Question Is Samsung > Insignia > TCL?

consptheory77

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I am thinking of getting a TV. I am currently using as my media display a 27 inch 1080p LG IPS LED monitor, which I find to be excellent, but it has no speakers, and one HDMI outlet, so I am tired of having to use both a Toslink and a HDMI switch. I would say $225 is my budget limit. We use Samsungs at the motel where I work, and they seem to be fine except for the fact that I've observed they have a higher failure than what I assume would be the average - out of TVs bought for 40 rooms, we've had five or more fail, which is higher than 10%, yes? We used to have Insignia CRTs, and not one of them failed, and I know of an old one that still worked even after it was left out in the rain. I don't care about "smart" features, I already have a Roku and a Fire Stick, and if anything I think the smart features in TVs are a nuisance. I do care about playing mkvs (Samsung models have some issues with the newer audio codecs like DDP 5.1, although maybe it just needs a system update?) but it's not a deal-breaker. I do care very much about image, but realize I can't expect much for the price point. I'm not invested in a larger TV necessarily. Is 43 inches really any better than 32 inches? I'm mindful of pixel density. HDR would be nice but is the Roku TCL for real when it promises 4K at a $229 price point?
 

Mrgr74

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I am thinking of getting a TV. I am currently using as my media display a 27 inch 1080p LG IPS LED monitor, which I find to be excellent, but it has no speakers, and one HDMI outlet, so I am tired of having to use both a Toslink and a HDMI switch. I would say $225 is my budget limit. We use Samsungs at the motel where I work, and they seem to be fine except for the fact that I've observed they have a higher failure than what I assume would be the average - out of TVs bought for 40 rooms, we've had five or more fail, which is higher than 10%, yes? We used to have Insignia CRTs, and not one of them failed, and I know of an old one that still worked even after it was left out in the rain. I don't care about "smart" features, I already have a Roku and a Fire Stick, and if anything I think the smart features in TVs are a nuisance. I do care about playing mkvs (Samsung models have some issues with the newer audio codecs like DDP 5.1, although maybe it just needs a system update?) but it's not a deal-breaker. I do care very much about image, but realize I can't expect much for the price point. I'm not invested in a larger TV necessarily. Is 43 inches really any better than 32 inches? I'm mindful of pixel density. HDR would be nice but is the Roku TCL for real when it promises 4K at a $229 price point?
Hi @consptheory77

TCL actually makes a very good TV and yes, their prices are criminally low compared to other TV's at the same price point. I'm NO expert when it comes to TV's, I mean I'm still rocking a 20 year old 43" 720p Samsung Plasma that refuses to die, but just before Christmas I was seriously looking into TV's as a gift (Until my wife made it clear NO! until ours dies) and since I'm poor, I looked at all models. For what I could Afford, TCL was hands down the best choice.

lol, no, I'm not a affiliated with them and I don't have any TCL products, but a co-worker of mine does and being a visual snob but poor like me and so on a budget, just raves about his 55" TCL, coupled with the reviews I did on my own, you can't beat a TCL at it's price point.

I thought these guys were pretty spot on, but again, I'm no expert. Here is an article here on Tom's Guide you might want to look at.

Just my 2 cents.

Let us know what you end up getting!
 

consptheory77

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Hi @consptheory77

TCL actually makes a very good TV and yes, their prices are criminally low compared to other TV's at the same price point. I'm NO expert when it comes to TV's, I mean I'm still rocking a 20 year old 43" 720p Samsung Plasma that refuses to die, but just before Christmas I was seriously looking into TV's as a gift (Until my wife made it clear NO! until ours dies) and since I'm poor, I looked at all models. For what I could Afford, TCL was hands down the best choice.

lol, no, I'm not a affiliated with them and I don't have any TCL products, but a co-worker of mine does and being a visual snob but poor like me and so on a budget, just raves about his 55" TCL, coupled with the reviews I did on my own, you can't beat a TCL at it's price point.

I thought these guys were pretty spot on, but again, I'm no expert. Here is an article here on Tom's Guide you might want to look at.

Just my 2 cents.

Let us know what you end up getting!
I did winding up getting the Roku Series 4, and I am happy with it. There are a few things about the upgrade which I found notable.

First of all, with regard to the definition, the upgrade to 4K is not always that noticeable, but in combination with the advanced color saturation/gamut, it does bring out more detail than Blu-ray/HD streaming.

Secondly, it is at the low end of the brightness for these sets, reportedly 250 nits. This might not make a difference with streaming services that limit the maximum peak brightness of their programs, such as Disney+ limiting The Mandalorian to 200 nits.

Thirdly, for the consumption of SD content (particularly old sitcoms) the brightness practically upscales the image so if you have old DVDs of programs that were videotaped and thus will never get remastered, I'd recommend the shift to 4K just to view SD content. Which makes me wonder if old PS2 games and VHS films will also look better (as PS2 games on HD LCDs are basically unplayable).
 
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Samsung of course we know that brand. Insignia is Best Buy's house brand. TCL I think is primarily a Chinese company.

Samsung are probably considered the best of the 3. I personally have an insignia sound bar that has a wireless sub. We got it used and I've been impressed with it. Works great for the 2 years or so we've had the unit.

TCL I've seen their stuff around, haven't owned any of their stuff. We have an LG TV that we've had for 3 or 4 years and it's been decent. I would say if you can get Samsung at a decent price, go for those, or get insignia. From what I was once told, many of the sets are the same panels etc except different names on them.

You should avoid TVs that are too inexpensive. I have for my basement a 49 inch Polaroid. It has Chromecast built in. But that tv tends to act strange. If I turn it off, sometimes the TV won't let me change inputs, or my tv will shut down and reboot. Or, if you have speakers or a sound bar connected, you won't get sound. I've discovered that something about the way my Polaroid goes into low power mode when turned off seems to affect my TV. I did only pay about 200 dollars though. So my fix is that I have it and the sound bar plugged into a surge protector. When I'm done using the TV, I turn off the surge protector which cuts all power to my TV. When I go to use it, I turn in the surge protector, then turn on the TV and sound bar. It works fine that way, but you can see that if you go cheap on TVs the things that can happen.

Not that TCL is a bad unit, but don't always go on price alone. Check reviews and make sure that the set you get is a good one.
 

consptheory77

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Last month, I went to update the TV's operating system, and encountered a kind of boot loop error where it wouldn't update nor would it return to default settings no matter what I did. Apparently this is not an uncommon issue, and I tried most of the things that the online videos directed you to do to fix it, but nothing was working. I dreaded having to call what was going to inevitably be the foreign language customer service, but I am happy to report that the person I did get was amiable and sufficiently well-spoken that it was a relative pleasure. He did not make me repeat the diagnostic steps that I already had described to him as doing (some reps will force you to do it all over again) he just told me to try to two other things, which I did, and which also did not work, after which he asked if I still had the original box (as it so happens, I did, in case there was an issue with the TV), if I hadn't they would send out a generic box, but since I did have the box, this expedited the process a bit. I had to take photos beforehand to prove I wasn't sending back a damaged TV, they approved the warranty service request within less than three days, I sent it off, and to my surprise got it back within about a week (it probably that the service center was in Houston and I am near Austin, yet I'd assume they would have a greater backlog). I also discovered my warranty is 18 months. I will probably inquire later on about the possibility of an extended warranty. If the TV has another issue after the 18 month warranty expires, that means I will have paid about $12.50 a month "for the use of" a TV, which I suppose is still not too bad for the relative use I have made of it so far.
 

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