Table of Contents
- What is Roku?
- What Can A Roku Do? What Are Its Features?[+]
- How does Roku make a smart TV smarter?
- Is Roku the same as Smart TV?
- Do I need Roku if I have a smart TV?
- What type of Smart TV do you have?
- Make sure your Roku player works with the resolution of your TV.
- Can I use a Roku with a TV that isn’t smart?
- Some Smart TVs that have Roku TV built-in
- What kind of Roku should I get?[+]
My smart TV already has apps like Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. built in, so why do I need Roku or any other streaming device?”
Well, the truth is that even though your “smart” TV has some video streaming, music, and game apps, it’s not as good as a video streaming device like Roku.
What is Roku?
The company Roku Inc. makes devices called Roku that stream digital media. Roku devices connect to your TV or are built into a smart TV as software. They let you watch TV shows, news, movies, and other content over the internet through channels that you can download.
Roku’s name comes from the Japanese word for “six” because it is the sixth business that its founder, Anthony Wood, has started. Roku’s first product was the DVP N1000, which came out in 2008. Since then, Roku’s devices have been getting better and better.
Roku works with its own operating system and hardware that comes in many different styles. Most people are familiar with a streaming stick or a round-square box, which are two of the most common types. Roku also makes smart TVs, called Roku TVs, that have an operating system built in. The least expensive Roku device is the Roku Express, which costs $29.99. The most expensive Roku device is a Roku TV, which costs more than $200.
Some of the most popular features of Roku devices are:
- Roku Express
- Roku Express 4K+
- Roku Ultra
- Roku Streaming Stick+
- Roku Streambar
- Roku Streambar Pro
- Roku TVs
You can refer to more Roku products at Amazon.com
What Can A Roku Do? What Are Its Features?
With the help of a Roku app or device, you can watch online videos on any TV. Even if you don’t have a Smart TV, you can use a Roku to watch on-demand content from OTT services like Netflix and Hulu.
You can also sign up for services like Sling TV and YouTube TV that let you watch TV on your media player.
1. Different kinds of tools
Most people use a stick-shaped Roku that plugs into the HDMI port on the back of their TV.
There are also Roku boxes and an Xbox Streambar with built-in speakers.
- The Roku Express comes with a cable that you can plug into your TV’s video jacks if it is very old and doesn’t have an HDMI port.
- Even though the Roku is small, it has all the hardware and software it needs to connect to the internet and send video to your TV.
- A Roku comes with a remote (typically).
- You will be asked to join when you first turn on your Wi-Fi. The menu will then be shown on your TV’s main screen.
2. Access To The Content
You can see a list of the things you can do there. Some of the content is only available on Roku, while others come from well-known providers like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hisense, Disney, and specialty channels.
- Some programming is free, but most of it requires a paid subscription.
- But many businesses that sell subscriptions offer free trials.
- With a Roku device, you can stream music (like Spotify), movies, and other forms of entertainment from about 4,500 channels.
3. Options besides Roku
More devices can stream than just Roku. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is the closest competitor to Roku because it works similarly.
- Apple TV is another choice. Despite its name, it is just a small box that plugs into an HDMI port, not a TV.
- Apple TV is different from the other two in some ways and usually costs more.
- Users who already have laptops and Apple iOS devices can use it well.
- When you connect your computer to your TV, you can use screen mirroring to turn your computer into a streaming device.
4. Sharing Is Caring
One limitation is that you can’t stream content to your home’s TVs with just one Roku. Every set needs its stick or box.
- A Roku device can easily move from one TV to another, like the living room TV to the TV in the guest room.
- If two family members want to use the same Roku on two TVs, they need two Rokus (or have different viewing preferences).
- As shown in the picture below, Roku has teamed up with a few TV makers, like TCL Technology, to build Roku right into the TVs.
Read on to find out if you need Roku or already have a smart TV.
How does Roku make a smart TV smarter?
The company Roku Inc. makes devices called Roku that stream digital media. Roku devices connect to your TV or are built into a smart TV as software. They let you watch TV shows, news, movies, and other internet content through channels you can download.
Is Roku the same as Smart TV?
Roku is like a Smart TV; it works and looks the same. Both of these turn on streaming, which needs a connection to the internet.
Both of them can handle 4K and have voice search.
- You can do much with a smart TV even if you don’t have Roku channels. For simple TV services, you don’t need a Roku app.
- Video-on-demand (VoD) services let you choose which TV shows and movies to watch, and you can also sign up for live TV channels. You can play video files on the internet.
- People who have Smart TVs often add Roku streaming sticks to them. It turns out that a TV with a Roku media player can do some things better than a Smart TV.
- Streaming devices like Roku are faster, easier to use, more reliable, and more beneficial than traditional Smart TVs.
- Read on to learn more about the question, “Do I need Roku if I have a smart TV?”
You may also like: Roku vs Firestick For Elderly: Which device is better for elderly people?
Do I need Roku if I have a smart TV?
If you already have a smart TV, you don’t need Roku. However, compared to a standard smart TV, Roku has more content options, an easier-to-use menu, a better remote, faster and smoother load times, more updates, and fewer useless or “throwaway” apps!
So, even if you already have a smart TV, you should still consider getting a Roku streaming device.
What type of Smart TV do you have?
Most companies that make TVs have hardware and software partnerships with other companies.
This is also true for Roku TVs. For example, TCL has teamed up with Roku to offer Smart TVs with Roku functionality already built in. So, make sure you know what your Smart TV is capable of. Don’t buy something you don’t need. Make sure you don’t buy a Roku streaming device if your TV already has Roku.
Make sure your Roku player works with the resolution of your TV.
Roku has an inexpensive entry-level device but can only handle HD resolution (1080p). It doesn’t work with resolutions above 4K. The Roku Express is shown here. It’s great for people who want a straightforward way to stream HD content.
So, if you don’t care much about your device’s resolution and TV, the Roku Express could be a good choice.
If you have a TV that can stream in UHD 4K, you should get a higher-end Roku device or something else that can stream in a higher resolution. A few Roku devices can also handle this higher level of resolution. The price to move up to the next level is also very fair.
Can I use a Roku with a TV that isn’t smart?
A streaming device like Roku works best in a home with a TV that isn’t smart.
If your TV isn’t a Smart TV and doesn’t have a way to connect to the internet or stream content, you can instantly turn it into a Smart TV by plugging in a streaming device.
You only need a way to connect your streaming device to your TV. Usually, you plug your Roku, Fire TV Stick, or Apple TV into the HDMI port on your TV. But even if your TV is so old that it doesn’t have an HDMI port, you may still be able to find an adapter that will let you connect it to your favorite device.
For example, the back of most older TV sets has RCA connections. You can find RCA to HDMI adapters on Amazon and in many big box stores. Just make sure to take pictures of the back of your TV so you can compare them when you get to the store.
Some Smart TVs that have Roku TV built-in
Many smart TVs have Roku TV built in, such as
- TCL Roku TV
- Vizio Roku TV
- Hisense Roku TV
- Philips Roku TV etc
Even though TCL, Vizio, Hisense, etc. are all different brands of smart TVs, you can tell which ones have Roku TV built-in by adding “TV” to the end. All of them are advertising their products by adding “Roku TV” to the name of their brand. You can see what I mean when you search for “smart TV” on e-commerce sites like Amazon, eBay, etc.. The TVs will have names like TCL Roku TV, Vizio Roku TV, Hisense Roku TV, and so on.
What kind of Roku should I get?
The Express is the simplest Roku, and the Streambar is the most advanced. Voice control and headphone output are also part of this feature.
Others are compatible with Dolby Atmos and high dynamic range (HDR).
There’s even one that makes a sound to help you find it if you lose it.
There are models for both standard HDTV and 4K. You can use a 4K remote with a TV that doesn’t support 4K, but you shouldn’t do the opposite.
Whether you already have a smart TV or not, you should think about getting a Roku streaming device because:
- More content
- A better way to use it
- A simpler remote
- Faster time to load
- More frequent updates
- Fewer apps that don’t matter.
But if you only watch cable on your smart TV or have an Xbox One or Playstation 4, you don’t need Roku since these devices already have strong streaming interfaces built-in.