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Offline retro junkie

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New TV- A Stop Gap
« on: June 02, 2018, 07:21:38 PM »
My old 32inch Vizio's screen was showing signs of being worn out. Across the top there were clouds, grey blotch areas, and also in the right bottom corner. it was starting to darken in those areas and become more noticeable. The TV had been used 20 hours a day for the last 7 years. Lets face it the life of the bulbs inside are coming to an end.

So I have spent the last week online reading reviews, after reviews, after reviews. I don't know why I do that. It stresses me out every time. Every name brand has their lemons. And the people that receive them are more vocal about their dissatisfaction than those who are pleased.

My biggest problem is that within the next year or two 4K will become the new standard in over the air broadcasting. It will be a totally different signal, and experience, that will need a compatible tuner on the TV to receive it.

So I do not want to throw money on a 4K TV at this time until they come fully equipped to receive that signal. So as a test, and as a stop gap, I purchased a TCL Roku 32inch TV, only $138. A test in figuring out if I want to go the way of a Roku 4K when the time comes. My Family and I are big Roku users. So it just made sense. I also use an outdoor antenna. Streaming and over the air is the only way we get our media entertainment. The Roku TV's are supposed to be very cordcutter friendly.



I like the EPG showing several hours of programming. I am receiving 50 channels. The tuner is better than the one on that old Vizio. After having it up for only two days I am impressed and satisfied. Presently I am thinking very hard about that future TCL 4k Roku TV unless other options open up. In two years you never know. Right now we are loving it. Not sure how user friendly this would be if no one had ever used a Roku. The handbook that came with the unit was very vague. It barely got you up and going. Definitely need the downloadable user handbook that it mentions in very fine print at the bottom of one page.


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Offline CreepinDeth

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 07:41:58 PM »
TCL came out of nowhere and their 4K TVs are some of the most highly rated and well reviewed sets, especially their 6-series. [The Wirecutter]

I also love Roku and have a set top for each of the TVs in my place. I don't know if the embedded Rokus in TVs are any different but the setup was pretty straightforward on the set top boxes. Every Roku I've had walks you through the process of setting it up.

Either way, I think you made a good purchase. I plan on getting a 6-series 4K TV one of these days. Can't beat $600 for 55". I can't speak towards over the air as I have stopped using that and just stick to Sling.TV. Its served me and my wife very well.

Offline retro junkie

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 08:27:10 PM »
I have heard a lot concerning Sling TV and it is a good choice. I also feel the set up of the Roku is pretty straight forward. But I talked with a guy today that they took theirs back because I think they were so unfamiliar with using a Roku. They thought you had to pay for all the apps. I think they got confused in the registration of starting an account. I told them that there are plenty of free stuff. The guy ended up with a 4K LG.
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Offline CreepinDeth

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2018, 11:21:12 PM »
They thought you had to pay for all the apps.

ah, okay, that makes sense. LG is also making some of the best 4K TVs as well. They're just a little more expensive. If someone wanted to upgrade from a TCL, the LG line would be it.

Offline Mai Valentine

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2018, 10:42:52 PM »
They thought you had to pay for all the apps.

ah, okay, that makes sense. LG is also making some of the best 4K TVs as well. They're just a little more expensive. If someone wanted to upgrade from a TCL, the LG line would be it.

At work we just started selling an LG 4k OLED that's somewhere around $3000 but holy crap is the image amazing. My coworker and I just stood there and stared at it for like five minutes in awe.

Offline mastermario

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 12:05:07 AM »
So as a test, and as a stop gap, I purchased a TCL Roku 32inch TV, only $138.

This is exactly what I would have suggested after reading the first paragraph haha. Regular HD TVs are so cheap now that I just can't justify paying over $1000 for a 4k. I'd rather buy two 65" LEDs for that price lol.

Offline CreepinDeth

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2018, 12:48:35 AM »
So as a test, and as a stop gap, I purchased a TCL Roku 32inch TV, only $138.

This is exactly what I would have suggested after reading the first paragraph haha. Regular HD TVs are so cheap now that I just can't justify paying over $1000 for a 4k. I'd rather buy two 65" LEDs for that price lol.

True, but sometimes you get what you pay for. What good is 65" if it's 65" of horrible color banding and washed out blacks? I went the cheap route with my first HDTV and I wish I had just saved a little more for a better TV. TCL is one of the few exceptions though. They make quality TVs and I would definitely recommend them if you're on a budget. If you have the money though, LG 4K TVs are superb as Mai just reported.

At work we just started selling an LG 4k OLED that's somewhere around $3000 but holy crap is the image amazing. My coworker and I just stood there and stared at it for like five minutes in awe.

I believe it. You should see if you can hook up a PS4 or XB1 to it.  ;D

Offline retro junkie

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 10:50:09 PM »
I have never been finicky or demanding about my TV picture.......hmmmm.......I think I have just gotten spoiled. The picture on this TCL has the color black...well...um..black. Before I was used to just seeing black as a dark gray. But the black on this screen is black. The difference in the contrast to the picture is spoiling me. I have been tainted. I can't go back.
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Offline CreepinDeth

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2018, 01:02:58 AM »
But the black on this screen is black. The difference in the contrast to the picture is spoiling me. I have been tainted. I can't go back.

Is that without calibration? If you haven't calibrated it yet, I recommend that as well. It can take a decent TV and make it even better.

Offline retro junkie

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2018, 08:29:10 AM »
Yes this is without calibration. I am going to do a google today to see the best settings for the TV.
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Offline BLUEVOODU

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2018, 10:11:39 PM »
@retro junkie  what did you find out?  Many tvs of today have black as black but the other black colors aren't handled well.  I have an older plasma still... pretty heavy ... and handles the black colors well.  This is a big reason I didn't jump to newer led tvs.

It seems some of the oled and qled tvs are doing better with this.

Overall are you still pretty happy?

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2018, 11:52:09 PM »
At work we just started selling an LG 4k OLED that's somewhere around $3000 but holy crap is the image amazing. My coworker and I just stood there and stared at it for like five minutes in awe.
@Mai Valentine I know what tv you're talking about. It's beautiful.  I'd like to have $3k right now for just the TV lol.

Offline retro junkie

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2018, 12:42:06 PM »
@retro junkie  what did you find out?  Many tvs of today have black as black but the other black colors aren't handled well.  I have an older plasma still... pretty heavy ... and handles the black colors well.  This is a big reason I didn't jump to newer led tvs.

It seems some of the oled and qled tvs are doing better with this.

Overall are you still pretty happy?

There were some suggested settings that I found, but I didn't want to change what I have. I just didn't really like some of the adjustments suggested. For straight out of the box preset choices I like "Movie" mode with the brighter setting. Totally like the picture and color in this mode.  I am still very satisfied with my purchase. For the price, this is a very good 32 inch. I am liking the TV built around the Roku experience. My Family and I are very Roku orientated. My wife will keep this on Pandora all day while I am at work.

For those black levels, you are not going to get that OLED, Plasma, or QLED, experience for $138. This TV handles black a lot better than the previous TV which was an old VIZIO that had bulbs inside, not LEDs. Not sure how much that effects the overall picture quality. There is a big enough difference that it has wowed me. At the same time I do not want to walk into where Mai works and see that LG 4k OLED and then go home and cry over my little 32" TCL.  :))
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Offline CreepinDeth

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2018, 10:46:18 PM »
I would recommend using a blu-ray calibration disc. I use the Disney WOW one and it helped even my crappy samsung LCD screen from 2007 look decent. I feel it's worth the investment especially for how often I use the TV.

Movie mode is the best preset to use when calibrating too. All of my TVs start in that mode and then I calibrate from there.

Offline mastermario

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 12:19:34 AM »
So as a test, and as a stop gap, I purchased a TCL Roku 32inch TV, only $138.

This is exactly what I would have suggested after reading the first paragraph haha. Regular HD TVs are so cheap now that I just can't justify paying over $1000 for a 4k. I'd rather buy two 65" LEDs for that price lol.

True, but sometimes you get what you pay for. What good is 65" if it's 65" of horrible color banding and washed out blacks? I went the cheap route with my first HDTV and I wish I had just saved a little more for a better TV. TCL is one of the few exceptions though. They make quality TVs and I would definitely recommend them if you're on a budget. If you have the money though, LG 4K TVs are superb as Mai just reported.


I dunno dude, I feel like maybe you had some bad luck. Since I was old enough to start buying TVs in like 2007, I haven't had a single one crap out. I still have the 37" and a couple of 29"'s from college and the TV in my bedroom is like a 15 year old 65" projection TV that @SpartanEvolved sold me for a couple hundred bucks., just had to replace the lamp in it. I've personally never had to throw out a TV so we just keep stocking up haha.

Offline retro junkie

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 09:04:07 PM »
The CRT TVs would last almost a life time. My last one lasted 30 years. But the new flat screens are rated something like five years or 50,000 hours. Some of the Plasma, high end, etc, much longer, 60,000 to 100,000 hours. Or that is what I have come to understand from many reading sources. The Vizio that I replaced, I am still using, but not as my main view any more, from what I have been able to figure, I am reaching the end of that 50,000 hours that the manufacturer said it would last. The blotched screen can be masked to a certain extent by adjusting the color and stuff. I will use it as a gaming TV so that it will die with honour.
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Offline CreepinDeth

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2018, 11:38:25 PM »
I dunno dude, I feel like maybe you had some bad luck. Since I was old enough to start buying TVs in like 2007, I haven't had a single one crap out. I still have the 37" and a couple of 29"'s from college and the TV in my bedroom is like a 15 year old 65" projection TV that @SpartanEvolved sold me for a couple hundred bucks., just had to replace the lamp in it. I've personally never had to throw out a TV so we just keep stocking up haha.

Oh, I'm not talking about a TV going bad. I mean cheap TVs generally tend to look like crap. Could be because I had video and audio classes during college, but I can immediately tell when a TV has bad colors or crappy black levels. Now whenever I shop for a TV, I check professional reviews so I know what I should expect in terms of picture quality. If I'm going to spend a bunch of money on these high end consoles plus games and 4K/HDR media, my TV better have a damn good panel. I refuse to just accept a cheap TV unless it's proven to have a good picture, like the TCLs.

I still have the TV that I regret purchasing. It's in the bedroom because in there I don't care if the colors aren't accurate or that the black levels look gray and uneven.

Offline retro junkie

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Re: New TV- A Stop Gap
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2018, 09:19:35 PM »
I know these short takes over whelms, and max out, my TV, and is meant for a 4k. But it still  blows my mind at what this TCL TV can do if it has a very good signal. The sharpness of detail, color and contrast, wows me.





I have also ordered a calibration disk.
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