CNET First Look
Budget TCL busts out (slightly) higher-end Roku TVsThe P series and C series represent the Chinese TV maker's first U.S. foray beyond bargain-basement models.
TCL makes some of our favorite cheap TVs, thanks mainly to the awesome Roku TV system. With more streaming apps and a simpler interface than competitors, Roku TVs are so good you don't need to add an external streamer. Now TCL is bringing out two series of higher end Roku TVs, the P series and the C series. They're not as expensive as the Samsung and the Sonys of the world, starting at 500 bucks for the 50 inch model, but on paper they have similar specifications. Both have 4k resolution, and excellent 4k streaming options thanks to Roku, including Netflix, Amazon, Vudu and others. The new TCL sets also support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats. And in our tests, HDR has a much larger impact on image quality than 4K. Roku makes 4K TV shows and movies easy to find with its 4K Spotlight app, which includes a Dolby Vision row that highlights available shows. The TVs can also pass Dolby's Atmos audio via HDMI. The new [UNKNOWN] sets work with [UNKNOWN] phone app too which even includes advanced picture setting. I also love [UNKNOWN] constant software updates the latest of which lets you rename connected devices and favorite channels from over the air antenna. [UNKNOWN] series adds [UNKNOWN] local dimming our favorite image quality enhancement for LCD TV's. The C series is more style focused. There's a thin bezel around the image and front facing speakers below. Both are available in sizes up to 65 inches. We look forward to reviewing them soon. [MUSIC]