TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

Last updated date: October 6, 2020

DWYM Score

TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

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We looked at the top Televisions and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Television you should buy.

Overall Take

You can save money while still accessing great features with the slightly older TCL model, the 5 Series. It includes Dolby Vision for accurate color and crisp video. But it doesn't get quite as bright as other TVs, making it a better option for darker rooms. The TCL 5 Series is a great set for gamers, thanks to its low input lag. In our analysis of 107 expert reviews, the TCL TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV placed 18th when we looked at the top 22 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note October 6, 2020:
Checkout The Best Television for a detailed review of all the top televisions.

Expert Summarized Score
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
572 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The TCL 5-Series TV offers image quality on a par with much more expensive TVs, and it offers media-streaming services and some extra features that costlier TVs don’t have.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Roku TV delivers the simplest, most comprehensive smart TV experience on the market, with more apps than competitors, including support for 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision.
Supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and can produce great vivid colors but can't produce bright highlights. For gamers, it has a low input lag which is excellent.
The TCL 5 Series isn’t quite as dazzling as the 6 series, but its expansive, user-friendly Roku functionality combined with its workmanlike performance makes it a great option for folks who don’t necessarily need a top-shelf TV and the costs associated with one.
- Reviewed
The 5 Series is TCL’s step down from the 6 Series, and it essentially replaces the current S Series. For 2018, TCL is introducing Dolby Vision HDR in addition to the already-supported HDR10.
- The Verge
Continues this tradition by offering not only a great price and solid quality, but by adding unexpectedly premium features – like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos sound, and a better-than-average version of Roku TV – to this value-packed budget TV.
- Tom's Guide
What experts didn't like
The TCL 5-Series doesn’t have local dimming, so we don’t consider it a true HDR TV. The panel has only a 60 Hz refresh rate.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Vizio's E series has a superior picture for a similar price. Image quality with HDR sources isn't significantly better than non-HDR.
Image degrades when viewed at an angle Can't produce bright HDR highlights
It doesn't get very bright, so it probably wouldn't be a good fit in a sunny, well-lit room. If that's a concern for you, we recommend spending a little extra on the TCL 6 Series.
- Reviewed
Viewing angles were somewhat limited, with noticeable color shifting when viewed for more than about 20 degrees off. Vertical angles were just as limited.
- Tom's Guide

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.

Overall Product Rankings

LG 65-Inch 4k Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
1. LG 65-Inch 4k Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 1
LG 22LJ4540 22-Inch 1080p IPS LED Television
2. LG 22LJ4540 22-Inch 1080p IPS LED Television
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 0
TCL 40-Inch Smart LED Roku TV
4. TCL 40-Inch Smart LED Roku TV
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 0
LG 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
7. LG 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 4
Sony XBR75X900F 75-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
10. Sony XBR75X900F 75-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 13
Vizio P Series 2160p Smart 4K UHD Television
11. Vizio P Series 2160p Smart 4K UHD Television
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 6
Samsung Flat QLED 4K UHD 9 Series Television
12. Samsung Flat QLED 4K UHD 9 Series Television
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 8
Toshiba 32LF221U19 Smart HD Television, 32-Inch
13. Toshiba 32LF221U19 Smart HD Television, 32-Inch
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 2
LG 55-Inch 4K UHD Smart OLED Television
14. LG 55-Inch 4K UHD Smart OLED Television
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 5
Toshiba 55-Inch Ultra Smart TV, 55LF711U20
15. Toshiba 55-Inch Ultra Smart TV, 55LF711U20
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 0
TCL 32-Inch HD 720P Roku Television
16. TCL 32-Inch HD 720P Roku Television
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 6
Insignia 39-inch Full HD Smart LED TV
17. Insignia 39-inch Full HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 3
TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV
18. TCL 55S517 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 6
TCL S-Series 4K Roku TV
20. TCL S-Series 4K Roku TV
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 5
Toshiba 720p HD Smart LED TV
22. Toshiba 720p HD Smart LED TV
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On Televisions

TVs have come a long way since the days of black-and-white broadcasts. Not only can you access hundreds, even thousands, of channels through cable and satellite providers, but you can use apps to stream a seemingly unlimited number of TV shows and movies.

But all of this technology has only made finding and purchasing a TV more complicated than ever. When you start shopping, you’ll immediately be bombarded with terms like LED, OLED and 4K HD. When you factor in screen size and access to apps, it gets even harder to figure out what you need.

As you consider picture quality, there are several factors that are important. Not only does the sharpness of the images on the screen matter, but you should also consider whether a set can achieve truly black tones, even in the darkest rooms. Many of the top TVs struggle to provide this, but manufacturers have been fiercely competing to be at the top of their industry in this area.

Another variable when looking at picture quality is glare. If your TV will be in a bright room, the “true black tones” won’t be as much a concern as the sunlight coming in through the windows. There are some TVs that seem to magnify even the slightest bit of light, meaning you’ll never be able to enjoy a good movie during the daytime. However, that same TV in a movie room or basement may work fine.

Once you’ve considered picture quality, it’s time to think about apps. Some TVs come with the Roku service built-in, which means you can access streaming services like Netflix and Hulu without an additional device.

Since streaming relies heavily on search, voice functionality is crucial. As you’re shopping, look around for a TV with a remote you can control via voice. Some remotes do better with intricate search features like stating channel names, for instance, so it’s important to check into that if you plan to use voice-to-search functionality with your new TV.

Of course, even with all of these features, there’s no denying that the look and feel of your new TV is important. Whether you’re hanging it on a wall or setting it atop an entertainment cabinet, you’ll want a TV set that complements your room’s décor rather than detracting from it. You’ll probably find while shopping that many TVs are basically the same in design, with small differences. But even something as simple as the thickness of the frame around your screen can matter when you’re sitting down to watch a movie.

DWYM Fun Fact

Flat-screen TVs may have first been available to consumers in the early 2000s, but they’ve actually been around since 1964. That year, both the first LCD and first plasma display panel TVs were invented. The technology had to wait several decades for broadcast providers to catch up. In 1996, the U.S. had its first-ever high-definition digital broadcast. Even then, it took time for enough HD content to be provided for consumers to invest in the technology. Today, consumers can find a variety of programming for their 4K HD TVs, including original programming on streaming networks like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The Television Buying Guide

  • The most important differentiator when you’re choosing a TV is picture quality. There are very big differences in picture quality from TV to TV, including brightness, contrast, blacks, video processing and cloudiness.
  • Dolby Vision has become a sought-after feature in TVs, so look for that logo if you’re interested in buying a TV with this technology that means top-notch picture quality.
  • Glare is an important issue, especially if your TV will be set up in a room with plenty of windows. The Samsung QLED 4K UHD’s finish is designed to combat those reflections, while other sets simply can’t overcome them.
  • One of the most frustrating things about a newer TV can be finding that it looks great, but only when you’re seated directly in front of it. Keep that in mind when you’re making your purchasing decision.
  • A crisp, vivid picture isn’t worth much if the colors you’re viewing are off. Some televisions feature deep blacks, combined with rich colors and bright brights. This is especially valuable if you’re taking advantage of the TV’s HDR.  The Samsung Electronics 32-Inch 1080p Smart LED Television provides impressive color accuracy, even in bright rooms.
  • If you’re setting up your TV in a home theater, contrast is especially important. You’ll enjoy watching even the darkest scenes on some TVs, which use local dimming and native contrast to display dark colors even in low lighting.
  • Although all the TVs have access to apps, some models have integrated Roku, so they’re set up to make accessing your streaming content easy. The TCL 40-Inch Smart LED Roku TV takes you directly to your content.
  • Be sure to measure the space you intend to put your TV in — then measure it again. You’d hate to have to return your brand new TV because it won’t fit on your console or the space on your wall.
  • Unless you move every few months, chances are your TV will stay in the same place for most of its lifespan. Still, it’s always nice to have a TV with a durable build. The Samsung Electronics 32-Inch 1080p Smart LED Television has a sturdy feel, along with uniform thickness throughout.
  • If you aren’t planning to mount your TV, note the type of stand it uses. Some TVs have two clawfeet stands on either side, which means you’ll need to set it on a tabletop wider than it is. With center-stand TVs, you have the luxury of using a smaller table and having the TV hang over slightly if necessary.
  • Before you buy a TV, determine whether you plan to mount it or set it on its stand. Since not all TVs come with mounts, you may need to buy one when you purchase your TV.
  • With some TV purchases, you can add on expert installation for a small fee. If you aren’t comfortable hanging your TV, this may be the way to go.
  • Cables are an important consideration when choosing a TV you plan to mount. The Samsung Electronics 32-Inch 1080p Smart LED Television plans for this by providing one slim cable that hooks all of your equipment up to the TV. This is through the use of the One Connect Box, a small box that lets you connect all your devices in one place. Since you’ll need somewhere to store the box, this setup is ideal if you have an entertainment cabinet beneath your wall-mounted TV.
  • For the many householders that have joined the cord-cutting revolution, some TV brings back the built-in TV tuner, giving you access to local channels when you aren’t streaming.
  • Sound on most of the TVs you buy today will prove inadequate, so set some of your spending money aside so that you can add on a soundbar. If you want full surround sound, you’ll need to invest in a speaker system, which can get pricey.
  • Although today’s TVs are much less conspicuous than TVs from previous generations, appearance is still important. Some models include a new feature called Ambient Mode, which provides decorative content and optional background music. You can even upload your own photos to display when the TV is idle.
  • Price may be the biggest differentiators in this lineup of TVs. Keep in mind the size and all the features you’re getting when you consider your budget for a TV.
  • Compatibility is an even bigger factor than ever when choosing a TV. Check to make sure the devices you already own are ideal for the TV you choose.