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RCA's Roku smart TVs boast streaming smarts, but no 4K

rca roku smart tv
The world is slowly making the jump to 4K Ultra HD resolution. But what if your tube TV is on its very last legs, and you’re not quite ready to shell out for 4K? That’s where RCA’s Roku smart TVs hope to make their pitch.

RCA’s new TVs are offered in three different models, including a 32-inch 720p version (at 1366 x 768 resolution), and 1080p Full HD models in 43-inch and a 50-inch sizes, all at or below the $500 line. As the name would imply, each of the TVs run Roku OS, the popular and powerful streaming system. Roku’s interface comes complete with support for virtually ever streaming app in existence, plus arguably the best cross-platform search available, effectively integrating a set-top streaming box directly into the TV.

“We are excited to make our mark once again on the TV landscape,” said Claire Villeneuve, head of trademark licensing for Technicolor, which now owns the RCA Brand. “TV viewing habits are changing and streaming is becoming the norm. RCA’s partnership with Roku allows us to offer our customers a fantastic, yet affordable smart TV with amazing content choices, on one of the most robust smart TV platforms available.”

The bare-bones TVs don’t boast much more when it comes to features, though unlike some newer displays they do offer a TV tuner, making it easy to attach an affordable HDTV antenna to get over-the-air broadcasts, along with the ability to create a “Favorites Channel” list. Having Roku built in also frees up the HDMI ports for other devices like gaming consoles and Blu-ray players.

While the lack of 4K Ultra HD might be a disappointment to some, the latest Roku collaboration may be worth consideration for those who aren’t ready for — or aren’t interested in — upgrading to the next step in TV resolution. That said, those looking for the addition of Roku OS and 4K already have some seriously affordable choices to peruse, as Roku has partnered with budget brands like TCL and Hisense for a lineup of 4K Ultra HD TVs (some with HDR) priced not far above the new RCA models.

You can find RCA’s new TV lineup online through Walmart or Amazon, and they’re also available from brick-and-mortar retailers, including ABC Appliances, Bi Mart, BJ’s, Brand Smart, Cowboy Maloney, Evine, and Shopko, at the price points listed below:

  • 50-inch HD (1080p) for $500
  • 43-inch HD (1080p) for $380
  • 32-inch (1366 x 768) for $250

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Brendan Hesse
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