What Is Roku TV? A Complete Overview

Roku TVs have rapidly become one of the most popular smart TV options on the market. With Roku’s acclaimed streaming platform built right into the television hardware, Roku TV models provide easy access to thousands of streaming channels. According to recent analysis, Roku now powers over 1 in 3 smart TVs sold in the United States.

A Definition of Roku TV

A Roku TV is a smart television with the Roku streaming platform pre-loaded as its operating system. Manufacturers partner with Roku to integrate the software directly into select 4K, 1080p and 720p TV models across various screen sizes. This gives buyers a more affordable smart TV option that eliminates the need to attach an external streaming device. Roku provides continuous software updates to ensure owners can access the latest features.

So in essence, a Roku TV offers all the functionality of the company’s famed media players baked right into the television:

  • Access to the Roku Channel Store with over 5,000+ streaming channels – from Netflix to YouTube to specialty options.

Access to the Roku Channel Store with over 5,000+ streaming channels

  • An easy-to-use Roku home screen interface to browse and search content.

Roku home screen interface

  • “Casting” capability from mobile devices using the Roku mobile app.

Roku mobile app.

  • A Roku remote for seamless TV control and navigation.
  • Voice search integration through the remote.

Over the past few years, Roku TVs have matured from budget options with limited capabilities into feature-rich smart TV choices that rival nearly any platform.

Why the Roku TV Platform Is Popular

Roku TVs have gained strong market adoption for several key reasons:

  • Price – Integration of Roku software into the TV allows manufacturers to offer lower-cost smart models across screen sizes and resolutions. Many options are available under $500.
  • Simplicity – The Roku home screen provides an intuitive way for users to launch channels and access features. No complicated menus to navigate. Frequent updates also add useful capabilities.
  • Selection – Access to 5000+ streaming channels through the Roku platform appeals to buyers wanting choice. Most major services support Roku.

TV providers like TCL, Hisense, Sharp and Hitachi have added Roku editions of various models over the last few years. Top-selling options now include Roku TVs in sizes ranging from 32″ up to 75″ and resolutions from 720p HD to 4K UHD.

Key Features of Roku TV Hardware

Standard capabilities available in all Roku TV models include:

Integrated Streaming Channels

Integrated Streaming Channels

  • Home screen offers access to thousands of free and paid streaming channels through the Roku Channel Store
  • Top services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max and Apple TV+ are available
  • Additional channels like Pluto TV provide free, ad-supported movies and TV shows

Casting, Sound and More

Casting, Sound and More

  • Use the Roku mobile app to cast shows, movies and personal media to the TV
  • Models have built-in WiFi and Ethernet connectivity for streaming
  • Optical, 3.5mm, and HDMI audio ports to connect sound systems
  • 2 to 4 HDMI ports in most models to connect game consoles, Blu-ray players and more
  • USB port available for playing personal media files

Intuitive Navigation

  • Roku OS provides an easy smart TV interface to find and watch preferred content
  • Voice search on most remote controls or mobile app to quickly launch channels
  • Customizable home screen lets you pin favorite channels
  • Simple on-screen menus for system settings like display calibration

Roku TVs receive frequent software updates from Roku to refine capabilities and fix bugs:

“One of the great things about the Roku TV operating system is that we upgrade it frequently to add new features. So unlike traditional televisions that can become outdated over time, Roku TVs get better over time” –  Mark Ely, Roku’s Vice President of Product Strategy

This means owners can access new options like home screen customization without needing to upgrade entire TV hardware.

Pros and Cons of Choosing a Roku TV

Benefits of selecting a Roku TV model include:

  • Streaming functionality is built-in – no need for an added streaming stick or device
  • Updates directly from Roku enhance the platform over time
  • Access to virtually all major streaming apps and 5000+ total channels
  • Affordable prices – $300 to $800 for most everyday 4K models

However, some downsides exist:

  • Base components like display panel quality vary across brands, with lower-end options underperforming traditional smart TV competitors
  • Lower number of HDMI ports on budget models
  • If Roku Inc ever discontinued as a business, platforms support unknown

Considering their solid streaming, ease of use and competitive pricing, Roku TVs deserve consideration alongside televisions powered by operating systems from Google, Amazon, LG and Samsung.

A Breakdown of Leading Roku TV Brands and Models

Roku partners with multiple display brands to produce smart TVs integrated with their acclaimed streaming platform.

TCL is the current top manufacturer of both Roku TV models as well as smart TVs overall in North America. They offer affordably priced Roku 4K models across a range of display sizes:

Model Screen Size Resolution HDMI Ports Rating
6 Series 55″ & 65″ 4K + HDR 4 🌟🌟🌟🌟1⁄2
5 Series 50, 55 & 65 inches 4K + HDR 4 🌟🌟🌟🌟
4 Series 43 to 75 inches 4K + HDR 3 🌟🌟🌟1⁄2

In a mid-range price tier, both Insignia and Hisense make competitively-priced Roku 4K televisions from 40 inches up to around 70 inches with solid display quality given their lower costs.

Finally, budget brands like Onn. have basic 32” and 40” HD Roku models priced under $200. These offer 720p resolution and 60Hz refresh rates. But are still excellent choices for secondary rooms.

With varying capabilities and sizes available, buyers can likely find a well-reviewed Roku TV from one of these brands to match needs and budget.

Roku TVs – An Evolving Smart TV Choice

In only a few years, Roku TVs have claimed over 30% market share in the United States thanks to competitive pricing and acclaimed streaming functionality being built right into display hardware. With constant software refinements from Roku, integrated models should only become more fully featured over time.

Between easier navigation UIs, wider accessibility, voice controls and customized streaming channels, Roku TV models make an intriguing smart TV solution for most households. Their mid-range price combined with maturing capabilities continue to win over buyers looking for a primary or secondary television set. Considering their expanding support and retail dominance, Roku televisions appear poised to capture an even larger portion of smart TV sales moving forward.


Is there a monthly fee for Roku TV?

No, there are no monthly fees, equipment rentals, or hidden charges for Roku Express or any other Roku player. In fact, you can use Roku Express to replace a cable box and reduce your monthly cable bill.

What is the difference between a Roku TV and a smart TV?

Roku TVs are more affordable and are great for those who want to watch streaming content without the bells and whistles of a Smart TV. However, they require a separate subscription for most services and have limited app selections.

Is Netflix free on Roku?

Netflix is a paid streaming service, and it does not offer a free option. However, you can choose from different subscription plans that suit your preferences and budget. Once you have subscribed, you can easily access Netflix on your Roku device through the dedicated Netflix channel.

Can you use Roku without internet?

Some features are accessible without an internet connection on Roku, and there are some ways to use Roku without an internet connection. The most notable things the Roku can do without an internet connection include: Streaming content from local or external storage like USB sticks and SD cards.


A Roku TV integrates the popular Roku streaming platform directly into the television. This provides easy access to thousands of channels through an intuitive Roku home screen. Leading brands like TCL and Hisense offer affordable Roku 4K models in various sizes. Benefits include voice search, continuous software updates, and mobile casting capabilities. While some downsides exist compared to premium models, Roku TVs deliver excellent streaming at reasonable prices. As their retail adoption rises, Roku TVs should continue gaining traction as a mainstream smart TV choice. Roku TVs come with a remote for controlling the interface; if users need help on how to connect roku remote to tv, instructions are provided in the user manual.

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