Also agree with Mikeyday post - worth doing some checking, provided your not looking for a reason to upgrade your TV.
The headphone 3.5mm should work - I have done exactly the same thing with PC speakers into bedroom TV to Headphone 3.5mm for fuller sound.
First make sure 3.5mm plugs are fully in sockets & as suggested replace cable. Maybe a cable or pin fault.(even if it came new with the soundbar)
If still static also try plugging the soundbar into another device with 3.5mm - phone, CD player. If static still exists there maybe a fault with the soundbar. If no static then the TV, as suggested above, may be faulty.
Buying a tv seems very much a personal choice based on your specific needs or wants.
I think that TCL and Thomson are the same company however I have never seen the model you mentioned so it could possibly be not made by them, I don't know. I would suggest to work out what size, wants and budget you have in mind and start looking at reviews although they can have a little negative bias in some of the personal comments as often people only comment when they are not happy with the product or service. Some people are happy with the bargains they get with the cheaper brands; I personally aim at mid range in a more established brand but that's just me.
I also often buy second hand or refurbished as you can sometimes get a bargain if you know what you are looking at but be careful with this method on a tv as it can be a gamble, although I am still happy with my big Sony 3D tv in the Family room for $500.
If it was just the sound quality that was the issue with your Thomson, then the sound bar should still work with the 3.5 mm headphones jack if that is the only audio out; it is certainly not the preferred method but shouldn't have the static. Have you tried replacing the cable? Keep it separate from all other cables.
You could also try testing the jack with a set of headphones to see if is just a fault with the tv.
Thank you for the replies Mikey and Peter. It was a $200 TV from the post office so you get what you pay for& just rereading the lousy Thomson manual they are indeed inputs.
It's great that is has 3 HDMI but definitely no HDMI ARC or optical so I was looking at buying a SMART TV with all the bells & whistles
Does anyone have any recommendations for a particular brand? I was looking at TCL but other people tell me Samsung or LG?
Thank you once again