The TCL 2017 Roku Sets Are Smart TVs for Smart Buyers

It’s been a few weeks since I got the TCL 55S405, and I have struggled with writing this review. Not because it is a hard thing to do, but because I needed it to have more content than just “buy this.”

Start to finish, anyone can do this.

The screen is stunning. Far better than the Element Amazon Fire TV Edition I reviewed previously. Sharper blacks, more vibrant colors. Also, this is the first 4K set I have reviewed or demoed that has smoothing turned off by default. This means you don’t get that gross “soap opera” sensation watching movies. The Dolby sound is sharp (but get a soundbar, it’s still better).

If you’ve used any Roku set, the software experience will be familiar. People like to rag on Roku for this, but I am in the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” camp. Yes, it’s not as dynamic as a Fire TV, as flashy as Apple TV, or as expandable as Android TV, but it works and it works well. There’s a reason Roku currently has the most market share. The only thing I really wish it had was a Virtual Assistant like the others do… but those are more for power users. Not everyone wants to control their house from their TV, and this set is for them.

Games on both my 4K Nvidia Shield and on my older PS3 look amazing. It’s a great set for TV watching – you know, the thing we actually do on our TVs.

Honestly, this set is for so many people. You’re just not getting a better price for a 4K smart TV at this size (outside a megasale), and with this good a screen. The included flat antenna (not bundled anymore) worked fine, except for my TV being in a basement. In all honesty, I’ve just got one problem with the new TCL 55″ Roku TV:

I never have time to actually watch it.

Note: TCL gave me a 55S405 to review and keep. They also gave us one to give away. If my Twitter feed is any indication, they were giving these away like candy. Delicious, 4k candy.

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