TCL 55″ 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

Last updated date: June 26, 2019

DWYM Score
8.2

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 HD TVs and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including CNET, RTINGS.com, Best Reviews Guide, New York Times Wirecutter, Digital Trends, PC Magazine and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best HD TV you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 69 expert reviews, the TCL TCL 55" 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV placed 7th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best HD TV for a detailed review of all the top hd tvs.

Expert Summarized Score
8.0
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
1,792 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The affordable TCL 5 series has a clean, minimalist look that outclasses most budget TVs.
- CNET
For gamers, it has a low input lag which is excellent.
- RTINGS.com
In addition to being fast, responsive, and easy to use, we love the platform's sheer amount of flexibility when it comes to both the pre-installed apps that ones that are available to install on your own.
- Reviewed
TCL’s 5-Series televisions run on the easy-to-use Roku OS, and a great contrast ratio makes sure the picture looks good.
- New York Times Wirecutter
You can use the included Roku remote to control this smart television or download the Roku app and use your smartphone or tablet.
- Digital Trends
The company's 5-series sits between the remarkably inexpensive 4-series and the impressively bright 6-series, and takes elements from both.
- PC Magazine
What experts didn't like
Image quality with HDR sources isn't significantly better than non-HDR.
- CNET
Image degrades when viewed at an angle
- RTINGS.com
There are a few things to know about the 5 Series before you break out the credit card. First, it doesn't get very bright, so it probably wouldn't be a good fit in a sunny, well-lit room.
- Reviewed
The 5-series is much sleeker and more stylish than the less expensive 4-series, but it lacks the attractive gunmetal finish of the 6-series.
- PC Magazine

From The Manufacturer

The 5-series 4K TCL Roku TV delivers stunning Ultra HD picture quality with four times the resolution of Full HD for enhanced clarity and detail, as well as the most streaming channels of any 4K TV. To make the most of all this content, Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) technology delivers bright and accurate colors for a lifelike viewing experience. In addition, your favorite HD shows, movies, and sporting events are upscaled to near Ultra HD resolution with 4K upscaling. The simple, intuitive interface allows seamless access to over 500, 000 streaming movies and TV episodes, your cable box, Blu-ray player, gaming console, and other devices without flipping through inputs or complicated menus. HDMI Ports: 3 HDMI 2.0 w/HDCP 2.2 (1 ARC); Resolution: 3840 x 2160; USB Ports: 1 USB 2.9

Overall Product Rankings

1. VIZIO 43-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 8
2. LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 8
3. Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Vizio 55″ P-Series 4K UHD HDR TV
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
5. LG 24-Inch Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 7
6. Samsung 64-In 1080p 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 5
7. TCL 55″ 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 7
8. Samsung Flat 55-In 4K 7 Series Smart TV
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 1
9. Proscan 48-In LED HD TV, 1080P
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2
10. Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 9
11. Sharp 43-In Class LED 1080p Smart HDTV
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On HD TVs

There is nothing quite like curling up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and a large bowl of popcorn and watching your favorite shows or movies on the television. You can control what you watch, when you watch and how you watch it. And you don’t even need to get up to change the channel like in the old days.

Luckily, TVs have come a long way. In the 1940s and 1950s, the latest television technology looked absurd from today’s point of view. Most televisions had a bulky wooden case with a curved porthole screen – not to mention a tall antenna. To change the channel, you had to walk all the way across the room to the TV itself. Compared to the HD TVs of today, those old TVs looked almost alien.

The HD TVs that are so commonplace now emerged in the late 1990s. What is “HD” anyway, and how it is different from everything that came before it? HD stands for “high definition,” which refers to the high number of pixels that are displayed on the screen.

The way an image appears on a TV screen is quite interesting. It’s actually not a single image at all. In fact, every image you see on the screen is made up of many small dots, which are called pixels. When you have more pixels on a screen, like an HD TV does, the image appears much more detailed and sharper, as compared to an image that doesn’t have as many pixels in it.

A standard definition television, also called an SD TV, uses 480 rows of pixels, with 640 columns. Now compare that to an HD TV, which typically uses 720 or 1080 rows of pixels. When you have around double the number of pixels, the visual on the screen is much clearer or high definition. This is the main advantage to having an HD TV.

However, the image itself isn’t the only bonus of having an HD TV. The shape of the TVs themselves is actually improved on a high definition one. They are more rectangular, rather than square, which means they are a similar shape to a movie theater screen. This makes watching movies on your TV much more enjoyable because the picture doesn’t need to be compressed to fit on the screen.

One of the major issues people have with HD TVs is the different systems and standards your TV may need to deal with. Your TV doesn’t only get signals from a cable transmitter. You can also use DVD players, Blu-Ray players, laptops or video game consoles to feed in a picture to your HD TV. While your TV may be 720p or 1080p, the image you see on the screen will only be as good as the quality of the signal. An old TV program may be in standard definition format, so it will not look high definition on your HD TV. It’s important to get an HD TV that can switch between different inputs, but keep in mind that what you watch needs to be in HD format for it to look high definition on an HD TV.

DYWM Fun Fact

While HD TVs are now common in many households in the United States, that wasn’t always the case. In 2008, only 23% of U.S. households had at least one HD TV. That number skyrocketed to 75 percent in 2013 and is likely much higher today.

HD TV has been a long time in the making. While it became widely available in the United States in the 1990s, the journey began much earlier in the 1970s in Japan. Panasonic created a television prototype that was able to display 1,125 lines of pixels back in 1974 — compared to the 480 lines of pixels that standard definition can display. It was a huge improvement in picture quality, though it was not widely available for consumers just yet.

Creating the HD TV we have today was not only a technological marvel, it was also a geopolitical competition. A number of companies formed a consortium called the Grand Alliance, whose goal it was to establish an HD TV standard for companies to build upon in the United States. A committee made up of different companies, such as General Instruments, Zenith, Philips and AT&T, are responsible for building the first HD TV prototype in the United States. The first consumer HD TVs didn’t enter the market until 1998 and were from Panasonic and Sony.

If you wanted to buy an HD TV when it first came out, you had to have a lot of disposable income. However, the problem at the time was that there was not much high definition programming available. Even if you had an HD TV, you couldn’t necessarily watch any HD shows just yet. Now, there are thankfully plenty of options to keep you entertained.

The HD TV Buying Guide

  • One of the most important factors to consider when deciding to buy an HD TV is the size. The size of the TV should work with the dimensions of the room you plan to put the TV in. If the TV is too big for the room, you may have trouble viewing the whole screen and have to turn your head to watch it. However, if the TV is too small for the room, you may not be able to see the picture as well – defeating the entire purpose of getting an HD TV. Vizio’s 43″ 1080p Smart LED TV is smaller compared to the LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV; however, it’s bigger than the Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV and the Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV.
  • The number of pixels affects the resolution of the image you see on the screen. The higher the number of pixels, the better the picture. The Vizio and LG options have a higher resolution than the Toshiba and Samsung ones, which are both 720p.
  • Price is a purchasing factor for many people, and HD TVs can range widely depending on the brand and technology available.
  • Take a look at the HD TVs refresh rate before you buy. The refresh rate is the number of times per second that the image is refreshed on the screen. This is what creates the illusion of motion. This is kind of like a flipbook where you draw a figure that is slightly different on each page, and when you flip the pages, it appears your picture is moving. If the refresh rate says 120 hertz, then it means that the image is refreshed 120 times in every second. A high refresh rate means that the motion will seem more realistic and smooth, instead of choppy and clumsy. The refresh rate on the Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED TV is 120, while it’s only 60 on the Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV and Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV. In most cases, a refresh rate of 120 hertz is ideal.
  • HDMI ports are important on a TV if you will be plugging things into it. Many people plug in a sound bar, a game console and a streaming media adapter. Having extra HDMI ports is especially critical if you don’t want to have to constantly switch which items are plugged into the TV. The Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED TV and Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV both come with three HDMI ports while the LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV has four HDMI ports. The Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV has two HDMI ports.
  • The picture quality of your HD TV will also depend on the display type. Most commonly, TVs are LCD LED, which means they use light-emitting diodes to light up the screen. When watching the TV, you’ll be able to see light and dark areas on the screen for better contrast and picture quality. Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED, Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV and Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV are all LCD LED display types. On the other hand, the LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV uses a different kind of technology called OLED. It controls the light at the pixel level to achieve far higher contrast levels.
  • Having Smart functionality on your HD TV can make it much easier to browse and watch whatever you like. Having built-in Wi-Fi means you can connect to the internet to access services like Netflix or other steaming platforms. Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED, LG 65-In 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV and Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV all have built-in Wi-Fi, while Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV does not.
  • The weight of the TV itself may affect whether you buy it. If you need to be able to move the HD TV on your own, you may not wish to purchase a heavy one. You also need to consider the weight if you want to mount the TV on the wall. The Vizio 43″ 1080p Smart LED weighs just over 18 lbs, while the Toshiba 32-In 720p HD Smart LED TV is just over 10 lbs, as is the Samsung 32-Inch 720p LED TV.