RCA 70-Inch TV Review: Great Pricing, Good Picture Quality


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This RCA 70-inch TV review walks you through the features and performance of an affordable 70-inch TV. Music lovers may be familiar with the RCA recording label, which is a property of Sony. It turns out there’s a link between that RCA and the subject of today’s review.

RCA is an old brand that belongs to Technicolor. The owner licenses the brand to different companies in various industries, including record labels and manufacturers. That means you may come across microwaves, cooking ranges, audio equipment, and TVs carrying the logo.

Let’s find out how the 70-inch RCA TV measures up to the reputation of its brand. We start at the beginning, by taking the TV out of the box.

RCA 70 inch TV review: Unboxing

RCA 70-inch TV review

FInd an extra set of hands to unpack a 70-inch TV. Once you get everything out of the box, you should be looking at:

  • The70-inch RCA RNSMU7036
  • A power cable
  • The remote and a pair of batteries
  • Two media cables for legacy connections
  • A pair of TV legs and the screws you’ll need to attach said legs
  • An instruction manual

There’s no HDMI cable or mounting gear in the package, so have your own on standby. Set up is as easy as physical installation and powering the TV.

First looks and design

The 70-inch RCA is three inches thick at its widest point, which is chunky by modern flat screen standards. Its angular, boxy side-profile is also a throwback to older TVs. 

At first glance, the RCA RNSMU7036 is a large, solid flat-screen with a black plastic chassis. The bezels that frame the screen are relatively thin and they do a passable job of blending in. 

RCA displays tend to have awkward placement of ports and controls. For example, the power, volume, and channel navigation buttons are at the back. The ports sit in a raised panel at the back, and some of them are hard to access.

Ports and connectivity

There are two sets of ports in the input panel from the previous section. The side-facing ports consist of a USB port, an HDMI port, and a LAN port. These are easy enough to reach from the side of the TV.

Then there are the downward-facing ports and their strange placement. Unfortunately,  they are numerous, comprising of:

  • An optical port
  • One USB port
  • Two HDMI ports
  • A VGA port that allows you to connect a PC and turn the TV into a monitor
  • A trio of component AV ports for your legacy devices
  • A coaxial connector for antenna or cable
  • One composite AV port
  • A 3.5mm headphone jack

The awkward positioning of the bulk of the ports is a poor design choice on the part of the manufacturer. You won’t be connecting to these ports on a whim, so use them for permanent connections.

Wireless connectivity comes down to a Wi-Fi connection that you can use to stream content from the few apps in the Spartan interface that ships with this TV.

[Read what others are saying about this TV]

RCA 70 inch TV review: User interface

The RCA RNSMU7036 comes with SmarTVirtuoso, the manufacturer’s proprietary interface. This no-frills system carries a few of the most common streaming apps, namely Netflix, YouTube, and Pandora. It also has tools like Accuweather, Twitter, and Facebook.

Worth noting is the lack of an app store, which limits the functionality and streaming content of this 70-inch widescreen. Consider an external streaming device like a Roku stick or a fire stick. These add-ons can help you make the most out of this TV.

SmarTVirtuoso: Ease of use

This bare-bones interface is a plug-and-play affair that works a lot like the firmware of your average non-smart TV. For starters, you don’t need a user account to use the OS. All you need to do is select the language, region/country, internet connection, and input. You’ll also need to run the digital tuner to find over-the-air or cable channels. This will bring you to the homepage of the SmarTVirtuoso interface.

In ten minutes or less, you should be seated and watching your brand new TV.

RCA 70 inch TV review: Picture quality

The RCA RNSMU7036 is an IPS panel with edge backlighting and a refresh rate of 60 frames per second. It boasts fairly wide viewing angles, 4K resolution, and basic circuitry for image processing. Here’s how the hardware performs in terms of picture quality:

1.       Color

This TV has a wide color gamut that its electronics use to execute accurate colors across the spectrum. There’s little need to tweak the color settings, which is fortunate because seeing how the TV lacks allowances for fine-tuning.

2.       Brightness and HDR content

At 300 nits, the 70-inch RCA is adequately bright for SDR content. The TV gets even brighter for HDR content, at an impressive peak brightness level of 500 nits. There are several benefits to having a bright TV.

For starters, a bright TV expands the color palette. The resultant deep and wide color volume allows the RCA RNSMU7036 to render vivid, detailed HDR content. Individual highlights stand out, making it possible to pick out small details. The lack of local dimming keeps the panel from executing flawless HDR pictures, but it comes close.

3.       Contrast, detail, and HDR content

Contrast is a function of brightness. It is a measure of the difference between the brightest and darkest colors that a TV can display.

In addition to deep blacks and good brightness levels, localized dimming also plays a role in enhancing contrast. Unfortunately, this panel only has backlighting along its edges, which limits its ability to dim localized areas of the screen. In the end, this takes away from the level of detail in both SDR and HDR.

4.       Motion handling

It takes six milliseconds for a pixel on this 70” RCA to change colors, which is fast. You should see little to no motion blur as you take in your fast-action content. Input lag is also comparable at less than 20ms.

The fast reflexes of this TV makes for enjoyable viewing of fast-paced shows and sports. It also allows for enjoyable gameplay.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • A wide selection of ports
  • The TV is bright enough for both SDR and HDR content
  • Accurate colors right out of the box
  • Great contrast ratio that translates to good execution of detail
  • Good response time that helps with motion handling

Cons

  • Most of the ports are downward-facing, and their awkward placement makes them hard to reach
  • The controls are at the back of the TV, making them hard to reach
  • Limited smart interface with few apps
  • The TV could do a better job of local dimming, and this limits the level of detail on HDR content

RCA 70 inch TV review verdict: A 4K TV that gets the job done

The RCA 70-inch TV is super-affordable for its size, making it a tempting proposition. That’s where this RCA 70-inch TV review comes in. It answers the question of whether the performance of this display matches its attractive pricing.

The long and short of it is that you get your money’s worth. This 70-inch wide-screen TV offers good sound and picture quality, which is what you want in a TV. You’ll get used to the awkward placement of the ports as you work around the bare-bones user interface. Click here to learn more about this television.

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