Can You Use A Roku Box With A Smart TV? (Absolutely!)

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As technology continues to evolve, consumers are often left wondering which devices are compatible with their existing electronics. One question that frequently arises is whether a Roku box can be used with a smart TV.

With both devices offering similar features and functions, it can be confusing to know whether they can work together or if one is redundant.

In this article, we will explore whether a Roku box can be used with a smart TV, and if so, how to set it up for the best streaming experience.

Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • the benefits of a Roku (even if you have a smart TV)
  • which Roku you should get
  • how to connect a Roku to your smart TV

But before we get into the details, what exactly is a Roku?

Can You Use A Roku Box With A Smart TV new

What Is A Roku And What Can It Do?

First things first – what is a Roku?

What is a Roku?

A Roku is a small device that plugs into your TV and streams video from hundreds of different channels. These include paid channels, such as Netflix and Hulu, and over 300 free channels, such as Pluto TV, Crackle, Peacock, and PBS Kids.

There’s no monthly subscription with Roku, though if you use it to access premium services such as Netflix, you would have to pay their monthly fees. The only charge for Roku is the cost of the device itself.

Roku devices come in the form of streaming boxes or streaming sticks, which plug into the back of your TV using the HDMI port. Here are some of the most popular Roku devices:

  • Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player – $24.99
  • Roku Premiere HD/4K/HDR Streaming Media Player plus Remote – $29.99
  • Roku Streaming Stick 4K Streaming Device 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision with Roku Voice Remote – $39.00
  • Roku Ultra LT 4K/HDR/HD Streaming Player with Enhanced Voice Remote, Ethernet, MicroSD with Premium 6FT 4K Ready HDMI Cable – $50.90
  • Roku Ultra 2022 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision Streaming Device and Roku Voice Remote Pro with Rechargeable Battery, Hands-Free Voice Controls, Lost Remote Finder, and Private Listening – $86.99
roku box with smart tv

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There are now also ‘Roku TVs’. These are third-party TVs (e.g TCL, HiSense, Hitachi, Sanyo, etc) that have the Roku software built-in. With a ‘Roku TV’, you won’t need to plug in a Roku box or stick.

What does a Roku do?

Roku is a small device that plugs into the back of your TV and brings thousands of free and paid streaming TV channels or apps into one place on your TV. It functions in much the same way as Google TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

Your smart TV will come with a certain number of free TV apps or channels but nothing like the number you get with a Roku. In this sense, a Roku device is an aggregator of TV channels: it brings together every TV channel you could possibly want, free and paid, in one easy-to-use interface.

Can You Use a Roku Box With a Smart TV?

A question that comes up a lot is: “Can you use a Roku with a smart TV?”

The simple answer is yes – you can: any TV that has an HDMI port can be connected to a Roku streaming device.

Do I Need a Roku If I Have a Smart TV?

But if you have a smart TV, do you even need a Roku?

After all, smart TVs have streaming video built into them, so why would you need a Roku streaming device with a smart TV?

The answer is that Roku gives you far more choice than a standard smart TV. Roku offers over 8000 different streaming video channels or apps. Your average smart TV will give you a couple of hundred channels at most.

Here are some of the channels that you can get on Roku but you may not get on your smart TV: Hulu “Live”, DirecTV, PlayStation Vue, Fox Sports, Big 10 Network, The CW, ESPN, and Xfinity stream.

To put it another way, the makers of smart TVs specialize in making quality displays. That’s their focus. But Roku specializes in delivering streaming material to your TV. So naturally, Roku gives you more streaming TV options than a smart TV.

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12/08/2023 02:18 pm GMT

Which Roku Should I Choose?

Roku makes a lot of different devices so choosing which Roku device to get can be confusing. Here’s a guide that will help you get the device that is right for you.

Roku Express HD – $24.99

Roku Express HD

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Roku Express is the company’s most basic model. This is a good option if you have an older TV that doesn’t offer 4K Ultra HD. It gives you access to thousands of channels of free streaming videos at 1080p resolution:

  • use all the apps on Roku’s platform, but streams are limited to HD (not 4K)
  • IR remote means you need line-of-sight to the Roku device
  • comes with an HDMI cable
  • lacks voice search
  • can’t control your TV’s volume from the remote

Roku Express 4K Plus – $33.99

Roku Express 4K Plus

The Roku Express 4K Plus is the next step up from the Roku Express. It is not as feature-rich or capable as some other Rokus, but it’s a good choice if you have a 4K TV. It gives you streaming video at 4K resolution while ensuring that you pay no more than you need to:

  • plays high-resolution 4K content in HDR10
  • includes voice search
  • access private listening through a smartphone app
  • standard IR remote
  • no Dolby Vision or Atmos Audio
  • includes AirPlay which allows you to connect your iPhone or other Apple device to your TV

Roku Streaming Stick 4K – $39.00

Roku Streaming Stick 4K

With the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, you get Dolby Vision and HDR10+. However, it lacks Dolby Atmos spatial sound and the remote doesn’t have Voice Remote Pro.

  • Ultra-HD streaming,
  • high-quality video quality and speed
  • Apple AirPlay for casting from an iOS or Mac device
  • plays high-quality Dolby Vision
  • has a quad-core processor (giving 30% faster app boot times)
  • lacks Dolby Atmos sound technology

Roku Ultra (2020) – $59.99

The Roku Ultra has the best Roku remote and gives you the very best of Roku hardware.

Roku Ultra (2020)
  • full 4K resolution
  • very fast navigation
  • Ethernet port for a more stable Internet connection
  • USB port for your own videos and music
  • includes Roku Voice Remote Pro (hands-free voice controls)
  • two programmable buttons
  • headphone jack for private listening
  • streams in Dolby Vision
  • dual-band Wi-Fi
  • night listening mode (levels out audio so loud noises in movies don’t wake others)

Roku Streaming Stick 4K Plus – $66.25

Roku Streaming Stick 4K Plus

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K Plus gives you private listening (plug your headphones into the Roku remote with a headphone jack or use a wireless pair with the Roku mobile app to listen without disturbing others in the house). It also gives you hands-free voice controls. If you lose your remote, just say “Hey Roku”.

  • includes AirPlay
  • has a Replay button
  • rechargeable voice remote (keep your Roku Voice Remote Pro powered for months on a single charge)
  • streams in Dolby Vision
  • hands-free voice command

Roku Streambar – $104.88

Roku Streambar

The Roku Streambar is a good choice if you want high-quality streaming video and your existing TV doesn’t have great sound. Gives you 4K HDR Roku streaming plus great audio:

  • plugs into your TV’s HDMI ARC port, giving better sound
  • four internal speakers will fill your room with clean, pure sound featuring Dolby Audio
  • packs more sound-enhancing technology than your average soundbar
  • Compact size (just 14 inches long)
  • no need to juggle remotes: turn on your TV, adjust the volume and control your streaming all with the Roku voice remote

How To Connect a Roku To Your TV

Connecting your Roku device to your TV is pretty simple but there are a few steps involved:

Step 1: Connect Roku device to the TV

Connect the Roku device to your TV by plugging the supplied HDMI cable into the back of your TV.

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If you have an older TV that doesn’t have HDMI ports, you can use a composite cable (new Roku devices only have HDMI but older devices have both composite and HDMI ports).

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Step 2: Connect your Roku player to your wired network (optional)

If you are using an Ethernet cable to connect to your home WiFi, plug the cable into your WiFi router:

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Step 3: Connect your Roku device to the power

Plug the Roku device into a wall outlet.

All Roku streaming sticks support USB power and some Roku players do (though not all).

If your Roku player supports USB power, you can plug the device into a USB port on the back of your TV using the supplied USB cable.

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However, wall power is preferable, so if possible, plug your Roku device into a wall outlet.

Step 4: Set up your Roku remote

There are two types of Roku remote: simple remote and voice remote.

If you have a simple remote, it communicates with your TV using infrared (IR). That means the remote must have line-of-sight with your TV.

If you have a voice remote, the remote needs to be paired with your TV.

There are two types of voice remote:

  • remote with rechargeable batteries – use the pairing button on the back to pair with the TV
  • remote with alkaline batteries – simply insert new batteries into the remote and it will automatically enter pairing mode

Step 5: Connect your Roku device to your network and the internet

In the Roku app on your TV, choose your wireless network from the list of available networks and enter your password.

Once your password has been entered, select Connect: your Roku device will automatically connect to the internet.


Can you use a Roku box with a smart TV?


Smart TVs already come with some channels or apps built in. But it’s a small fraction of what you can access on Roku.

And that’s why you may want to connect a Roku device to your smart TV. It’s easy to do – all you need is an HDMI port on the back of your TV.

But before you go out and buy a Roku device, check whether your TV already has Roku installed. Some smart TVs, such as TCL, Hisense, Westinghouse, RCA, Element, and Philips have Roku built in.

For a list of TVs that have Roku built-in, see this article.

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