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Best RCA TVs: Are they any good? Where are the best Black Friday deals?

Best RCA TVs: Are they any good? Where are the best Black Friday deals?

If you're in the market for a cheap TV, you might have come across RCA. Originally known as Radio Corporation of America, RCA has been a US electronics staple over 100 years. It's moved with the times, and now offers range of 4K TVs in various sizes – often for outrageously low prices at Walmart. And now that Black Friday bargains are live, many RCA TVs are even cheaper than usual.

But with so many budget TVs to choose from (RCA competes with the likes of Sceptre, TCL and Hisense) it can be tough to know where to start your search. You may also be a little wary of budget brands. After all, can $199 flatscreen really offer value for money? What features do RCA TVs have? Are are there better options elsewhere?

To help you find the RCA TV that's best for you, we've previewed some of the most popular models below – and highlighted the best bargains and discounts. With a bit of luck, you'll be able to score a bonus Black Friday saving on an already cheap TV.

RCA makes both smart and non-smart TVs. The smart models run Roku TV, a user-friendly platform that provides access to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, CBS and Sling TV. Prices start at $230 $199 for a 43-inch RCA Roku TV. 

The company has also upped its game in terms of picture quality, launching a couple of Quantum Dot (QLED) sets. Right now, you can pick up a 65-inch RCA 4K QLED TV for $700 $450 at Walmart.

Read on for our pick of the best RCA TV deals for Black Friday...

Roku 4K TVs from $168

If you're not fussed about Roku, or in fact any smart platform embedded in your 4K TV, RCA's $220 $168 43in 4K Ultra HD TV (RTU4300) is about as inexpensive as 4K models get. 

We've not tested this particular model but it's proved a huge hit with Walmart buyers, who rated it 4/5 stars. Of the 700+ reviews of this TV, over 90 per cent are positive. That would suggest a decent TV.

We can also tell you that the RTU4300 offers a respectable feature-set, including four HDMI ports. Plug in a budget streaming stick – such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite – and this model would get smarter in seconds.

Want something bigger? RCA's 50inch 4K LED TV is $330 $220 at Walmart, while the 55-inch (RTU5540) will set you back $260. The 65-inch (RTU6549) is $500 $360, and the Super Bowl-worthy 70-inch (RTU7074) is $700 $600.

But while RCA is known for big, cheap TVs, it makes some neat models that occupy the other end of the spectrum. Its portable 24-inch HD TV (RT2471-AC) is perfect for RVs, workshops and guest bedrooms and, at $95, is one of Walmart's best-selling TVs. (It's also available from Amazon for $99.99).

Of course, all of the RCA mentioned above are free of smarts, which is reflected in their rock-bottom prices. If you want an all-in-one solution, we'd suggest spending a bit extra on one of RCA's Roku-powered smart TVs...

RCA TVs with Roku: 32in, 43in, 55in, 65in

Fully sold on having the streaming service hidden inside your TV? Well, you’re in the right place: RCA offers a whole host of 4K TVs with Roku TV integrated. Here are some of the most popular options...

If you're looking for a mid-size, 2020-model smart TV at a low price, the 43-inch RTR4360-W could be just the ticket. It offers Full HD (1080p) resolution rather than 4K UHD, but that's reflected in the eye-catching price: $240 $199.

Roku TV delivers seamless access to most major streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Go/Max, Vudu, Sling TV and many others. Roku TV is on the best smart TV platforms in the business and we've always found it to be fast and user-friendly. It also lets you cast content from your smartphone to the TV using the free Roku iOS/Android app.

The TV itself has a pretty standard HDMI count of four, so there's room enough for a games console or two. That said, the refresh rate is only 60Hz (meaning the picture refreshes 60 times per second) so images could be subject to more motion blurring during fast action scenes compared to a TV with, say, a 120Hz refresh rate.

Still, at $199 the RTR4360-W is an awful lot of TV for the money. Want something smaller? Walmart is currently offering RCA's 32-inch HD Roku TV (RTR3260) for only $150 $115.

RCA 43-inch Full HD Roku smart TV $240 $199 at Walmart
This budget smart TV is big enough for the whole family, yet not too big for a bedroom. A couple of hundred bucks gets you a HD flatscreen with the user-friendly Roku TV platform, basic voice search and access to a heaving buffet of streaming movies and TV shows. Yes please. View Deal

If you've a little more cash in your pocket, consider RCA's premium QLED models. The 55-inch 4K Roku Smart QLED (RTRQ5522-US) is currently priced at $500 $318, which, by any measure, is a spectacularly-low price for a QLED TV.

We've not laid eyes on this particular set but QLED technology promises ultra-vivid colors and plenty of contrast, so you should get a more cinematic experience than from one of RCA's cheaper LED TV. This model has plenty of smarts too, including support for Google Assistant and voice search. 

The 55-inch is joined by the 65-inch version (RTRQ6522-US), which offers the same spec (Roku TV, three HMDI ports and 60Hz refresh rate) packed into a bigger frame. It's also on offer at Walmart, and currently priced at $700 $450

RCA 55-inch Roku 4K UHD QLED TV $500 $318 at Walmart
Here's a real doozy of a deal. It gets you a 55-inch 4K TV with a premium QLED panel, HDR10 and the accomplished Roku TV platform. The deal's exclusive to Walmart, so when stocks are gone, they're gone. Fancy the 65-inch version? It's reduced from $700 to a $450.View Deal

RCA vs rival budget TV brands 

So, how do RCA's smart TV stack up against other, wallet-friendly rivals? Normally, RCA TVs compare favourably on price. But with a slew of season sales triggering a price war, there are some pretty remarkable budget TV bargains flying around at the minute.

Best Buy has dropped the price of the 65-inch TCL 4K Roku TV (65S421) to only $498 $428. That makes it even cheaper than the 65-inch RCA RTRQ6522, although the TCL model sports an LED panel as opposed to a QLED. 

Prefer an Amazon Alexa-enabled TV? You can pick up the Toshiba 43-inch 4K Fire TV (43LF621U21) for $330 $209 at Amazon. It boasts Amazon's smart TV platform and supports Dolby Vision HDR (none of RCA's TVs support Dolby's advanced form of HDR).

Toshiba 43-inch 4K UHD smart TV $329.99 $209.99 at Amazon
If you're on the hunt for an Amazon eco-system enabled TV, here's a $120 saving on a 4K Toshiba Fire TV. It features built-in Alexa voice smarts and advanced features such as Dolby Vision HDR.View Deal

If you or someone in your household owns a PS5 or Xbox Series X, or plans on regularly using your 4K TV for gaming, we'd recommend spending a bit extra on a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The 55-inch Vizio M557-G0 4K 120Hz QLED HDR smart TV is currently $820 $490 at Amazon. We've not seen it in the flesh but the spec is encouraging to say the least. We'd also recommend checking out our comprehensive list of the best gaming TVs for every budget.

If you're already heavily-invested in the Google eco-system, then it makes sense to opt for an Android TV. RCA don't offer any,  budget rival Hisense does. The firm's top-of-the-range 2020 model, the H9G, has support for Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+, in addition to a 120Hz refresh rate. 

There's a Google Assistant mic button on the remote for voice control of your TV and compatible smart home gadgets. You could ask Google to dim the lights with Philips Hue, or search for your favourite movie.

65in Hisense 65H9G 65in 4K LED TV $999 $950 at Best Buy
The H9G is a 4K Quantum ULED TV with full array display with up to 90 local dimming zones and 1000-nits peak brightness. Part of the 2020 Hisense line-up, it's Dolby Vision-enabled it also calls on the company's 'HI-View Engine', Google Assistant and a Game Mode. View Deal

Verdict

RCA doesn't offer the widest range of sizes and features, but there's a some real gems in its 2019 and 2020 line-up. Its TVs, which are almost exclusively sold through Walmart, seem to go down well with buyers. And with the top two models in RCA 2020 range combining QLED panels and Roku TV smarts to good effect, RCA is starting to move beyond just dirt-cheap TVs.

If it’s Roku you want, and you don't want the hassle of connecting and buying, say, a separate Roku Streaking Stick+, RCA delivers among the very cheapest options out there.

On paper, RCA TV is a cost-effective solution for a regular Walmart shopper who's after a no-frills, easy-to-navigate 4K TV and perhaps some integrated Roku smarts too. With seasonal deals galore, RCA's latest budget TVs are hard to ignore.

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