Alexa in use
That proved to be a lot of trouble for very limited effectiveness. About the only thing that worked on the TV was switching it off.
Changing the volume by Alexa? Didn’t work. The only response I got was a beep from the Echo Dot, no verbal feedback and no action at the TV end. Changing inputs or channels? All she had to say on those topics was, “I couldn’t find any enabled video skills that can do that. Go to the Alexa app to manage your video skills and devices”.
Even switching off the TCL 55X7 via Alexa worked strangely. The default name of the TV is “Percee TV”. When I said, “Alexa, switch off Percee TV” she’d respond, “Sorry, I’m not sure about that.” But when I said, “Alexa, switch off the office TV”, she’d respond, “Did you mean Percee TV?” When I said “Yes”, the TV turned off and a moment later Alexa would say, “Okay.”
I checked how Alexa was interpreting my words. She was hearing it as “Percy” TV. I dug around in the settings and found that I could change the TV’s name. I went for something less ambiguous – Android TV – and rebooted the TV, just to make sure everything was starting afresh. However, nothing had changed. Alexa still thought it was called “Percy TV”. That’s about when I gave up, rather than delete everything and start again. I would suggest that if you’re planning on using Alexa, come up with an easy name to begin with.
Perhaps this whole thing is in development still.
The TCL 55X7 TV supports streaming of video, photos and music via both Chromecast and DLNA. It worked to UltraHD resolution with video – both ways – but seemed to reduce resolution on still photos to no more than 1080p. My FLAC music streamed all the way up to 192kHz sampling, and of course MP3 and AAC worked fine. Apple Lossless isn’t supported.
That’s the great thing about Android – it is a solid platform that doesn’t depend on any particular manufacturer.
Also, I should note that the TV supports Freeview+, so you can easily stream catchup TV from the stations which support that service (only the ABC and SBS here in Canberra.)
The TCL 55X7 TV is smart, produces a very good picture, and is one of the more elegant-looking TVs on the market. Don’t worry too much about my Alexa travails. I’m inclined to blame Alexa, which I’ve always found a tricky thing to get working properly.
TCL’s website for this TV is here.