Roku TV vs Smart TV

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Updated February 9, 2023

When courting the market for the best TVs, many shoppers require their TV to be a little educated. This need is why the debate–Smart TV vs Roku TV–has become a significant point of attention. Below we’ll step into the differences between the two. If you’ve already ruled out the possibility of a Roku TV or want to look at something more general, check out our resource about Smart TVs vs streaming devices. Additionally, you may want to check out the difference between regular TVs vs smart TVs to see which is right for you.


  • Roku TV offers a simple remote control, minimal interface, and quick processing system.
  • Smart TVs have a range of features, especially for audio and sound, that Roku TVs do not yet offer.
  • Roku TVs offer superior voice commands compared to most other smart TVs and work with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.

Differences Between Smart TVs and Roku TVs

The appeal of a Smart TV and Roku TV is the same. Both offer users their operating system, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to download and use streaming apps to view content. The main difference is that connecting a Smart TV to Wi-Fi allows the user to access content from the internet, while connecting a Roku TV requires connecting an external device through HDMI. With the ability to connect your television directly to your home network, connecting a TV to WiFi can be a breeze. It should be noted there are many smart TV platforms, both built-in to a TV and as a separate streaming device. There are Google TV, Amazon Fire TV stick,  And Apple TV, to name a few alternatives. You should have no problem finding an option with a smart TV interface that you like and that provides a good viewing experience. Moreover, if you’re thinking, “How do I cast to my TV,” it can be done with a Smart TV or any streaming device.

So the question simmers down to a contest between which one is better for managing and navigating streaming platforms for an enjoyable user experience.

Although, if you have questions about why do digital TV channels disappear, we have an answer for that.

smart tv

Insider Tip

With Airplay, you can use a screencast from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

There are many smart TV models. They all offer a dynamic range of smart features and various types of user interfaces. Because of this, many appreciate smart TVs because they come as a complete package. They provide viewers with their favorite streaming services and thousands of apps and operate similarly to a mobile device or computer, all without additional devices or wires.

The Roku TV, to borrow from Roku’s website, “is more than a smart TV, it’s a better TV.” The biggest appeal that Roku offers over its competition is its interface. The Roku interface is consistently ranked as the best for general streaming use. And because it doesn’t have to outsource its OS, it keeps the prices competitive compared to other smart TVs. You can also check out our comparison of a smart TV and an Android TV if you are curious about how they match up.

STAT: As of 2020, 54% of US households now own a smart TV (source)

User Experience and Processing Power

Both experts and amateurs extol the Roku TV interface. Simplicity, coupled with a wide range of access to streaming services, makes a strong case for why anyone interested in a new TV should consider going to Roku. Also, Roku TV controls are said to have greater accessibility. It also works as a great voice remote and has many customizable features. And when it comes to accessing any streaming app, there is hardly any complaint about speed and processing power. Check out our TCL 43-inch TV review for an example of a great user experience while still being affordable.


Older smart TVs tend to have slower OS and might require a streaming device instead of the TV’s smart functionalities.

Audio and Visual Quality

Smart TVs currently offer a more broad selection when it comes to resolution. For example, the Roku TV only comes in up to a 4k display, while other brands offer it up to 8k. However, certain Roku TVs and many smart TVs come with Dolby Vision (HDR). As for sound quality, you can find models of smart TVs and Roku TVs that offer Dolby atmos, making the contest reasonably even. So if you have decided Roku is right for you, check out the comparison of TCL 65R613 vs 65R625 for a pair of two 65-Inch Roku smart TVs. Or, if those don’t catch your eye, you can check out our list of the top Roku TVs. However, if you don’t need any of these smart features, you can check out our guide on the best dumb TV. Also, if you’re trying to figure out the right visual setup, be sure to check out our resource covering screen size comparison for TVs.


Do I need Roku if I have a smart TV?

Some people choose to connect standalone streaming devices on top of their current smart TV setup. This choice is often because the UI is outdated or slow.

Between Roku TV and Google TV, which has the better OS?

Previously the Android TV, Google TV is one of the newest and most exciting smart TVs on the market. Many think it has a superior interface to Roku TV, but it remains a close call.

Does a Roku TV work without access to the internet?

You can use it without the internet, but you won’t have access to many streaming video services and extra features.

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