Are TCL TVs reliable? TCL offers everything from compact 32” TVs to massive 75” TVs. By the end of this article, you’ll decide if buying a TCL TV is right for you.
The TCL 5-Series and above are excellent
From my experience, the TCL 4-Series and lower have inconsistent reliability. The 3-Series costs just under $150, which reflects its quality.
However, TCL is very good and reliable as long as you buy the 5-Series and above. The 6-Series has gained significant attention in recent years.
The gaming TV lineup released after September 2022 has shown excellent build quality and clear pictures. In fact, if you’re a hardcore gamer, I would suggest you buy the TCL 6-Series.
Sure, there are other brands that are more consistently reliable, like Sony, LG, and Samsung, but they are more expensive than TCL. But as far as budget TVs go, TCL has been solid.
TCL TVs last between 1 to 4 years
Based on my experience, TCL TVs can last anywhere between 1 to 4 years. On average, many customers have reported that their TCL TVs lasted around 2 years.
I bought a TCL 4-Series in 2018 and use it a few times weekly. I also have a TCL 6-Series from 2019 that I use daily for gaming. Both still work perfectly.
Here’s a testimony from a TCL customer:
“I’ve owned a 55” TCL as my primary TV since 2016, which I bought from Costco. It works perfectly, with zero issues. I’m hoping it stops working soon, so I can convince my wife to get a 75” TV.”– TCL customer
TCL TVs might have a higher chance of defects compared to brands like Sony, Samsung, or LG. But a good TCL TV can last several years.
Modern-day TVs, including TCLs, aren’t built to last as long as old CRT TVs.
TCL TVs have satisfying picture quality
Out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice with the 6-Series is how vibrant the colors are. Videos in 4K look good, but with HDR, they are spectacular.
The TCL 6-Series displays bright whites and deep blacks. So, when HDR is applied, you get deep, rich shadows and very intense brights, all of which are stunning.
For comparison, consider a TCL TV (55R617) and an LG TV (43UH6500).
The 5-Series is decent, but the 55-inch 6-Series is excellent. For $600, it has the closest performance to the USD $800 Vizio P Series, which is a better TV if you can afford it.
According to a friend who is a Best Buy employee, one minor downside to the TCL 6-Series is screen uniformity. Some panels exhibit the “dirty screen effect”.
Basically, when the screen is viewed from an angle, it will mostly display a single solid color. I don’t think this is significant since it affects some panels more than others.
If you get a bad one, you could ask for a free return and exchange. Or, if you’re concerned about reliability, Best Buy offers a two-year Geek Squad® Protection for $69.99.
That covers the main points. The TCL 6-Series offers the best value.
TCL Customer service is responsive
I’ve never contacted TCL Support, but I asked friends who have. Overall, the customer service has been amazing and reliable so far.
A friend of mine went through the process of a refund for his TCL 6-Series. It was a great TV, but it died a few days after purchase, so he contacted TCL Support.
They sent a repairman who ended up swapping out three separate boards (CPU, color processor, and power supply) with no luck. The repairman said the screen going black is a common issue.
Ultimately, TCL decided not to continue with the repair and sent him a check. Customer service was easy to deal with and very responsive through email.
Another friend with a 2019 8-Series had issues with DolbyVision content from an AppleTV. TCL Support kept him informed the whole time.
Whenever there was an update, TCL Support emailed him right away. I hope this is the same in other countries since both incidents are in the USA.
Should you get a TCL TV?
I love TCL, especially Roku TV. The built-in Roku software is awesome. I’m a cord cutter, and the ease of switching between games, Netflix, and streaming TV is simple and intuitive.
Remember, you often get what you pay for. So, don’t put TCL TVs on the same level as high-end brands.
After one and a half years, my main complaint is the occasional slowdown in the Roku interface. Firmware updates have mostly fixed this.
Given their price, TCL TVs offer great value. I own a TCL-6 series and use it with my Xbox Series X, and I’d recommend it to anyone.