Are TCL TVs Reliable? (Explained For Beginners)

TCL is a big name when it comes to budget-friendly electronics. But can TCL TVs be counted on for quality results?

It’s a good question since most of us want quality results for the lowest cost possible!

So, are TCL TVs reliable? 

About the Reliability of TCL TVs.

TCL TVs are reliable for regular use, but they aren’t great for intensive gaming or if you’re looking for image-quality perfection. But, for the most part, these TVs are exceptional for casual TV watchers. They are a mid-range TV that will typically last 5-7 years when used 8-10 hours daily.

Do TCL TVs Last As Long As Other Brands?

TCL TVs can last up to seven years under heavy usage and settings. 

But with the proper settings and proper usage, you can expect it to last longer than this. It may even reach ten years under favorable circumstances and care.

Are TCL TVs Worth Buying?

TCL TVs are a good option if you have a tight budget for a TV.

Their TVs are priced at a fraction of the cost of major TV brands, yet you get decent, standard features . TCL TVs may not have fancy features, but for the price, it’s expected.

If you want a no-frills TV, TCL is a good option to consider.

Do People Generally Have Problems With TCL TVs?

The problem people usually have with TCL TVs is that they just don’t match the quality of more expensive brands.

That said, TCL produces good quality TVs that are decent for its price.

What Are the Most Common Issues With TCL TVs?

A common issue with TCL TVs is their lack of high brightness levels.

  • Most of the TCL TVs don’t perform well in well-lit environments, as they are susceptible to glare and reflections.
  • TCL TVs work better in dimly-lit rooms or during nighttime viewing.
  • The best workaround to this lack of brightness is to adjust the lighting in the room to compensate for the weak backlights.

How Reliable Are The Cable Ports?

TCL TVs have relatively good cable ports.

As long as you don’t tug on the cables with force, you can expect them to last as long as any other TV’s ports.

How Many Years Should I Expect It To Last?

With heavy use, a TCL TV can last up to seven years. 

But heavy use means having the TV on for many hours at a time, every day.

If you want your TV to last longer than seven years, you should reduce usage and lower your TV’s brightness settings whenever possible so that you don’t stress the backlight.

How Long Is the Warranty On These?

TCL provides a 24-month warranty for their TVs when bought at an offline retailer. 

For those who buy TCL TVs through online channels, such as Amazon, a 12-month warranty covers products used for non-commercial purposes.

Commercial usage is often covered with a 90-day warranty.

Are TCL TVs Good for Gaming?

For the most part, you can use TCL TVs for video games.

But the overall performance lies in the kind of games you play.

  • Graphic-intensive games are not recommended with TCL, as most models only have a 60 Hz refresh rate.
  • Input lag is average, with flagship models having better performance.

For more information, check out our article Are TCL TVs Good For Gaming?.

What’s the First Thing that Breaks in a TV?

The first thing that usually breaks in any TV, regardless of brand, is the backlight.

  • The backlights of a TV burn out over time as they illuminate the screen.
  • Like lightbulbs, these panels heat up, which causes deterioration as time passes by.

That is why it is important to set the brightness at a level that’s enough to remove glare and reflection on the screen, but not so high that you burn through your backlights too quickly.

What Are the Best TCL TVs?

If you are giving some thought to getting a TCL TV, here some models to consider.

TCL 6 Series 2020

The TCL 6 Series is the flagship TV of the brand for 2020. Given its price, it comes with more powerful features than you would expect.

  • The most notable feature of the 6 Series is the 4k QLED display.
  • It uses a Roku TV operating system, which has a good number of apps on tap.
  • The QLED panel offers a wide color gamut for HDR content that makes highlights pop.
  • When it comes to watching under different lighting conditions, the 6 Series has a good contrast ratio and full-array local dimming for deep blacks during late-night binges.
  • This TV is also good at handling reflections and glare, as the 6 Series can get bright enough to remove the effects.
  • If you are into gaming, the 6 Series has a low input lag and supports Variable Refresh Rates. Response time is fast, making this TV powerful for a budget offering.

On the downside, the 6 Series has narrow viewing angles and there can be some blooming around bright objects. The FreeSync feature doesn’t work properly, which could be corrected in an upcoming firmware update.

TCL 5 Series 2020

The TCL 5 Series is another powerful option from the brand.

  • It also comes with a 4k QLED panel and a remarkable color gamut that enhances HDR performance.
  • When it comes to handling lighting conditions, the 5 Series has an exceptional contrast ratio that makes it perfect for watching at night.
  • The local dimming is on par with the standard, so you won’t have problems watching in well-lit rooms.
  • The 5 Series does a good job in upscaling content and removes 24p judder.
  • For those into games, the 5 Series has a low input lag, a fast response time, and Black Frame Insertion to reduce screen tearing in fast-paced scenes.
  • The sound quality is average, but you can take advantage of the eARC port that lets you connect your favorite soundbar using HDMI.

On the downside, the 5 Series does not make HDR content pop, and the reflection handling is very mediocre. There’s also a lack of Variable Refresh Rate, and the 5 Series is limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate.

TCL 8 Series 2019

Next in the line-up of recommended TCL TVs is the 8 Series of 2019.

  • The 8 Series comes with a 4k display and a QLED panel that provides vibrant colors, especially for HDR content.
  • When it comes to adjusting to lighting conditions, the 8 Series has an exceptional contrast ratio and local dimming that produce deep blacks for watching at night.
  • This TV also gets bright enough to counteract glare and reflections on the screen.
  • When it comes to gaming, the 8 Series performs okay but could use some improvement.
  • Most notably, the 8 Series has a good response time, while the movement is clear in fast-paced scenes.
  • The 8 Series uses the Roku TV platform, which gives you plenty of options for apps.

The weak points of the 8 Series are its lack of Variable Refresh Rate support, and its input lag is just okay. The 8 Series also has narrow viewing angles, which isn’t ideal when watching in different parts of the room.

If these smart TVs are too expensive for your taste, then you may want to check the 4 Series from TCL, which has an ordinary LED panel and average performance.

Six Ways to Care for Your TV

Considering that TCL is on the budget-friendly side of TVs, you’ll want to be sure to take good care to ensure your TV’s longevity.

By knowing and practicing good habits in TV care and maintenance, you can slow down your TV’s degradation. And proper maintenance goes a long way, regardless of what brand of TV you have.

Here are some maintenance tips to consider for your TV.

Turn the TV off when not in use

When you use your TV, you are slowly degrading its components, which is why you need to turn off the TV when not in use.

  • While turning off the TV does not totally stop degradation, you get to slow down the process and get more hours from crucial components.
  • Such components, like the backlight, burn out over time with use. Turning off the TV when not in use preserves the backlight’s lifespan.
  • Many TV has timers that let you turn off the TV after a set period, and these can help you efficiently manage power consumption.
  • You may also take advantage of smart home systems to turn off the TV.

An added benefit of turning off the TV? You save more from your electricity bill!

Keep your TV in a safe place

All TV needs to be in a safe place, away from harmful conditions.

  • That includes cold and hot weather conditions.
  • You want to keep it away from sunlight, which can overheat your TV.
  • Ditto with rain and snow, which can also damage the TV if you forget to close that window!
  • Consider also using a wall mount, so you can prevent your TV from getting knocked down by accident.

Put enough space for ventilation

Electronic devices emit heat with use, especially during prolonged periods.

  • That is why your TV needs to have sufficient space to let air circulate.
  • The back of the TV needs at least two inches of space, and the sides need at least four inches of space for air to circulate.
  • For those who plan to use a cabinet for the TV, there should be more spaces around the TV for air circulation. It also helps to have cooling fans inside to improve heat dissipation.

Dust off the TV

Dust is often brushed off as harmless, but dust can damage your TV’s screen and clog ventilation slots.

  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to dust off the TV.
  • Avoid using cleaning agents with the TV, as these can damage your device.
  • And don’t forget to turn it off and let the TV rest before wiping it down.

Don’t set the brightness levels too high

Setting the brightness too high can destroy the backlights faster.

People think that setting the brightness at maximum improves the image quality, but that is not the case.

  • The backlights of your TV are there to illuminate the screen and can be increased to counteract any glare or reflection.
  • You only need to set the backlight at a level that is enough to rid your screen of reflections and glare.
  • The backlights are usually the first thing to break in a TV, which is why you need to tame the levels to slow down the degradation.

Use an Automatic Voltage Regulator

Voltage spikes are not uncommon and can happen anytime, which can jolt your TV and damage it.

Devices like automatic voltage regulators and surge protectors help reduce the risk of damage from voltage spikes.

Should a spike happen, these devices act as an added layer of protection, and will stop jolts from hitting your TV.

Final Thoughts

TCL TVs are generally reliable, but your mileage may vary depending on the model and how you use it.

For the most part, TCL TVs do a good job of displaying video content, but only a select number of models work well for gaming.

That said, you can trust TCL as a brand for casual usage. If you are looking for superb images and intense gaming features, you may have to look elsewhere.



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