TCL S405 Roku TV: Great streaming in a cheap 4K TV
You're looking at one of the cheapest 4K TVs around and it also happens to have the best smart TV system available today.
Sound too good to be true?
Okay, there's a catch.
Aside from its low price, the best part about the TCL S405 series, seen here in the 55 inch size, is Roku.
This set is powered by my favorite big screen app suite and it beats competing smart TV systems from Samsung, LG and Vizio handily.
Its super simple to use with all your favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and the rest front and center.
Meanwhile your connected devices like a cable box or PlayStation are presented right alongside.
You can easily move and delete apps and devices from the screen.
And the whole arrangement is just as familiar as your phone.
Even the remote is extra simple with just a few buttons.
Roku has more apps than any system and since the S405 is a 4K tv, it can also handle 4K and HDR streams from compatible apps like Netflix and Amazon.
They promise the best streaming picture you can get.
So, what's the catch?
Well, compared to other budget TVs from Vizio, the S405 didn't deliver the best picture quality.
It was hampered by lighter black levels, leading to lower contrast, visible especially in a dark room.
Even 4K and HDR video looked worse as a result.
I'm not saying the S405's image is terrible, it's just not as good as the best budget competition.
But maybe you're willing to sacrifice some image quality for a superior smart TV and streaming experience.
If that's the case, the TCL S405 Roku TV is worth a serious look.
I'm David Katzmaier for CNET.
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