Roku is well known in the world of streaming devices, but they are typically known for their external dedicated Smart TV boxes and streaming sticks. TCL recently decided to launch new lines of TVs with the Roku Smart TV interface integrated into the TV: the same great streaming interface and channel selection without the need for an external device. Other brands, including Hisense, have started integrating the Roku smart platform into their TVs, but we haven't reviewed any of these yet.
We've tested 6 TVs so far that use the Roku smart platform and below are our recommendations for the best Roku TVs that you can buy in 2019.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year. Since the beginning of the year, most manufacturers have started releasing replacements for their TV lines. Usually, these TVs tend to launch at very high prices and it is unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year, thus keeping the 2018 models in our recommendations for a few more months.
The TCL R617 is the best Roku TV we’ve tested so far. It is also available under the R613 or R615 variations and recently, it has been released at 75” as well. The TCL has a great picture quality, can get very bright, and has an impressive performance in most uses. Its full array local dimming support, high native contrast ratio, and wide color gamut help it deliver great blacks and display HDR content full of vivid colors and bright highlights. It runs the Roku Smart Interface that is very easy to use and gives you access to many streaming channels. It integrates well with the TVs menus and provides a very nice user experience.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles of the R617 are poor due to the VA panel, and although it has a very low input lag that makes it very responsive, it lacks some more advanced gaming features, like variable refresh rate support, that more serious gamers look for. The uniformity issues that have been reported when it was first released have become more scarce with time.
Overall, the TCL R617 is a great TV that should keep you happy with your choice.
If you find the TCL R617 expensive and want a cheaper Roku TV, then check out the TCL S517. It can not reach the brightness levels of the R617, but it is a decent TV that runs the latest Roku TV interface. The interface resembles the standalone Roku external devices, and it is intuitive and easy to use. The picture quality of the S517 is decent and can display deep blacks in a dark room, thanks to the high native contrast ratio and good black uniformity. Although it supports HDR content, you won't really benefit much from it since it can't get bright enough to deliver bright highlights. The TCL S517 is a good choice for casual gamers due to its very low input lag.
If you want an even cheaper option than the TCL S517, we recommend the TCL S405. It isn't as versatile as the TCL R617 or S517 since it isn't as bright and lacks a local dimming feature, but it should still please most people. It supports HDR but, unfortunately, it isn't effective as the rest of the Roku line due to the limited color gamut and poor HDR brightness. Similar to the rest of the TCL lineup, gamers will be pleased by the excellent low input lag.
The TCL S405 initially shipped with an older version of the Roku interface but has since been updated to the latest, so the interface is almost identical to the latest Roku TVs or external Roku devices. The channel selection is the same across the entire line, and the interface is almost as fast and smooth as the more expensive Roku devices.
The S405 is being gradually replaced by the S425.
If you want a Roku TV that is available in smaller sizes, then get the TCL S305 1080p Roku TV. Unfortunately, it cannot get very bright, and its motion handling could be better. It's available in a variety of small sizes, including 28 and 32 inches.
At these sizes, the resolution is only 720p, but the picture quality is still decent and supports the full range of Roku smart features available.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Roku TVs to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of Roku TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.