I’m one of those folks who went about 10 years before starting to think about a new TV. You could say I was of the mind, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. But over the last few years, 4K TVs have dropped in price, grown in size and become smarter and more versatile than ever. With the global pandemic keeping most of us at home a lot more now than ever, the time has never been better to upgrade your TV. TCL is a fairly new brand to Canada and aside from smartphones they recently released, they have some pretty interesting TVs on the market. I recently had the chance to review the 55” TCL 6-series 4K QLED Roku TV model 55R635-CA in my home over several weeks. I’ll tell you all about my experience.
TCL 6-series 4K UHD QLED Roku TV review
Getting this TV set up was easy and trouble free. Attach the feet with the included screws if you’re not wall mounting, plug it in, fire it up and connect to your home’s Wi-Fi. In seconds I was ready to watch one of the many streaming channels including Netflix, Apple TV, YouTube, Prime Video , Disney+ and more.
TCL 6-series uses Roku OS
One of the things about this TV I was looking forward to was the operating system. Roku is the OS and interface for the TCL 6-series and this operating system is super easy to navigate, it’s easy on the eyes and it runs bug free. I’ve long been a fan of Roku products because they work exactly as they should and even my in-laws are able to use it without detailed directions.
TCL 6-series has thoughtful touches
TCL has added quite a few nice touches in the TCL 6-series QLED Roku TV a glossy panel on the back helps it look less utilitarian, but even so I wouldn’t personally place it in the middle of the room. The TV has thin, almost non-existent bezels that let the focus stay on the video, not a plastic frame.
TCL thoughtfully added cable runs in the legs. With pop-off covers, you can easily snake any cables down through the legs for a more polished, less cluttered look.
TCL 6-series TV video quality
I’ll say out of the gate I was impressed by the video quality of this TV. I mean, it’s hard not to be when it comes to 4K televisions. With a picture that’s 4 times sharper than HD, it’s a night and day difference from older TVs and it will be a noticeable upgrade if you haven’t graduated to 4K TVs yet. The video is crisp and clear and vibrant and it was enjoyable watching TV shows, movies or just viewing photos. The colours didn’t look so vibrant as to look fake, and I noticed no ghosting or shifting off to the edges or corners. Even side or angle viewing was great.
TCL 6-series features & technology
There’s a bunch of other tech packed in here too and the good news is it’s all the latest stuff you’re hearing about: I’ll tell you what it has, and explain a bit about what that should mean for you when you’re watching.
HDR Pro Pack technology with Dolby Vision essentially improves small details in bright and dark areas to make your movies and games look more realistic.
Mini-LED backlight technology gives the TV more precision when showing bright and dark areas in the same scene, .
‘Natural Motion 480’ technology enhances fast-action content like sports or intense action games by making quick pans and such less blurry.
Quantum Dot LED or QLED technology is what you can thank for the colour. TCL 6-series promises superior performance with vibrant and rich colours. I can definitely say the colour gamut is extensive, and really pops when watching nature videos.
Sound quality on TCL 6-series
I don’t often evaluate sound quality of the internal speakers with a flatscreen TV. At least I don’t crack on it. The truth about built-in TV speakers is that they’re not optimal; such thin and tiny speakers have a hard time delivering on premium quality audio so a sound bar is always recommended.
The TCL 6-series has dual 8W speakers featuring Dolby Atmos/Dolby Digital+ technologies to help deliver high-quality immersive sound for your music, movies, and games. If you’re going to take advantage of the Dolby qualities however you need to know you also need content made in Dolby Atmos, and an Atmos-enabled sound bar or surround sound system.
With a high low-frequency extension, these speakers give your basic bass and I’d say it lacks rumble or thump. It has a good maximum volume that is loud enough for large rooms. If you don’t buy the sound bar hype, the speakers are just fine for what they are.
Ports & connections on TCL Roku TV
You’ve got access to a host of TV, movies and shows all using the smart Roku interface, but if you need to connect other devices you’ve got options.
All of the inputs on the TV are side-facing, so even when the TV is wall-mounted, they are easily accessible. It has ethernet, 4 HDMI inputs including ARC for audio components, 1 USB input, plus audio/video inputs, 1 optical digital audio output, and 1 headphone jack.
Roku remote included
Naturally the TV comes with a remote. The remote is small in size and has easy-to-use buttons with shortcuts to streaming services. There’s also voice control which I love because it saves typing. While there’s no headphone jack as in previous Roku incarnations, you can download the Roku app for additional control and functionality as well as private listening mode where you can connect your headphones to your smartphone and listen to the TV’s audio that was to avoid disturbing others… or having your kids disturb you.
Connect to your smart home
There’s no built in Google or Alexa, but you can can connect this TV to your smart home ecosystem if you already have a smart digital assistant. Link to the TCL skill in the app of your preferred Assistant. During my testing I didn’t have the opportunity to test this feature out so if you have thoughts, please post in comments below.
Of course with voice control too in the remote, you can ask the TV to search for shows, movies, actors and more.
Overall review of the TCL 6-series 4K UHD QLED Roku TV
Overall, I’m really happy with this TV. The video quality is great for movies and TV which is mainly what I used it for. I noticed no issues with the video picture, and no concerns with the overall TV operating system. While it’ll be interesting to see how this TV holds up over time, for now I think it’s a great addition to my home.
The Roku OS is easy to use and entirely trouble free. The TCL 6-series does link up to Google and Alexa, though it’s not built in. Some may think that would be a downside, but with so many people already owning a smart speaker, it’s probably not an issue.
While some may say this TV’s video quality doesn’t stand up to the likes of premium 4K TVs from bigger names, I would point out it’s in a different category and at a different price point. But I can definitely recommend the TCL 6-Series 4K UHD QLED Roku TV if you’re looking to upgrade or add to your TVs at home.