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TCL L40FHDF12TA 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty (2011 Model)
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- Plug-and-Play Compatibility for More Entertainment Options
- Numerous Inputs and Outputs, Image contrast ratio - 5000:1
- Enhanced Picture and Sound Quality
- Channel Labeling and Sleep Timer for Ease of Use
- The TCL comes with a glass stand but unfortunately it doesn't swivel
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- Brand Name: TCL
- Model Number: L40FHDF12TA
- Display Technology: LCD
- Display Size: 40 inches
- Image Aspect Ratio: 16:09
From the Manufacturer
The TCL 40-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV is more than a television--it's an entertainment system that lets you access your favorite media files. Compatible with multiple file formats--including mp3, WMA, M4A (AAC), JPEG, BMP, and PNG--this LCD television makes it easy to watch a photo slideshow in brilliant color with a customized soundtrack, or play a personalized mix of songs for a party.
Numerous Inputs and Outputs
This LCD HDTV has output options for headphones, analog audio output, and coaxial digital audio output. It includes inputs for: three HDMI (two rear and one side), two composite (one rear and one side), one rear component video, one rear RF, one rear PC video, one rear PC audio, and a side USB 2.0 port.
The PC video input lets you see your computer's digital media on the big screen, while the USB port allows for quick connection of a digital camera or other USB device. Additionally, you can connect the latest Blu-ray players, DVD players, camcorders, and game consoles using either the two composite video inputs or the three HDMI (version 1.3) inputs. The HDMI inputs provide an uncompressed, all-digital audio/video link for the highest quality connection, and they also support copy-protected HD broadcast content.
Enhanced Picture and Sound Quality
You'll enjoy crisp, vibrant images thanks to this TCL television's brightness capability of 430 cd/m2. The 3-D Y/C digital comb filter also provides enhanced color and picture detail, and the 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution supports 1080p signals for stunning image clarity.
For a fully immersive experience, this HDTV also includes two built-in 8-watt speakers. Additionally, 178-degree viewing angles ensure optimum enjoyment from multiple vantage points--a great feature for large spaces or social gatherings.
Channel Labeling and Sleep Timer for Ease of Use
Designed with you in mind, this LCD television features a channel labeling option, which allows you to put station call letters (e.g. ABC, HBO, etc.) on the screen along with the channel numbers, so you always know which station you're watching. Additionally, a sleep timer feature lets you set the television to automatically turn off after a preset amount of time has passed.
Who is TCL?
Established in 1981, TCL Corporation is a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances. TCL employs more than 50,000 people in over 80 operations, including 18 R&D centers, 20 manufacturing bases, and more than 40 sales offices around the world
TCL Corporation is comprised of four business divisions -- Multimedia, Communications, Home Appliances and Electronics. It also has two affiliated business areas: Real Estate & Investment and Logistics & Services. TCL is one of the world's leading producers of flat panel TVs, DVD players, air conditioners, and GSM, CDMA mobile phones.
Backed by a 2-Year Warranty
The TCL 40-inch 1080p 60-Hz LCD HDTV is backed by a two-year manufacturer's warranty. To view the User's Guide, click here. Or, to find the nearest TCL tech support center near you, please visit TCL's website.
What's in the Box
40-inch 1080p 60-Hz LCD HDTV; stand with screws; remote control with batteries; multi- language instruction booklet; and quick-start guide. Product Weight is 29.7 Lbs without Stand.
Height: 27 in
Width: 38.5 in
Depth: 9 in
Weight: 34.6 lbs
Top Customer Reviews
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:
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.
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'.
Since writing this review, I was contacted by phone both by TCL directly and the management of A&D Electronics and they are currently shipping me a new unit, 2-day air, and have profusely apologized for the extensive communication issues I received during the service process.
I still believe TCL would benefit from a significant investment and restructuring in their customer service workflow, and the frustrations of my customer-service experience will weigh into my decision to purchase again from them. But they have finally resolved my issue in a very high-touch manner, so I have moved my original review of one star to three stars. I hope that others who experience similar customer service woes can also find resolution for their issues.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: (1 Star)
I have loved this TV and actually bought two more, for my family and my office. The picture quality for the price is unbeatable. However, after 5 months, the screen developed a weird issue where a 2 inch strip of pixels displayed a reversed (left to right) image. I call customer service, and after a long wait talked with someone who took my info and asked me to unplug the TV and plug it back in. When that didn't work, she said "I cannot help you further, so I'm escalating your case to level 2." She gave me a different number to call which is for some company called AD Electronics USA. I called it for 4 days straight and got a perpetual busy signal. Finally, I was able to get through. The guy I talked with (email@example.com) asked me to email him my receipt and a short description of the problem, and then said he would call me back because they were closing for the night.
That was 10 days ago. He will not respond via email or phone. So I'm stuck with a broken TV and little recourse to get it fixed. I am absolutely flabbergasted at how this company treats customers and sick that I have loudly recommended it to other people as a quality TV.
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. :-)