- Editor’s Rating 97%
The TCL Roku is a 48″ smart TV that includes the Roku operating system which is excellent compared to Apple TV and the Chrome. The Roku TV is quite standard as it features very thin bezels all around the TV with a glass stand compared to other TVs. The Roku has a simplistic interface which welcomes you once you put on the TV, the big app tiles are there, along with easy access to Search, the Channel Store and Settings. The most obvious difference is the presence of extra icons along the top, one for each input device you’ve set up. Highlight an input and the tile activates to show a live preview of that source; for example the live TV feed from your cable box or the screensaver from your game console. You can also move inputs around on the grid, just like any other app.
Depending on how much you use apps as opposed to watching TV from a traditional source like a cable box, you might either love the app-centric Roku TV home page (I do) or wish for the option to skip it and go directly to an input by default. Happily, Roku TV gives you that option. Under Settings > System > Power > Power On, you can choose to “Always power on to…” the Home screen (the default), the last-used TV input (standard for most TVs), or directly to any input, such as the cable box.
Other helpful additions include the full-screen contextual tips, a helpful intro video, a strong array of closed-caption options, and the nerdy ability to change themes from the default TCL red.
The Roku has over 1700 apps which you could access via its store which is quite impressive when compared to any other smart TV app store.
At the back of the Roku are 3 HDMI ports, USB 3.0 port, as well as a standard RF and analog input without an Ethernet port.
It also comes with a very simple yet standard remote that has no numeric or extra buttons you may find on most TV remotes. The downside of the TV was the lack of harnessing picture quality and colors in the best form possible.