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Showing 1-10 of 719 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 786 reviews
on December 25, 2011
I purchased this TV on sale in Dec. 2011 for under $300. It's an updated model of TCL L40FHDF11TA. It's put in a master bedroom. I'll rate each category in Amazon's system of 1 to 5 stars. My ratings are relative to how this TV stacks up against other TVs in its price range.

SETUP *** (3 stars)
The TV was well-packed in the shipping box (43.5" x 31" x 10.5") with 2 yellow nylon straps holding it together. (If your straps are missing, the shipper might have broken them while carrying and dropped the TV.) For wall mounting, you need a VESA 400x400mm compliant mount such as this,this, or this. I used the glass stand. If you're trying to fit it into a shelf, the dimensions with stand are 38.5" x 27" x 9" (without stand: 38.5" x 24.5" x 4"; note the 4" depth instead of 1.5" for an LED). The power cord doesn't have a power brick attached which is a plus. I'm using a learning universal remote which did find codes for this TV. Try 'RCA' if 'TCL' didn't work for you. I suggest using an universal remote since it's much easier to replace than to replace the original remote if you break it.
Some remote codes gathered for reference:
DirecTV: 11447
Comcast: 11447
Dish Network: 503
AT&T U-Verse: 1000
There might be a problem with the "TV powering on unexpectedly." If your 'SW Version' reads V8-0RSC801-LF1V041, you're OK. Otherwise, download the firmware update at TCL's website onto any FAT-formatted device. (I used my phone.) Remember to wait at least 10 seconds after it says "Completed" before unplugging the USB cord. (I waited 30 seconds to be safe.) I'm guessing this is where some people might have messed up and broke the TV.

PICTURE ***** (5 stars)
The LCD panel is made by Samsung with their logo visible in the back (picture posted). As with most LCD TVs these days, the screen is glossy and not matte, so you do have to watch out for glare. After powering up the TV which took about 15 seconds, I changed the preset picture setting from the default 'ECO' to 'Cinematic'. Cinematic/Movie mode is usually the setting that comes closest to a professional calibration. (If you're interested in doing your own TV calibration, check out the Disney WOW blu-ray, search "AVS HD 709" for a free one, or try my "quick picture calibration" below.) It has 5 zoom modes, with 'No Overscan' being preferred. If it isn't available, choose 'Full' for the least amount of cropping. I watched the TV from an Amazon recommended distance of about 7 to 8 feet. After hooking up my blu-ray player with HDMI (not included) and making sure it's 1080p (by pressing the 'Info' button), I tried watching some dark movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) as a stress test. I didn't notice any obvious picture defects. The viewing angle is very good for an LCD. The contrast is good, with listed 4000:1 contrast ratio. I compared it to my living room LED with 10 million:1 contrast ratio. The LED has slightly better contrast with deeper blacks, though definitely not 2500 times better, so I wouldn't read too much into contrast ratios when shopping for TVs. There are a few nitpicks. There's a slight uniformity problem (light bleed) in the upper corners, noticeable in an all black picture. There's slight motion blurring due to its slightly-slow 8 ms response time (shadow trails) and 60 Hz refresh rate (jerkiness on 24 frames/sec sources). The yellow color is a little off. None of these are major problems; I've seen much worse at this price range, so no stars are deducted.

AUDIO *** (3 stars)
The two 8 watt speakers are passable for a bedroom. It has a nice equalizer menu with presets and 5 manually adjustable bars. It has Dolby Digital sound, but you definitely need to add your own speakers to take advantage of it. You can hook up your speakers via coaxial digital audio out, RCA out (white/red), or headphone out. There's no optical digital audio out (Toslink) and no ARC (audio return channel). I hooked up a Sony bookshelf system via RCA out which did improve the sound dramatically. The headphone out wasn't working on my unit, but I'm ok with it since I don't use headphones.

GAMING ***** (5 stars)
I hooked up my Xbox 360 via HDMI, changed the Xbox 'HDTV settings' to 1080p and 'Reference Levels' to Expanded, and turned off all image processing on the TV using my settings below. I tried a couple games (MW3, BF3, Skyrim, Madden 12, and Forza 4) and didn't notice any input lag. (Results should be similar with PS3 and Wii.) By the way, never hook up your gaming system with yellow composite RCA cables. LCD/LED and plasma TVs can't natively display interlaced video, so they'll need to spend time deinterlacing and therefore create additional input lag.

PC **** (4 stars)
I connected my PC with a VGA cable. I had to change my Windows monitor settings to "unhide modes that this monitor cannot display" in order to get the native resolution of 1920x1080. (This resolution is not supported for the VGA port. It might not work, so you might need to settle for 1280x720 if you have to use VGA. Or connect with DVI or HDMI for 1080p support.) For testing, I opened a Word document set to Times New Roman 6-point font and had no trouble reading it with 'Sharpness' at 0. You can use it as a big monitor as long as you don't expect it to have the clarity of a 22" monitor when viewing within 3'. (It's got the same amount of pixels spread across 3.4 times the area.) When viewed at 5' or more, clarity won't be a problem.

MEDIA *** (3 stars)
The USB port accepts pictures and music but not videos. There's no internet streaming, which I preferred. I have plenty of devices capable of streaming, so I don't want to pay extra for a feature I don't need.

RELIABILITY **** (4 stars)
The TCL FHDF11TA series has over 1000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4 stars, which is probably as good as it gets for a generic brand. I also like the fact that it has a 2 year warranty instead of 1. The only concern is that the warranty is being done by A & D Electronics (the company that TCL has outsourced for its warranty claims) which has an F rating on BBB. The poor rating is a result of, I think, a shortage of personnel. If you're lucky and catch them on a low volume of repairs, you'll get prompt service; otherwise, you might need to be patient and persistent to get your TV repaired. (FYI, their number is 877-470-7766, 9AM-5PM PST, M-F.) If all else fails, try contacting Amazon. Some people did have success even after the 30 day return period. You can also add 1 extra year of warranty by purchasing with Mastercard or AmEx. And if you have Costco membership, you can purchase SquareTrade to add 3 extra years of warranty for a total of 5 for $30 (cheaper than Amazon).

PRICE ***** (5 stars)
Free shipping, free 30 day return (save the box for this), delivered to your door in 2 days for under $300 is hard to beat. Amazon also lets you do a price adjustment if the price drops within 14 days.

OTHER TVS
Here are 2 TVs I considered before settling on the TCL:
LG 32LK330 - This is a good, basic, name-brand 32" LCD TV suitable for a bedroom. It only has 64% of the TCL's viewing area though.
LG 42LK450 - This 42" LCD TV has good all-around performance and is suitable as a primary TV in an apartment, albeit at a price premium.
I'd be careful about getting the LG 42LV4400 LED, despite its attractive specs and price, due to its reliability problem (and hence its low ratings). Until it's resolved, check out the LG 42LK520 instead if you want 120 Hz.

MISC - QUICK PICTURE CALIBRATION
1. Change preset to 'Cinematic'. After checking out some calibration patterns, I find both the default 'Brightness' of 50 and 'Contrast' of 80 to be spot on.
2. Change 'Sharpness' to 0. With a clear HD source, you shouldn't need to artificially boost the sharpness. If words look blurry, you can play around with it.
3. Change 'Noise Reduction' to low. Similar to Sharpness, you don't need much image processing with a clear source.
4. I find the default 'Backlight' of 60 to be suitable for a dimly-lit room. With most lights on, 80 looks about right. If sunlight is present, boost it to 100. Adjust it according to your room lighting and eye comfort level.
5. (optional) For adjusting colors, you normally need to use filters with a calibration disc. I like to do it by eye using my own pictures (preferably scanned studio pictures). We should all be able to pick out the nuances of our own skin tones. Alternatively, play a familiar movie and pause when you have a clear shot of a face, then adjust. I find the default 'Color' of 40 to be satisfactory. If you can't get 'Color' to look right, try changing 'Color Temperature' by 1 and then go back to changing 'Color'.
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on November 25, 2011
12/6/11 -Update regarding the random powering on issue. Finally called TCL customer service. They were aware of this bug and walked me through doing a firmware update. Phone call and update took all of 10 minutes. You go to the website, download the update, put it on a memory stick, plug the stick into the USB port on the TV et voila! 2 clicks and 30 seconds later you're done.

Bought this t.v. for a new apartment and with a few caveats, am pleased with my purchase. The picture quality is great, sound completely adequate for my needs. The only oddities are these. The T.V. turns itself on randomly. I turn it off and somewhere between 1 and 8 hours later it turns back on. read the manual - found nothing to explain it, googled and found one user with a similar complaint who was advised to contact the manufacturer. That seems somewhat ominous - I will contact the company and post later with the outcome. The second oddity is that COMCAST does not have the codes from TCL to program the Comcast remote. The installer had thought I would find something on the Internet and I did, but not for my model. However, after reading that TCL builds many RCA t.v.s I went back to Comcast page on programming your remote and checked the RCA codes. Turned out that the "most likely" RCA code worked like a charm.

From Comcast page
[...]
Others to try: 11447, 11347, 11547, 11247, 11147, 10679, 11661, 11958, 10093, 12002, 10051, 10090, 11047, 11602"
Hope that helps someone else out there. :-)
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on December 24, 2011
Hi all:

I got this on the special for $259. I missed out on the back Friday deal for $199.

Let me start out by going over some of the negatives I read online:

1) Shipping. I saw lots of people complain about broken tv's etc. While not directly related to the TV it does affect people's decision on if they are going to be buy a TV online.

This was shipped FedEx with Super Save shipping (free). I may have just lucked out by I live in Philidelpha and the shipping place was 130 miles from where I live. I got this from FedEx the next day! Everything was in excellent shape. The FedEx guy even helped me in the door with it although I am sure he didnt have to.

2) Dead pixels. I saw numerous people say they had dead pixels. I know this can be a problem for any LCD set... I have read about this problem on sets costing $1000.00 more. You would assume the number of sets with dead pixles for those higher price sets will be lower... I have no idea, but my set arrived with zero dead pixels.

3) Stand was hard to put on or the screws were missing or the screws would not go all the way in. To be honest I was worried about this one. Set came with glass bottom stand. Suprised it wasn't cheap plastic. My wife held it until I got the first screws in. We had zero problems. The stand is solid as my $1500.00 Sony. I had zero problems.

4) TV sometimes shuts off. I have not had the set long enough but will give an update later. I did flash the TV which took all of 5 min and was very simple. This is supposed to fix that problem.

5) Light bleeds at corners. Poor picture quality, etc. I will state 1000% for the record I am not a video expert. I bought my Sony based on the reviews from the "people that know" video. I am happy with my Sony. It is 3 years old so the tech is old but it does pretty much everything I need. I did pay $1500.00 dollars for it though and it is only a 40 inch. What 3 years can do with technology...

This set to me is every bit as good any maybe better than the Sony as far as picture quality. I have tried Blue Ray, xbox via the HDMI port and composite, componet with Wii. No problems what so ever. I even stream video from Netflix via xbox and its perfect in my opinion.

6) Sound. Absolutely in line with every other TV I have ever seen. Sure its not movie quality sound. But I personally have not bought a TV set that is. That's why you spend another 2-50k on a sound system.

I have not tried anything using the USB yet except the firmware upgrade so can't comment on that.

I used the settings for calabrating the video on AVS forum for other TCL LED LCD and worked flawlessly.

I was hesitating on buying this set but at the price I got it plus Amazon's great support I couldnt pass it up. I honestly would paid more and been happy though. How many things today can you say that about?

As for longevity. Not sure yet. TCL has the 2 year warranty with mixed results I guess, but they have plenty of repair centers close to me. What TV gives you 2 years warrarnty for parts and labor any more?

No 3D, it is just LCD tech without LED, but it is just fine for everything I need. It is also Energy Star compliant and if the sticker is even close to true it is light in the electricy cost department.

I recommend with six stars if I could. I will come back and update in a few months.
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on December 30, 2011
My experience for this TV has been great for the price!

PROS:
-3 HDMI inputs
-2 Component inputs (Wii, etc)
-Samsung-made panel (shine a flashlight in the holes in the back -- the stickers says Samsung)
-Good, wide viewing angles
-Great HD picture
-Good remote, easy to adjust picture aspect ratio and turn on sleep!

CONS:
-There is some flashlighting, which is to be expected of a cheap TV. Samsung obviously keeps the best ones for their $500+ TVs! On my TV it is very minimal on the top corners.
-Okay SD quality

The out of box picture settings leave lots to be desired, but after the following:
Brightness: 55
Contrast: 65
Sharpness: 70
Expert Settings:
Backlight - 60
Advanced Settings:
Light Sensor, Dynamic Backlight, SABC - OFF
Noise Reduction - Low

The TV gives a pretty good, natural picture. Bonus turning the backlight down will help it last longer. NOTE: As you turn the backlight down, the color temp will go down (it will get redder), so if you go below 60, you'll have to adjust the color and tint settings.

The sound out of the box is tinny, but after the following sound settings:
100Hz - 85
300Hz - 70
1Khz - 50
3Khz - 60
10Khz - 50

It sounds a lot better! I'm still adjusting, but these are a good starting point. I left surround off, it just makes it sound funny. Auto volume control can be turned on if you enjoy it.

Overall, I would definitely buy this TV at the sub-300 price point. It is a great deal!
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on December 28, 2011
I had low expectations and assumed DOA for this TV after it arrived via FedEx with a huge hole on the side of the box (like someone punched it) that even ripped the inside bag holding the TV. I was happy with Amazon's sooner than expected delivery BUT very unhappy with FedEx's treatment of packages! After testing, I was glad everything worked and the image was very clear.

Things that should be in the manual but weren't (from personal experience):
1) When configuring the remote control use a RCA setting such as RCA L32HD41
2) When connecting a computer via HDMI, use "no Overscan" or you'll crop corners off your display
3) When using the VGA connection, to get the full 1080P display, not the default 720P resolution or less than 1366x768, you have to manually force a 1920x1080 display by unchecking "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display" in Windows 7's Display/Screen Resolution/Advanced Settings/Monitor under Control Panel. Hopefully the next firmware update can fix this because the TV is reporting to the computer a lower supported resolution than it can handle.

I was pretty skeptical when people were comparing the image quality to Samsung brand TVs but after shining a flashlight into the back left heat dissipation holes I saw a Samsung logo on the panel. The Samsung sticker inside the TV reads Samsung model LTA400HM09. You should definitely check for yourself, since I'm not sure if everyone's will be made by them as their press release regarding the Samsung assembly is very general.

Overall, I am very happy with this under $300 purchase (after an Amazon price match and a MasterCard promotion). This TV does not offer a lot of bells and whistles but its basic features work. If customer service is as bad as some have experienced, I hope I never have to go through them. However, if you purchased this with a credit card, I know MasterCard offers a 1 year product warrantee on top of the manufacturer's warrantee. Of course, I hope I never have to use that either.
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on January 5, 2012
OK, I just got it today, a few days earlier than expected. FedEx was very nice and helped my daughter bring it in, as I was away at the time.
Set up was very easy. Re-arranging my entertainment center was hard.
The connections were easy to set up. At first, my DVD player was not getting captions. The manual mentioned that HDMI-connected devices would not be captioned unless the device had the captioning built in. I took out the HDMI cable and connected it up via composite connections, and the captioning returned.
***
Did the firmware update. Ran into problems. I followed their directions exactly, giving a bit more time when it said to wait. All the screens that appeared were exactly as depicted. When it said it was complete, I waited about 15 seconds before removing the USB drive and turning it off. The blue "on" light came back on, but nothing else did. I could not turn it off or on, the remote would not work, the buttons on the TV would not work. Tried many combinations to no avail.
RESOLVED: Turned it off. Waited 10 seconds. Put the USB drive back in, turned it on.
Blue "on" light started blinking. After a few seconds, the remote was able to turn it back off, but not back on again. Unplugged, waited 10 seconds, plugged it back in, got the TCL logo, now it works. Had me scared for a bit, I thought I had killed it.
***
I tried the sound set up that another reviewer had posted. It does seem to help the sound. Still doesn't sound great, and I will probably run it through the good amp and speakers.

4 stars because it really has no special features. It does have a USB port, but only plays media (I saw another that would let you pause streaming video by buffering it to a USB drive). No SRS sound or any other cool goodies. But the picture is very good, and viewable from waaaay off center. 178 degrees seems right. Lots of inputs, more than I needed. Also because of the firmware problem, even though I got it fixed. I do hope that if someone else has this problem, it helps them to resolve it.
If I run into any other problems, I will come back and edit this. I will also edit this when I hear back from customer service. I have heard that they are pretty good.
Yes, I would recommend this TV to my friends.
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on March 2, 2012
The Good "I purchase from AMAZON"
The Bad "TCL 40 Inch Television"
The Ugly "TCL Service Dept."

TCL L40FHDF12TA 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty

Like everyone else I was sold by the positive reviews. Amazon shipped fast and it was
hanging on the wall in a couple of days. Worked great for 5 days! On Saturday started to
develope white lines. Called customer service on Saturday. CLOSED! Called on Monday from
work to get some ideas on things to try. Needed model number and serial number. After work
got home called back gave afore mentioned information. Only prelim to register television.
Had to call another 1-800-NUMBER. They are in California and I had 15 minutes before they
closed for the day. 1st call cut off after 5 minutes. 2nd call cut off after 5 minutes. 3rd
call cut off after 5 minutes. 4th call "Sorry we are now closed." So Tuesday called from
work early, got a real person, said I would need to e-mail pictures of what the TV looked
like when it had white lines. So Tuesday night I took pictures and e-mail to real person on
line along with a phone number and e-mail address to contact me. Wednesday call again. Put on hold
after 5 minutes cut off. 2nd call person answers ask me to hold. 5 minutes later I'm cut off.
3rd call person answers, at first was not sure if they got my e-mails, YES they did get my
e-mails, they will have a technician look at them, I will probably have to send it in for repairs, will
contact me. Repairs could take 2 weeks. So I waited Wednesday night and Thursday for a call
or and e-mail. ZERO, ZIP, NADA. On Friday I got a return authorizationfrom AMAZON to return it to them.
By Friday afternoon televison no longer has white lines, it has NO PICTURE AT ALL!!!!
Boxed it up over the weekend, UPS picked it up Monday, AMAZON had it by Thursday late,
and I have recieved a FULL REFUND. As I write this on Friday morning I still
have recieved NOTHING from TCL Customer Service a week and half later.

If you decide to buy, don't waste your time with one of these sets.
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on February 9, 2012
UPDATE 6/3/12
When I bought this it was $320. Apparently it's been decided that it's worth an additional $120.

Although I like it a lot, at the higher price I may not have bought it.

Still good, but.....
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I bought this for a valentine's day's gift & my wife loves it.

The screen is clear & sharp. The color is great. Sound is better than the large tube TV that we just got rid of.

If anyone has a problem with the sound then just add a separate sound system, this HDTV is large enough to justify it.

As some mentioned there is a *faint* light bleed thru in the upper left corner.

This can ONLY be noticed when the top part of the screen is very dark or black.

But YOU HAVE TO LOOK FOR IT. Strangely enough I don't recall many movie producers that pack a lot of action up in the corners.

No stuck pixels.

The remote IS a little touchy. Button presses have to be quick. Hit a 4 and if it isn't fast you get 44. But you're probably going to use the cable remote most of the time anyway, right?

Other than that very minor problem, I have NO complaints.

This is a nice HDTV at a very low cost. If you want *a little* more in the way of features go ahead and spend $200-$300 more for another TV. But my wife loves it, and I'm more than happy with it.

DEFINITELY A GOOD BUY!

Just a note on some of the complaints about the color - While changing channels my wife came to a station showing pictures of the Obamas. In one picture he was grayish looking. In another he was pinkish. In still another he was light brown. And in another he was slightly darker. This was all within one TV show! How can anyone complain that the color is bad on the TV when the source is so varied?
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on May 27, 2012
I was very late to the HD world, but when I saw this 40" TV was a $260 lightning deal in December 2011, I had to buy it. Five months later, I'm still incredibly pleased. The picture is crisp and clear after some tinkering based on other reviewers' recommendations. The sound is good, not great, but perfectly acceptable in this price range. I bought Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray DVD Player and AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable (6.5 Feet/2.0 Meters) - Supports Ethernet, 3D, and Audio Return [Newest Standard] to use with the TV, and I regularly use it to watch movies with my Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts.

The base was easy to connect by myself. In fact, the only problem I encountered was when programming it with my Time Warner cable box. The TW guide, with many (perhaps hundreds of) manufacturers, did not list TCL. So, yes, TCL is pretty obscure. But I took a risk on a no name brand, and I'm so glad that I did.
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on December 24, 2011
Go easy on me... first review I've ever written.

I bought this as part of the recent lightnight deal for $260 and paid for the guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery. After purchasing I noticed the recent batch of DOA reviews that had been written and admittedly got worried about the quality of the product that was in route.

The TV arrived FedEx this morning, packaging was in great shape and the TV was clearly brand new and had not been a return or anything like that. After opening and assembling the stand, which went super easy because the TV is upside down in the package so you do not need to flip it like other tv's I've purchased, I powered it on. Turned right on, went through the quick set up and am now watching the NFL pregame shows as I write this.

The picture quality is rediculously good im my opinion. Our main TV is a Sony Bravia 46" LED and though I certainly won't make a case that this is better than the Sony it is very difficult to see the difference. So far the football clips look good and I'm not noticing any blurring on fast action. I'm running the default 'home' settings and picture looks like it would only need minor tweaking, but at this point it looks great and I probably won't bother with calibrating.

Sound was a bit tinny when I first turned it on, but as I've watched it I don't think its bad. Movies or video games I might consider a sound bar, but for a $260 dollar purchase I havent had a better first impression.

I'll keep this short, but I was hoping to provide some recent feedback to reassure others that bought this or consider this in the future that the TV I received at least is great. Admittedly this is a very early review and certainly doesnt attest to the longevity or warranty experience, but right now I'm happy and think others who have purchased should feel really good about what they are getting.
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