Metz Roku 50MRD6000 4K TV review

The manufacturer may be unfamiliar, but Roku is an excellent streaming platform, so is this affordable 4K flatscreen too good to resist, wonders Steve May?

German TV giant Metz is the latest company to release a line of low-cost 4K HDR screens built around the Roku smart platform. Forever nipping at the heels of Amazon's Fire TV OS, Roku is distinguished by its ease of use. It doesn't bamboozle or befuddle, but does offer a huge variety of streaming service apps.

Metz is an unfamiliar name to UK buyers, but it has an illustrious history that dates back to the 1930s. A regular face at the Berlin IFA show for decades, in 2015 its TV business was acquired by Chinese TV giant Skyworth.

Making a virtue of its generic design, the 50MRD6000 – which sells for £309 – has a wafer-thin bezel and a pair of edge-placed plastic boots. Direct-lit, it isn't the slimmest of LED TVs, but viewed square-on looks rather smart.

Behind the glass, the Roku interface is seamlessly integrated with Freeview Play, so navigation feels slick and uncomplicated. All the main UK catch-up TV players are available.

Reflecting its budget status, there are just three HDMIs on the rear, one of which is eARC ready. There's also a digital audio output, AV minijack and two USB ports.

As this is a 60Hz panel, HFR gaming isn't an option, but as I was to discover, it makes a fairly decent games display. I measured input lag in Metz's Game mode at 10.3ms (1080/60) which is very good. Fast-paced shooters are smooth and responsive.

The 50MRD6000 comes with a typical Roku-style remote control, adorned with Freeview Play, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ and Spotify buttons.

Smart star
Make no mistake, Roku is the big attraction on this Metz TV. Quite apart from a wealth of streaming apps, there's also Roku's own free-to-watch channel, support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay2 and Homekit compatibility.

Its interface is deceptively simple, too. Live TV, apps and inputs are accessed from a regimented grid. Search functionality is quite sophisticated, and you can customise with screensavers and wallpapers.

As for picture performance, well you get what you pay for. I actually like the way it looks straight from the box. The set offers a well-lit, reasonably bright SDR image with candy colours and a fair amount of dynamic punch. It's a solid option for daytime viewing.

But there are caveats, most obviously with HDR handling. There's no Dolby Vision (some comparably cheap sets do have it), so you're left with HDR10 and HLG. Using a 10 per cent patch, I measured peak brightness at 320 nits, which is hardly mountainous.

The image actually dims and flattens when it receives an HDR signal, as if creating headroom for specular highlights. Dynamics can still punch through, as the brightly lit Taipei cityscapes that feature in The Brothers Sun (Netflix) attest, but I rather think it's more crowd-pleasing with SDR.

Black level performance is inevitably limited, which rather undermines the dramatic appearance of the First Order in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (4K Blu-ray). Letterbox bars appear grey when viewed in a low-light environment.

And whatever you're viewing, you'll want to budget for some external audio help. The set's built-in 2 x 10W sound system is a challenge to listen to for any length of time. Despite a wealth of audio presets, as well as DTS Trusurround processing, it's best described as functional.

Binge buddy
Metz's 50MRD6000 warrants a cautious thumbs up. The star of the show here is the Roku smart platform, which ticks all the right boxes if you want a low-cost screen to binge watch. Picture-wise it's at its best with SDR streams, but is also a surprisingly decent 60Hz gaming display. Play using headphones, though. Your ears will thank you.

HCC Verdict: 3.5/5

Metz Roku 50MRD6000
Price: £309

We say: This budget 50in TV is a middling HDR performer, but bolstered by the excellent Roku platform. A solid option if you want a second set.


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG CONNECTIONS:: 3 x HDMI; digital optical audio output; AV minijack; 2 x USB 4K/120 PLAYBACK: No SOUND (CLAIMED): 2 x 10W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): Not given CONTRAST (CLAIMED): Not given DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 1,110(w) x 649(h) x 91(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 8.8kg

FEATURES: Built-in Wi-Fi; Roku smart OS; Freeview HD tuner; Freeview Play catch-up; Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit Support; Amazon Alexa; Google Assistant; direct LED lighting engine; panel and picture presets