Difference Between Roku TV And Smart TV

So you’re wanting to bring your TV into the 21st century, and in the quest to do that, you’re finding a ton of different options out on the market. You have Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, standard Smart TVs, Sling TV, and so many other solutions to bring your TV into the modern era. There’s not one solution that’s necessarily better than the other here — any one of these will provide you with a modern experience that gives you access to tons of content. But, before you jump into something, we should let you know the major difference between Roku TV And Smart TV device.

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Let’s Dive Right into The Difference Between Roku TV And Smart TV

Difference Between Roku TV And Smart TV


1) Smart TV

The Smart TV is probably one of the best solutions for getting into the modern era. A Smart TV at its core is like a traditional TV, but actually runs off of an operating system to provide you access to a bunch of other content. You could picture it as a massive tablet. Turn on the Smart TV, and you’re instantly taken to the home screen where you’ll have access to a list of pre-installed apps. Many Smart TVs are even coming with their own App Store today, where you can download other apps to your Smart TV, such as, say, Netflix or Prime Video.

Smart TVs are particularly nice because they come with an operating system out of the box. You don’t have to “add” an operating system to it. For example, if you wanted to transform an old, dumb TV into a modern TV, you could purchase a Fire TV Stick to plug into its HDMI port, which would then provide you with functionality similar to what you would get with a Smart TV straight out of the box. Smart TVs are just a nice all-in-one solution.

That said, Smart TVs do cost more than traditional TVs. At their lowest level, you might see a  small difference between a Smart TV and a traditional TV — and we’re talking TVs that are generally unheard of brand. If you’re looking to outfit your home with a good, quality Smart TV, you could easily look at dropping a substantial amount or more on it. If you wanted to upgrade your TV anyway, it’s a good investment, but if you’re just after “smart” features, there are much cheaper and better ways to go about it, such as a Fire Stick or Roku Ultra.

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

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Difference Between Roku TV And Smart TV


2) Roku TV

But, if you want to stick with upgrading to a TV, then you’ll definitely want to look out for a Roku TV — a Roku TV is essentially a Smart TV, but one that uses Roku’s software for its operating system. This is a good thing because many Smart TV brands have some strange and difficult to navigate software. Roku software has been around a long while and has developed authority and reputation in the market.

That said, Roku TVs are generally easier for the layman to navigate. Not only that, but that open you up to a ton of different free content and apps. On a Roku TV, you’ll be able to download popular apps like Netflix and Hulu, as well as specific channels, such as WatchESPN, HBO Now, or the Hallmark Movies channel. Those are services or content that normally wouldn’t be accessible on some off-brand Smart TV.

Roku TV provides some other benefits, such as being able to shop for movies to rent directly from the Movie Store within the Roku software. That’s something you would never find on off-brand software, unfortunately.

Ultimately, you might pay a little more for the software of a Roku-powered TV; however, it’s hard to beat the value that comes with a Roku TV. You’ll have a smooth and easy to navigate user experience. That’s far better than the frustration that you would experience with the limited availability of content and apps in an off-brand Smart TV.

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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 generally means you’re getting poor, limiting software — even in Samsung and LG brands! Pay a little extra and get something like a Roku TV, which will provide you with a more enjoyable user experience and plenty of free content.