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First Look: TCL Roku TV: The best Smart TV app experience for the best price
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First Look: TCL Roku TV: The best Smart TV app experience for the best price

3:01 /

Our favorite Smart TV suite combined with extremely aggressive pricing makes the TCL Roku TV a phenomenal value despite its so-so picture quality.

[MUSIC] Hi. I'm David Katzmaier from CNet and this is the TCL Roku TV. That's right. This little TV here. It's a 48 incher. It's also available in a 55, 40 and 32 inch size. This TV right here basically has a Roku box built into it. It is a brand new smart TV that includes the Roku operating system for its smarts. It's actually our favorite operating system compared to all the others out there. Better than Apple TV, better than Chromecast, all the other ones we tested, and definitely better than any of the other smart TVs we tested. Overall look is fairly standard for an LCD TV. It looks a lot like the current Vizios with a very thing bezel. The bottom edge is a little bit snazzy looking with a slight chrome strip here and this sort of. Glass stand base, the stand is not sold, but the glass goes lend it a slightly step up look compared to some of the other TV's out there. So, when you turn this TV on it's exactly like you're turning on a Roku box. It's even got the standard Roku homepage which we really like. It's a very simple layout. Consists of this grid of tile. The main difference between this and a Roku box is the presence of a couple of extra tiles at the top that denote the imput. So when you plug something in to this television it actually asks you what it is, whether it's a PS3 or cable box, something like that. Instead of naming it HDMI 1, it actually calls it what it is, which is a really cool addition. Like any other app tile, like a Netflix or an Amazon Instant you can actually move one of these inputs around or you can also rename it later so. Again we really like the simplicity of this interface. Beyond that, it's pretty standard Roku. You have the ability to access its seventeen hundred apps, which again. Far outweighs any other app store we've seen. That's a massive selection of apps, including some of the very best like HBO Go, which isn't available on any other smart TV platform aside from Samsung. You also get Netflix, YouTube, and pretty much every other app you can think of. There's actually an app on this TV that is designed to stream your local videos and files, which is something Roku hasn't done well in the past. You can also plug a USB stick into this guy and get videos, photos, and music that way. See the connectivity around the back. There's three HDMI ports, that USB port as well as an R app and a standard analog input. What you won't find on the back, however, is an ethernet port. Another thing to call it is a very simple remote. It looks a lot like Roku's remote from their boxes. There's no numeric keypad or any other extra buttons you find on most TV remotes. One nice real good feature missing from this tv is the headphone jack on the remote. We've been told that some future tvs might have it but this TCL does not. On the downside, this tv doesn't have nearly as many picture settings as most other tvs, we weren't able to hone this picture quality, especially color. Quite as well as we'd like. And that's kind of the Achilles heel here. The TCL is saddled with relatively mediocre picture quality including relatively light black levels, that inaccurate color and pretty standard video processing. So, all told you're gonna get a lot better picture quality of you made a Roku box with a better TV. Of course the real strength is the integration of the Roku experience with out the box right into the TV itself. So again, if you want that simple look, especially for a secondary TV, the Roku TV is certainly worth a look. And it's also very inexpensive. That's a quick tour of the new Roku TV by TCL, I'm David Castlemyer from Cnet.

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