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168 of 172 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
Size Name: 48-InchVerified Purchase
My wife and I bought this TV over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we've had it set up for a couple of weeks now. Price at purchase was ~$450. This is my main living room TV and my goal was to find a product under $500 in the 42-46" range. Never realized I could get such a nice display at 48" for this price. Based on other reviews and research, I figured that the TV would be 'good'. I had no idea that it would be GREAT. We took a shot in the dark on TCL, not having been able to see it in person before the purchase.. The free 2 year warranty sealed the deal.

Aesthetics:
Excellent! The bezel on this tv is ultra thin - much thinner than comparable models of the same size. When the TV is on, I hardly notice that there is even a frame around the screen. It's a really nice touch, especially when you compare it to a Vizio with their gigantic angular bezel. It comes with a heavy glass base (which was unexpected) and makes the TV very sturdy standing. Even LG and other more popular brands in this price range have flimsy plastic stands. Nice touch, TCL. The remote that comes with it is average..nothing special, but not lacking.

Settings/Options:
This TV is not internet/app capable which is exactly what I wanted. I have it hooked up to a HTPC which does all of the streaming/recording that I need it to. Personally, I feel like internet capable TVs are overrated. Most of them are more pricey than they're worth, especially if you can set up a nice HTPC to do those types of things for you. With that said, the picture options are basic (color, tint, brightness, contrast, backlight, sharpness, etc) but I found them to be more than adequate to get the look I wanted. I'm also impressed at how bright this TV can get - it can get much brighter than some of the other models that I compared it with, so bright I actually had to dim it considerably.

Inputs:
There aren't a whole lot of inputs on this TV, but as an average TV user, I don't really need them. If you're going to hook up more than a couple of HDMI devices, I'd suggest getting an HDMI switch. For me, 2 is enough since everything is routed via the HTPC.

Sound:
Some of the other reviewers here have stated that the sound quality is less than expected, and I agree. I do not have my TV hooked up to any kind of sound system, surround or otherwise, and I found the sound to be slightly lacking. It has plenty of volume and I usually have it at around level 20 out of 100 in normal situations, but it does sound a little hollow and without much bass. There are various sound presets, and after some tweaking, I managed to find a sweet spot that is acceptable to me. After listening to it for 15 minutes or so, I got completely used to it. If you're an audiophile, you might want to consider a sound bar or some alternative speaker set up.

Video/Picture:
I am extraordinarily impressed with the picture quality that is coming out of this $450 TV. I dare say that it rivals TVs in the ~$800 - $1k price range. My dad has a 46" Samsung 1080p 120hz LCD, and my wife's grandmother just bought a brand new LG 47" 1080p 120hz. This display beats the LG hands down in terms of clarity, sharpness, motion blur, contrast, etc. I would say that this display is on par, and even slightly better than the Samsung in those same categories. Granted, my dad's Samsung is a couple of years old, but I personally haven't seen a better display under $1k until now (even in store).

Black levels are excellent, whites are bright. Sports are crisp and without blur. My cable box allows me to switch between 720p and 1080i broadcasts, and I've experimented with both. Even though 1080i is a better resolution than 720p, the broadcast is interlaced (instead of progressive) and some TV's have a problem deinterlacing a 1080i stream - not this display. Occasionally, there are some artifacts @ 1080i (not p) but unless you're 'really trying' to scrutinize, it's not worth mentioning. Of course, blu-ray is 1080p, not i. If you don't know the difference between 1080i, 1080p, and 720p, I'd suggest reading up on those. Television broadcasts are NOT 1080p. I'm extremely impressed with the deinterlacing processor on this display, and have left my cable box setting @ 1080i simply for the higher resolution. It might be noteworthy to mention that if you have HD cable service, not all boxes default to 1080i. Mine, by default, transmitted 720p. Some of you might not even notice the difference.

Other thoughts:
- I did a lot of research before I bought this display. I read all the reviews here on Amazon, and other places. I also did some corporate research on TCL and found that they have a contract with Samsung, so I believe that the newer TCL models use Samsung screens. I am not 100% on this, but it makes a lot of sense now that I have the TV - Samsung makes great displays, and I honestly believe that this particular display is on par in terms of quality with Samsung.

- Some reviewers mention that the TV packaging was messed up during shipping. Mine was not. Nothing wrong with the packaging inside or out. No scratches or blemishes whatsoever.

- If you know what you want going into a purchase like this, I'd highly urge you to give TCL a shot. Again, only two HDMI inputs, no internet capability. I gave this TV 5 stars based on video/display quality alone. All my wife and I really wanted was a tv that LOOKED GOOD to watch. At ~$500, this is a steal.

- Lastly, I'll have you all know that this is one of my very first reviews on *any* product. I read reviews on products all the time, but never end up contributing. It took a lot of time for my wife and I to narrow down our selection, especially when you consider that asking for a 42-46" 1080p 120hz for under $500 is VERY hard to come by. I felt compelled to give this display a darn good review, because I'm darn impressed. If you choose to drop the coin on this TCL, I hope that you have as good of an experience as I have had.

Peace.
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138 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
Size Name: 55-InchVerified Purchase
I received my TV three days ago. After testing with different video sources, I have to say this is a great purchase!

The TV has excellent picture quality, compares well with my 46 inch Sharp. The remote control is easy to use and one can easily adjust color, contrast, etc. I love the appearance of the TV with thin bezel and glass stand, which is stylish, concise but not too bold. It fits well with my classical furniture in the living room.

It is not a smart TV, no wireless and internet connection. But this is not a big problem. Since one need to buy a blue-ray player anyways. A $100 blue-ray player usually comes with wireless and pre-configured video-sites and websites. I bought a Sony player and hooked up with this TV perfectly.

Overall, I am very very happy with this TV.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
Size Name: 48-InchVerified Purchase
I just got this TV today a couple of hours ago.

First, the obvious. At this price, it is an amazing deal! I'm glad to have found a TV brand that decided to sell a TV with a great picture and very little else. I already have an HTPC with blu-ray, wifi SD car reader, etc, and with an HDMI connector. Why would I want to spend extra money on redundant gizmos on the TV itself?

The TV has great aesthetics and looks very elegant with its thin bezel and glass base. It is no Sony or Samsung ultra thin but it is quite good-looking.

Now to the picture and sound. The usual brightness, contrast, hue saturation adjustments are there but, very thoughtfully, somebody had presets built in such as natural, movies, and others. That's very convenient. The same can be said about the sound settings with an equalizer and presets for movies, regular, music, etc. It's nice to be able to set up the sound quickly if one is not watching a movie with the external sound system. I had no problems with the quality of the built in speakers.

I hooked up my antenna (I don't pay cable since I have my HTPC streaming lots of stuff) and the HD programming looked fantastic. I then watched a number of videos stored in my PC; 1920x1080, 1280x720, 720x576 640x480. Everything looked as good as the source allowed. The "creation of the world" segment from the "Tree of Life" was as spectacular as it was meant to be.

I am very pleased with this TV. The quality is very good, period, but at this price it is remarkable.

N.B.
As to the packaging, it almost gave me a heart attack! The box is standard box for TV packaging. However when the box was moved before opening it, the sound of broken glass could be heard! Needless to say that was very disturbing. As it turned out, the sound was being made by screws and a metal plate packaged loosely inside a plastic bag. Instead of being tightly held by the styrofoam packaging as with other TVs that I've bought, this bag was just bouncing around in a space inside the box. Nothing was damaged but that noise was heart stopping.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Size Name: 55-Inch
Very likely you have never heard of the brand TCL, but actually it is one of the top 2 domestic brands in China (which is where I came from).

Both screen sizes (48 and 55) are the best deals right now. No bells and whistles, just good picture and solid build.

I had a Panasonic LED TV and I suspect that the TCL uses a Panasonic Alpha IPS panel. The picture quality looks kinda similar and the view angle is very wide.

Picture quality, especially color vibrancy, is not as good as mid-range Samsung or Sony, but those cost $1200 or more for a 55 inch model. Among second- and third-tier LCD manufacturers (Toshiba, Vizio, etc) there is no match.

I do not care about smart TV because I hooked my TV to a blur-ray player and my computer. Or about connectivity. If you have a receiver or a soundbar with HDMI switching, all you need is to connect the TV to the soundbar/receiver with a single HDMI cable.

So, unless you are very picky about picture quality and bells and whistles, I would highly recommend this TCL TV.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
Size Name: 55-InchVerified Purchase
When I bought this tv on amazon, I felt like I was taking a gamble cuz a) it is not a brand name b) the other reviews where others have said theirs was broken. Well when I received it and hooked it up it was just amazingly perfect picture quality, rivals any tv in the higher price range. I am VERY pleased with my TCL!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
Size Name: 48-InchVerified Purchase
we've been looking for a 40+" tv for a year. my only prereq's were: full 1080p, at least 120hz, must not cost an entire paycheck, and must knock my socks off. it took me a year of searching before i decided to pull the trigger on something. in short, this tcl 48" wins hands down. now, for the long review...

first, the shipping. it took me two tries to get an intact delivery. the first one arrived, in only one day with free prime shipping, but with two giant holes in the side of the box. i pulled the tv out, and it had a big gouge in the screen and the lcd panel was cracked and bleeding out. i refused the delivery and immediately called amazon, and within 10 minutes of phone time, they had processed my replacement order at zero cost to me. the second tv arrived two days later, and in perfect shape. kudos, amazon customer service!

now, the tv. i was afraid that a 48" tv would be too big for the space i had made for it on my wall. however, so little real estate is taken up by the thin bezel that the tv's physical dimensions are comparable to an lcd that only has a 46" screen. that little extra wiggle room made all the difference.

the only other hdtv we own is a 23" led for the bedroom, and we had an old 32" sd tube tv in the living room before this purchase, so i don't have the ability to compare this tv's picture to some other big screen hd model. having said that, i am absolutely blown away with the viewing experience on this tv! i tweaked the preset controls for a few minutes before queueing up "batman: tdk rises" in 1080p (we simply had to go out and get something stunning for our first viewing experience). this is where that WOW comes into play.

i'm no expert on 60/120/240 refresh technical details, but i'm not a novice either, and i do know when i see judder and soap-opera effect. i have to say, i didn't notice either. all the people complaining in the reviews about this tv being 60hz only, they fail to understand that what the tv is telling you on the display is the input stream quality, not the output to the lcd. almost no input signal is going to go higher than 1080p60hz right now. the tv takes care of the rest. and this particular tv takes care of the rest very well. from the high-action scenes to the sweeping slow pans across vast landscapes, my eyes never told my brain anything besides "this is awesome!" nothing about pixels or refresh rates crossed my mind. and that's the point, right?

a couple other things. the remote has received a bad rap for some reason. first, have you seen the standard remotes that come with most electronics these days? they're all cheap, plastic, and basic. that's what you get with a free remote nowadays. at least this one takes AAA batteries instead of buttons. the real question is: does it give you access to all the functions in the tv? the answer is yes. if you're concerned about controlling all your devices with one remote, get a harmony.

also, the glass base stand. i never used it, as the tv went right onto the wall, but the base appears to be very sturdy. i'm sure it would be more than adequate to hold this relatively light tv securely on a sturdy surface.

the ac cord is hard-wired into the tv and cannot be removed, which i was not entirely happy about, but oh well.

there's also just a tiny bit of light that leaks out through a bottom vent on the tv and onto the wall behind it. i've only noticed it once, when i had all the lights off in the room with the tv turned on, and only when the giant tv wasn't blowing my mind with stunning video. it's not a bother to me, but it could easily be fixed with a bit of black electrical tape.

i already have an older surround sound stereo system that i hooked the tv up to right away, so i can't comment on the sound quality too much. i did test the built-in speakers out to make sure they worked, and they were the typical-sounding flat panel speakers: tinny, thin, and weak. no surprise there.

to anyone scared by the brand name on this tv, i can't convince you that your tcl won't fail after a few months. you will have to rely on the reviews of others who have had it longer than myself, and the provided 2-yr warranty. if it does fail, i will update this review accordingly.

i bought this tv for $479. i also signed up for the amazon rewards visa, which included a $50 credit. that $50 covered the mounting bracket, low-voltage wall plates for running a/v cables behind the wall, and a recessed wall receptacle to power the tv without showing any cords. i'm tech- and construction-savvy enough to install the whole setup comfortably by myself. in the end, i walked away with a professional-looking install on a tv that looks like it could have cost well over $1000, all for less than 500 bucks.

tl;dr-
if you're even halfways considering getting this tv, do yourself a favor and just buy it. after a year of searching, i don't think i could have done any better.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
Size Name: 55-InchVerified Purchase
I'm blown away by this TV (and it's price)! To say the quality is good is an injustice. The picture is superior. I don't have surround sound so I can't speak to that. I have recommended this TV to all my friends.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Size Name: 55-InchVerified Purchase
We ordered this tv and it has a bad screen. Trying to get TCL to fix it or amazon to replace it right now has been a real pain.

Amazon has been great about setting up a replacement order and arranging at the time of delivery of the replacement that they will pick up the original tv and package and return it at no additional cost. I will update this once again when I get the replacement on its performance. But I can say I will have no problem looking at amazon to make major purchases again in the future as even for big items they have been great to work with when problems arise.

Amazon replaced the original tv and pick exit up/processed the return within a week. The replacement TV works great and so far I would recommend this TV...updated my review to 4 stars due too the original defective TV.
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122 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Size Name: 55-InchVerified Purchase
We got our Tv in yesterday and set it up. We got a green screen. I looked it up and other people have the same problem with this brand. The ribbon cables in the set are loose. We took the back cover off, hoping we could just secure it a bit. It worked. Picture came up beautifully. It worked this morning just as well. I came home today and turned it on and it was back to green. Needless to say, I'm upset. I dont want to have to take the cover off and hit that cable everyday. My Fiance is reluctant to return it so he may find a better way to secure it.

Edit:
We are replacing it. When i called tech they said it was probably a bad cable or port. So we will be getting a new one.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
Size Name: 55-InchVerified Purchase
I was a little apprehensive buying this TV since it was not a brand name I recognized. However, after reading some of the other reviews for this TV (the 55 inch), and some of the smaller ones, I decided to give it a try. Thus far, I have not been disappointed. Other reviewers had commented about receiving a broken or damaged unit, but mine arrived in perfect shape. I'm also impressed with the picture, it's as good or slightly better than my other 55 inch Vizio. It was also very easy to mount on the wall. Overall, I'm very pleased.
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