It's been a long time since "RCA" came out of my mouth. It's almost like saying "Blockbuster". It seems like RCA has been making consumer electronics since the beginning of time. Gamers are a very picky bunch (Source: I'm a gamer). RCA debuted some new products at CES 2018. Do they still have what it takes to make a TV that gamers will love? In short, yes, and here is why.
Specs & Features
- OS: Roku TV Software
- Resolution: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2160p (3840x2160)
- HDR: HDR10 (250 nit max luminance)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 8ms
- Screen Sizes: 50" (RTRU5027-US), 55" (RTRU5527-US), 65" (RTRU6527-US)
- Ports: 3x HDMI 1.4/2.0, VGA, RF, YPBPR, A/V, Coaxial, PC Audio, 2x USB, 1x Ethernet
First and foremost, gamers look for a smooth image while gaming. This comes from two factors, input lag and motion blur. Motion blur is how quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another. Input lag is delay between the television or monitor receiving a signal and it being displayed on the screen. Although I was unable to measure the input lag, I was able to find that the motion blur was very impressive. A reaction time of 8ms puts it on par with Samsung's Q7F. These two displays are the fastest response time for LEDs. The only displays that are faster, are OLEDs.
The HDR is gorgeous, which is expected. The RTRU6527 does not support Dolby Vision HDR, but that is fine for gamers since no consoles support it yet. HDR 10 will do just fine. The disappointing bit is the maximum luminance. Other displays in the category have nearly double the luminance. Most standard displays get up to 100 nits, so you will still get rich colors and vivid images. When playing HDR games like Gran Turismo Sport and Horizon Zero Dawn, its hard to be disappointed. There are no other options than 60Hz for refresh rate. Would have been nice to see 120Hz, but I'm glad they didn't include any kind of "Clear Action" or "Motion Plus". A quick word to TV companies, if you're going to do 120Hz or 240Hz, please don't fake it with software like that. It looks horrible and no one uses it.
The Roku TV software is the same you'll find on other Roku devices. There are tons of apps! Nearly everything you want. I would like to see Chromecast incorporated as well, since some apps are not available (ie. Spotify). The chipset works well. I had a few hiccups in response to remote presses, but it felt very snappy. The settings menu for adjusting the image is fairly basic. If you are looking to mess with calibration, you'll have to download the app and go into some deeper settings there. I will say that keeping the typical settings on the TV, keeps the menus very clear and easy to use. I didn't see any noticeable difference when in "Game Mode", but I keep it on while gaming for the slightly improved input lag.
If you are playing on Xbox One or PlayStation 4, its important to note the following. For HDR, you'll need to go into the input settings and change the input type to HDMI 2.0. For some reason, my PS4 was not recognizing it as an HDR TV. The input was set to automatic, but I needed to change it to HDMI 2.0 for it to work. That might be more of an issue with the console itself, but definitely something to be aware of. Each input will have its own image profile. Its nice for those that are picky with their image per device, like myself. HDR on my Xbox has different settings than my PlayStation.
After gaming for 8 straight hours, the display was still cool to the touch. I haven't seen any screen burn, but then again, I haven't had it long. The Roku TV also has a screensaver, so if you forget to turn it off, you wont have to worry about that.
Build and Aesthetics
This definitely looks and feels like a new RCA. Slim bezels and weathered aluminum leg stands give it a premium look. The legs are interesting. Instead of using slots in the bottom of the TV, they are screwed directly into the back of it. At first I was a bit hesitant, because inserting the legs into slots before screwing them in seems more sturdy. I can reassure you that these legs are just as sturdy and have a low profile so they hide well.
It is wall-mountable. You will want a heavy duty mount since any TV 65"+ are going to be heavy. You'll find that the high grade materials used for the legs and the solid built of the display will look fantastic on your wall or TV stand compared to most TVs at this price range.
Something that I find would help the gaming experience is a higher luminance. 250 nits is definitely an improvement, but TVs with 500+ nits show an improvement to realism when gaming transitions from dark to light. Bright scenes with exposure would be improved as well. The TV does not support 4K movies at 50Hz, but most content you watch or play will be supported. It is nice to get all green check marks when setting up your Xbox 4K HDR, so this will be the only red X you'll see.
There are apps for nearly everything, but for the apps not available, it would be nice to have a Chromecast built in as well. Its inexpensive to do and would add a convenient functionality for apps that are not available.
The RCA RTRU6527 is a product that gamers should absolutely consider when upgrading. Priced at $599.99 for the 50", $699.99 for the 55", and $1099.99 for the 65", it shares the seat with the TCL P607 as the best budget TV for gamers. Great color, image, motion blur, functionality, and gaming is why I love the RTRU6527 Roku TV from RCA. Well done RCA, well done.
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