TCL 5-Series 50S535 (50” 4K HDR QLED TV) Review

Introduction to the TCL 5-Series 50S535 50” 4K HDR QLED TV

I know it goes without saying, but 2020 has been a trying year. Home entertainment has taken on brand new meanings for many of us. So, when TCL offered to send us one of their most recent 4K HDR QLED panels, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Why? For starters, I had never reviewed a TV and thought it presented an interesting opportunity. Also, we have TCL panels in our conference rooms at my full-time job. I’ve always wondered what TV and movie content would look like, and not just the slideshows that management shows us a few times a year.  We originally asked for anything they would like to send out. After a few questions back and forth, TCL recommended their 5 Series model 50S535.


TCL 50” 4K HDR QLED TV Manufacturer Specs

  • Superior 4K HDR picture quality
  • Wide Color powered by QLED technology
  • HDR Pro Pack featuring Dolby Vision
  • Contrast Control Zone technology maximizes contrast
  • Stream free TV, live news, sports, movies, and more
  • AiPQ Engine with Smart HDR, Smart 4K Upscaling, and Smart Contrast
  • Auto Game Mode for an optimized fast-response gaming experience
  • Easy Voice Control works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Simple, personalized home screen
  • Advanced Digital TV Tuner with Live TV Channel Guide
  • FullView edge-to-edge glass design
  • Integrated cable management makes your TV setup clean and clutter-free
  • Easy-to-use remote with shortcuts to popular channels
  • Dual-band WiFi & Ethernet port
  • 4 HDMI ports (1 eARC)Click here for the TCL product support website.


Setup of the TCL 50” 4K HDR QLED TV

First thing to note is to have someone available to help you.  The TV isn’t heavy, but its size alone mandates a helper. Make sure you have a flat surface to lay the TV on so you can install the feet. It’s a good idea to have a moving blanket or other thick blanket as a cushion. Lay the TV on its back, grab a Phillips head screwdriver, and install the feet in the mounting holes. The left foot will only fit the left side, and likewise with the right. Once that’s done, carry the TV to its new home, and plug it in.  *If you’re mounting on a wall, follow the instructions in the user manual for bracket and screw types.

If you’re a cord-cutter like me, the “hard” part is done. If not, make sure you plug in any game console(s), cable or satellite box, and Blu-ray player into the HDMI ports on the TV.

On the TCL 50S535, Roku is built into the TV. During the first boot of the TV, you’ll have to create a Roku account if you don’t already have one. (Note: the account itself is free, but you will have to enter payment information if you choose to make purchases or rentals from the Roku store.) I found the Roku setup to be really smart. You can choose which subscription services you’d like to add, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney+, and others, and the TV will do the rest.  Obviously, the TV will need access to your WiFi network, or you can choose to plug an Ethernet cable into the provided Ethernet jack on the TV.

After the initial setup and Roku configuration, you’ll see the apps you selected to install as well as your HDMI inputs. Each input or app icon can be moved in whatever configuration you choose. To get the most out of the Roku experience, you’ll also want to install their free app for your Android or iOS device.

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