WHAT IT IS This 4K ultra-high-definition TV delivers fantastic image quality, and it's inexpensive.
DETAILS $649.99 (55-inch version), $999.99 (65-inch); tcl.com
BOTTOM LINE This is the best TV for the price.
Televisions have come a long way in the past decade. The big picture in the world of TVs is all about 4K content, extra pixels and enhanced picture quality.
Fitting right in is the 6-Series 4K LCD TV from China’s TCL, the third-largest TV manufacturer in the world. The 6-Series (there are 55- and 65-inch models) has a lot going for it, including a great looking 4K ultra-high-definition panel with high dynamic range (HDR10 and Dolby Vision). It’s powered by the Roku operating system, which means all Roku streaming channels are available right on the TV’s home screen alongside other inputs.
The handsome set features a thin brushed-metal bezel with only one button, which turns the set on and off and also lets users select inputs. The feet are located at its edges, so you’ll need a wide cabinet if you don’t plan to mount it on a wall.
The remote is minimal — there are no number keys, only a four-way navigation ring and playback controls. It uses Wi-Fi and has a microphone so you can use your voice to search for shows or change the channel or input.
The 6-Series accepts antenna input for local broadcast channels and, if you put a 16-gigabyte or larger flash drive in the TV’s USB port, you can pause live TV for up to 90 minutes.
TCL also includes a nice grid guide for your live over-the-air channels.
There are three HDMI 2.0 ports (one has audio return channel HDMI) to connect peripherals. Connected devices can also have custom names, so instead of scrolling through HDMI 1, HDMI 2, you can name your inputs Blu-Ray player or TiVo or Apple TV.
Other ports on the back include digital audio out, analog headphone jack, USB and Ethernet.
TCL also uses a technology called Contrast Control Zones, which enables a wider range of contrast for blacker blacks with a contrast ratio of more than 12,000 to 1.
Wide Color Nano Band Phosphor Photon technology is used to deliver a range of visible colors that nearly matches DCI-P3 reference standards. That’s just a fancy way of saying the panel has a really wide color range that looks really good.
If there’s one flaw, it’s that the 6-Series isn’t going to win any awards for sound. The speakers face the rear, so depending on where the TV is placed, the sound may not be as crisp as you’d like. You might want to invest in a soundbar to brings the speakers around front.
Overall, the TCL 6-Series is the best 4K UHD TV you can find for less than $1,000. On the downside, you may like it so much, you’ll find yourself watching way too much time television.