TCL 55RP620K Roku TV review

hcc_recommendedWhen it comes to ease of use, or streaming app choice, smart TVs don't get much better than this, says Steve May

Not content with a user base of 53million devices, Roku accelerates its migration from media player OS to smart TV technology, taking up residence in this affordable line of 4K flatscreens from TCL. TCL has actually launched two Roku models in the UK, the entry-level RP520K series, and the RP620K reviewed here, replete with Dolby Vision HDR and a higher-spec video processor.

On the HCC test bench is a 55in model, but the set is also available at 43in, 50in, and 65in. The Roku interface will be familiar to many. An early pioneer when it came to streaming media players, we've seen it on an assortment of pucks and sticks. The iteration here is visually very similar, albeit with some niceties that reflect its TV integration. Suffice to say I felt right at home from the get-go. This set's well-honed usability was so easy to get along with.

App choice is second to none. Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, NOW and BT Sport are just some of the big names onboard, but there are plenty of B-list attractions too. You also get the Roku Channel, which offers a mix of catalogue shows and movies, and a growing slate of exclusive Roku Originals. The RP620K also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, and offers Apple AirPlay and Apple HomeKit support.

Not So Smart
Design-wise, this £400 55-incher looks a bit generic. The bezel is gloss black, while speakers fire downwards at widely spaced feet. Connections are fine for the money, though, including four HDMI inputs (all v2.0, one with ARC), optical digital audio output, AV minijack, USB and Ethernet.

The remote control features the familiar purple Roku navigator, and has shortcut buttons for Netflix, Spotify, Apple TV+, Rakuten TV and Freeview Play, the latter adding its own portfolio of catch-up TV services and boxsets to the mix.

If usability is first-class, picture performance is a bit more economy. Wander away from native 4K sources, and you'll notice a lack of upscaling acumen. HD images remain doggedly fuzzy.

The set also struggles to really sell the allure of HDR material. I measured peak brightness at just 285 nits. Dolby Vision is on hand to make the most of this meagre brightness with encoded content, but buyers shouldn't expect an HDR showcase.

Bridgerton (Netflix, Dolby Vision) actually looks rather cinematic, the fabulous period detail cleanly delineated, and costumes rich in texture. The frock coats in the opening episode are primarily dark, but Dolby Vision manages to pull out details from the fabric.

The set offers variable brightness to better work in different room conditions. But you have to manually select it yourself, because there's no ambient sensor onboard.

Because the 55RP620K isn't the slimmest TV in town, TCL has been able to fit some decent loudspeaker modules, powered by a claimed 16W of amplification. Its sound has moderate bass weight and the speakers happily play loud. Of the trio of sound presets to play with, Theatre is the most engaging, but we'd definitely plan for a soundbar upgrade at some point.

The screen makes for quite a tidy gaming display. I measured input lag in Game mode at just 12.1ms (1080/60), which rivals far-pricier LCD options. Of course, this is most likely a by-product of its lack of advanced video processing.

Second-Room Steal
There's plenty to like about TCL's debut Roku flatscreen. The OS works wonderfully well promoted to Home Screen status, and the choice of streaming apps is brilliant. The set also surprises with its low latency Game mode and ample connectivity.

Image quality is a little less impressive, although not too far off expectations given its ticket price. Stick as much as possible to a 4K HDR diet. If you're after a low-cost telly for streaming, then it's absolutely one to shortlist. And as a second-room set, I reckon it's actually something of a steal.

HCC Verdict

TCL 55RP620K

Price: £400

We say: The familiar Roku streaming OS works brilliantly well transplanted into a TV – shame the TCL panel isn't a higher performer.

Overall: 4/5


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. Dolby Vision; HDR10; HLG TUNER: Yes. Freeview HD; satellite CONNECTIONS: 4 x HDMI inputs; digital optical audio output; 1 x USB; Ethernet SOUND (CLAIMED): 2 x 8W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): N/A CONTRAST RATIO (CLAIMED): N/A 4K/120 PLAYBACK: No DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,234(w) x 720(h) x 84(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 11.4kg

FEATURES: Roku TV OS; IPQ 2.0 processor; Wi-Fi; Apple AirPlay; Google Assistant/Amazon Alexa voice support; Freeview Play