TCL 6-Series Google TVs disappear from shelves - here’s why

TCL 6-Series
(Image credit: TCL)

For the next few weeks, you’re going to have a very hard time finding a new TCL 6-Series or TCL 5-Series Google TV at Best Buy, as the retailer has temporarily suspended sales in the US.

Best Buy’s decision seems to be in direct response to customers’ complaints about performance issues on the TVs, a problem that TCL says it’s currently hammering out.

“TCL is committed to delivering premium products with world-class experiences and the new product featuring Google TV is certainly no different,” the company wrote in a statement.  

“We are sorry to hear that some users are facing challenges with the stability of the user interface featured on TCL sets with Google TV. Our high-performance TVs are constantly evolving and recent software updates have allowed us to make significant progress, but we will continue to refine our products featuring Google TV. Patience is appreciated, as customers will see marked improvements in the weeks to come.” 

Analysis: Isn’t Google TV supposed to be better than Android TV? 

The fact that Google TV is causing some problems on TCL’s mid-range TVs doesn’t come as a huge surprise - this is the first year TCL has implemented Google TV, and its hardware likely wasn’t designed to deal with it. That in turn seems to be the root cause of all the errors and weird behavior its users are experiencing. 

It's a real shame because, for the most part, Google TV is a better smart platform than the older Android TV system. The new UI is more aesthetically pleasing and there have been a number of updates that make navigating around and keeping tabs on your favorite shows and movies significantly easier than before.

While TCL is hard at work addressing the problems with Google TV, the company told Digital Trends that this won’t impact availability of the TV in international markets, and you’ll continue to see the Roku TV versions of the 6-Series and 5-Series on store shelves in the meantime.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.