What do you look for when you are buying a TV? Is it the display screen size, price, or features? Regardless of your buying principle, the TCL 40 inch Roku TV seems to fit the bill in all categories. Our TCL Roku TV 40 inch review looks at what makes this TV a must-buy for the average consumer.
Since 2017, this China-based company has made it its mission to provide budget TVs that suit every consumer’s needs. The manufacturer pulls all stops to make all these available to you from the design, smart TV features, and picture quality. In 2019, they released their 3 series range of TVs, which feature the better Roku TV smart platform as compared to Android. After having the TV for slightly over a week, here is what we came up with for our TCL Roku TV 40 inch review.
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How well a TV will blend with your décor influences whether you will buy it or not. At 40 inches, the TCL Roku is neither too large nor too small to have as a primary set in your living room. It comes in a black-polished plastic chassis, with accompanying wide-set bezel stands. The frame around the display pane is only 1.4cm thick and does not impede your viewing in any way.
The back layout of the TV is also well designed. It is a solid flat surface with all the connection ports on either side. You also get a VESA mounting allowance of 100 X 100 mm. Given the space-conscious arrangement of the TV’s electronics, the TCL Roku TV 40 Inch has a thickness of 2.9 inches. Although not the thinnest in the bunch, it does not cause any awkwardness when mounted to the wall.
The only issue with the design is the lack of a proper cable management system. However, when looking at other similar priced sets, the TCL Roku TV 40 Inch is a well-built TV.
You should note that for this TCL Roku TV 40 Inch review, we are comparing it with TVs from the same year. Therefore, all the advancements in display technology post 2019will not be considered when assessing the display capabilities of this TV. However, this does not mean that we shall pull any favors for the brand.
The screen is a direct LED-backlit VA panel capable of producing 1920 X 1080 pixels at full HD. Unfortunately, you do not get HDR or local dimming technology that has become standard for most models from the same year. Despite this, the 4K HDR technology in other newer TCL models still does not offer much difference in picture quality. So, you are better off sticking with the non-4K options.
Despite offering a decent contrast ratio of 3500:1, you will notice that your blacks do not appear as dark in rooms with minimal lighting. Another disappointment was on the brightness level. The TV can fight off reflections quite well. However, avoid setting up the TV in areas where there is too much direct light. You are better off using the set in average light to attain decent picture quality. One final oddity was that despite the TCL claiming that the TV can produce 1080p, you only get 768p.
Smart TV interface
The TV comes with the Roku TV platform. It is extremely user friendly and does not put any strain on the TV’s resources. Netflix, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu all come pre-installed on the device. Other apps are also available on the Roku platform allowing you to access even more content.
The accompanying remote is simple and does not require a steep learning curve. You get dedicated buttons for Netflix, Sling, Hulu, and Starz streaming options. Sadly, there is no voice control on the remote. You can only use voice control via the Roku mobile app.
The TV has Wi-Fi connectivity but features no Ethernet port or Bluetooth connectivity, which is quite bizarre. Another drawback is that you have to reboot the TV each time when using it as a gaming monitor. The TV is unable to switch between game mode and TV mode automatically. For PC usage, this is not an issue as detection is automatic. The set has decent chroma 4:4:4 subsampling, but you will notice some slight delay when running programs that feature fast-moving objects.
Buy an external sound system. You will get nothing from the two 5W built-in speakers. Despite being backed by Dolby digital plus codecs, there is nothing that these do to improve sound quality. The speakers sound as if they are ruptured at high volume, and the vibrations from the plastic casing only make the situation worse. What we are trying to get at is that the sound is horrible.
The TCL Roku 40 inch comes with 3 HDMI ports that support bit ARC and CEC connectivity. You also get a single USB port for your hard disk and thumb drives, an RF input for satellite television, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for your audio system. You also get HDCP, which means any content you view on your Blu-ray DVD player is protected by copyright.
The TV is a decent option for use as either a PC monitor or gaming monitor. With all the need to reboot each time you connect, a game console may put off many users. You are better off looking at other models in the same category or investing a few extra dollars in getting a more reliable screen.
Our TCL Roku TV 40 Inch review covers the TCL 40S325 model, which according to the manufacturer, are slowly being phased out of the market. However, you can still purchase the TV from any of the following stores:
Alternatives to the TCL Roku 40 Inch TV
Hisense H4F series
Despite not having 1080p capability, this TV has impressive viewing angles thanks to its IPS display panel. It has a low input lag that works well for both PC and gaming console usage, making it a much better choice compared to the TCL 40S325. Hisense H4F’s also feature the Roku TV interface and come with similar features as the TCL. The Hisense H4F’s make a great second TV for either your guesthouse or campervan.
Unfortunately, the TV’s are only available in 32 inches. You can get yours at any of the following stores:
Samsung N5300 series
Unlike the TCL, this TV comes with superior display technology. It delivers true 1080p allowing for rich and clear pictures. Although the anti-glare capabilities are not up to Samsung’s current standards, the N5300 is far beyond all the other TVs we tested in this category. As a gaming and PC monitor, the Samsung N5300 outdid all the others by miles.
You can get yourself a set at any of the following stores:
As you have seen in our TCL Roku TV 40 inch review, some appealing features make the 40S325 a viable option. However, with TCL deciding to phase them out for the more preferable 43, 55, and 65 inch TVs, you may want to wait it out and see what is on offer. So, does size matter when selecting a TV to buy? Definitely. You get more features and greater sound quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you control the volume on the TCL Roku TV 40 Inch?
You will find the volume buttons on the side of your TV remote. You can also control the volume via the Roku Smart TV app on your phone.
Why can I not connect my Bluetooth soundbar with the TV?
Unfortunately, there is no Bluetooth connectivity with this model. TCL promises to have this functionality on their newer models.
Why does the TV perform so poorly with game consoles?
You need to reboot the TV to get it into game mode. IT does not switch automatically between source inputs except for PC only.