TOP 6 Best Smart TV 2017

TOP 6 Best Smart TV 2017

We have had this TV for a couple of weeks. Since we don’t subscribe to cable, we mostly watch local news and occasionally local sport. We also have Amazon Prime and watch the odd free movie or rent one to watch on my computer monitor.
So when it came time to purchase a new TV we approached it the same way we approached buying a house. We made a list of the features we wanted (a SmartTV with Wifi, streaming channels, Amazon Prime, at least 50” and affordable at around the $500 mark). After looking at our options in terms of price and convenience, we decided that it made the most sense to purchase it through Amazon Prime.
After much research, we decided that the TCL TV’s offered the best value, met our budget requirements, and our decision to purchase the TV through Amazon enabled us to purchase the TV with interest free financing over 6 months.
The TV came in a large box with the stand hardware: remote, power cable and batteries plus simple instructions that were in separate bags. You do not get a HDMI or any other cables. The TV has a simple non-fussy design with approximately half inch bezel all around. The stand that comes with it is simple and screws on with two screws at each side. The stand footprint requires about 8.5 inches of depth to stand on which was perfect for the 11 inch thick mantle over our fireplace.

The old analog phono inputs are on the back and quite hard to reach once the TV is up on the mantle and they protrude straight out the back which would require more space between the wall and the TV if you use them. The power cable plugs into a recessed area low down on the left side and doesn’t interfere with the location of the tv. All the modern input and output sockets are behind the screen on the right side about 8 inches back.

Since we are just using an antenna we were initially a little apprehensive. Wondering how well that would work, or even if the TV had a tuner since everyone seems to use dish or cable these days. It has a tuner that works flawlessly. We managed to pick up almost 3 dozen channels many of them HD. A quick look online showed us a map of where the broadcast towers are and helped us aim our antenna for best reception.

The TV has a really nice clean picture and since it is an LED TV where a grid array of LED's light the screen uniformly rather than a couple of fluorescent lamps there is practically no limit to the viewing angle. The screen is not high gloss and prevents reflection and most glare from bright light sources. When turned on a non invasive 3” horizontal strip of illuminated plastic at the bottom shows you the TV is powered on. It flashes during startup and goes out when the screen is illuminated.

Image quality is excellent BUT on initial setup it is on a bright echo setting. Which is very high contrast and overly saturated. I guess it is a power saving mode (claimed 16 watts) but it is a bit stark and overwhelming and shows some dithering on smooth color transitions as though it is running at a lower bitrate with fewer colors. When turned to theater mode the quality of the picture is MUCH better with very smooth transitions on subtle colour gradients.

Sound is similar. Like most LCD style TV’s this one comes with tiny speakers. Again the default sound setting seems to be very flat. Probably to conserve energy. There are about four presets and again we went with theater which gives the broadest range and warm midtones without overdoing the bass. It doesn’t sound too bad and is not thin and reedy like the default setting.

Smart TV functionality

We originally wanted WIFI because as Amazon Prime members we get a lot of free on demand media. This is similar to Netflix where you can watch a huge catalog of TV and movies for free, buy or rent them for a small fee. The same goes with music. This worked perfectly.

Mobile devices and streaming from those devices
There are apps for Android and iOS as well as Windows. I was able to control the TV from all our devices. In many ways it is more responsive, especially if you need to type in text. If you have media on your PC there are Apps for the TV that will let you stream from your phone, notebook, desktop computer etc.

Smart tv links

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