Are roku tvs good: Should You Buy a Roku TV Actually Made by Roku?

Should You Buy a Roku TV Actually Made by Roku?

Would you be more comfortable buying a Roku TV designed and made by Roku itself as opposed to one of the nearly dozen other TV brands—including Hisense, Insignia, and TCL—that also sell TVs using the Roku platform?

That’s now a question for any TV shopper who wants a set with Roku’s popular streaming interface built in. As we first reported back in January, the company decided to launch its first Roku-branded TVs this year. The line has a total of 11 sets across two series, Roku Select basic TVs and Roku Plus step-up models. Currently, they’re available only at Best Buy (both online and in stores).

We’ve just finished testing six of these new sets, and TVs in both series did well. Before we get to the testing details, here’s some basic information about these new Roku by Roku TVs.

The 11 new TVs range in size from 24 to 75 inches, with prices starting at $170 and going to around $1,000 right now. But prices on new TVs typically drop after they hit the market, and the Roku sets have already fallen as much as $200 since they arrived in stores a week or so ago.

For example, the 65-inch Roku Plus model is now selling for $650, down from $800 when it first arrived at Best Buy. The 75-inch set has dropped from $1,200 to $1,000.

Roku Select models are also now less expensive. The 75-inch Roku 75R4A5R is selling for $700, down from $800, and the 65-inch Select model is $450 instead of $600.

Those are aggressive prices. Right now, only about half the 70-inch-and-larger sets in our TV ratings are priced below $1,000—and many of those models are leftover 2022 sets being sold at their lowest prices ever.

The Roku Select series models are basic sets that lack some of the features you’ll find in the Plus series TVs. All the 4K models support the HDR10 and HDR10+ HDR formats and include an auto-brightness feature that uses light sensors to adjust the TV’s brightness to the room’s ambient light conditions. (Roku Select sets are also available in smaller screen sizes, which have 1080p or 720p resolutions instead of 4K and lower prices. )

There are a few reasons you might want to pay more for one of the Roku Plus sets, which did a bit better in our testing than the Select TVs.

The Roku Plus models are QLED TVs, which use quantum dots rather than filters to produce colors. These tiny nanocrystals have the potential to produce brighter, more saturated colors than sets that use conventional LED backlights. The Roku Plus models also have full-array LED backlights with local dimming, where individual zones on the TV can be lit or dimmed separately. That can help improve contrast and black levels. In addition, only the Plus models support Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, and come with the latest version of WiFi (WiFi 6).

Finally, while the Select series TVs come with a basic Roku Voice Remote with push-to-talk controls, a remote-finder feature, and programmable shortcut buttons, all Plus series TVs include a rechargeable Roku Voice Remote Pro, so you don’t have to keep replacing batteries.

None of the models use Mini LEDs in the backlight, which we’ve seen in 6-series Roku TVs from TCL as well as in non-Roku TVs from Hisense, LG, Samsung, and Sony. Mini LED sets use hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of very tiny LEDs, which can be grouped into large numbers of local dimming zones. This can improve black levels and contrast, as well as brightness, and help reduce halos around bright objects that are displayed against a dark background.

The latest version of the Roku OS will include greater personalization in the sports hub, making it easier for fans to follow teams and sports leagues.

Photo: Roku
Photo: Roku

Roku says that all Roku-branded TVs will have an expanded audio ecosystem that can make use of a Roku TV Wireless Soundbar—which will be released later this month, also as a Best Buy exclusive—as well as a wireless subwoofer. The TVs include Bluetooth for connecting to wireless headphones for private listening.

Along with these new TVs, Roku will be rolling out an update to its operating system over the next few weeks. New features include the addition of local news, along with AI-powered local news recommendations, to its live-TV channel lineup. Roku will also be adding more personalization to the sports hub it launched last year to make it easier for fans to find and follow local teams and sports leagues. It will also expand the number of services that will work with its Continue Watching feature, which lets you jump from the What to Watch section of the Roku home screen to content you’re partway through, without having to first open a specific streaming app.

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Roku Plus Series TV Review: Roku’s First TV Has a Solid Picture

$600 at Best Buy

Don’t like

  • Lacks 120Hz refresh rate and other gaming extras
  • Not as bright as some similarly priced TVs

Roku now produces its own televisions. The company may be best known for its streaming devices, but it has officially ventured into the world of manufacturing TVs from the ground up. Roku has long partnered with manufacturers such as TCL, Hisense and Sharp to produce TVs that feature Roku’s operating system. Some of these collaborations — such TCL’s 6-Series Roku TV, CNET’s pick as the best TV for the money — have been highly successful. 

Roku’s new Plus Series TV, reviewed here, is something new. It’s all Roku, with no other brands on board, and for now it’s available exclusively at Best Buy. In my comparison tests, the Roku Plus Series delivered midrange features and good image quality, with satisfactory color accuracy but lower brightness than some competing models.

Roku’s Plus Series TV is a solid budget option. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

Product details

Sizes 55-, 65-, 75-inch
TV Technology LED with local dimming
Smart TV Yes (Roku)
Resolution 4K
HDMI Ports 4

I included the TCL 6-Series in my head-to-head comparison, but the Plus Series is typically priced lower, more in line with TVs such as Amazon’s Fire TV Omni QLED, or the Vizio MQX. The Plus Series was somewhat dimmer than the Vizio MQX and on par with the Fire TV Omni QLED, albeit with a superior smart TV system. All three feature local dimming, which definitely improves their image quality over standard TVs, but none can match the contrast, brightness and overall image quality of the 6-Series. 

If you’re looking for a quality TV and the 6-Series falls outside your budget, however, and you don’t need cutting-edge gaming features, the Roku Plus series could be an option for you — especially if it’s on sale. Otherwise, your best bet is to go with the Vizio MQX, its gaming-friendlier 120Hz input and brighter display.

Watch this: Roku Plus Series Review: Roku’s First TV Is Good, But Not Great

Roku Plus Series sizes

I performed a hands-on evaluation of both 55-inch and 65-inch Roku Plus Series TVs and there were notable differences between the two units. The 55-inch version, which we independently purchased, has worse contrast than the 65-inch unit that was sent to us by Roku. That being said, all sizes have very similar specs and in theory should provide very similar picture quality.

  • Roku Plus Series 55R6A5R, 55-inch
  • Roku Plus Series 65R6A5R, 65-inch
  • Roku Plus Series 75R6A5R, 75-inch

Roku also makes a step-down series of TVs called Roku Select. These range in sizes from 24 to 75 inches, but lack QLED technology with full-array local dimming, Dolby Vision and Atmos and other high-end features, so they won’t match the Plus for picture quality. 4K Roku Select models start at 43 inches, while smaller units get stuck with HD. The 24- and 32-inch models max out their resolution at 720p, though the 40-inch version gets full 1080p HD. 

Design: Hey Roku, great remote

The design of the Roku Plus Series looks similar to other TVs in this category. It sports thin bezels around the sides of the television, with a larger strip at its base. There is a small, plastic structure that protrudes about an inch below the Roku logo at the bottom of the screen. Both the TCL 6 Series and the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED feature a similar construction — though the bump on at the bottom of the Plus Series is slightly larger and more conspicuous. 

The Roku Plus Series has a small, plastic bump that protrudes from the bottom of the device. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

All Plus Series Roku TVs come with the excellent Voice Remote Pro. This rechargeable remote features an always-on midfield mic that listens for your commands. This comes in particularly handy if you ever manage to lose your clicker. Just say, “Hey Roku, find my remote,” and the device will start beeping. Once you find it, you can press any button to make it stop. It’s a useful device that makes navigating TV easy and I’m happy to see Roku include it in the package. 

All Roku Plus Series TVs come with the Voice Remote Pro.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Naturally, Roku’s own TV comes with its popular operating system, which has long been my favorite. I find it easy to navigate to my individual apps and its search function makes it easy to find anything I want to watch. That said, I noticed that an advertisement for a Roku movie recently popped up in the side navigation bar. I find this to be deeply troubling and its continued presence might make me rethink the system overall. 

I don’t mind an occasional promotion here and there, but I vehemently dislike when it affects my ability to quickly navigate to where I want to go. In this case, the offending ad sat in the midst of the main navigation menu, which meant that I had to click past it in order to reach my settings. I don’t appreciate being forced to interact with advertisements, even if that interaction is as simple as skipping past it. One of Roku’s biggest strengths is that it has historically kept its on-screen ads to an unobtrusive minimum. If that changes, my feelings towards the Roku platform will as well. 

Features: Full-array local dimming, but only 60Hz

Key features

Display technology LED LCD
LED backlight Full array with local dimming
Resolution 4K
HDR compatible HDR10 and Dolby Vision
Smart TV Roku
Remote Voice Remote Pro

The Roku Plus Series sports a QLED screen with local dimming and Dolby Vision, but is stuck at a 60Hz refresh rate. Its technology is decidedly below the more expensive TCL 6-Series Roku TV, which comes with both brighter mini-LED technology and a faster 120Hz display. The Vizio MQX, however, is only slightly more expensive than the Roku Plus Series, but includes a 120Hz display.

I have to say that I really wish that Roku had matched Vizio on the 120Hz display on the Plus Series. There are few midpriced TVs that can take full advantage of the capabilities of the latest game consoles, namely PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and the Vizio MQX is one of them. Roku had the opportunity to position the Plus Series as an affordable gaming television, but instead stuck with the 60Hz display like the one found on the Fire TV Omni QLED. This omission makes the Plus Series a tough sell to those looking to get the most out of their gaming, especially since its price is similar to the MQX. 

On the plus side, Roku finally added a way to connect Bluetooth devices directly through the settings menu on the TV. Previously, users needed to pull out their phones and use the Roku app in order to listen to TV with their headphones. This feature was ridiculously long overdue — literally every new TV has this ability — but I’m glad that I finally don’t need to drain the battery on my phone in order to watch TV without disturbing my roommates. 

The selection of inputs on the Plus Series is good, with four HDMI ports. The Plus Series also sports classic red, white and yellow audio jacks for analog outputs instead of the usual minijack found in many TVs. 

  • Four HDMI inputs, one with HDMI eARC
  • One USB 2.0 port
  • Optical digital audio output
  • Composite Input
  • Cable/RF (antenna) input
  • Ethernet (LAN) port
  • Headphone jack 

One potential design issue becomes apparent when looking at the back of the TV. The Plus Series comes with four HDMI ports, but only two of them are placed on the side of the device and are therefore readily accessible. The other remaining HDMI ports, along with the USB, LAN, composite input and cable/antenna connection are all located at the bottom of the TV, and I found them extremely difficult to access — especially when the TV is mounted to the wall. I found it impossible to connect a USB stick to the TV without standing in the back of the television, for example.

Picture quality comparisons 

The Roku Plus Series looks good in a dark and light room.

Josh Goldman/CNET

TV and movies: For my picture comparison I set up the 55-inch and 65-inch Roku Plus Series next to three other 65-inch TVs, the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED, Vizio MQX and TCL 6-Series. All of these TVs offer full-array local dimming, but only the TCL 6-Series comes with a mini-LED display — and a steeper price. 

Both Roku Plus Series sizes handled color fairly accurately, but lacked a little brightness and contrast compared to the others, especially in the 55-inch version. The difference in brightness and impact between the Roku Plus and two other TVs — the TCL and Vizio — was obvious in my side-by-side comparison of watching nature videos on the Spears & Munsil HDR benchmark. While I expected the more expensive 6-Series to be better, the Roku’s brightness was disappointing compared to the similarly priced Vizio MQX. An image of the grazing cows looked dimmer on the Roku Plus and the green of the grass at the cows’ feet appeared lifeless and dull, while it looked vibrant and colorful on the Vizio. 

Objects against a black background fared better on the 65-inch Plus Series TV than they did on the 55-inch. The cactus blooms in our 4K HDR test pattern were nice and bright on the 65-inch Plus TV, while the background maintained its relatively inky shade of black. On the 55-incher, however, black areas appeared uniformly lighter, losing contrast around the edges of the dripping honey and in dark cityscapes. 

This was particularly apparent when watching theatrical content. The 55-inch Plus Series appeared somewhat washed out during the many dimly lit scenes in the 4K HDR version of Shadow and Bone on Netflix. It was more difficult to make out details in a dark tent or to see the full intricacies of the stitching on a black robe.  

This changed dramatically when I switched to the 65-inch version. I could more readily make out the texture of the walls in a dimly lit passageway, as well as spines of books sitting on a shelf in the background. On the 65-inch model, the Roku Plus looked much closer to the MQX and the Fire TV Omni QLED in terms of black levels. And while the 65-inch Plus Series looked redder than either the MQX or the Omni, the overall quality between the three TVs was almost interchangeable. 

When asked about the discrepancy between the two models, Roku suggested that our local dimming settings were set to medium instead of high on the 55-inch TV. We only used the default settings on both TVs and did not adjust local dimming manually. 

The Plus Series does a good job maintaining black levels. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

Gaming: The Roku Plus Series is not designed specifically for gaming and lacks the 120Hz refresh rate found on the Vizio MQX and TCL 6-Series, as well as other gaming extras such as AMD Freesync or a variable refresh rate. In practice, this means that gaming on the Roku Plus Series is more in line with gaming on the Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED than it is with the other TVs. 

One advantage Roku has over the Fire TV Omni QLED is that its game mode operates independently of other picture modes, so it’s possible to get the TV’s best input lag while also maintaining good picture quality. 

This worked out well when playing the Xbox Series X. The Roku’s excellent 11.9-millisecond input lag meant that I had no issues winning a shootout in Far Cry 5. The lush forests of Montana appeared colorful when viewed in the Brighter Dark HDR picture setting, while I could make out the texture of leaves in the trees — even in night scenes. 

Games on the Fire TV Omni QLED appear much brighter than on the Roku Plus Series, but the picture features a heavy blue tint with blown-out colors. The green meadows of Far Cry 5 appear almost neon on the Fire Omni QLED, while they look more earthy and natural on the Roku Plus Series.  

Bright lighting: The Roku Plus Series is not nearly as bright as some of the other TVs we reviewed in this price range. We found the 55-inch version of the Plus Series to be brighter than its 65-inch counterpart — though both paled in comparison to the Vizio MQX and the TCL 6-Series. 

Light output in nits

TV Brightest mode (SDR) Accurate mode (SDR) Brightest mode (HDR) Accurate mode (HDR)
TCL 65R655 1,292 624 1,387 1,194
Vizio M65QXM-K03 958 608 939 742
Roku TV 55-inch 620 461 581 552
Roku TV 65-inch 579 404 514 455
Fire TV Omni QLED 407 407 488 432

Roku’s Brighter Dark HDR mode loses a few nits from its peak brightness, but delivers the most accurate picture. There isn’t a significant difference in brightness between Brighter Normal HDR and Brighter Dark HDR, but there is in picture accuracy. In my opinion, it’s worth it to stick with Dark HDR, even in a brighter room.

In their most-accurate modes both the Vizio and the TCL were noticeably brighter when compared side-by-side with the Roku Plus Series — especially in a bright room. The Roku Plus series appears somewhat dimmer and less vibrant next to its brighter competitors. 

However, the Roku Plus holds its own against the Fire TV Omni QLED. Both TVs offer plenty of light output for viewing in bright environments and appear almost interchangeable in their brightness levels. While the Roku technically gives out a few more nits of brightness than the Fire TV Omni, it’s almost impossible for the naked eye to tell the difference between the two. The Roku Plus might not bowl you over with brightness, but it will certainly get the job done. 

Colors pop on the Roku Plus Series TV.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Uniformity and viewing angle: Both versions that we tested of the Roku Plus did not have issues with uniformity. Neither of them had bright or dark spots on the screens, nor did they have any noticeable differences in picture between the edge of the screen and the middle. Neither did a particularly good job maintaining color and brightness from an off-angle, but the 65-inch version performed slightly better than the 55-inch. The 65-inch version looked slightly brighter and more vibrant from an off angle, but both need to be viewed directly in order to get the best experience. 

Picture setting and measurement notes

Movie Mode was the best picture mode for non-HDR (aka SDR) content, and you should choose the brightness level (from Brighter to Darker) based on room lighting. For HDR content, on the other hand, we found Brighter (Dark HDR mode) best for HDR content regardless of room lighting. Those picture modes are our choices for both the 55- and 65-inch models of the Plus Series.

Geek box

Test Result Score
Black luminance (0%) 0.046 Average
Peak white luminance (SDR) 620 Good
Avg. gamma (10-100%) 2.22 Good
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%) 1.01 Good
Dark gray error (30%) 0.99 Good
Bright gray error (80%) 0.94 Good
Avg. color checker error 1.42 Good
Avg. saturation sweeps error 1.38 Good
Avg. color error 2.05 Good
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL) Pass Good
Input lag (Game mode) 11.90 Good
Black luminance (0%) 0. 006 Good
Peak white luminance (10% win) 580 Poor
Gamut % UHDA/P3 (CIE 1976) 96.49 Good
ColorMatch HDR error 3.87 Average
Avg. color checker error 3.88 Average
Input lag (Game mode, 4K HDR) 12.70 Good

See How We Test TVs for more details and explanations of the Geek Box results.

Portrait Displays Calman calibration software was used in this review.

David Katzmaier contributed to this review.

Best Roku TVs to buy in 2022

Roku TV models will never cease to amaze you with their built-in features. Roku TVs are more affordable than other popular smart TVs without compromising on features. Plus, you can access impressive apps from the Roku channel store. Roku OS is used by leading smart TV manufacturers such as TCL and Hisense. Obviously, you can get confused when choosing the best Roku TVs on the market. Check the same in the next section.

When you’re looking for the best Roku TVs to buy, look out for the following key points.

  • Get a Roku 4K TV because lower resolution Roku TVs might be slightly cheaper, but the difference in picture quality is irreparable.
  • Make sure your Roku TV supports High Dynamic Range (HDR). If the TV supports Dolby Vision, then it’s much better.
  • Make sure your TV has enough HDMI ports to connect game consoles, satellite boxes and other devices.

Best Roku TV List

  • TCL 6 Series Roku TV
  • Hisense R8F Roku TV
  • TCL 6 Series 8K Roku TV
  • Hisense U7G 4K HDR Roku TV
  • TCL 5 Series Roku TV
  • TCL 4 Series Roku TV
  • TCL 3 Series Roku TV

TCL 6-Series Roku TV

TCL 6-Series Roku TV is one of the best Roku TVs available right now. The device has excellent QLED and mini LED display. If you’re looking for a Smart TV suitable for gaming, get Roku TV. In this model, TVs are available with screen sizes of 55, 65 and 75 inches. In addition, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and supports 4 HDMI 2.1 ports. The only downside to this TV is that its sound is a bit weak.

  • The TV supports mini LED backlight with quantum dot display.
  • With this display, you can get clear colors and brightness.
  • Plus, you get a premium Smart TV HDR OLED TV.
  • With auto delay mode and variable refresh rate, this smart TV is the best for gaming.

Hisense R8F Roku TV

If you need a Roku TV from brands other than TCL, you need to purchase a Hisense Roku TV. This Smart TV model comes with 55-inch and 65-inch LCD screen. In terms of price, it is inferior to middle-class TVs.

  • You can get 60Hz refresh rate on Hisense R8F Roku TV.
  • The TV weighs 43 pounds and has 4 HDMI 2.0 ports.
  • You can experience incredible image quality and SDR color fidelity with reduced device input lag.

TCL Roku TV 6-Series 8K

If you are looking for 8K Roku TV model, you can choose TCL Roku TV 6-Series 8K. This TV model comes with QLED and mini LED TV screens in 65″ and 75″ screen sizes.

  • This Smart TV has a 120Hz refresh rate and good picture quality.
  • You can find 4 (2 HDMI 2.1) ports on Roku TV.
  • You get an attractive and well thought out remote control to control your TV.

Hisense U7G 4K HDR TV

If you’re looking for an affordable Roku TV, get the Hisense U7G 4K HDR TV. You can get great picture on this TV with Quantum ULED 4K TV. On this TV, you can adjust the brightness and black level.

  • Hisense U7G 4K HDR TV supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos as well as HDR10+ for the best streaming experience.
  • The TV comes with Google Assistant and Alexa support for voice control of the TV.
  • You need to get this smart TV if you are into gaming as it has a 120Hz refresh rate. You can also automatically optimize variable refresh rates.

TCL 5 Series Roku TV

TCL 5-Series Roku TV is one of the most affordable Roku TV models. It comes with a quantum dot LCD screen. The device supports 4 HDMI 2.1 ports. The main attraction of the device is the premium TV that comes with a much more affordable price range.

  • You can get irreplaceable color accuracy and brightness on the TCL 5-Series Roku TV.
  • Smart TV supports HDR, HDR 10, HLG and Dolby Vision.
  • It’s extremely affordable and only costs you half the price of Samsung TVs with similar features.

TCL 4-Series Roku TV

TCL 4-Series Roku TV brings you smart TV models at great prices. Smart TV models have various screen sizes such as 43, 50, 55, 65, 75 and 85 inches to choose from.

  • The TCL 4 Series Roku TV features a 60Hz LED screen.
  • The TV screen has three HDMI 2.1 ports on the physical device.
  • This is one of the best 4K TVs available with good color reproduction.

TCL 3-Series Roku TV

If your biggest concern when buying a Smart TV is its cost, you should choose the TCL 3-Series. This Smart TV has less space for your apps but has a simple Roku operating system. However, the TCL 3-Series 32S335 only supports 720p. This is one of the oldest Roku TV models.

  • If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can purchase the TCL 3 Series 32-inch TV.
  • It supports dual-band Wi-Fi and three HDMI 2.0 ports to connect more devices to your TV.
  • Both Alexa and Google Assistant are integrated into this Roku TV.
  • The only downside to this Roku TV is the lack of Dolby Vision support and audio options.

TCL Smart TVs are premium, next-generation smart TVs at an affordable price. There are also other Roku TV models from brands like Insignia, Sharp, and Westinghouse. But they are not as popular as TCL and Hisense. Some Roku TV models from Insignia have been discontinued. So it’s best to stick with popular brands to get constant updates and Roku TV support.


1. How long does the TCL Roku TV last?

TCL Roku TV will last seven years in total. After doing that, you may experience problems with your TCL TV remote or some performance issues.

2. Is Roku TV better than Smart TV?

If you’re looking for an affordable smart TV, you might want to go with Roku TVs as they have similar features at a more affordable price.

3. Which is better, TCL or Hisense Roku TV?

TCL and Hisense Roku TVs have their own advantages and disadvantages. Based on your needs, you can choose the best one.

Difference between Roku TV and Smart TV


So you want to take your TV into the 21st century, and in your quest to do so, you find a plethora of options on the market. You have Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, standard Smart TVs, Sling TVs, and more to take your TV into the modern age. There is no one solution here that is necessarily better than another – any of them will provide you with a modern interface that will give you access to tons of content. But before you get started, we need to let you know the main difference between Roku TV and a Smart TV device.

Product Brand Name Price
SAMSUNG Samsung UN55NU8000FXZA Flat 55 inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV 8 Series (2018) Check price on Amazon
TCL TCL 55S405 55″ 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model) website, we may receive an affiliate commission . For more information, visit our privacy policy page.

Let’s immediately dive into the difference between Roku TV and Smart TV

1) Smart TV

Smart TV is probably one of the best solutions to enter the modern age. A Smart TV is similar to a traditional TV at its core, but it actually runs an operating system to give you access to a plethora of other content. You can imagine it as a huge tablet. Turn on the Smart TV and you will immediately be taken to the main screen, where you will have access to a list of pre-installed applications. Many Smart TVs today even come with their own App Store where you can download other apps like Netflix or Prime Video to your Smart TV.

Smart TVs are especially good because they come with an operating system out of the box. You don’t need to “add” an operating system to it. For example, if you want to turn a dumb old TV into a modern TV, you can purchase a Fire TV Stick to connect to its HDMI port, which will then give you similar functionality to what you would get from a Smart TV. from the box. Smart TVs are just a great all-in-one solution.

However, Smart TVs are more expensive than traditional TVs. At the lowest level, you can see little difference between a Smart TV and a traditional TV – and we’re talking about TVs that are usually from an unheard of brand. If you want to equip your home with a good, quality Smart TV, you can easily lose a significant amount or more on it. If you wanted to upgrade your TV anyway, it’s a good investment, but if you only want “smart” features, there are much cheaper and better ways to do it, like the Fire Stick or the Roku Ultra.

Now you need to be careful when buying a Smart TV. More often than not, people buy a Fire Stick, Roku Ultra, or Apple TV bundled with their Smart TV simply because the native software is just awful. That’s why things like Roku TV were invented and brought to market.

Buy Now: Amazon

2) Roku TV

But if you want to stick with upgrading to a TV, you should definitely look into Roku TV – Roku TV is essentially a Smart TV, but it uses Roku software for your operating system. This is good because a lot of smart TV brands have some weird and difficult to navigate software. Roku software has been around for a long time and has gained credibility and reputation in the market.

However, Roku TVs are easier to navigate for non-professionals. Moreover, it opens up a ton of different free content and apps for you. On Roku TV, you’ll be able to download popular apps like Netflix and Hulu, as well as select channels like WatchESPN, HBO Now, or the Hallmark Movies channel. These are services or content that are not normally available on some third-party smart TVs.

Roku TV provides some other benefits, such as the ability to buy movies to rent directly from the Movie Store in the Roku software. Unfortunately, you will never find this in third party software.

After all, you can pay a little more for Roku TV software; however, it’s hard to beat the value of Roku TV. You will have a smooth and easy to navigate user interface. This is far better than the frustration you’ll experience with the limited availability of content and apps on a third-party Smart TV.

Buy Now: Amazon

Verdict on the difference between Roku TV and Smart TV

As you can see, the difference between Roku TV and Smart TV ultimately comes down to software and user experience. You can usually get a Smart TV pretty cheaply, but that usually means you get poor, software-limiting—even on the Samsung and LG brands! Pay a little more and get something like Roku TV that gives you a nicer user experience and lots of free content.