The 2018 TCL Roku Televisions Have Arrived

Dave Zatz —  April 26, 2018

One of the best bang-for-your-buck televisions last year was the TCL P Series, combining exceptional visuals (given the price point) and a top flight app platform in Roku. Unfortunately, the company cancelled plans for multiple sizes, simply shipping a single 55″ set that was occasionally unavailable due to demand (and perhaps production bottlenecks). TCL has now reloaded with the 2018 iteration, rebranded as the 6 Series to avoid Vizio lineup confusion, and early reports from CNET and Chris Heinonen are promising. And, beyond quality, the 2018 model is available in two sizes… with immediate Amazon availability:

As my household’s primary entertainment these days consists of children’s programming and cable news, this sort of set is right up my alley. OLED just wouldn’t get frequent enough appreciation to justify the expense. However, as with the 2017 model, the 2018 VESA mounting points are too low on the television to fit well into our family room. As such, I’m waiting to see how the 2018 Vizio range and Best Buy Fire TV televisions, stack up.

4 responses to The 2018 TCL Roku Televisions Have Arrived

  1. Here’s your 2018 TV buying guide: If you’re a home theater/video enthusiast person who wants the best, buy an OLED TV from LG (or maybe Sony). If you’re a mainstream TV buyer who wants the best bang for your buck, get one of these TCL LCD TVs. If these TCLs are too expensive for you, I can’t help you, but I’m sure you’ll find something at Walmart, Target, Best Buy or Amazon for cheap come November.

  2. I purchased a TCL Roku 48″ in July 2016. Seemed like a great deal. It was one of my worst purchasing mistake. I don’t know if they’ve gotten better since then. I’d be skeptical given the number of similar complaints I’ve seen on Amazon.

    First the general, there are clear platform problems. Problems with an app can make the whole TV crash and reboot. There seemed to be a problem with netflix where after watching several shows in a row, you were pretty much guaranteed that the TV would crash and reboot. I don’t know what Roku’s application architecture looks like, but it seems they lack anything like a protective address space where a problem with an app should just result in that application being terminated by the kernel.

    The next problem is the wifi hardware seems to be total crap. How do you know there are wifi problems? The TV crashes and reboots. (Black screen, white LED on solid, eventually gets to the main screen, just like a power cycle. There are many similar complaints in the amazon reviews. I got through a year by adding an additional access point a few feet away from the TV. Eventually the wifi hardware in the TV completely died. Now a scan shows NO wifi networks available.

    When the wifi isn’t working, there is a constant flashing white LED just under the screen which is mega annoying. It does this even if you’d switched inputs so you aren’t even using the TV’s internet connection. As I mentioned the problems connecting to wifi can cause the TV to reboot even when you are just trying to work through the menu to switch inputs.

    I put up with the TV because it was in a vacation home that wasn’t unoccupied for the whole winter, I worked around the problems with a Chromecast and a Firestick. Unfortunately I held on to it long enough that the return window closed. Also who wants to pay to ship back a 48″ tv box?

    For me the takeaways are:
    * Cheap smart TVs may are no bargain. The “smart” will be quickly obsolete and can’t be counted on to get bug fixes.
    * A physical ethernet port should be considered a requirement.

  3. Never TCL again. Never a Roku tv again either. I bought a 2014 48fs4750 model and the panel died. Replaced under warranty. Tv began to reboot loop due to an improperly grounded wireless card a year later. I had to solder a wire from the card to a housing screw to fix.

    As to the Roku platform in the tv I like it but it was so freaking slow that I am now running a newer Roku stick on the Roku tv.

  4. I’ve purchased 5 TCL Roku televisions at this point and have been very satisfied. Two 40″ for my mom in 2014, still in use – she’s currently watching Bosch on Amazon. Two 32″ in maybe 2015 or 2016 for my home, one for our kitchen (since decommissioned but passed along to a pal for his road trip trailer) and one for our guest bedroom (still in play, but rarely used). One 49″ for our bedroom purchased in 2017. We’ve been quite satisfied, haven’t experience anything notably negative. Every now and then an app may get hung up and TV reboots, I’ve seen that a handful of times in any given year – was assuming it was flawed app architecture vs network, but have no way to determine. The 49″ brightness can’t be dialed down as low as I like within apps, although via inputs it can. Not sure if that’s me being unable to navigate the UI or the capability just not being present. But fine for cost and use case.

    I’d have gotten the P last year for family room, but the VESA mount points are way too low which put my TV ridiculously high above our fireplace mantle. Not messing with moving the mount or getting another. We have a 2017 M Series there and I don’t like their native apps (slow, limited number) and the Chromecast feature is too cludgey for general purpose usage. So we’ve hung a Roku Stick off the back.