In this post, I’m going to show you how to choose between Roku TV and Smart TV.
But first, let me clear up a common misconception: Roku TV and Smart TV are not the same thing.
Smart TV is a catch-all term for any TV that can connect to the internet and stream online content.
But different smart TVs use different operating systems and platforms to do that.
Roku TV is a specific kind of smart TV that runs on the Roku platform.
This means you get access to thousands of streaming channels and apps, a simple and intuitive interface, a handy remote, and regular software updates with new features and channels. Plus, Roku TV is usually cheaper than other smart TVs.
Roku TV may not have some of the bells and whistles that more expensive smart TVs have, like OLED or QLED screens and advanced voice control.
So, how do you decide which one is right for you?
Keep reading to find out.
I’ll compare Roku TV and Smart TV on various factors, such as:
- User Interface
- Remote Control
- Voice Control
The main difference between a Roku TV and a smart TV is that Roku TVs use Roku’s streaming technology and user-friendly operating system to provide access to streaming services. In contrast, smart TVs connect to the internet and run apps for everything from streaming services to games to VPNs and more. Additionally, there can be differences in price and features between Roku TVs and other smart TVs.
Why Should You Trust Me? Hi, I am Anirban Saha, an Engineer with a Specialization in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I have experience in Smart TVs, Electronics circuits, and Computer peripherals.
Let’s dive right in.
Roku TV vs Smart TV
|Factor||Roku TV||Smart TV|
|Price||Cheaper ($200-$800)||More expensive ($300-$3000)|
|Content||More channels and apps (over 5000)||Fewer channels and apps (depends on brand and model)|
|Performance||More reliable and smooth||More prone to lagging and freezing|
|User Interface||More simple and minimalist||More complex and sophisticated|
|Remote Control||Fewer buttons and functions||More buttons and functions|
|Voice Control||More basic and limited||More advanced and comprehensive|
|Compatibility||Higher with various devices and platforms||Lower with some devices and platforms|
Before starting this section, it’s important to know that “All Roku TVs are Smart TVs but all Smart TVs are not Roku TVs”.
One of the main advantages of Roku TV is that it’s usually cheaper than Smart TV.
Roku TV is a type of smart TV that comes with a built-in Roku streaming device. This means you don’t need to buy a separate device to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
You can find Roku TVs from various brands, such as TCL, Hisense, Sharp, and Insignia. The prices vary depending on the size, resolution, and features of the TV, but you can expect to pay between $200 and $800 for a Roku TV.
Smart TV is a generic term that refers to any TV that can connect to the internet and run apps. Most smart TVs come with their own operating system and app store, such as Samsung’s Tizen, LG’s WebOS, or Sony’s Android TV.
Smart TVs tend to be more expensive than Roku TVs because they offer more features and functionality. For example, some smart TVs have built-in cameras, microphones, or speakers that can enhance your video calls, voice control, or sound quality.
You can find smart TVs from various brands, such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, and more. The prices vary depending on the size, resolution, and features of the TV, but you can expect to pay between $300 and $3000 for a smart TV.
Both Roku TV and Smart TV offer access to thousands of streaming services and apps that can provide you with endless entertainment options.
However, Roku TV has an edge over Smart TV when it comes to content availability and variety.
Roku TV has the largest and most comprehensive app store among all streaming devices. It has over 5000 channels that cover almost every genre and niche you can think of. Whether you want to watch movies, shows, sports, news, music, games, or anything else, you’ll likely find it on Roku TV.
Smart TV has a smaller and more limited app store than Roku TV. Depending on the brand and model of your smart TV, you may not be able to access some popular streaming services or apps. For example, some smart TVs don’t support HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV+, or Spotify.
Another advantage of Roku TV is that it’s constantly updating its app store with new and improved channels. You can also easily search for content across multiple channels using the Roku search feature. This makes it easier to find what you want to watch without switching between different apps.
Smart TV has a slower and less frequent update cycle than Roku TV. You may not get the latest features or bug fixes for your apps as quickly as on Roku TV. You may also have a harder time finding content across different apps using the smart TV search feature. This can make it more frustrating to navigate through your options.
Both Roku TV and Smart TV offer decent performance when it comes to streaming quality and speed.
Here is the continuation of the article:
However, there are some factors that can affect the performance of both devices, such as:
- Internet speed and bandwidth
- Wi-Fi signal strength and stability
- TV resolution and refresh rate
- App compatibility and optimization
Generally speaking, Roku TV has a more consistent and reliable performance than Smart TV. This is because Roku TV has a simpler and more streamlined operating system that focuses on streaming. It also has a more powerful processor and memory that can handle multiple tasks and apps smoothly.
Smart TV has a more complex and diverse operating system that can run various functions and features besides streaming. This can sometimes cause lagging, freezing, or crashing issues when streaming. It also has a less powerful processor and memory that can struggle with high-demanding apps or tasks.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Roku TV is flawless or that Smart TV is unusable. Both devices can deliver a satisfactory streaming experience if you have a good internet connection and a compatible TV. But if you want a more seamless and hassle-free performance, Roku TV might be a better choice.
Both Roku TV and Smart TV have user-friendly and intuitive interfaces that make it easy to navigate and control your TV.
However, Roku TV has a more simple and minimalist interface than Smart TV. It has a grid-like layout that displays all your channels and apps in one place. You can also customize your home screen by adding or removing channels, rearranging them, or creating folders.
Smart TV has a more complex and sophisticated interface than Roku TV. It has a horizontal menu that shows different categories of apps, such as recommended, popular, or genre-based. You can also access other features and settings from the menu, such as live TV, inputs, ambient mode, or voice assistant.
Both interfaces have their pros and cons. Roku TV’s interface is easier to use and faster to load, but it can also look boring and outdated. Smart TV’s interface is more attractive and modern, but it can also be overwhelming and cluttered.
Ultimately, the best interface depends on your personal preference and taste. Some people may prefer the simplicity and clarity of Roku TV’s interface, while others may enjoy the variety and functionality of Smart TV’s interface.
Both Roku TV and Smart TV come with remote controls that let you operate your TV with ease.
However, Roku TV’s remote control is more simple and straightforward than Smart TV’s remote control. It has fewer buttons and functions, but it covers the essentials.
It has a power button, a home button, a back button, a directional pad, an OK button, a volume rocker, a mute button, and four shortcut buttons to popular streaming services.
Smart TV’s remote control is more complex and versatile than Roku TV’s remote control. It has more buttons and functions, but it also offers more convenience.
It has a power button, a home button, a back button, a directional pad, an OK button, a volume rocker, a mute button, a channel button, a source button, a number pad, a color button, a play/pause button, a fast forward/rewind button, a voice control button, and a microphone.
Both remote controls have their advantages and disadvantages. Roku TV’s remote control is easier to use and less confusing, but it also has limited functionality and customization. Smart TV’s remote control is more advanced and flexible, but it also has a steeper learning curve and more potential errors.
Another difference between the two remote controls is that Roku TV’s remote control uses infrared technology, while Smart TV’s remote control uses Bluetooth technology. This means that Roku TV’s remote control requires a direct line of sight to the TV, while Smart TV’s remote control can work from any angle or distance.
Both Roku TV and Smart TV support voice control, which allows you to use your voice to search for content, launch apps, adjust settings, and more.
However, Roku TV’s voice control is more basic and limited than Smart TV’s voice control. It can only perform simple commands and queries, such as “play Stranger Things on Netflix” or “show me comedies”. It can also only understand English and Spanish.
Smart TV’s voice control is more advanced and comprehensive than Roku TV’s voice control. It can perform complex commands and queries, such as “show me the weather forecast for tomorrow” or “play the latest episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+”. It can also understand multiple languages and accents.
Both voice controls have their strengths and weaknesses. Roku TV’s voice control is easier to use and more accurate, but it also has less functionality and diversity. Smart TV’s voice control is more powerful and versatile, but it also has more latency and errors.
Another difference between the two voice controls is that Roku TV’s voice control requires you to press a button on the remote control to activate it, while Smart TV’s voice control can be activated by saying a wake word, such as “Hey Google” or “Alexa”.
Both Roku TV and Smart TV are compatible with various devices and platforms that can enhance your viewing experience.
However, Roku TV has a higher compatibility than Smart TV. It can work with almost any device or platform that supports HDMI or Wi-Fi connection, such as game consoles, Blu-ray players, soundbars, speakers, headphones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more.
Smart TV has a lower compatibility than Roku TV. It can work with some devices or platforms that support HDMI or Wi-Fi connection, but not all of them. For example,
some smart TVs may not support Apple AirPlay, Google Cast, or Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Another advantage of Roku TV is that it has a feature called Roku Screen Mirroring, which allows you to mirror your smartphone, tablet, or laptop screen to your TV wirelessly. This can be useful for showing photos, videos, documents, or websites on a bigger screen.
Smart TV has a similar feature called Smart View, but it only works with Samsung devices. If you have a different brand of device, you may not be able to mirror your screen to your smart TV.
About Roku TVs and Smart TVs
Roku TVs are a type of smart TV that runs on the Roku platform.
This platform is known for its simple interface and extensive selection of streaming content.
Roku TVs also come with a remote control that has a built-in microphone for voice search.
Smart TVs, on the other hand, typically run on one of the major operating systems, such as Android TV, WebOS, or Tizen.
These TVs usually have more complex interfaces and may not offer as many streaming content options as Roku TVs.
However, they typically come with more features and apps than Roku TVs.
Is Roku TV a Smart TV?
Yes, a Roku TV is a type of smart TV. A Roku TV combines the functionality of a traditional TV with the operating system and streaming technology of a Roku streaming device.
This allows users to access streaming services and apps directly from their TV without the need for an external device.
Additionally, Roku TVs offer features such as customizable home screens, automatic software updates, and a simple remote control that makes it easy to launch shows and movies.
Do I Need Roku If I Have a Smart TV?
Well, it depends. If you’re happy with the apps and services available on your smart TV, then you may not need a Roku. But, if you want access to a wider variety of streaming options, then a Roku could be a good addition to your entertainment setup.
Think of Roku as a streaming hub that gives you access to thousands of channels, including popular ones like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. While many smart TVs come with these apps pre-installed, a Roku can offer additional channels and features that your TV may not have.
Plus, if you have an older smart TV, it may not be compatible with newer streaming services or apps. In this case, a Roku could be a cost-effective way to upgrade your TV without having to buy a whole new set.
Another benefit of using a Roku is that it can be easier to navigate than your TV’s built-in apps. The Roku interface is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, so you can easily find the content you want to watch.
Overall, whether or not you need a Roku depends on your personal preferences and the capabilities of your smart TV. If you’re looking for more streaming options and a user-friendly interface, then a Roku could be an excellent investment.
Can I Use Roku TV Without Internet?
Roku TV requires an internet connection to stream content. However, you can still use it to watch cable or satellite TV without the internet.
Hey, don’t worry! You can still use your Roku TV without the internet. Just connect your cable or satellite box to the TV and voila! You can watch your favorite shows without any worries.
But wait, there’s more! You can also use your Roku TV to play video games or watch movies from your personal collection. Just connect your gaming console or Blu-ray player and enjoy!
However, if you want to stream content from apps like Netflix or Hulu, you will need an internet connection. But don’t fret, it’s easy to set up and you’ll be streaming in no time.
So there you have it, you can use your Roku TV without the internet, but you’ll miss out on the streaming content. But with so many options available, you’ll never run out of things to watch!
Which is better Roku TV or Smart TV?
So, which one is better: Roku TV or Smart TV?
The answer depends on your preferences and needs.
If you want a cheaper, simpler, and more consistent device that offers access to a wide range of content and apps, Roku TV might be a better option for you.
If you want a more expensive, sophisticated, and versatile device that offers more features and functionality besides streaming, Smart TV might be a better option for you.
Either way, both devices can provide you with a great streaming experience that can keep you entertained and informed.
Which has the better OS between Roku TV or Google TV?
Can you watch regular TV on a Roku TV?
Is Roku just a smart TV?
Does Roku have a monthly subscription charge?
So, which type of TV is right for you? It really depends on your needs and preferences.
Here are the key takeaways:
- A Roku TV is a type of smart TV that is made with technology by streaming device manufacturer Roku.
- All Roku TVs are smart TVs, but not all smart TVs are Roku TVs.
- A smart TV refers to any television set that can be connected to the internet and comes equipped with a built-in operating system (OS), much like the OS found on mobile devices that users are familiar with.
- Roku TV models offer consumers an easy-to-use, customizable home screen, a simple remote with everything you need to quickly launch shows and movies, and automatic software updates with new features and the latest streaming channels.
- In terms of processing power, Roku TVs and other smart TVs are comparable, although the specific specifications may differ depending on the model and manufacturer.
- However, Roku TVs stand out with their exceptional voice command feature, which surpasses that of most other smart TVs.
- Smart TVs are essentially upgraded versions of traditional TVs, running on an operating system that enables access to a wide range of apps and online content in addition to cable programming.
I hope you enjoyed reading the post.
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I’m Anirban Saha, Founder & Editor of TechBullish. With a B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering, and 5+ years of experience as a software developer, I have expertise in electronics, software development, gadgets, and computer peripherals. I love sharing my knowledge through informational articles, how-to guides, and troubleshooting tips for Peripherals, Smart TVs, Streaming Solutions, and more here. Check Anirban’s Crunchbase Profile here.