It’s a budget-TV golden age: 4K TVs are affordable enough that anyone can own one, and they’ve gotten surprisingly good over the past few years, offering features previously found only on more top-of-the-line TVs. Videophiles and serious gamers may be better served by higher-end LCD or OLED models, but we recommend the 2022 TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S555) for anyone who just wants a very good 4K HDR TV that isn’t a burdensome investment. The new 5-Series provides a bright, punchy, yet accurate picture and a healthy heap of welcome extras, including built-in Roku streaming.
TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S555)
The 2022 TCL 5-Series delivers a satisfying 4K HDR picture for the price, and it supports the latest gaming features. Its Roku TV smart platform is robust enough for enthusiasts but intuitive enough for the whole family.
The 2022 TCL 5-Series Roku TV (S555) continues the tradition of the company’s previous 5-Series models, offering advanced TV tech such as a full-array LED backlight with local dimming (to deliver great image contrast) and quantum dots (for better color performance) at a very reasonable price. (See TV features, defined for more info on those terms.) This TV supports the latest AV formats, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision for high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos for spatial audio. Unlike our previous 5-Series pick—which came in both Roku TV and Google TV variants—the latest 5-Series is available only with Roku TV, but the experience is snappy and intuitive. TCL’s Game Studio Plus suite of features will appeal to many gamers, but because this TV has only a 60 Hz refresh rate, it doesn’t offer the improved motion that higher-end 120 Hz TVs deliver. Toss in four HDMI 2.1 inputs and a sleek, durable build, and you have one flexible and well-formed television.
Hisense U6H Series Google TV
The Hisense U6H delivers a solid 4K HDR picture, and it complements modern game consoles. But this TV isn’t bright enough to display satisfying HDR.
Deciding between our top pick and Hisense’s U6H Series Google TV was no easy task for us. In terms of price and hardware, the U6H checks the right boxes: This series gives you a full-array local-dimming LED backlight for better contrast, quantum dots for improved color, an intuitive Google TV experience, key gaming features for current-gen consoles, and solid build quality—all at wallet-friendly prices. Unfortunately, in our comparative testing the U6H fell short of our top pick in a couple of areas, including overall brightness and the ability to show all the fine shadow details in darker movie scenes. That said, it produced a respectable image overall, and you might prefer it to the TCL 5-Series if you’re gaga for Google—and especially if you’d prefer to have Filmmaker Mode, a picture mode tuned for maximum accuracy (and one that the 5-Series lacks). But when it comes to looking good across a variety of lighting conditions, the Hisense U6H lacks the backlight power to perform its best in a bright room.