Why a Roku TV?
From the outside, a TV equipped with Roku looks like any other great TV on the market today, with all the design aesthetics that helped flatscreen TVs conquer the world of TV tubes once and for all. However, it is what happens when you turn on a TV equipped with Roku that things really change.
Unlike TVs that require management of a bunch of different inputs and outputs, each seemingly needing its own remote, a Roku TV has a seamless interface. From HD antennas to the latest streaming services, a TV with Roku built-in has an intuitive method of allowing you to move from one service to another. Forget struggling with source menus to get to the point where you can choose streaming services - a TV equipped with Roku allows you to choose exactly what it is that you want to watch.
Best of all, Roku accounts are free. This means that you can set one up and control from your computer or other device exactly what appears on each TV. If you have multiple sets, you can have one set up for kid-friendly streaming services, while others have more action or horror movies available.
One thing worth noting, when compared to other Smart TVs, is that TVs equipped with Roku do not allow you to use an internet browser. While everything may come from online, you’ve still got to have a way to get it.
By far the most popular use for Roku TVs is as a way to have access to more streaming applications. Entertainment hubs by other companies may limit access to other providers’ streaming services, but TVs with built-in Roku allows the consumer to choose whatever service he or she wants.
Each of these appear as another tile on your home page, meaning that it is incredibly easy to switch between different applications.
Simply select any of the application tiles and each service’s app will launch. From there, everything is between you and the service provider. That means that Roku TV works with companies like Netflix or Amazon to make sure that your streaming options are always available.
And just who are some of those companies? You name them, Roku works with them. That includes not only Netflix or Amazon, but also Hulu, HBO, AppleTV, and Sling. That’s right, if you’ve purchased something on Amazon or Apple, you can watch it on a TV with Roku.
As for account management, Roku stays out of the way. Each streaming account is managed just like you would manage it without the Roku. All you have to do is enter your username and password to have your services up and running within minutes.
Free Live TV
Roku TV is not only good for streaming options. It also provides access to live TV channels for free! These include not only major networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, but also channels you wouldn’t get without another service, like ESPN or CNN.
While that means you can watch your favorites from anywhere, Roku TV also provides channels that you likely wouldn’t have access to otherwise. A number of foreign language channels are available for free, as well as speciality channels, the likes of which were previously only available on cable or satellite.
In fact, Roku leads the field when it comes to access to free live TV - simply by purchasing a TV with Roku built in, you get access to the sort of thing that you’d have to otherwise purchase a subscription to enjoy.
Of course, not every local channel is fully integrated with Roku TV. That’s okay. An HD antenna is recommended by many Roku users as a way to gain access to broadcast stations that may not be easily accessed otherwise. This means that you’ll always have local news, sports, and weather, and because its a TV with Roku, it will be easy to access using the main menu.
That said, Roku offers users a way to enjoy even more channels for a low monthly fee. While not as established as Netflix or Hulu, these providers often offer incredible value to a very narrow audience. Luckily, there are dozens of them, and each has a low monthly fee.
So if your thing is old westerns, or classic sports, or even cooking shows from thirty years ago, there is a Roku channel for you, and it is likely available for only a few dollars a month.
One thing worth knowing is that there is a difference between certified and non-certified channels. You can search for certified channels, and these are the ones that Roku supports.
However, developers, smaller organizations, or simply indie producers may want to limit people from finding their channels through searches, while still making sure that they are available on Roku. Therefore, non-certified channels exist. While they can be worthwhile, we definitely recommend getting rid of them if there’s anything fishy going on.
For those who really do want the easiest TV watching experience, Roku TV offers voice enabled remotes. These allow users to simply search using their voice, with their requests appearing on the screen. Every TV with built-in Roku includes voice control, and it is accessed by holding the small microphone button on your remote.
However, for those who are prone to lose their remotes, or simply want to outflank the kids from usurping control, Roku also allows iOS or Android devices to have a Roku app that has full remote capability.
Regardless of why you choose to use the voice search function, there is plenty that it can do. You can search for your favorite movies or shows by name, category, actor, or even director. Additionally, you can search for specific channels or apps. Once you do find something to watch, you can control when it pauses, plays, rewinds, or fast forwards.
For those looking to stream music, Roku’s voice remote helps there, too. It can let you stream music by station, performer, and platform. Best of all, it works if the TV is on or off.
Finally, for those who are technologically challenged, Roku TV’s voice remote lets you find the Smart Guide, change channels, or even switch between external devices like a Blu-ray player or a gaming platform.
More than most other Smart TVs on the market, TVs with Roku were designed to provide an almost seamless way to interact with every form of media that you’re likely to find. Because it is a neutral platform, it doesn’t favor one service over another, giving a unique aesthetic and easy to use interface. In short, Roku TV provides for a number of needs that every TV owner faces, while also addressing issues that they were unlikely to know that they had in the first place.