The TCL Roku 55S405 is really as much as you could want because of this affordable price, with solid 4K resolution, basic HDR support and Roku’s feature-filled smart-TV interface.
Affordable 4K and HDR
Excellent Roku smart TV
Backlight has noticeable shadows
TCL has become one of the primary players in it landscape by offering great value and features for affordably priced TVs. The TCL Roku 55-inch 55S405 continues this background with a good feature set, basic 4K and HDR support, and Roku’s popular smart-TV interface. It isn’t without its flaws, like mediocre backlighting and imperfect color quality, but this set is indeed affordable that you might not exactly care.
In addition to the 55-inch screen, the 55S405 gets the same look as the other S405 model we reviewed, the TCL Roku 49S405. IT enclosure is plastic, with a glossy, black finish on the bezel surrounding the display panel and a matte finish on the trunk of the chassis. Measuring 49.1 x 28.5 x 3.0 inches without the stand, the 29.5-pound TV could be wall-mounted by using a 200-millimeter VESA mount.
The included plastic stand comprises of two triangular feet that contain a silvery metallic finish. Your feet add both height and depth to the set, bringing the dimensions to 49.1 x 30.8 x 8.7 inches with the stand attached.
On the left side of it, you’ll find almost all of the 55S405’’s ports: three HDMI ports (including one with ARC), an individual USB 2.0 port, a coaxial connection for antenna or cable, a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, and a Toslink optical port for digital surround sound. On the trunk of the set, you will discover composite video output and an Ethernet port for wired network connectivity. This TCL set can be built with dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The limited number of HDMI ports is a lttle bit of a bummer; we usually recommend shoppers search for four, but unless you have way too many devices to connect, it will not be an issue. Since it is, three HDMI ports will do allowing you to connect a cable or satellite box, a casino game console, and a Blu-ray player. If you too have a soundbar or other HDMI-connected device, you will have to swap them out manually or spend money on an HDMI switcher.
We’d also prefer to visit a second USB port, because they’re often used to power streaming sticks, just like the Google Chromecast. But which may be less of a concern, because of the robust Roku interface that TCL uses because of its smart TVs.
The 55-inch display checks all of the expected boxes for a budget-friendly 4K TV: Ultra HD resolution, basic HDR support and a native refresh rate of 60Hz.
Inside our testing, the 55S405 offered satisfactory color accuracy. It scored a good Delta-E rating of 2.2 (nearer to zero is way better). That is virtually identical to the results from the slightly more costly TCL Roku TV 55P607 (2.2), simply a hair less accurate compared to the score of its smaller sibling, the TCL 49S405 (2.1), and again slightly less accurate compared to the showing from the Insignia Roku NS-55DR620NA18 (2.0). Both TCL 49S405 and the Insignia are in the same pricing tier as the 55S405. Step to another price level, however, and you will see drastically better accuracy; the Vizio SmartCast E-Series E65-E0 had a Delta-E score of just one 1.4.
Inside our viewing tests, we saw the right HDR performance, with brightly glowing neon signs in Deadpool and flashlights that pierced the darkness in Arrival.
The 55S405 reproduced a reasonably good 98.4 percent of the Rec. 709 color space in standard mode. That is, again, nearly the same as the effect for the 49-inch model from the same S407 series (98.1 percent) and much better than that from the 55-inch Insignia Roku TV (96 percent), however the more costly Vizio E65-E0 (99.2) had better still color representation.
Colors also seemed slightly skewed during our hands-on viewing. Blue objects sometimes had an unnecessary purple tint, a particularly noticeable issue if you are viewing beach scenes, where the blue ocean must have hook green tint instead. Reds and yellows were a lttle bit oversaturated aswell, but nothing as egregious as the purplish blues.
Fine details were often lost to shadow, and nighttime scenes lost a whole lot of detail among the bright highs and the dark blacks. In Deadpool, this meant that nighttime scenes seemed extra dark, and in a dark bar, it appeared as if someone had switched off a number of the lights. In a different test video, aerial shots of Manhattan looked great, with sharp detail, however the shadowy streets between buildings often had less clarity than we want, and the busy city looked much less lively.
The TCL Roku 55S405 is a good option for anyone seeking to get a 4K TV without breaking the lender.
Black levels also arrived as dark gray. That is a universal problem with LED-backlit displays – the technical term is “elevated black levels” – but you will notice it whenever a dark scene is shown, or when the movie cuts to black before showing the credits.
The set offers HDR10 support, but we wish to see support for other HDR formats, like Dolby Vision, though we don’t really expect it on sub-$500 4K sets. Having said that, HDR performance was very good. Inside our viewing tests, we saw the right HDR performance, with brightly glowing neon signs in Deadpool and flashlights that pierced the darkness in Arrival.
Backlighting was also just a little uneven, with noticeable shadows in the corners that may easily be observed during normal viewing. While we have a tendency to be forgiving of the when it’s subtle, it had been hard to miss on the TCL, with shadows in the corners that are starkly apparent every time a bright background or solid color, just like a blue sky, is shown.
The 55S405 has two-channel sound, with an integral group of 8-watt speakers. They provide room-filling volume without noticeable distortion, however the limited dynamic range did leave some sound falling flat.
MORE: WELL KNOWN Soundbars for Small and Big TVs
Whenever we tested bass levels with Daft Punk’s “All over the world,” the thumping bass line was slightly muffled, needlessly to say in a set without subwoofer. If you need better audio, we recommend purchasing a good, cheap soundbar.
Smart TV Features
TCL has avoided the awkward growing pains that include trying to employ a proprietary smart TV interface through the use of Roku’s popular operating-system. This is almost totally a very important thing, because Roku boasts a sizable iphone app ecosystem and an easy-to-navigate menu with big, readable icons, and it has a variety of compatibility with other services, like Plex and Sling TV. It’s a good one-size-fits-most solution, however, many users could be irritated that they can not use Kodi on the Roku TV, or they could want more customization than Roku’’ standard large-icon interface allows.
The tiny Roku remote is an effective, basic design that prioritizes simplicity over sophistication. Where some smart TV remotes are so minimal within their design concerning be inscrutable, the Roku remote is easy, with a sizable directional pad, simple action buttons for navigation to home and back, and standard media-playback controls. Here are a few dedicated iphone app buttons for Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now and Sling, but they’re located such that they could be easily ignored unless you want to utilize them.
About the only complaint I’ve with the remote is that it lacks a number of the more-advanced features on the TCL 55P607, namely a microphone for voice control and a headphone jack for private listening. That last one is a genuine boon for anyone who would like to watch movies late during the night without waking a sleeping spouse or fussy baby. The glad tidings are that these features remain available for it through the Roku mobile app, regardless if they aren’t built-in to the remote.
The TCL Roku 55S405 is a good option for anyone seeking to get a 4K TV without breaking the lender. The set offers acceptable color quality and decent (if basic) HDR support, and the consumption of Roku’s smart TV interface makes this set just as capable for streaming and programs as any other smart TV.