Summer is in full swing, but in just a few weeks students will start heading to college. As students adjust to the excitement and busy schedule that college life brings, having a TV that offers loads of on-demand content is a great way to relax and unwind after a long day of classes and study sessions. Here are the top features that college students should consider when shopping for a dorm room TV.

Easy Setup

Generally, TVs are easy to setup. However, things can get more complex when adding other devices and content sources.

With a TCL Roku TV, all your favorite content and devices become much more accessible. Switching between your cable box, gaming console and favorite streaming channels is a breeze because all your favorite entertainment is in one place. You can even enter custom names for connected devices, allowing you to easy switch between tiles for streaming apps like Netflix, or “Xbox” or “Cable.” So, there’s no more flipping through inputs or wading through complicated menus.

Fewer Cords, Less Mess

Let’s face it, most dorm rooms are cramped. The good thing about smart TVs is that they allow you to access your favorite apps without having to plug in a separate streaming box. This is a great way to reduce the number of devices that you’ll need to purchase, along with reducing cords and clutter.

TCL Roku TVs not only include all of the most popular streaming apps, but thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, you won't need to run any ethernet cables or plug your laptop in to watch the latest episode of your favorite show.

More Streaming Apps

Some dorms prohibit antennas or satellite dishes on buildings, which may limit some types of content. That’s why getting a smart TV is such as a smart option for dorm room viewing. All you’ll need is an internet connection to enjoy loads of movies, TV shows, documentaries, sports, and much more.

Keep in mind that not all smart TV platforms are the same. Many smart TVs are missing even the most popular apps. We’ve compiled a list to help you learn which smart TV platforms have each of the Top 25 Streaming Channels to make the selection process a little easier.

Effortless Connectivity

Connecting to a public network like those at a hotel or college dorm room often requires signing-in through a web browser. This can sometimes cause problems for college students who want to connect their smart TV to Wi-Fi.

Hotel & Dorm Connect is a feature TCL Roku Smart TVs have to simplify this process. From the settings, simply select to the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to. After your TV connects to the network, select “I am at a hotel or college dorm.” After the initial connection, you’ll then be prompted to finish the process using your computer or smartphone.

QAM Tuner

Many dorm rooms offer free cable, to the delight of many students. But to access cable, a TV with a QAM tuner is often required. All TCL TVs have a QAM tuner to make this process seamless.

A QAM tuner allows your TV to tune to the digital or HD cable channels available through a cable provider. A QAM tuner is like an ATSC tuner, which receives over-the-air digital channels broadcast by local television stations. However, a QAM tuner receives channels encoded and transmitted specifically by cable television providers such as those available on college campuses, as opposed to local TV stations.

There are plenty of TV specs to consider when buying a TV, so a QAM tuner is one feature that’s all too often overlooked. But this is important because not all TVs have QAM tuners! TVs without a tuner, often marketed as “displays” or “monitors” rather than a “TV,” are typically very affordable. However, they won’t let you access cable content that’s readily available in your dorm room or apartment. Getting one of these so-called TVs will require the purchase of an external QAM tuner that will need to be plugged into your TV.

To avoid extra purchases and external devices altogether, you’ll want to find a TV that has a QAM tuner built-in. This will help you save money and enjoy plug-and-play convenience. Also, the inclusion of an ATSC tuner doesn't guarantee QAM compatibility. Make sure that QAM is specifically mentioned in the specs.

Students looking to take advantage of cable AND over-the-air content will want a TV that ideally has both types of tuners. TCL’s S-Series is a strong value for college students, but it also offers advantages over many other brands, as it has both QAM and ATSC tuners. And because it also features the popular Roku Smart TV platform, more than 5,000 streaming channels are also available, letting you access over 500,000 movies and TV episodes. Another option is our P-Series, which offers built-in tuners and the same great smart TV platform, but adds Dolby Vision HDR for a truly stunning picture, which is why CNET has called it one of the best TVs for back to school this year.

While this time of year brings plenty of good deals on TVs and other gadgets for the dorm room, it’s important to reminder that not all TVs are the same. So, when you go back to college this fall, make sure you study hard, have fun, and be sure to tune in!