Most TVs now have a smart TV system for easy viewing the best streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus and Netflix. All of these systems offer access to the biggest streaming apps, but there are differences between them. Some offer robust search, a clean interface, and tons of smaller apps to choose from, while others can be cluttered, slow, and difficult to navigate.
At CNET, as part of our rigorous side-by-side TV testing regimen, we reviewed all the major smart TV systems. We prefer Roku’s system for its simplicity, powerful search features, and its huge catalog of supported apps and services. While it’s not the only good operating system—Google TV also has impressive features—overall, we find Roku to be the easiest to use.
What is the best Roku TV overall?
The best Roku TV tested and reviewed by CNET is the TCL 6-Series Roku TV. Year after year, it’s been our top pick because it just keeps getting better. It offers excellent image quality for the money, gaming goodies, a stand that accommodates a soundbar, and of course Roku TV OS. However, there are many other TVs with the Roku platform built-in.
Roku itself already makes TVs, but also continues to sell sets made by partner manufacturers such as TCL, Hisense, Onn, Pioneer and Sharp. These TVs tend to be on the lower end of the price and picture quality spectrum. And you still won’t find a top-of-the-line OLED TV with the Roku brand, although Roku is offering manufacturers a blueprint for how to do it. So far, TCL’s 6-Series mini-LED TV is the most advanced Roku TV available.
Of course, you can turn any TV into a Roku by adding a Roku streaming device, which usually costs less than $50. You’ll sacrifice an HDMI port (and maybe a USB port, too). But instead, you can consider other TVs with higher-end options such as full array local dimmingOLED screens, a 120Hz refresh rate, 4K UHD resolution, high dynamic rangeabundance of HDMI ports and even game oriented features — including variable refresh rate — to a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.
But if you’re convinced you want an all-in-one Roku TV, here’s the best you can get.
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Dimensions 55-, 65-, 75- 85-inTelevision technology QLED with Mini-LEDSmart TV Yes (Roku TV)Resolution 4KHDMI ports 4
Not only is it the best Roku TV you can buy, but it’s also been voted by CNET as the best TV overall so far this year.
For the past five years, the TCL 6-Series has been our favorite TV for the money, and the latest version – also known as the R655 series – is no exception. It has an excellent picture thanks to mini-LED technology and well-implemented full-array local dimming, which helps it run afoul of almost any other TV at this price. It improves on the previous R635 series with improved gaming goodies and a center mount stand to raise the screen to make room for a soundbar. Finally, the Roku TV operating system is our absolute favorite.
Note that in addition to the R635, which this TV replaces, other versions of the 6-Series were released several years ago and remain available. The R646 series uses the Google TV operating system, but otherwise has similar specifications to the R655 models. The R648 series has 8K resolution and is significantly more expensive.
Read our TCL 6-Series (Roku TV) review.
The Roku Plus series is one of the newest Roku TVs and, unlike the TCL Rokus on this list, this one is made by Roku itself, with no other brands on board. It adds a few extra goodies, including QLED and full-array local dimming, which helps deliver a better picture than the TCL 4-Series. It doesn’t come with any gaming goodies like a 120Hz refresh rate, but it offers a good mix of affordability and features for Roku-branded TVs.
Read our Roku Plus series review.
Dimensions 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, 85-inchTelevision technology LEDsSmart TV Yes (Roku TV)Resolution 4KHDMI ports 3
The TCL 4-Series Roku TV doesn’t have the same picture quality as the other two TVs on this list, but it performed well in our budget TV test. The 4-Series doesn’t come with a ton of bells and whistles, as it lacks Dolby Vision and gaming-focused benefits. However, the 4-Series is a great entry-level option for most people, and could be a great buy for those who prefer the Roku system and are looking for a one-stop smart TV solution.
How does CNET test TVs?
Our TV reviews follow a rigorous, unbiased rating process honed over nearly two decades of TV reviews. Our main TV test lab has specialized equipment for measuring light and color, including a Konica Minolta CS-2000 spectroradiometer, a Murideo Six-G 4K HDR signal generator and an AVPro Connect 8×8 4K HDR distribution matrix. We use CalMan Ultimate software for portrait displays to rate and calibrate every TV we review. In each CNET TV review, three or more similar TVs are compared side-by-side in different lighting conditions with different content, including movies, TV shows, and games, in a variety of test categories, from color to video processing to gaming to HDR. Our reviews also weigh in on the smart TV’s design, features, performance, HDMI input and gaming compatibility, and more.
Read more: How we test TVs
Roku TV FAQ
What’s the difference between a Roku TV and a Roku streaming device?
Both Roku TVs and streaming devices offer you access to the same software. The only difference is that this software is built into a Roku TV and you won’t need to buy a separate device to connect to a TV. The Roku streaming device is best for those who don’t have a Roku TV and want to use the Roku software.
The streaming device connects to the back of your TV via an HDMI input and can be accessed via the relevant input button on your TV remote control. Most Roku devices connected to newer TVs can be configured to automatically switch to the correct input when you press the power button on the Roku remote.
Can I use a Roku TV for gaming?
You can connect any TV to a gaming console with an HDMI cable to play games, but only the TCL 6-Series Roku TV will offer gaming-specific features like 4K/120Hz and low input lag.
Casual gamers may be happy to play on a TV without gaming-specific features, but those looking to get the most out of their Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X will want to stick with a TV like the 6-Series.
How big a TV should I get?
In our opinion, bigger is better and your money is best spent on large screen sizes rather than a slight upgrade in image quality. The answer also depends on room size and seating distance: If you have a large room and sit further away, you’ll want a larger TV.
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