This Under-$400 55″ Smart TV Makes It So Easy to Access All of My Favorite Shows in One Place

published Dec 19, 2023
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As someone who lives in a football town with family who have sports on most nights of the week, it’s safe to say that TVs are a necessary luxury. I’m a little more casual when it comes to sports, but I’m pretty tuned in to K-dramas and Nintendo games, which means I’m just as connected to the screen. In fact, when I moved into my first apartment, the housewarming gift from my family was a TV from my wishlist.

For the most part, I stick to one brand for my TVs simply because it’s easiest to go with what I know. Although, there have been some outliers that have surprising features of their own. When I had the opportunity to try out a Roku TV near the time they launched earlier this year, I jumped at the chance. I was familiar with the brand’s streaming devices since they were the only access point I had for one of my favorite sites for international shows, outside of my phone or laptop. If the TV was just as good, then I had a lot to look forward to.

Quick Overview

A Quick Look at the Roku TV

  • Best Buy exclusive, available in Select and Plus models
  • TV sizes range from 24″-75″
  • 4K display, Dolby audio, 4 HMDI ports, and built-in Wi-Fi
  • Features customizable home screen and private Bluetooth listening
  • Includes rechargeable voice-enhanced remote, stands, and screws
  • Compatible with Apple AirPlay, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Roku cameras and Roku doorbells

Design Features That Stand Out

First, it’s worth noting the slim and sleek design of the Roku TV. The flatscreen comes with the same remote as other Roku devices, which is equipped with preset apps, navigation buttons, and optional voice-control capabilities. There’s also a private listening mode that allows you to plug your headphones into the remote and hear the on-screen programming without outside noise.

Considering I have the TV placed in an east-facing room that gets a lot of sun during the day, screen visibility hasn’t been an issue, thanks to the Roku TV’s auto brightness feature. Based on the amount of light in the room, the television adjusts so you get a clear picture, no matter what. This has been especially helpful when I spend the entire day catching up on TV because it means I don’t have to get up to close the blinds since the sunlight doesn’t affect my viewing experience. (Dare I say I’ve enjoyed it even more than my usual go-to brand?)

Credit: Britt Franklin

How It Performed

With help, I got the Roku TV unboxed and its stands screwed into place, then set it on top of the TV console that’s slightly narrower than the device. After that, it was time to get comfy on the couch to start setting it up. I logged in to my Roku account, which added the TV to my lineup of other Roku devices, and began customizing my home screen. The TV detected that other devices were plugged into it and once I confirmed what they were (a Nintendo Switch and Blu-ray player), it created its own buttons at the top of the home screen along with one for live TV options. Below that trio were the usual suspects like Netflix, Hulu, Viki (for my Korean drama fix), and more.

However, despite the wide variety of viewing options, the first thing I did was play video games. As soon as the gaming console came to life, I could see an immediate difference between how the colors looked on my old TV and the console screen compared to the Roku TV. The colors were much more dynamic without being overly bright, due in part to the Roku TV automatically adjusting to accommodate the vivid colors often found in video games.

Once the gaming session was out of the way, I found that the clarity of the 4K resolution carried over seamlessly into the viewing experience across the board. Over the past eight months, I’ve had movie nights and Netflix binges, and have enjoyed the television so much that I’ll choose to watch the Roku TV over the one in the main living room.

Credit: Britt Franklin

What We Loved

  • Vibrant 4K resolution: I used to be the type of person who didn’t care about how clear the picture was on the TV. All HD was built the same. The Roku TV changed my mind. The colors really pop on the screen, whether you’re watching Blue Beetle or playing Super Mario RPG. I’ve mentioned it already, but I also really love that TV’s auto-brightness feature adjusts to the lighting in the room to ensure you get the best view.
  • Plentiful HDMI ports: My last TV was a 2017 model that only had two HDMI ports, and I ended up having to get an HMDI splitter to connect my Blu-ray player, Nintendo Switch, and cable box. Even after I got rid of cable, I ended up getting a Roku Streaming Stick and was still down one port. The Roku TV has four HDMI ports, which allow me to hook up all my devices, and still have a couple left over. Plus, because the Roku TV has access to all the programming apps, I could use the Roku streaming stick in a different room altogether.
  • Expansive catalog of TV apps: I can’t say enough how impressed I am with Roku’s roster of streamers and live TV. There’s something for everyone. After dealing with the admittedly first-world frustration of not being able to access certain programming on specific brands of televisions, the Roku streaming stick was my workaround. Now, the Roku TV provides a straight shot to those shows and streaming apps, no middleman required.

Good to Know

If you enjoy dressing up your TV setup, Roku’s Smart Light Strips can add a pop of color that can be customized to your liking. There are over 16 million color options, custom presets, music sync, vacation mode, and sleep mode. Additionally, the strips can be stuck anywhere from your TV to your bed and any other flat surface.

Should You Buy the Roku TV

The Roku TV is a great choice, whether or not you have cable at home. That being said, I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a TV that:

  • Has a crisp, clear LED display for optimal viewing and gaming
  • Has access to tons of streaming apps, live TV, and free programming; some of which are exclusive to Roku.
  • Has smart home capabilities that include monitoring home security cameras directly on the device.

Where to Buy the Roku TV

The Roku TV is available exclusively at Best Buy in multiple sizes and models, including:

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