The best Roku TVs 2021: Which should you buy on Cyber Monday?

Published by Simon Cohen on DigitalTrends

As far as the Roku TV platform is concerned, you’ve probably already had to deal with trying to sort through all the smart TVs as well as the streaming media options available. From Google TV to Apple TV, there’s no shortage of different ways to watch the content you want, but not all of them are equal. Chances are, though, if you’re here, you’ve already done some research and have learned that Roku TV is high on the list as one of the top TV platforms and can be found on TVs from a range of manufacturers, including TCL, Hisense, RCA, Sharp, and more.

Ranging in price from under $500 to the mid-range $1,000 sets all the way up to the $2,000-plus 8K TCL Roku TVs, there’s truly a Roku TV suitable for any budget. And no matter which you choose, you’re going to get a smart TV with great features and apps for streaming from all the major services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO, and more.     

Our choice of the best you can currently get is the TCL 6-Series, as it has the best picture quality around for its price and is packed with features such as Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG support. But, of course, there are many more worth exploring before you make your final decision, with TCL and Hisense rising to the cream of the crop, so we’ve put together this list of the best Roku TVs available right now to make it easier to shop this Cyber Monday.  

With Black Friday over, we curated the best Cyber Monday deals to shop, especially if you’ve got your sights set on a shiny new TV — the yearly shopping extravaganza, which takes place on November 29 this year, is usually a surefire way to save some cheddar. And whether you’ve already decided on which smart TV you’re looking for or you’ve landed here to learn all you can about the Roku TV platform (below), rest assured, there are some sweet Cyber Monday TV deals to be had, and you might want to get shopping early.

With global supply chain issues and chip shortages nudging TV prices up and disrupting the international retail industry this past year, while we might not get the usual Cyber Monday blowouts we’ve become accustomed to, there will still be great deals — and the price drops have already started. And if you’re looking for a sale, take a look at some of the best 4K TV deals.

The best Roku TVs at a glance

Roku TCL 6-Series


Why you should buy this: It’s simply the best picture quality you can get for the price.

Who it’s for: Gamers and film buffs who want outstanding picture quality and don’t mind digging into a few settings menus to get it.

Why we picked the TCL 6-Series:

For several years running, TCL’s 6-Series has been our top pick for value, and the company’s 2020 model makes this Roku TV an even more compelling product. TCL’s 2019 8-Series was the first TV to use mini-LEDs for backlighting, but this year, the feature comes to the 6-Series, giving it far better overall picture quality while keeping the price under the $1,000 mark.

Though its black levels and contrast aren’t quite as good as the best QLED and OLED TV models, the gap has never been smaller. It’s an accomplishment that is all the more remarkable when you consider the price: The 2020 TCL 6-Series starts at around $899 ($949 from TCL) for the 55-inch model.

With Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG support, plus a THX-certified game mode, the LED TV 6-Series has you covered for every kind of streaming video and every kind of gaming. 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.

This Roku Smart TV also has a voice-capable Roku 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.

There are only two small caveats when considering the TCL 6-Series. First, getting the very best picture quality will require a bit of time and patience, as this TCL TV doesn’t come from the factory with the best settings already in effect. Second, folks who are already looking at buying a next-generation gaming console like the Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5 should be aware that the TV’s support for 120Hz refresh rates tops out at 1440p resolution.

Read our full TCL 6-Series review

TCL 6-Series 8K (2021)

Why you should buy this: Superb picture quality for those who want a maximum resolution, and it’s the most affordable 8K TV on the market.

Who it’s for: Those looking for a no-compromises Roku TV with as high a resolution as possible.

Why we picked the TCL 6-Series 8K (2021):

If cost isn’t as important to you and you prefer to pick a QLED with the highest resolution possible for your images, this stunning 8K 6-Series model has everything you want. It includes the latest Mini-LED QLED technology from TCL in a tight, sturdy design.

Color and shading are also impressive on this model: 240 localized lighting zones keep the contrast ratio accurate, while the AiPQ Engine supports HDR and automatically optimizes color and clarity depending on what you’re watching. Note that larger sizes will benefit more from the 8K resolution: We picked a 65-inch to start for this model, but a 75-inch option is also available!

The TV supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and includes four HDMI ports as well as a USB. Voice command support for Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant is also available for control playback and the smart features of the TV.

Keep in mind, an 8K TV also needs 8K content to take full advantage of the resolution, and that’s not really available to consumers yet. We’ve seen some 8K content in things like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it’s not yet available on standard channels or streaming services. Think of this TCL 6-Series model as future-proofing your viewing for years into the future as 8K becomes more common. Until then, you can enjoy upscaled 4K content and more.

Read our full TCL 8K 6-Series review

Hisense R6 Series, 65R6G (2021)

Why you should buy this: It’s a well-priced, big and beautiful 65-inch 4K HDR TV with all the benefits of the Roku platform with all the features of more expensive Hisense models.

Who it’s for: Those who want big picture and quality that compete with the larger brands at a better price.

Why we picked the Hisense 65R6G:

These days, a larger display size doesn’t always mean that you have to empty your wallet to afford the TV. Also known as the R6 Series R6E4 (the latest version of the R6E3), the Hisense 65R6G is almost identical to its predecessor, but is lighter (36.4 pounds), has slightly improved audio, and adds HDMI Arc and an Optical to its list of connections for even more versatility when connecting receivers, speaker systems, and more.

Offering a spacious 65-inch screen at a very affordable sub-$800 price, the 65RG6’s UHD LED-driven 4K resolution ensures that you get a picture at its best, and HDR10 plus Dolby Vision help to optimize content so you’re always getting the best experience. Sound isn’t bad either, driven by dual 10-watt speakers with DTS sound, and while it’s not Atmos surround sound, DTS is known for its clear and immersive experience.

The Hisense R6 Series 65R6G may be affordable, but it doesn’t skimp on the features. Along with it being driven by the Roku platform, its smart features are pretty impressive and include voice assistant compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and it is Apple AirPlay and HomeKit compatible so you can integrate it with a variety of compatible devices.

Additionally, the 65RG6 also features different modes for adjust viewing settings for things like movies and sports, and gamers will be interested to know that there’s a game mode to help cut input lag. The refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, so hardcore gamers might want to look elsewhere, but the Hisense 65R6G is a highly capable TV that offers a lot without breaking the budget.

TCL 3-Series 32S335

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 TCL 3-Series 32S335:

If screen size isn’t an objection, you can save a lot of money by downsizing to a 32-inch screen while still getting all the TV features you want, including built-in Roku support. That makes this  Roku TV model a great pick as a secondary TV (say, in the kitchen or bedroom), or a TV you will be relatively close to and don’t need anything much larger (like in a loft or dorm).

The TCL 3-Series 32S335 model includes dual-band Wi-Fi for your wireless connection, three HDMI 2.0 ports for managing multiple devices, Optical Audio out, Composite, and a USB-A connection if necessary for your media player. The TV also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can give voice searches or quick volume commands without needing a remote (not all Roku features will be supported by voice command). The only downside for this extra-affordable TV is that the resolution only reaches 720p, but this isn’t as much of an issue if you’re going too close to the display.

Research and buying tips

What should you consider before buying a new television?

It’s always a good idea to start with your budget and how much space you have for a new TV (remember, screen size measurements generally refer to the diagonal length on TVs). Our guide here focuses on the Roku TV platform. If you don’t need a smart TV platform — for example, if you use the interface on a game console or set-top box — then this isn’t much of a consideration. But if you will be using the smart TV platform, it’s a very important choice. Google TV, for example, is a common alternative to Roku TV. Take some time to look at interfaces and think about what you want!

After that, it’s time to think about panel types, such as QLED versus OLED, resolution, and other important specs. Check out our TV buying guide for more information.

When and where can you find the best deals on Roku televisions?

We’ll make this one easy for you: Check out our guide to the latest Roku deals. We keep it constantly updated so you know exactly what discounts look like!

What features should you look for when purchasing a Roku television?

Mini-LED and QLED are great panel features to look for that will optimize your visuals. We also recommend a 4K resolution (8K is possible, but there’s just not much 8K content yet). Size is up to you and your space, but if you really want to appreciate the detail in that 4K resolution, we suggest not going lower than 40 inches unless you are going to be very close to the TV.

What is the difference between Roku TV and Apple TV?

Thinking about the differences between Roku TV versus Apple TV? There are several things you should know, so let’s go over them:

  • These Roku TVs have Roku’s user interface as a built-in platform. The Apple TV is a separate set-top box device that connects to a TV — there are no TVs with Apple’s tvOS built-in (at least not the same way). Roku has its set-top boxes as well, but the advantage of these TVs is that you don’t need another Roku streaming device.
  • Apple TV is a streaming device generally designed to supplement an existing TV, doesn’t need a smart TV to work, and can easily be moved between TVs, which is an advantage to using a set-top box versus a built-in platform. You will need an HDMI port to connect it.
  • If you’re an Apple fan, there’s some good news: Roku TVs generally support the Apple TV app, which allows you to stream Apple TV+, so you can still watch Apple shows.
  • However, features like Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness only are available on an Apple TV set-top device, so there are some limitations there.

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