The 40-inch size is great for an entire family to watch while not being too big. Various streaming apps are easy to download. Can be paired with headphones for quiet viewing.
The remote has volume control on the side, making it easy to hit on accident.
The Roku streaming options are easy to find on the home screen. We liked how the controller had voice control for easier searching options. The TV can scroll fairly quick through services.
Screen resolution is only 720p, which isn't as clear as we would like.
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Shopping for a new TV can be complicated and confusing. Do you want organic or quantum-dot display technology? HD, Full HD, or UHD resolution? There are also refresh rates and brightness to consider, all of which means that browsing your options can quickly become overwhelming. RCA aims to simplify that process with its smart TVs.
The RCA brand has been a trusted consumer electronics name specializing in good value and budget-friendly products for over a century. Its modest lineup of smart TVs is suitable for the 21st-century home, particularly for those people who want to enjoy their favorite content with ease. While these TVs may not include the very latest display technology or fastest processors, they are reliable and accessible, offering a platform for all the popular streaming services and apps.
RCA offers options in size and resolution, trimming away the luxury features so that the cost stays low. If you think an RCA smart TV might be right for your entertainment needs, take a look at our buying guide, which covers the basics, and check out our favorites too.
Most RCA smart TVs use the Roku TV smart platform, generally considered one of the best integrated software platforms available. Roku TV doesn’t favor one type of operating system over another the way Fire TV is connected to Amazon, Android TV is connected to Google, or Apple TV is connected to Apple. That means that it easily welcomes all users and devices and doesn’t push subscriptions or content in the same way.
Roku TV offers access to popular streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and many others. While Roku TV itself doesn’t require a subscription, you do need individual subscriptions to access most services and apps. The Roku TV Channel is included with a free Roku account, providing viewers with a variety of programming on several different stations. While watching these shows and films doesn't cost anything, they are supported by ads.
Roku TV also includes a remote control that operates the volume and power of the TV and typically features one-button access to the most popular streaming sites.
RCA TVs come in a moderate range of sizes, from smaller TVs geared toward bedrooms and dorms to medium options meant to serve as a central entertainment hub. TV screen size is measured on the diagonal. The smallest RCA smart TVs are 32 and 43 inches, while the company’s largest smart TV is 65 inches. A 55- or 65-inch TV is usually a good fit for most living rooms. However, if you have a larger space and the viewing area is more than 10 feet from the TV, a 65-inch model might be too small.
RCA smart TVs come in three different resolutions.
High definition (780p) is offered on the smallest models. These TVs are uncommon and typically come in smaller sizes since the resolution doesn’t offer fine detail. What’s more, most new content is produced at a higher resolution.
Full HD (1080p) TVs are quite affordable and offer decent detail and quality. Most shows and films from the last couple of decades were shot in at least Full HD, and plenty of content from decades prior has been upgraded. We recommend investing in an RCA TV with at least Full HD resolution.
Ultra HD (2160p) TV boasts four times as many pixels as Full HD, though most models aren’t significantly more expensive. Newer films and shows are shot in UHD (or 4K), which means you can enjoy recent content in its ideal format. These TVs upscale older content as well. This has quickly become the standard resolution; most luxury TV brands are doing away with Full HD displays, and budget-friendly brands may follow suit in the years to come.
RCA Ultra HD TVs feature high-dynamic range (HDR). This technology boosts the brightness of the pixels, creating a more lush and vivid display. HDR also helps improve contrast, particularly in darker colors.
LG, one of the leaders in television technology, recently struck a deal to license its smart platform, WebOS, and RCA is one of the companies that now includes it on select TVs as a premium alternative to Roku TV. WebOs is among the top-tier smart platforms, with a customizable interface, easy access to apps, and support for virtual assistants. It’s faster and more intuitive than competing interfaces, including Roku TV.
RCA smart TVs connect wirelessly to the internet and include a series of inputs to allow you to hook up useful consoles and devices. You’ll find either two or three HDMI ports on your TV, depending on the size. Among the common devices you might want to connect are a DVD or Blu-ray player, soundbar, computer, or gaming console. RCA TVs also have one or two USB ports, so you can charge or power devices or check out content on a drive.
RCA smart TVs are ideal for those who want to casually enjoy their entertainment without fussing about details. As such, they’re great for teens and students and useful in rental cottages or guest rooms.
Soundbar: Vizio Soundbar
TVs don’t put as much emphasis on sound quality as they do on displays, which is why we recommend investing in a compatible soundbar to enhance the audio. This 29-inch option by Vizio comes at a budget-friendly price and features left and right channels.
Smart speaker: Echo Dot
Roku TV can be controlled by Alexa, Amazon’s smart assistant. In order to use this handy feature, you need an Alexa-enabled device like the Echo Dot. This fourth-generation model easily serves as an inexpensive hub for your smart home operation.
Inexpensive: You can find smaller-size Full HD RCA smart TVs for around $200.
Mid-range: Most RCA TVs cost between $200 and $300, with options in terms of size and resolution.
Expensive: Spend over $300, and you can buy a larger 4K RCA TV for the most detailed experience the brand offers. This price range also includes models with the WebOS smart platform.
A. Setting up a Roku TV account is straightforward. You create a free account online, either before your TV arrives or after you’ve set it up. You need an internet connection (wireless or wired) to access Roku TV. Once your account is set up, you can start enjoying your favorite content. You can browse the various channels, such as Netflix and YouTube, and add them to your home screen so you have easy access.
A. For those who enjoy casual gaming, particularly with content on older consoles, RCA TVs can satisfy your gaming needs. With a refresh rate of 60 hertz, they provide a reliable connection, especially with respect to the size of the TVs.
However, for more serious gamers, such as anyone who competes online or plans to embrace the newest consoles from Microsoft or Sony, an RCA smart TV lacks the power and screen technology for you to get the most out of your games. You could find that online games lag, more vibrant landscapes appear muted, and darker environments are blurry.
A. The RCA smart platforms allow users to gain access to live TV apps and services. While the Roku Channel does offer dozens of free live channels, they typically aren't the most popular options. You’ll need to check the list of what’s currently available to gauge your interest. Other services and apps offer live channels with a subscription, though most offer a free trial period as well.
A. Companies like Hisense, TCL, Sceptre, and Insignia are all vying to offer consumers affordable smart TVs. Generally, RCA products are cheaper for comparable sizes and resolutions, though the brand’s selection is more limited, and it doesn’t sell 85-inch TVs, which is just about the largest size available. Roku TV is a long-lasting, reliable smart platform that appeals to many viewers. Other brands may use Fire TV or Android TV as their platform, which cater to more specific audiences and device users.
As Samsung and LG, the leaders in TV technology, license their innovations, other budget-friendly companies now offer enhanced displays like quantum-dot LED (QLED) or organic LED (OLED) screens. These technologies offer more vibrant colors and better contrast. As of this writing, RCA does not offer these technologies in its TVs.