know anywhere in Canada the 5-series can be purchased from? I think from the specs, it would have basically was the 4-series has plus the Dolby Vision and 10-bit colour which is the main thing for me.

I don't use Netflix or any of the online stuff, cable or satellite either, no need for WiFi really. I don't care how thick the TV is, how heavy, or how big the bezel is... honestly I like a wide bezel, it helps separate the edge of the image from what's behind the TV more. I have an old PC running LibreElec/Kodi that I hook up with HDMI and a Sony Soundbar. Most of the bells'n'whistles on the TV's I don't care about. Just best image for the price, 55". :)
 

WildCard999

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Bought a TCL 49" S405 a few months ago for $329 in the US. It was comparable to TV's in the $500-$700 range and got a good review via RTings. Even in the US there not that well known, most people with buy LG, Sony, Samsung, etc. I really like mine, came with Roku, has wifi, HDR/IPS and had one of the lowest response time so it was good for me gaming wise with my PS4 Pro.
 

jojesa

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The TCL 55R617 is a very good unit, picture quality is great.

The picture quality of the the TCL 55S425 (55S405) is fine in the dark, but if you watch TV in a well lit room, you can see all the objects in the room mirrored on the TV. It doesn't get very bright. On the store they had it on a corner that was not lit properly.
 

THRobinson

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I've always been a Sony fanboy myself... but given how my last TV is now all grey and blotchy, I'm finding it hard to justify buying another Sony, especially given the price jump. I bought a used 40" LG last year for my mother to replace a 32" Insignia that had massive bleed issues and burned in lines from the edges of 4:3 images (older TV shows and movies). The LG is very nice, which is why I was thinking of trying one myself... but feature/specs wise, the 4-series seems to beat out that LG UK6300. The 6-series really beats it out but, jumps up in cost. The 5-series would have been that perfect sweet spot where it was the same price essentially as the LG and better... but the TCL Canada site says they only sell the 3, 4 and 6 series in Canada. Go figure.

The main thing is I guess, whichever I get will probably be better than a 9yr old LCD with bleed issues. :D

Just ideally, I'd like to buy something assuming I'll have it for 8-10yrs like my previous one, and futureproof as much as possible. Sucks no one has them on display. Walmart has the previous models up to the 4-series only.
 

jojesa

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I don't know if they make TVs that last long anymore.

Sony used to be the best, but they stayed behind when LCDs TV became the norm. Lately, the're trying to reclaim some of their glory.
My last Sony TV was a Trinitron Wega.




 

So this is kinda of important to your purchase, what do you play then? what are your sources?

Am auditioning a R617, said to be the best buy of 2018, if I have return this baby am expecting to pay 2x for the next model with similar performance.

Coming from an 8-years old 1080 Samsung edge-lit, similar to like yours age-wise, am blown away by the R617 brightness + 4K resolution.

My watching habit is 50% Broadcast TV (still 1080) and 50% Youtube (lots of 4K contents), and I find it hard to go back to my old 1080. The increased brightness of the R617 + resolution + FALD makes the picture more realistic than ever. 4/5-series less bright.

If I were to watch mostly 1080 sources, I say go ahead save some money with a 4/5 series, but if you are ready for 4K, consider the 6. I don't game but according to reviews gamers love the 6. Moving to 4K may force you to upgrade the other components of your system, so be prepared.

No matter what you do, I say always buy from somewhere you can return easy if unhappy, and give you at least 30 days, return no questions asked, reason why I got mine from Walmart online (90 days) return vs Best Buys (15 days not enough). All electronics these day u cannot rely on their quality control. If u read the reviews, with TCL, you have to be ready to put that puppy through its paces and return if unhappy.
 

hang-the-9

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A lot of those "best" lists do nothing but do a search on Amazon for top products with best and most ratings. TCL is a second tier maker, quality past warranty level is very iffy. I would get a Vizio before a TCL TV 100% of the time. Same thing with RCA. I would stick with Vizio, Samsung, Sony, LG, rest are likely to have more issues and earlier.
 

THRobinson

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Was ready to the get the TCL a few weeks ago, but been sold out and no stock yet.

I saw some reviews between it and the Vizio P-Series P55-F1... and spec wise and test wise it seems to be the better TV (and $100 more) but, hard debate to make. Few sites I been to that sell it, only had 2-3 user reviews, and none very good. Dead pixels, died in a month, etc... was actually surprised so few reviews (ie. Amazon.ca, 1 review only, B+H only 2).

I've heard of Vizio though, TCL I've not, but then again, only been sold in Canada since last summer. But... amazon.ca has 53 user reviews.

Hard to go by specs, when the user reviews lean the opposite direction. :S

Sony I like, but for what I want way outta budget. Samsung, my last PC monitor was a Samsung and didn't last long at all, quality was iffy as well... LG... possibly?

@jsmithepa - I have a PC setup as a media player with KODI installed. Hooks up with HDMI, and the TV connects to a Sony 2.1 soundbar. VERY simple setup, but been using this for years. No game consoles, DVD players, cable, etc... just KODI and a PC.
 
Ya dude when I first saw TCL, I went no way am going to touch anything Chinese, am going to stick with the tried&true.

Every brand, there will always be bad reviews, so you have to go with some of your guts and past experience.

I have an 8-years old Samsung, still going strong, a 4 years old el-cheapo Sony am not crazy about, hate its Android OS but is thin and light good enough for the bedroom.

I would love to have another Samsung but their current cabinetry don't impress me and for a comparable performance as the TCL6, am expecting to shell out >usd1K. Not crazy about the new Tizen interface either.

Being the cheap guy that I am (love me good deals) am taking a chance on the TCL6, if this puppy breaks on me after warranty well, it was a risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I did paid with AX, so a little padding insurance there.

For some reason never warmed up to LG or Vizio.
 

THRobinson

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Vizio, again I know the name, but whenever I find a site in Canada that sells them, the reviews never seem great. Some are your typical whiners... some of course are just idiots (gave 1 star because arrived late).

LG, I bought a used 40" for my mother to replace a very burnt in Insignia... its nice, but constantly having issues with the blacks. Just always lots of it and details lost. Otherwise nice.

TCL... price and reviews... kinda wanna risk it, but no one sells it but Amazon for the 6-series here.
 

Dunlop0078

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I have a 55in TCL 6 series. My sample is excellent, no banding whatsoever. Bought it from best buy, it was manufactured October 2018. You cant beat it for the price, I bought it mainly for the full array backlight. Blacks are excellent, it gets bright enough for HDR or dolbly vision content, mostly metal construction, the Roku OS is excellent. Some cons are the 60hz refresh rate, many samples have banding issues, remote leaves a bit to be desired, speakes aren't great. Other than that I love it, been totally reliable for the 6 months I have owned it.

I was going to get the Vizio P series however they sold out everywhere at the time I was looking to buy a TV. The P series is a touch brighter and has a 120hz panel. However I much prefer the roku OS to Vizio's and the TCL is cheaper. Other then that they have very similar specs.

In terms of reliability and longevity, I wouldn't consider Vizio much better than TCL. This is only going off customer reviews which I have read a TON of before buying, but there are plenty of people with vizio p series TV's complaining of vertical lines, boards dying, backlight zones dying, dead pixels, etc. Though it does not seem to have banding issues like the TCL 6 series.
 

THRobinson

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Ya, sucks that BestBuy sells them in the USA but not Canada. Walmart stops at the 4-series. And in Canada, they skipped the 5-series completely. Ideally I'd have grabbed the 5-series because had what I was after and cheaper than the 6. :S
 
Ya bummer if you are not in the U.S. Looks like TCL is really pushing hard to penetrate the U.S. market.

The stoic-looking "reviewer and professional calibrator" Vincent Teoh flew to the U.S. just to review the TCL6 because it's not available in the U.K. either in this VIDEO.
 

captaincharisma

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if you are looking into a cheap off brand TV then look into RCA. i bought one cheap last year and the build and picture quality was surprisingly good. RCA's webpage is a joke and hard to find any support info so if you plan to buy a brand like that make sure to get the in store warranty

if you can afford it though i'd highly recommend to stay the LG route, no off brand TV can compete with LG and samsung when it comes to features
 

Dunlop0078

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The TCL 6 series is widely considered the most feature rich TV in it's price range, it can compete with LG and Samsung in the 600 dollar price range, in fact it puts them to shame just going by features. And im not sure what "off brand" means or if TCL should be considered an off brand at this point.

Rtings is a good source for comparing TV's, very in depth. I'd challenge anyone to find a 55in 4k tv comparable to the TCL R6 for around 600 dollars.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/tcl/6-series-2018-r617
 

captaincharisma

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geez dude, you have stock options in TCL or what?

 

Dunlop0078

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What? That was not meant to insult you, im just disagreeing. I do own one so maybe im biased, but I am fairly certain what I just said was accurate. Sorry if I came off as rude.
 

captaincharisma

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no offence taken. but your post seemed really glorified for a product

 

Dunlop0078

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Well I do like it. It certainly has it's issues however, the quality control for the LCD panel is not great, it's a lottery buying this TV many samples have pretty bad vertical banding issues. Something not nearly as widespread with LG or Samsung. However if you get a good one Samsung nor LG has anything that can compete with it for 600 dollars.
 
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