10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
My 3rd TCL and hopefully not the last...,
This review is from: TCL LE43FHDF3300TA 43-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with 2-Year Limited Warranty (Black) (Electronics)
I started out with the 40" LED several months back. I can't say enough good things about it. The picture is awesome (HD through the digital antenna, Blu-Ray and Xbox 360 via HDMI). The fit and finish are top notch, and I'm comparing them to My 40" Samsung (that died after barely 2yrs, and a 40 Sony Bravia my parents still use). I needed a smaller sized tv in the 20"-24" range and picked up the TCL 24" LED. Again, nothing but great, and it looks sleek and high-end even when it's off. The last was this 43" LED that showed up yesterday. Same beautiful picture I've come to love and expect, but now in a slightly slimmer package with a micro-thin bezel. This TV puts most other brands I've seen to shame. Factor in the price, and I cant wait to see what $388 will get me a year or so from now. I do like the idea of a 2yr. warranty and I know the manufacturer has even responded to other TCL reviews on here. I haven't had a friend over yet that didn't comment on the great picture these things put out even with just a HD chanel off my antenna.
Also, to set things straight... Many review sights claim that Samsung "let" TCL use some of their screens in TCL branded tv's, but no one has data as to where this actually cam from. The truth is, in 2008 Samsung contracted TCL to make some of it's panels for 2009 production. It was unclear (according to the post in Reuter's) whether or not Samsung authorized TCL to use these same panels in their TCL branded tv's. Either way it's insignificant to me. If Samsung (who reportedly has a reputation for having the most top-notch panels) trusts TCL to manufacture for them and uphold this reputation, that's all I need to hear. Also note that CES rated TCL in the top 20 TV brands globaly all the way back in 2009. In 2012 "TCL Corporation, has developed the world's largest 110-inch 4X full high definition (HD) 3D liquid crystal display (LCD) screen", according to the latest news.
I'm not a person to post a ton of reviews here, but I just wanted to convey my views of this brand. I can't stand seeing another post on sites like FatWallet and Slickdeals where someone says "I'd pay the extra $20 for a Dynex or Craig because they are a better brand". According to the news I've read, this company is positioning itself to be a serious contender in the hi-end market with technology rivaling, and now exceeding, what everyone else recognizes as the "leading brands". If my "leading brand" Samsung didn't die so prematurely, I never would have found TCL.
Negatives- yes I love the brand, but am still fair and critical:
The remote is rather plain and nothing fancy. Each of the tv's I own has the exact same remote, and I purchased the first TCL what will soon be two years ago. This isn't a huge deal to me because the remotes have every function I need and work flawlessly, it's just that you shouldn't expect some remote that looks like it came from 20 years in the future with six different color flasing lights on it.
The menu system was rather basic on the first model I own. It is much better on the last two. Not really a negative, just an observation. The 43" that I just picked up has one of the easiest to navigate menus yet still has tons of features loaded into it. As a bonus, it's easily navigated with just two buttons and the direction arrows.
The cable/antenna connection is in a place that leaves very little room to spin on/off the connector from your coaxial cable. Again, nothing crazy or impossible, just trying to be fair and point out the little things that made me say "WTH?". I know this is due to space limitations and the main concern of overall thickness of the tv for the spec sheet.
My first two TV's turn on and go to a pure white screen with the TCL logo. This is annoying when you're sitting in the dark and that flash lights up the entire room. There may be a firmware update for this, but I've never checked. The latest 43" goes to a black background logo screen.
I'm totally just searching for bad things to say... but the boxes for the first two looked budget and were basically just brown cardboard with the brand name. The last one is now full-color and very flashy. Something you'd be happy to walk out of the store with. Again, if that matters to you... it doesn't at all to me.
Positives (in addition to those I already listed):
No annoying humming or stupid noises from a power supply, transformer, or the screen itself. I had this in the past with another brand and it drove me crazy until I gave the tv away.
This thing is so unbelievably slim and the bezel around it is the smallest I've seen to date. The base on each one is thick glass, very solid/sturdy, and looks sleek/stylish too.
The rating on the energy tag is one of the lowest I've seen for a tv this size. I like to know I'm saving money, but also know that electronics that consume lower wattage tend to run cooler, and electronics that run cooler often last longer. It's amazing to compare the difference in heat output between my parents' slightly older LCD Sony and these newer LEDs. Although that can be said of the technology in general and not just TCL... I guess I'm just rambling.
The menu system has a ton of settings and things to mess with if you're into tweaking with stuff. I like the option that limits the sound for those stupid commercials that pop up at double the volume. Yes- if you were paying attention I just listed the menu system as a positive and negative...lol. It was more to point out that it was pretty basic on the early models but much better now (to the point of being a positive).
Overall, I couldn't be happier with the three of these. I have one approaching 2yrs, one about 8mos, and the new 43". They do a fantastic job, even for my critical eye, and are quite a value when compared to other brands.