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Get a TCL 32-inch Roku HDTV for $169.99

From the Cheapskate: Integrated Roku for the win! Plus: Free movies and a free Need for Speed game!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

Cheeps, I am blown away by the incredible conversation yesterday. You answered my question in awesome style, sharing your opinions and experiences in such a positive way. I feel like anyone else who might have wondered the same thing about tablets came away with tons of great insight. It reinforced what I already knew: Cheapskate readers are the best.

OK, end of group hug. Let's discuss one my of very favorite subjects: TV.


For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the TCL 32S3800 32-inch Roku TV for $169.99 shipped. Walmart also has it for the same price. It originally listed for $289.99 and has more recently been selling for $199.99.

Could you buy a regular 32-inch TV and just add a Roku box or stick? Of course, but there are some notable advantages to Roku integration. I won't list them here, instead, I'll refer you to CNET's extremely detailed review of the TCL S3800 series.

I'll also point out that this is a 720p TV -- not 1080p -- with a 60Hz refresh rate. The latter is preferable, at least for most kinds of viewing, as it prevents the dreaded soap-opera effect. As for the resolution, at this size you really don't need 1080p. (Again, see the review for details.)

That's my take. CNET pegged the picture quality as "good enough," noting that competing smart TVs from the likes of Vizio offer a better image.

But if you're looking for a den or bedroom TV with the joy that is Roku baked right in, this is a solid deal. Your thoughts?


Bonus deal: Rerun time! Meh.com is once again offering Cheapskate-reader favorite Ooma Telo (refurbished) for $55, plus $5 for shipping. This voice-over-IP box plugs into your router to provide totally free landline-style phone service. Well, not totally free: You may have to pay a few dollars each month in taxes, and the optional $10 per month Premier plan gives you access to all kinds of awesome features, including a caller blacklist -- buh-bye, telemarketers! I've used a Telo for years and it's been rock-solid.

Bonus deal 2: Here's something you don't see too often: free movies! For a limited time, Amazon is offering free digital HD versions of "Man on Fire," "Men of Honor," "Roll Bounce" and "Red Tails." (Needless to say, you'll need to have an Amazon account.) Can't say I've seen any of them, but there are some fine actors in this mix: Robert DeNiro, Denzel Washington and two helpings of Cuba Gooding, Jr. Good thing you don't have to show Amazon the money, am I right? Anyone? I'll show myself out. Update: Sorry folks, looks like this offer has expired; the movies are no longer showing up as free.

Bonus deal 3: Game time! Origin's latest On the House promotion is a doozy: Need for Speed Most Wanted (for Windows) absolutely free. This is the 2012 version of the game, which delivers an open-world racing experience that earned a 7.5 rating from GameSpot. It's the full version and your download is yours to keep. However, you'll need an Origin account and the accompanying client software.