on June 25, 2013
I recently purchased this television on sale for $300 to serve as an extra TV for my man cave bar. Here's a quick rundown of some important points:
- These TCL televisions are cheap, but don't seem to be of poor quality. The television itself is sleek and thin and other than the location of the control buttons on the TV itself (they are arranged behind the front bezel on the right side), everything else is laid out well. This TV comes with a two year warranty and unless I'm mistaken, they use Samsung screens.
- Out of the box, the picture is clear and crisp. Colors are bright and blacks are dark. I noticed a little bit of a red tinge to the skin of some people, but with a little tweaking that went away easily. In fact, it was so mundane and the factory settings were so good that I had to force myself to change it. The brightness of the TV seems to have quite a range, but it wasn't difficult to find the right lighting for the room I have it in.
- I was worried when I purchased this that it only had a 60Hz refresh rate, but the other positive aspects outweighed this one concern (40", 1080p, LED, $300, etc...). I have watched nearly every sport that ESPN airs on this television, and the only blur that I could notice was immediately after someone struck a tennis ball or punted a soccer ball across the field. Even then, I could only notice it if I was looking for it and really paying attention. I watched the O's game on it last night and I couldn't notice any blur whatsoever. They lost, but looked great doing it.
- The sound is absolutely fine for a TV this size. I've read quite a few television reviews, and someone always seems to complain about the sound, no matter what make or model. If you desire 7.1 surround quality from this (or any) television, buy the appropriate audio equipment. Otherwise, in my opinion, the sound that this thing produces is perfectly fine.
If you want a large screen for a cheap price, stop here. This TV might not have all of the bells and whistles that Samsung or Sony offer, but you also are not paying anywhere near those prices, either. This TV offers a great picture at a great price (at 40"), and for my money that is all that I really care about.
on June 20, 2013
For the price I payed for this TV it is outstanding, highly recommend the TV. Why would I give it 3 stars though. TCL customer support is a nightmare. The originally packaging came with the wrong sized screws to connect the base to the tv. (not a wall mount, the base that came with it). I had tried calling TCL forget that. I emailed them. They actually emailed me back. After 18 (yes 1 8) emails back and forth with customer support they still haven't helped me solve this issue. After email 5 I asked if they could just tell me what size the screws are so I can go to the hardware store and buy them. They told me they don't give that kind of information out about their products. The tv works without a stand though. Just lean it up against the wall\
Never did get the correct screws. Lots of negative comments about how I should have just gone to the hardware store... It screws into the tv and the hardware store said I would need to bring the whole tv in to get screws that fit. I'm not doing that. The hole for the stand is wide enough to hold the tv in place. I'm not in an earthquake zone and there aren't any kids running around so it works.
on August 20, 2013
Tv arrived in great shape. Packaging was adequate and the delivery box was in great condition. I immediately started setting it up. First thing I did was install the stand. The bracket that you use to install the stand seemed like it was the wrong size at first, but then I realized the holes for the screw that go into the stand need to be aligned just right for the bracket to fit properly so all four screws can be screwed in. A little annoying but no big deal.
Another thing I noticed was that the glass base has these "smudges" if you look at it directly from the top and shine a light on it. You cannot clean these because they are on the inside between the glass base and the bottom that they glued to the base. Disappointing at first but once the TV is set up and you are looking at it from the front, these smudges are invisible. You cannot see them at all. They are only visible if you stand right on top and look down and shine a light. So unless you have guests that are going to bring flash lights with them, walk up to your tv, somehow angle themselves in the perfect position and then shine the flash light at the perfect angle, this will not be an issue.
Once the glass base was set up, I turned it on not knowing what to expect. I have read around the internet and found that these TV's have Samsung panels. If you read the spec sheet, it states it has "Clear Motion Index 120Hz". All TV manufacturers have their own terminology on what they call their technology that counters motion blur on LCD panels. LG uses "Trumotion" while Sony uses "Motionflow". Samsung uses "Clear Motion Rate" which is similar to what the specs on this TV state. I did some further digging and found that around 2008, Samsung signed a contract with TCL to manufacture panels for their TV's. So in reality, its not TCL that uses Samsung panels, but the other way around.
Once I booted up the TV, it asked me a couple of questions such as choice of language and time zone and then it started searching for channels. This process was slower than I expected but not super slow. Took about 5 minutes to find all the channels. The picture looked decent but it was time to dig into the menu.
It came with the latest firmware installed so thats a big plus. Some previous reviews state the previous firmware had some issues with "TINT". No need to update the TV since it already came pre-installed with the latest version (From May 2013). One thing I found thats buggy is that I picked the correct timezone for California but if I chose to auto set the time, the clock was 1 hour behind the actual time. No biggie. I will primarily use this as a computer monitor so it does not affect me. However, if you use it as a TV, your channel guide might show the wrong times. Simple fix is so set the time manually if the auto update shows the wrong time.
Now I will discuss my experience with using it with a computer. If you want to know about the picture quality and colors etc, you can skip this paragraph and move onto the next. I hooked up my computer to the HDMI port and powered everything on. Even though the website claims its 120HZ, this might refer to TV channels only (or I may have missed a setting). My computer detected the max refresh rate at being 60HZ @ 1080P. The screen was not taking full advantage of the panel as well so I had to use my graphic cards control center to stretch the screen so it touches all four corners of the display. I only had to stretch it an inch in all directions. This could be due to my graphics card however and might not be an issue with your computer. If it is an issue, its pretty slight and easy to fix. I have had the computer hooked up to a 120" 3D projector that does 720P all this time. I launched a couple of games to see them in 1080P for the first time and they look fantastic. I did not sense any screen lag. Specs around the internet state it has a 8MS response time and I believe this.
Now about the colors and picture quality etc. First, a bit of a background for my color preferences. I own a 30 Inch Apple Cinema Display which hooks up with a DVI cable (Digital Video Interface) to my computer. Out of all the projectors/tv screens i've had, the Cinema Display in my opinion has had the best most accurate colors I have ever seen on a display. I also own an iPad with retina display which also has pretty good colors. Initially when I got the iPad, I would sometimes bring up similar pictures on the Cinema Display and the iPad and compare the two to see the difference in color. The iPad looked really good when put next to regular TV's and other displays but in front of the Cinema Display, it was slightly below the quality the Cinema Display was able to output. However, the Cinema Display I have runs for about $2500 and the iPad is around 499 so this is expected. Long story short. The iPad puts out really good colors and can beat most expensive TV's in color accuracy (In my opinion). And in the next paragraph I will explain this rant.
Initially when I turned the TV on, the colors looked ok and the picture looked ok. I was not expecting much for $500 but I still had hope I found a "deal". I was right. I put the iPad next to the TV and played around with the settings to match the colors on screen as close as I could to the iPad and voila. Now I have a pretty good picture and it looks fantastic. The black levels on this thing are amazing and the colors are really good as well. You will not be disappointed once you set the picture. I am sure $2000+ tv's have better picture than this TV but this TV is no slouch in the picture department. I did indeed find a deal and I am very happy with this purchase. Below are the settings I use. Someone else posted settings and I tried those first but the TV became too dark and weird. I guess to each their own. These settings helped me match colors with my iPad:
Color Mode: Normal
Back light: 80
Dynamic Backlight: OFF (I kept this ON for a bit but you can see the backlight dimming on and off rapidly. Its not implemented well. This was during a game on my PC. It might work better with a movie which I have not tried yet.)
Dynamic Light sensor: OFF
Obviously, everyone has a preference for color etc. You should play around with yours till you see what you like. Its totally doable and the screen will come close to what you find appealing.
The speakers on the TV are decent. Virtual Surround sound does pretty much what every other virtual surround system does. The bass is lacking but overall the speakers are really good for TV viewing. You obviously cannot compare them to a dedicated home theater sound system. However, they do not sound cheap. No crackle or pops or anything like that.
As for the cosmetics of the TV. The bezel is thin and the back of the TV (when viewed from the side) is actually thinner than I expected. The pictures of the TV do not do it justice. Its thinner than you would expect at this price point.
All the HDMI ports are on the left side of the TV and so is the antennae/coaxial connecter. The power buttons etc are on the right side. The remote control is pretty simple and well laid out.
Everything about this TV is good. If you have been staring at it for a while, just buy it. You will not be disappointed. In the future if you do spring for newer technology or a higher end TV, this could go into a spare room. You cant beat it at this price.
If you have any questions, post them in the comments and I will try to reply.
on July 15, 2013
I'm about a week into this TV and so far I love it. I'm not an HDTV expert, but so far I've had no issues like edge bleed, dead pixels, etc with this TV. It is big, bright and loud. It was heavier than I expected, which I assume is due to what must be larger than average speakers, which sound rich, not tinny like my Dynex TV. The built in OTA tuner works great; much better than my Dynex. I'm also personally a big fan of slim bezel TV's and this TV's bevel is only about 3/4", so it looks great.
Overall, I'm very happy. I was considering $800-$1,000 TVs and buying a $200-$300 soundbar; instead I'm got this with good picture and good sound for only $500 shipped.
on August 16, 2013
I had purchased the 48 " TCL 240 Hz TV a couple of months ago and I was real impressed with the picture. The 40" was an easy purchase to replace a 32" I have had for a few years now. I have it hooked directly to raw cable (no converter) and the picture is amazing . The tuner picks up on the broadcast HD signals so I get PBS and local broadcast HD without an external converter. I have one HDMI port populated with a computer and they sync seamlessly. HBO GO Cinemax and Amazon Prime programming pass through in HD flawlessly, even with a wireless connection . The Tuner also displays non HD programs in better than expected resolution. Above the volume up on the remote control is a button the says PIC . If you encounter a dark picture scroll though the presets you will find one that says personal. I love to watch Law and Order but there are a lot of dark scenes (the interrogation room ) You can set up the personal button to bring up the brightness and contrast and bump up the colors, this preset will be saved. The other presets are Vibrant Cinematic Sports Natural and Eco.
on June 9, 2013
Tcl tv is reasonably priced!!!!!
Outstanding picture quality!!
It also has an audio output jack so u can plug speakers into them. Cuz if your like me and have an old receiver with no hdmi input then it works out with hd picture and hd sound.
I love this tv!!!! FYI I believe they use Samsung screens! So if your looking for a Samsung this would be a cheap alternative! Overall amazing product
on December 3, 2013
I had to give this Television 3 stars due to the MARKETING FRAUD. Yes, fraud... This television is Marketed, packaged, labeled, and specified as a 120Hz refresh 1080p 50" Screen.
This Screen is 50", provides CRISP & BEAUTIFUL 1080i and 1080p images depending on the device you are connecting it to via HDMI Cables. This truly is an enormous TV, sleek and beautiful. The IMAGE is the best 1080p I have ever seen in ***60Hz*** Refresh Rate. That's right this TV can only refresh up to 60Hz, which is the standard rate of the television world...
Save time and $ if you NEED 120Hz and move on. I called TCL USA and they informed me that this TV can only refresh at 60Hz, and don;t "understand" why I think it's supposed to be 120Hz, even the site says in the Specs 120Hz!
So... now I have a tough choice to make, return and wait (without tv) and spend more on a different brand that supports true 120Hz, or to KEEP IT since it has the best darn display at the lowest price I have ever seen of a 60Hz!..
The only TCL LED TV at 120Hz, is the 58" model the TCL USA CSA told me. One other issue is much of what is broadcasted on Dish is 1080i, and the TV shows high amounts of grain and sharpness-distortion. When on ROKU at 1080p, the grain is lost and a very nice clear image is shown, still only in 60Hz though.
MY SETTINGS FOR BEST POSSIBLE PICTURE:
Color Mode: Normal
Dynamic Backlight: On
Dynamic Light Sensor: Off
-Zoom Mode: Normal
-Film Mode: On
*** One other issue I had with this TV is the Digital Output is in ANCIENT RCA Cable style. In order to connect the Audio out from this TV to most new Surround Sound, you will need 1-Digital RCA Cable 1- Converter RCA-to-Optical and 1-Optical Digital Cable. It took some time to figure this out, and those parts can be ordered here on Amazon, I got mine on Monoprice.com they provide A+++ Customer Support to help you choose the right components.
on November 7, 2013
I ordered this tv after my 50 inch Samsung Plasma cracked in an accident. I was not ready to drop 1k on a new one so started researching lesser known brands. FIRST MISTAKE . Even thought TCL makes a lot of parts for Samsung it is not nearly the same.
TV arrived very fast from Amazon because they are amazing. Set up was easy. Picture settings needed to be adjusted, but that is no big deal. TV worked great after I set up my speakers since the sets sounds is pathetic, but I knew that going in.
Fast forward to two months after purchase. I decided that I was going to mount it on a swivel wall mount. I followed all instruction and hung the tv and it was great. 2 days later when tilting the tv the screen goes out. Just like that boom picture gone. I turn it off and on and same thing. Nothing was showing on the tv including hitting volume, input ect. I start freaking out, but remember the 2 year limited warranty it came with. I call TCL customer service (sounds like an India call center btw). After wasting 45 minutes with the employee telling me to unplug then replug,then hit volume then this that and everything, he finally says they will have to send a technician to fix. Honestly, I am perfectly fine with that considering the time line was 5-7 business days. One thing that struck me as being odd is they said they would send out a part and then I would need to call back to get a technician. Wait, how can this person in a different country possibly know what part to send or what is really wrong without seeing the tv. This makes me believe that they have had issues wit this 40 inch model. I receive the new part about 2 weeks after initial call. I call the CS line again and tell thme case number and I have the part so lets send out a damn tech. to get this fixed. Ok sir, I have now put you in the technician claims que....um what? Yes sir you will be notified in 2-3 days about when the tech. will come out. Is this a joke? I am about to waste a whole month with my only TV out of service and this is the best BS they can come out with.
I am now furious and demanded a new TV , which they have rejected. I cannot wait to get this nightmare over with and next time I will spend a few hundred more and get a Samsung directly.
Fast forward to 3 weeks now and my TV still does not work.
on August 25, 2013
Let me start by saying I have not had this TV long (2 days), but it does not disappoint. When shopping for a TV you need to determine what it is you want before you begin looking, then set a budget for what you want to spend. If you can get everything you want for the money you budget, you will be happy. For me, I wanted between 46" and 55", 1080p, LED, 120hz, NO 3D, NO smart TV, Energy Star, thin bevel and thin TV. I can't believe this TV is only $500. I was shopping every day for nearly a month, spending hours researching TVs until I discovered this one. It seems like every large flat screen TV is either Smart/3d or both. Those options not only fatten the price tag, but also the TV itself. Anyways, for all the options I wanted it looked like I was going to have to spend between $700 and $900 to get it all. I ordered two other TVs only to immediately cancel my order because I did not get that satisfied feeling when I hit COMPLETE ORDER. I was trying to rush buying a TV, but that is a gingerly process that requires patience. When I saw this TV I knew it was what I had been waiting for. I don't make a lot of money. It takes me around 43 hours to make $500, so I value a dollar greatly. I'm cheap and I can say with extreme confidence that this TV is a hidden gem. Don't be fooled by the unfamiliar brand. Look at the features and you can tell it's quality. $10 energy rating on a 50" is one of the lowest I've seen and that can be a big clue as to the quality of a TV. It lets you know how efficient it is. If you look at some of the cheapest TVs they have ratings getting close to $30. That's a hint for cheap components and design. Comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
I found two screws on the floor during setup and at first thought they were left over from putting the entertainment stand together. Then I realized they fell out of the TV. Screws were loosened from either travel or never properly screwed to begin with. No damage done, but has me slightly questioning craftmanship now. It made it to me in one piece so I'm just being paranoid.
I also can't hook up my soundbar directly to the TV with a digital audio optical cable. I'm pretty sure I can hook my soundbar up through my bluray player, but haven't had time to investigate.
The stand isn't swivel. If you plan to use the stand and not mount it, it's fixed in place. Not a big deal for me.
All the HDMI ports are on the same side.
Pros: I haven't noticed any glare yet, but that's because I'm never home during the day. If you are trying to watch TV with the sun shining through the windows, you probably watch too much TV. I don't know if this screen is MATTE, or whatever it's called.
CHEAP, 1080P, 120 HZ, THIN BEVEL, THIN TV, ENERGY EFFICIENT, 3 HDMI PORTS. I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH BREAKING BAD ON THIS TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
If you need to spend all your money to feel good about yourself or make your kids love you, buy a different TV. If you make less than $20,000 a year and have poor credit, buy a $2,000 projector. If you make less than $30,000 but don't want to feel like it, buy this TV! If you make more than $50,000 but appreciate money, buy this TV! I'll give a more accurate review upon further use.
on January 13, 2014
I did not want to buy a no name cheapo large screen TV but after doing some research found that TCL is one of the world's largest manufacturer of TVs. So far they seem to be sold mostly in China and other countries so they are little known here and therefore quite a bit less expensive. I bought a 50" for my livingroom and liked it so for Christmas, I got my two adult sons 40 inch versions. They are great, multiple HDMI and other connections, I believe three, easy setup, simple remote and very lightweight. The weight really surprised me as compared to my Panasonic HDTV of 5 years ago. You don't need a crazy sturdy wall mount if you chose to mount them. I did buy a wall mount for the 50" but it looks pretty good on the stand so I've left it on the stand for now. The sound is OK but for such a beautiful picture you should run it through a stereo system, a surround sound system, or a soundbar to get the full effect. Aside from Bose, I can't imagine any TV that has decent bass from the TV speakers, there is just no room for a woofer.