Looking for a new TV? Chances are, it’s going to be a smart TV. It just makes sense. With the increasing number of streaming media options available to us, why not buy a TV that can take advantage of them?
After hundreds of hours reviewing televisions at every price point, we think Roku TV is the best streaming media platform for a smart TV. It’s easy to navigate and has support for thousands of streaming services, apps, and even a few games. With a free companion app for your smartphone, the Roku TV platform is truly in a league of its own.
However, not all Roku TVs offer the same features, picture quality, or overall value. There’s a huge range of choices. That’s why we’ve found the best models for every budget and every media room.
The best Roku TVs at a glance
The best Roku TV overall: TCL 6-Series
Why you should buy this: Great picture, Dolby Vision support, and a price that a lot of folks will find affordable.
Who it’s for: Those looking for the ultimate balance between price and features.
Why we picked the TCL 6-Series:
The TCL 6-Series is a value leader thanks to its impressive picture quality and low price. While it’s still not as good as the best QLED and OLED TVs, it’s far closer than its low price would seem to suggest. In 2019, picture quality saw another bump through the addition of quantum dot technology.
In making the 6-Series a QLED TV, TCL has once again dropped the price barrier on picture quality. Granted, you will need to have access to a source of 4K HDR material to appreciate these improvements in color and contrast, but that’s the point. People who want to enjoy 4K HDR usually need to spend a lot more on a TV.
The 6-Series supports the three main flavors of HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. It’s also Dolby Atmos-capable. This isn’t a big deal in terms of the sound the TV produces — like most TVs, the 6-Series is not equipped with home theater-caliber audio — but it is a big deal if you plan to connect the 6-Series to a Dolby Atmos A/V receiver or soundbar. Either of these add-ons will dramatically improve your audio when watching content with Dolby Atmos sound support.
It has a voice-capable remote control that lets you issue commands like “Start Netflix,” to control TV functions, or “Tom Cruise” to search for all movies and shows that feature this actor. Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility give you access to many similar voice commands through a smart speaker if you already own one.
The best Roku TV picture quality: TCL 8-Series
Why you should buy this: Superb picture quality that takes QLED closer to OLED than it has ever been before.
Who it’s for: Those looking for a no-compromises Roku TV.
Why we picked the TCL 8-Series:
Initially, Roku TVs were mostly budget-friendly options. The TCL 8-Series forever changed that perception. With a 4K HDR QLED display powered by a first-of-its-kind Mini-LED backlight, it sets a new benchmark not just for Roku TVs, but for all QLED TVs.
The TCL 8-Series delivers excellent black levels. With Mini-LEDs, you can pack thousands of individual LEDs into a space that could once only accommodate hundreds. The 75-inch model has 25,000 Mini-LEDs. The result? A completely new degree of control over contrast. It’s so good, the 8-Series almost achieves OLED-levels of pure black.
Color and brightness are equally spectacular, which makes the TCL 8-Series a terrific choice for enjoying 4K HDR material. With Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG supported, you won’t need to worry about being left behind as the streaming video space offers more and more content in HDR.
As with the 6-Series, Dolby Atmos is also supported, though you’ll need a soundbar or A/V receiver to appreciate fully.
Buying the 8-Series in the 65-inch size isn’t a big saving over a similar-sized LG OLED TV — although no OLED TV currently offers a Roku experience. Jump up to the 75-inch model, however, and the value proposition changes entirely. It’s less than half the price of a 77-inch LG C-Series OLED TV.
We think Mini-LED is going to be a game-changer for TVs based on QLED technology, and the TCL 8-Series is not only the first available TV with Mini-LED, it’s the first Roku TV with it too.
The best Roku TV value: Hisense R6200F
Why you should buy this: It’s a giant 70-inch 4K HDR TV with all the benefits of the Roku platform, at a crazy low price.
Who it’s for: Those who want the biggest picture size for the lowest price.
Why we picked the Hisense R6200F:
As any sports fan will tell you, size matters, at least when it comes to TVs. But just because you have a desire for a big screen, doesn’t mean you have a bank account to match. That’s what makes the Hisense R6200F so compelling. It’s a Roku TV with 4K HDR and a massive 70-inch screen, yet it’s only $500. That’s $80 – $100 less than you’ll pay for a similarly sized 4K TV from Samsung, LG, or even Vizio.
For this price, you’re not seeing the dazzling brightness and color of a QLED TV, but the R6200F still supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG. You can enjoy HDR content from a wide variety of streaming services or UHD Blu-ray discs.
Most the great features from expensive Roku TVs are here, like the voice-enabled remote, and compatibility with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assitant via smart speakers.
One feature that isn’t supported is Dolby Atmos. The Hisense R6200F instead comes with DTS Studio Sound, which is a good surround sound format, but not as immersive as Atmos.
The best budget Roku TV: Hisense R7 Series
Why you should buy this: It gives you all the benefits of a Roku TV at a rock-bottom price.
Who it’s for: Those who want the simplicity of a Roku TV but want to keep things as affordable as possible.
Why we picked the Hisense R7 Series 4K HDR Roku TV:
If you’re willing to go as small as 43 inches for your TV, you can save a ton of money. Best of all, you still have nearly every feature that makes a Roku TV great. That’s the story behind the Hisense R7 Series.
It’s a 4K HDR TV, so you’re getting all the detail from 4K movies and shows, plus the extra vibrance and color that HDR offers. That HDR is limited to HDR10 and HLG, but given that most HDR content is available in these two formats, you won’t be missing out. Plus, like other 4K TVs, it can upscale any non-4K content to 4K resolution.
All the Roku TV perks are still here, like the simple, intuitive interface, voice-enabled remote, Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, and the free Roku companion app for iOS and Android.
There’s no question the standout feature of the R7 Series is the price. For $250 or less, you have a 4K HDR TV with the best smart TV software on the planet. That puts some of the most advanced TV tech in the hands of a lot of folks, which is remarkable.
If you prefer TCL, you can get thefor the same price. It has an almost identical set of features.
Published at Thu, 27 Feb 2020 19:19:29 +0000