Do You Need Roku With A Smart TV?

You don’t really need Roku with a smart TV, but it’s an easy-to-use addition that offers a few extras you can’t get with a regular smart television.

Televisions are smarter than ever, giving you voice control and the ability to stream your favorite shows without shelling out for cable TV. But the advent of Roku begs the question — do smart TVs really need Roku?

Roku lets you access free and paid TV/streaming services in one, easy to use place. Consider it the heart of all your home entertainment needs. However, your standard smart TV also has built-in streaming channels.

In the following sections, we’ll uncover the truth behind adding a Roku to your smart TV, allowing you to make the best decision for you and your family. Rest assured no stone will be left unturned.

What is a Roku TV?

Roku TV

Roku TV is a popular streaming stick/device that connects with your non-smart tv through an HDMI cable and turns it into a smart one. It also integrates streaming services and traditional television channels into one cohesive interface.

Unlike traditional smart TVs, Roku TV is not a specific brand of television but rather a collaboration with various manufacturers, including TCL, Hisense, and others.

What sets Roku TV apart is its operating system, Roku OS, which powers the smart features and content delivery.

Roku do have its own app store where users can browse and install various applications directly onto the platform.

For example, if you are a Disney+ subscriber, you can easily navigate to the Roku app store, locate the Disney+ app, and install it on your Roku TV.

Subsequently, you can access your Disney+ account directly through the installed app, providing a streamlined and convenient means of enjoying your subscribed content on the Roku platform.

Do I Need Roku If I Have A Smart TV?

Smart TVs do not need Roku — they already have built-in streaming channels and a decent user interface. In fact, some TVs even come with built-in Roku operating systems (also called as roku tvs), such as:

  • Philips Roku Smart TV
  • Hisense Roku Smart TV
  • TCL Roku Smart TV, and
  • Vizio Roku Smart TV,

making a separate Roku device pointless.

For TVs without the built-in software, however, it gives you more content options, and a friendlier design perfect for all the family (whether they’re tech savvy or not).

Naturally, the decision is yours, but the addition unlocks a plethora of benefits you won’t gain from your standalone TV.

Why Should You Add Roku to Your Smart TV?

advantages of using roku with smart tv

While choosing whether to add Roku to your smart TV can seem like a daunting task, thinking about what you want from your television makes it a lot easier.

If you can relate to any of the following statements, supplementing your smart TV with a Roku device is likely the best choice for you.

You Want Almost Unlimited Channels

As Netflix (the iconic trail blazer in the streamable content world) took off, it wasn’t long until the Amazon Primes, Hulus, and Apple TVs of the world began popping up, offering seemingly unlimited access to an exponentially expanding universe of watchable shows and movies — for a price, of course. 

It triggered a monumental industry shift, giving rise to smart TVs and the easy access of streaming subscriptions straight from the devices.

Initially, this was fantastic. You could get everything you wanted from your device. However, brands were soon fighting for contracts with streaming services, meaning no singular smart TV had access to all streaming apps. 

And this is where Roku, with its unbridled access to all popular streaming services and apps, saves the day. If you subscribe to a streaming service, you can find it on Roku.

You Want Lightning-Fast Load Times

Hate waiting? Roku is your new best friend.

Most standard smart TVs can’t handle numerous apps running at the same time but a Roku device can. No matter how many apps you have open, you’ll still receive super-fast response times. Heavy tasks are no match for its powerful processors.

You Want a Superior User Interface

It’s no secret that TV manufacturers started out building hardware, not software. And if it wasn’t for the smart TV trend, they’d still be doing just that. As such, their app interfaces are largely considered “add-ons” to the TV, making them much less user-friendly and intuitive than they should be.

Roku is different. It was made alongside streaming apps with the user (that’s you) in mind. The interface design is exceptional, easy to use, and completely customizable. It’s the iPhone of TV-based services.

You Want Seamless, Frequent Software Updates

Most smart TVs won’t receive software updates once they’re deemed “too old” by the manufacturer.

Roku, however, receives consistent updates, giving you a much-needed sense of security. It will also last longer, ensuring you don’t need to splash any cash on “new-and-improved” versions.

You Want More Control Over Your App menu

Smart TVs often come with junk that you don’t need or want. Take obscure streaming services, for example. They’ll make a deal with the manufacturer, guaranteeing it’s on their interface and nobody can uninstall it.

As we’re sure you can imagine by now, Roku flips that on its head. You have 100% control over everything on the app menu. If you don’t want to use an app, just delete it. And if you can’t see an app you hold a subscription with, you can simply download it.

“Simple Yet Mighty” should be Roku’s middle name.

The Downsides of Using Roku with Your Smart TV

Downsides of using roku with smart tv

Despite the above, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. The pros generally outweigh the cons, but it’s worth noting the downsides to ensure you aren’t wasting money.

The disadvantages are as follows:

Compatibility problems

Not all TVs are capable of running Roku’s operating systems. If that’s the case, don’t but it. Always check on Roku’s website about compatibility before purchasing.

Too-frequent updates

Regular updates are the best way to avoid sluggish loading times and security problems. However, Roku’s updates are automatic, potentially hindering viewing time. 

Too much stuff

If you’re easily overwhelmed by too many options, you should avoid Roku. Its almost limitless offerings can be a bit “much” at times. Granted, this tends to be a great aspect, but if you’ve had enough of decision fatigue, give it a miss.

Is Adding Roku to Your Smart TV Always a Good Idea?

Roku and smart TVs typically work together flawlessly. But there are a few circumstances that render it a not-so-good option, such as:

  • You have an Xbox or PlayStation — Such devices often have built-in streaming services, allowing you to watch your favorite shows from your console. And if the app you want isn’t pre-installed, you can download it for free from their respective stores.
  • You only watch cable — If you don’t use streaming services, Roku is pointless.

How To Add Roku Device To My TV?

Adding a Roku device to your TV is a simple and straightforward process. Here’s how you can add roku device to your tv:

1. Connect the Roku Device

Plug the Roku device into an available HDMI port on your TV using the provided HDMI cable.

2. Power Up the Roku Device

Connect the power adapter to the Roku device and plug the adapter into a power outlet.

3. Select the Input Source on Your TV

Turn on your TV and use the remote to select the HDMI input to which the Roku device is connected.

4. Set Up the Roku Remote Control

Insert batteries into the remote and point the remote at the Roku device and pair it by following on-screen instructions.

5. Select Your Language

Choose your preferred language when prompted on the TV screen.

6. Connect to Wi-Fi

Select your Wi-Fi network from the list and enter the Wi-Fi password to connect the Roku device to the internet.

7. Update Software (if necessary)

The Roku device may prompt you to update its software, if available.

8. Create a Roku Account

If you don’t have a Roku account, you’ll need to create one. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up an account.

9. Link the Roku Device

Enter the activation code displayed on your TV screen at on a computer or mobile device and follow the on screen prompts to link the Roku device to your Roku account.

10. Choose Channels

Explore the Roku Channel Store and add your preferred streaming channels (both free and subscription-based channels).

Once these steps are completed, your Roku device should be successfully added to your TV, and you can start enjoying a variety of streaming content. The specific steps may vary slightly depending on the model of your Roku device, so refer to the included setup guide for model-specific instructions.

Conclusion- Do smart TVs need Roku?

No, but it’s perfect if you’re seeking extra-fast load times, more control over the app menu, regular updates, and unlimited channel access. Just make sure your TV is compatible with the operating system before opening your wallet!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference in a Roku TV and a smart TV?

A Roku TV is a type of smart TV that specifically uses the Roku operating system.

While a smart TV refers to any television with internet connectivity and built-in apps, a Roku TV specifically integrates with the Roku platform, offering a user-friendly interface and access to a wide range of streaming channels.

Is it better to buy a Roku or a smart TV?

Roku devices can enhance any TV by adding smart features, while a smart TV already has these features built-in. If you prefer a specific smart TV platform, choosing a smart TV might be convenient. However, if you already has an old non-smart TV, a Roku device can upgrade it to a smart TV.

Can I use a Roku device on multiple TVs?

Yes, you can use a Roku device on multiple TVs, simply unplug the Roku device from one TV and connect it to another using an available HDMI port.

However, keep in mind that if you want to use streaming services on multiple TVs simultaneously, you may need multiple Roku devices.

Keshav Krishnan

I am an Engineer and passionate about Smart Homes and Home Improvements and spent years using, designing & working with Smart Home devices. I am on a mission to make Home Automation easy and affordable for everyone.

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