Difference Between Roku TV And Smart TV Verdict
The massive divide between Smart TVs and Roku TVs ultimately comes down to software and user experience. You can usually get a Smart TV pretty cheaply, but that generally means youre getting poor OEM software that is even the case for companies like Samsung and LG.
That said, pay a little extra and get something like a Roku TV, youll get such a better and more enjoyable user experience. There is plenty of free content on Roku TV as well, whereas you wont find much of that on a Samsung or LG TV. This method is generally cheaper than picking up a Roku set-top box;and;TV as well.
Philips Roku 32 Inch Roku TV
Philips Roku TV is our entry-level pick, but it has many of the same features as the higher-end sets we recommend.
At 32 inches its the smallest Roku TV in this guide, but thats still a reasonable size for a bedroom or smaller living room. It has a maximum resolution of 720P, which is a fair bit lower than 4K, but the difference isnt as stark on a smaller TV. At this size itd be pretty hard to tell the difference between 720P, 1080P, and 4K.
In terms of ports the Philips outfitted this set pretty well: It has two HDMI inputs, one set of RCA jacks, a USB port, a coaxial jack), and an optical audio out. That last one can be used to connect this TV to a sound bar, which would be a major upgrade over its built in speakers.
If you dont have too much space, or want a secondary TV in a guest bedroom or office, Philips 32-inch Roku TV is a great choice. It has access to all the same apps and software updates as every other Roku TV, just in a smaller package.
Other Roku TVs We Tested
If youre looking for a premium Roku TV that truly harnesses the power of quantum dots, why not take a look at the 2019 TCL 8-Series? Its not nearly as affordable as the 6-Series, but in terms of sheer performance, its the best Roku TV out there and will remain so for the foreseeable future until TCL releases the latest 8-series .
This QLED beauty is available in two sizes: 65 and 75. It aced nearly all of our performance tests and wowed us in action, demonstrating quantum dots ability to produce bright pictures with extra-vivid color. One of the reasons the 8-Series is such a stellar performer is the inclusion of TCLs mini-LED technology, which allows for tight contrast control. The TVs excellent motion handling and built-in Roku software also make it a versatile pick.
The only real hang-ups are the 8-Series chunky design, its limited viewing angles, and the fact that it doesn’t offer the same suite of gaming enhancements that the 2020 TCL 6-Series offers. While the price tag reflects the models performance, bargain hunters might feel more comfortable either going with the TCL 6-Seriesespecially given the 6-Series’ extra features.
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Other Buying Guides To Check Out
- Want better audio? Check out our guide to the best soundbars available.
- Once you’ve decided on a panel, make sure you read our guide on how to set up your TV to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.;
- Are you looking for the best universal remote for your new home theater setup?;
- Need something to watch on your new TV? check out our list of best TV streaming services.
How Big Should Your TV Be
People tend to pick the size of their flat TV based on the amount of space they have for it, this isn’t necessarily wise. Flat TVs take up much less space than you might think, so your new TV may end up a foot or two further away from your viewing position, making the picture appear smaller.
Also, with hi-def, you can have a bigger screen and the same viewing distance without worrying about seeing blemishes inherent to the source. A 4K TV’s lack of noise means that the ideal distance to sit from the screen is three to four times the height of the TV.
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What Screen Resolution Do Smart TVs Provide
New smart TVs from the likes of Roku TV typically support up to 4K, which is the highest video resolution available for streaming content. However, smart TVs are available in three levels of screen resolution. These are:
- 1080p or Full High Definition : 1080p is the screen resolution most commonly referred to as HD. The screen resolution is used by standard HD TVs and offers 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
- 4K or UHD: New smart TVs typically provide 4K resolution, which offers 4 times as many pixels and 4 times better video quality than standard HD. It offers 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, which makes the video quality more realistic and features more vivid colors.
- 8K or Full UHD : This is the highest level of video quality currently available in smart TV technology. Its resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels offers 4 times the pixels and detail than that of a 4K TV. However, content cant yet be streamed in 8K video.
Why You Need A Streaming Device
If you just bought a “Smart TV”, you may wonder: Why pay extra for a streaming stick or box?
TV makers are far better at manufacturing beautiful screens than they are at building good software. So unless that TV was a Roku TV or a Vizio, you should consider an external streaming device. Chances are high that your TV’s house-made apps are slow, poorly designed, and out of dateand that’s if it has the apps you want at all. The streaming apps for Roku, Android TV, Fire TV, and Apple TV are typically the best you’ll find, and if they’re broken they get fixed very quickly. LG, Samsung and any number of other TVs come with their own interfaces, but we advise you ignore them.
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Check Out Hisense A7200 Roku TV
Hisense has launched some seriously high-end TVs in the UK this year, including its first OLED model. For sheer all-round irresistibility, though, we just cant see past the brands latest Roku TVs.
For starters, despite carrying Roku TV, the most comprehensive and, arguably, easiest to use smart system in the TV world right now, the A7200 TVs are unfeasibly great value. The 50-inch R50A7200, for instance, costs just £399.
Making this price look even more awesome is the fact that the A7200s really arent bad at all when it comes to picture quality. Theres no Dolby Vision or HDR10+ support, and its HDR performance is inevitably hamstrung by a limited amount of available brightness. It gets as much HDR impact from that limited brightness as it possibly could, though – not least because its able to create convincing black colors in dark scenes.
It also gets good value from its native 4K resolution, and thanks to its good contrast, its colors look natural and balanced too.
In short, its hard to think of any TV out there right now that gives you more sheer bang for your buck than the Hisense A7200s.
Difference Between Roku TV And Smart TV
So, youve got an old, dumb TV sitting on the entertainment center at home. You wish that you could outfit it with Smart TV features to make it a little more capable, but youre not sure what to do with all of the different options out there. Do you get a set-top box and keep your traditional TV in play, or do you upgrade to a Smart TV altogether?
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How Much Do Roku Smart TVs Cost Versus Smart TVs
Roku vs. smart TV price points differ based on the size and type of TV set being purchased, but Rokus devices tend to be cheaper than other smart TVs.
Rokus range of smart TVs are available for as little as $118 for its standard 32-inch TCL Roku TV. Models of Roku TV are available for any budget up to $1,999 for its high-end 75-inch 4K Ultra High Definition with Dolby Vision high dynamic range TCL device. The devices are available at different price points with different online retailers, such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart.
Other smart TV models, which may be powered by Amazon Fire TV or built by manufacturers like Samsung and Sony, tend to be more expensive. A basic 32-inch smart TV is available for around $200, while low- to mid-range Samsung smart TVs are available for around $400 and $600.;
However, prices for more advanced smart TVs can get much higher. For example, Samsungs latest 8K TV, the 55-inch or 65-inch Q700T, begins at $2,700, while its flagship 8K device, the Q950TS, has an 82-inch model retailing at $13,000.
What Types Of TV Are There
There are a lot of different screen types out there, all working in different ways to produce the same results. Each technology has its own unique strengths and weaknesses so here are some basics to consider:
LED TV: Direct LEDThese displays are backlit by an array of LEDs directly behind the screen. This enables localised dimming meaning immediately adjacent areas of brightness and darkness can be displayed more effectively and greatly improves contrast. LED TVs are also more power efficient and capable of a wider colour gamut than CCFL sets. Because of the extreme cost of mounting these arrays of LEDs, cheaper TVs usually use Edge-Lit LED screens over Direct or Full-Array LED screens.
LED TV: Edge LEDWith these TVs, LEDs of the backlight are mounted along the edges of the panel. This arrangement enables radically slender displays and offers superior contrast levels to CCFL, but can’t achieve the same picture quality as directly lit LED sets. However, they do come in far cheaper which is why most LED TVs out there now use this technology.
OLEDTVThe backlighting on OLED sets is achieved by passing an electric current through an emissive, electroluminescent film. This technique produces far better colours and higher contrast and also enables screens to be extremely thin and flexible. This is the holy grail display technology and LG, Sony, Philips and Panasonic have all adopted it in their flagship sets.
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What Are The Best Roku TVs
Without a doubt, when it comes to Roku TVs, the best and most prominent models are those made by TCL. The manufacturer’s close partnership with Roku means that TCL models represent the top Roku TVs on the market.
The TCL 6-Series Roku TV R635 is one of the best TVs we’ve reviewed, period. It combines quantum-dot displays with mini-LED backlight to offer a level of quality that goes toe-to-toe with more expensive big-name brands and wins.
The TCL 5-Series Roku TV S535 may not reach the same heights as the slightly more expensive 6-Series, but it shows that Roku software can still power a great TV experience regardless of the feature set, with the TCL 5-Series offering one of the best quantum dot-enhanced budget TVs on the market.
We also really loved the Hisense R8F Roku TV. With the 65-inch model selling for less than $700, the Hisense R8F is a better-than-average mid-range TV, and the Roku operating system had plenty of smart features and services to the mix.
What About Picture Quality
Of course, the main consideration when buying a TV is always going to be picture quality. So its handy that weve been seriously spoiled in this respect over the past couple of years.
Pretty much any TV you buy, for instance, will now carry a native 4K resolution, providing four times as many pixels of detail as the previous HD models.
A growing number of TVs are even starting to appear equipped with 8K resolutions, which offer four times as many pixels again as 4K.
However, at the time of writing – and it seems unlikely this will change any time soon – theres practically no native 8K resolution content to feed these 8K TVs with. As a result, 8K TVs are left having to apply processing to 4K and HD images to turn them into 8K. Before everyone immediately dismisses 8K TVs on this basis, though, its important to say that new developments in AI image processing are delivering upscaling results now that are worlds better than those we used to see when 4K TVs first appeared.
Weve now also got high dynamic range to ogle. If you not heard of this, it hugely expands the range of light an image carries, giving you a much punchier, more lifelike picture than anything TVs have been capable of before. Especially when, as is pretty much always the case, HDR images are accompanied by wider color ranges than you get with normal standard dynamic range content.
One other key decision youll have to make when buying a TV is whether to go for an OLED TV or an LCD TV.
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Best Smart TVs : Find The Best TV For You
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It might be time to buy a TV right now, considering Amazon’s upcoming Prime Day 2021 sales event, and competing deals from stores like Best Buy, Home Depot,Target, Walmart and Wayfair. Buying a TV might seem simple: Get the biggest size you can at a price you can afford, right?
SKIP AHEAD Best TVs of 2021
But between different mainstream TV brands and jargon surrounding 4K, HDR, OLED versus QLED, and smart TV capabilities, there’s actually a lot to consider especially if you want that picture to really “pop” in your living room or TV space. If you want to get the most from your streaming devices‘ movies and shows and video games, you shouldn’t just buy the most deeply-discounted model you can find.
Best Overall: Tcl 50s535 50
The TCL50S535 is the best Roku-based television on the market right now. It offers excellent 4K resolution with Dolby Vision HDR support as well as clean, crisp audio for the best viewing experience possible. It also features tons of inputs for all your home theater equipment as well as integrated cable management channels to keep your space looking neat and organized. If you’re looking to spend a bit more to get a wider range of features, look no further than the TCL 75Q825. It comes packaged with a voice-enabled remote for hands-free controls without an external smart speaker, AirPlay 2 compatibility to share your smartphone or tablet screen, and Dolby Vision and Atmos support for a superior viewing experience.
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We Run Through The Pros And Cons Of All The Major Smart TV Platforms To Help You Choose Your New TV
The best smart TVs available today will offer an intuitive, user-friendly experience, granting you access to a wide range of streaming services and packing useful AI features. If youre buying a new TV today any new TV then you can almost 100% guarantee that its a smart TV.
Most manufacturers of modern televisions build in at least some smart features, even on their cheapest models. This has been the case for some time, yet TV retailers are still shouting about it. But what separates a smart TV from a dumb TV, and are some smart TVs better than others?
For a TV to be considered smart, all it really needs is some kind of smart platform often referred to as an operating system and the ability to connect to the internet. Some manufacturers have their own smart platforms, while others use variants of an OS made by another company, such as Google. Smart TV platforms dont all come with the same range of features and applications, though, so you do need to choose carefully to make sure you get the features you need, such as support for your preferred streaming services.
In this guide, well outline the best smart TV platforms around and highlight the TVs that will let you get the most from them. Need to know more? Read our FAQ at the end of the article, where we’ll aim to answer any other questions you may have about smart TVs.