TCL 6 Series may be the best buy for cord cutters in 2018


TCL 6 Series: Pricing starts at $650 for 55-inch size

The TCL 6 Series promises to be one of the most exciting 4K HDR televisions on the market this year, especially for cord cutters.

That’s because the 6 Series has high-end features like full-array local dimming, and wide color gamut for a much lower price than Sony and Samsung.

Paired with the latest Roku TV software, the TCL 6 Series is the likely to be the best all-in-one package to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, VUDU and other apps that carry 4K and HDR shows and movies. TCL recommends at least 25 – 30Mbps connection to ensure stable 4K HDR streaming.

The 55-inch model is now priced at $649.990 on Amazon, and $999.99 for the 65-inch model.

If you want an even lower price, you can get a slightly less expensive model at Best Buy. I’ll get back to that in a few moments. The really big deal with the 6 Series is the features that should dramatically improve HDR (High Dynamic Range).

TCL calls its version of full array local dimming “contrast control zones”, which should make a huge improvement black levels and contrast. Those are two key components of having an excellent picture. There’s a general rule of thumb with dimming zones that’s worth mentioning. Having more doesn’t always result in better picture quality, but it can make a difference.

More dimming zones can add nuance by lighting up and dimming areas of the picture more precisely. The 6 Series supports both Dolby Vision and open HDR10, so consumers don’t have to worry about compatibility between their TV and the HDR content they want to enjoy. Late last year, I reviewed the TCL S405 and called it one the best budget 4K HDR Roku TV out there. Now, the Series 6 is poised to bring a huge upgrade compared to S-Series and P-Series models. 

Smart Guide for TV antenna users

One of the great, recent updates to TCL Roku TVs has been its channel guide for over-the-air channels called Smart Guide.

The Series 6 also has TCL’s Smart Guide, which integrates information for local broadcast TV drawn in from an antenna with streaming options that allow customers to search or browse entertainment content. 

Smart Guide provides program information for local antenna broadcast TV channels from seven days in the past up to 14 days in the future.  Smart Guide also integrates the “More Ways to Watch” features. So users can choose to watch a show from the beginning, see more episodes or browse similar shows.

Over time, the Smart Guide learns to identify favorite broadcast channels by placing the most viewed channels at the top of the program guide.

The Live TV Pause function allows antenna users to pause and play back over-the-air TV for up to 90 minues.  Live TV Pause requires a 16GB or larger USB flash drive to be connected to the TV. By using the thumbnail images, you can find your way forward or back to just the right point.

Where to buy new TCL 6 Series Roku TV

The less expensive 615 model at Best Buy can save you $50. It doesn’t have a mic on the remote for voice search or voice commands. But the voice control feature can also be used with the Roku mobile app for iOS or Android.  You can use conversational requests to naturally interact with your TV, such as: “Show me movies with Will Ferrell.”“Go to HBO Now.” “Tune to NBC.” (if you have an antenna connected  to your TCL Roku TV)

Are you shopping for a Roku TV? Do you own one already? Tell readers about your experience using them in the comments below.

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  1. We’re actually done with buying smart TVs if it’s possible these companies don’t keep the software up to date. Will be buying a separate OEM box from now on. Reminds me of car companies with Nav always obsolete and never updated.

  2. We purchased a 55″ P-series TCL Roku TV a little over a year ago (from Walmart). It was a display and we got a really good deal on it. It’s the first HD/Smart tv that we’ve owned (the old TV was a big CRT Sharp that still worked really good but the resolution wasn’t good with all the HD transmissions). The TCL has done really well and we’re very pleased with it. The screen has excellent resolution and we love the built-in Roku. We’ve been streaming tv shows and movies, plus you can access Amazon and Youtube easily. We even cancelled our Directv account and that saves us about $100 a month. I do wish they had a keyboard that would work with it (if there’s a keyboard that works with it, I’d love to find it as having to use the remote control to type in a search is cumbersome – or a remote control with built-in keyboard). After we’d had it almost a year, it started having a problem with the right side of the screen (blinked dark/normal). We contacted TCL, told them about the problem and they forwarded to their tech/warranty department. TCL decided that, due to the TV’s age, they would replace it. Within 3 weeks of contacting TCL they had a technician come to our house with the new TV (new model), set it up and remove the old one. I am very impressed with the company and the TV I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another one.

    • UncommonSensesc,

      You can get a keyboard by using the Roku app. If you have a tablet or smartphone, Android or Apple, go to the app store where you usually get your apps and look for the Roku app. It’s free. It will give you all the functions that are on your remote; arrow keys, back arrow, etc. In addition it has a keyboard you can use for things like searches or passwords. Very convenient.

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