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The Roku platform has become a popular choice for people looking to cut the cord and move exclusively to streaming, and the best Roku TVs give you everything you want in home entertainment while remaining relatively affordable. Roku is known for its streamlined hub menu that keeps all of your apps and playback devices in one place for fast and easy access, eliminating the need to scroll endlessly through confusing menus or memorize vague input locations. If you download the Roku app to your smartphone or tablet, you can turn your mobile device into a voice-enabled remote; but if you want expanded voice controls, you can connect the TV to an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker. And just because these televisions are on the more affordable end of the price spectrum, that doesn't mean they skimp out on picture or audio quality.
Many are available with 4K resolution and support multiple HDR technologies for more lifelike images and to make even classic movies and older shows look amazing. Some models support Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound or Dolby Digital Plus audio for room-filling sound without having to set up external equipment like sound bars and subwoofers; which is perfect for dorms and apartments where floor and wall space is at a premium. So if you're looking for a smart TV that is packed full of great features but still easy on the wallet, a Roku based model is a solid option. We'll break down features and tech specs from our top picks to help you decide which will best fit your needs.
Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant compatible
Automatic Game Mode
Reports of bad screens
May not be compatible with all optical outputs
TV itself is very heavy
The TCL 65-inch 6-Series is the best Roku TV you can buy. It uses QLED technology for better brightness and color saturation to create stunning images. The 4K UHD processor delivers smooth streaming of native ultra-high definition media and crisp upscaling of standard HD sources. This TV uses Dolby Vision and 120 of TCL's proprietary Contrast Control zones for an enhanced color range as well as greater contrast between black and white images.
If you're serious about gaming, this television has a dedicated Game Mode that automatically detects when you start playing and chooses optimal picture settings and input latency for the ultimate gaming experience. You can connect this television to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant for seamless voice control over menu browsing and streaming. The screen uses TCL's Full View design and an ultra-thin bezel for an edge-to-edge picture and a more immersive viewing experience.
Plenty of connection ports
Reports of WiFi connectivity issues
Reports of DOA units
The TCL 50S425 is a great option if you want a larger 4K TV on a budget. It has all the features you need for watching all your favorite media and gaming with a fantastic picture quality that seems more expensive than it is. The 50-inch screen has 4K Ultra HD and HDR10 so you get a crisp, first-rate display. Sure, there are other Roku TVs loaded with additional bells and whistles. But the TCL 50S425 is still a spectacular value if you're in the market for an affordable 4K TV.
The TCL 50S425 is also a solid option for gaming. Switching on the Game Mode setting reduces input lag, which is especially important for action games or first-person shooters. Connecting external devices shouldn’t be an issue either; the TV comes with three HDMI ports, a USB port, Optical Audio Outports, and an Ethernet port.
Our product tester found this model easy to set-up, affordable, and a great 4k picture quality.
Simplicity and quality are two of the greatest strengths of this TV.
Full 1080p HD
Great price point
If you're shopping on a budget, don't worry; TCL's 40S325 features a 40-inch FullHD 1080p display with a backlit LED panel. The picture itself may not blow higher-priced models out of the water, but the Full HD resolution display still provides a crisp and enjoyable watching experience. For connecting to any of Roku's online experiences, the TV also features built-in Wi-Fi.
If you need to plug in any of your favorite peripherals, the television features three HDMI ports, one composite A/V input, a digital optical audio output, a 3.5mm audio out jack, and RF input. A more humble offering than the other options on this list, we recommend the 40S325 if you need an upgrade, and need one now. Otherwise, we do suggest looking at some of our 4K recommendations for a TV that offers a bit more longevity.
Virtual surround sound
Only one USB port
No HDMI ARC input
The TCL 75-Inch 8-Series television may have a hefty price tag, but it sports some truly impressive features. It uses a mini-LED backlit QLED panel with several dimming zones to produce deep, inky blacks for enhanced contrast as well as quantum dot technology for better color range and detailing. It's built around a new machine-learning engine that works in tandem with Dolby Vision HDR to analyze movies and shows scene by scene for incredible picture quality. The glass screen features a bezel-free design for an edge-to-edge picture and wider viewing angle so you can enjoy your favorite movies and shows no matter where you sit. The dual 15 watt speakers utilize Dolby Atmos technology to produce 5.1 channel virtual surround sound for a more immersive listening experience.
Using the Roku app, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into a voice-enabled remote that's compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free control over your TV; you can also connect your favorite smart speaker to the TV for expanded voice controls. With an automatic game mode, the TV detects when you are playing games and automatically changes input response times, picture settings, and refresh rates for smooth on-screen action. With the Roku streaming platform, you'll get access to over 4,000 different streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Spotify so you can stream your favorite shows, movies, and songs right out of the box without any extra equipment.
Built-in digital TV tuner
Reports of failing screens
Some apps are very slow to load
The TCL 32S327 32-inch unit is a great choice for college students looking for a dorm room TV or anyone with a smaller living room. This model features native 1080p resolution to make your favorite movies and shows look more true-to-life. The LED screen is direct-lit for enhanced picture quality in brighter environments. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth media playback while streaming, watching a DVD, or playing games.
With the built-in WiFi receiver, you can connect this TV to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant unit for voice controls when browsing menus. There is also a built-in digital TV tuner to receive over-air signals for more media options. The back of the TV has HDMI, USB, and analog video ports so you can connect everything from a Blu-ray player to your favorite game console.
Dolby Vision HDR/HDR10 support
If you're in the market for a 55-inch television, the TCL 55R625 6-Series is the best midsize Roku TV on the market. This model uses a QLED panel with Dolby Vision and HDR10 support to create stunning 4K UHD resolution and a wide color range. Several dimming zones create ultra-dark blacks for enhanced contrast and detailing. The screen features a bezel-free, glass design that gives you an edge-to-edge picture and wide viewing angle for a more immersive viewing experience. The dual 8 watt speakers use Dolby Atmos technology to produce virtual surround sound for more cinematic audio.
The built-in Roku platform uses a convenient hub menu that puts thousands of apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and Pandora as well as cable or satellite inputs, game consoles, and over-air antennas in one place for fast, easy access. The Roku app turns your smartphone or tablet into a voice-enabled remote, and the 6-Series is compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers for expanded voice controls. The updated processor uses a machine-learning engine to intelligently adjust picture settings for optimal resolution as well as to upscale non-UHD content. The TV has a V-Chip installed that allows parents to block content that isn't appropriate for their children to watch.
The TCL 65-inch 6-Series is the best Roku-based television on the market. It not only has a decently sized screen, it uses 120 contrast zones and Dolby Vision HDR to give you the best 4K viewing experience you can get outside of top-tier OLED models from LG and Sony. The TV works with Alexa and Google Assistant to give you hands-free controls, and the dedicated game mode smooths motion and reduces input lag for low latency gaming. The TCL 40S325 is a great option for anyone who needs a fast home theater upgrade, but doesn't want to break the bank doing so. It may not be 4K, but the 1080p FHD screen still makes all your favorite shows and movies look their best. It has plenty of inputs for DVD players, game consoles, and sound equipment so you can customize your home theater setup.
Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid TV for home entertainment.
Yoona Wagener has been writing for Lifewire since April 2019. She has a background in content and technical writing. She also has experience providing technical support and help documentation to end users.
TCL is the most popular brand of Roku-enabled television, although other companies like Sharp and Hisense also have models that use the streaming platform. Roku acts much like AppleTV, FireTV, or other smart television operating systems; it allows you to download streaming apps directly to the TV without the need for external equipment. The Roku operating system uses a universal hub menu to put all of your devices, inputs, and apps in one place for quick and easy access, eliminating the need to memorize input locations and navigate complicated submenus. Many Roku-enabled televisions have hands-free voice controls either through smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home or the Roku mobile app.
Most also have support for HDR technology, including Dolby Vision, to produce stunning details, color ranges, and contrast for incredibly lifelike images. Some even use QLED technology in their display panels for enhanced color volume and brightness, putting Roku TVs in the same tier as higher-end competitors like LG or Sony. If you're a console gamer, many Roku TVs have dedicated game modes which reduce input lag and adjust refresh rates for smooth on-screen action. There are many other factors to consider when shopping for a Roku-enabled television, such as screen size, price, and input connections. We'll break down some of the more important ones to help you decide which is right for you.
Contrary to what some TV manufacturers would have you believe, there is such a thing as a TV that is too big for your space. The best way to find the perfect size television for your space is to pick a spot to either wall mount your TV or place it on a dedicated stand and measure the distance to your seating. Dividing that measurement in half gives you the ideal TV size for your space. For example, if you sit 10 feet (120 inches) from your TV, the best size would be a 60-inch television. Having a TV that is too large for a space runs the risk of letting you see individual pixels or picture noise, resulting in a muddy, less detailed picture.
Motion blur can also be a problem if you buy a TV that's too big; having a constantly fuzzy picture can ruin any movie night or binge watch party. It may also cause motion sickness if you sit too close to a large television. The downside to a TV that is entirely too small for a space is that everyone will have to crowd around the screen to watch movies and shows, giving you the experience of an overcrowded movie theater in your own home. Screens that are too small also make it difficult to see details or subtitles unless you sit very close. Dorms, apartments, kitchens, and children's playrooms benefit from smaller screens while living rooms, outdoor spaces, and dedicated home theaters are best suited to larger screens.
So you've measured your space to see how big your TV should be, the next most important factor is price. Are you working with a limited budget, or are you able to spend a little extra to get the features you want? Roku-enabled televisions are available at a variety of price points ranging from less than $200 to several thousand dollars. Lower-priced models will often have fewer smart features, foregoing built-in voice controls or 4K resolution in favor of affordability. Mid-range TVs give you more to work with like preloaded apps, HDR support and 4K resolution, or app-enabled voice controls; they may also not give you features like Bluetooth connectivity for wireless audio equipment setup or screen mirroring, preventing you from sharing your smartphone or tablet screen to the TV. The highest priced Roku TVs seem to give you everything you could ever want in a smart TV: QLED panels, 4K resolution with Dolby Vision support, virtual surround sound, dedicated game modes, ambient light and noise sensors, preloaded apps, and voice controls.
When deciding on a budget for your new TV, it's best to consider what kind of use it will get. Are you looking for a secondary TV for your bedroom or kitchen? Is it going in your kids' playroom? Or are you looking to upgrade your main TV in the living room or home theater? A TV that isn't going to see much use, like a bedroom or kitchen TV, may not need all the bells and whistles, whereas one that will be your main source of family entertainment should provide more ways to share videos, photos, and music with everyone.
The screen resolution that is right for your home theater solely depends on what kind of content you regularly watch. Televisions with native 4K resolution have become more and more popular as ultra high-definition content has become available for streaming and broadcast. These models also feature processors that can upscale non-4K content for consistent picture quality; meaning your old DVDs or over-air shows will look just as great as Blu-Rays or UHD streamed movies. TVs that produce 4K resolution have four times the pixels of their 1080p HD predecessors, meaning that more detail can be packed on the screen. However, just because they're becoming more and more popular doesn't mean that 4K is the right choice for everyone.
There are still Roku-enabled TVs as well as other smart TVs that use full 1080p HD. They give you all the smart features you come to expect like streaming video and music and voice controls, but they are made for those who prefer cable, satellite, or over-air broadcast to streaming. You still get a great picture with 1080p HD, including wide color ranges and good contrast, but the detailing isn't anywhere near as great as 4K. But unless you have a Blu-Ray player or exclusively stream UHD movies and shows, you won't notice. The best choice for those who still use cable, satellite, or over-air broadcast channels is 1080p full HD, while those who have cut the cord and exclusively stream their entertainment should opt for 4K.