Skip to Content

Do I Need Roku If I Have a Smart TV?

Do you have to have a Roku or similar device if you already have a smart TV? Stick around and find out.

You don’t always need to have a Roku if you have a smart TV, as some smart TVs come with a Roku or similar device pre-installed. If your smart TV doesn’t have a Roku pre-installed, but you want the functionality of a Roku, you need to get a Roku streaming device. 

The answer is not as straightforward as yes or no, as some smart TVs have pre-installed Roku and others do not. The following will help you to navigate the intricacies of whether or not you need a Roku if you have a smart TV.

Do I Need A Roku For My Smart TV?

Your smart TV will come with pre-installed streaming platforms most of the time. On that note, some smart TVs also come with a Roku or Fire TV built-in.  Therefore, it’s suggested that you confirm whether or not you have any of the streaming platforms or devices already discussed on your smart TV.

Suppose you already have one of these streaming apps or devices on your smart TV, and you are happy with the variety of shows that you have, then that is that you don’t need to get a Roku for your TV.

However, if you aren’t happy with the range and variety of shows you have, then there are some questions you have to ask yourself before you can install a Roku.

  1. Which model of Roku is the best?
  2. What brand and model of smart TV do you have? 
  3. Is the Roku’s resolution compatible with your TV’s resolution?
  4. What content or streaming subscriptions do you already have a subscription to?
  5. What are your TV consumption habits like at the moment?

Which Roku Is The Best?

If you aren’t happy with the number of streaming platforms your smarty TV provides and have decided that you are going to invest in a Roku, there are a few factors that you should pay attention to. Let’s look at what those factors are.

  • What apps or streaming platforms does that model of Roku support?
  • What resolution does the Roku model provide?
  • What are the reviews for that model like? Are they good or bad?
  • How does the model you plan to use connect to the internet (Ethernet, WIFI, or both)?
  • How does the model you are planning on using connect to the internet (Ethernet, WIFI, or both)?
  • How recently was the model you are looking at released?
  • What do you need the model to be able to do? How much functionality do you need it to have?

Here are five models of Roku for you to take a look at when considering which to get;

  • The Roku Ultra 
  • The Roku Express
  • The Roku Strembar
  • The Roku Express 4K
  • The Roku Streaming Stick 4K

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you which Roku is the best because the best option for one isn’t the best for another, and it all comes down to what functionality you need it to have and what your personal preferences are.

What Brand And Model Of Smart TV Do You Have?

As previously mentioned, some smart TVs come with Roku or similar devices pre-installed in them. This is the reason, it is important to ensure that the TV you have doesn’t already have one installed to make sure you actually need a Roku before you go out and buy one.

The same applies if you already have alternative streaming devices in your house; for instance, you don’t need to have a Roku if you already have a Fire TV. While it would be really cool to have two of the best streaming devices in your house, the reality is that it’s unnecessary and rather redundant.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have more than one kind of streaming device in your house because it’s all about your personal preference at the end of the day.

Is The Rokus Resolution Compatible With Your TVs Resolution?

As we already know, Roku offers a range of products with resolution capabilities ranging from 1080p HD all the way to 4K HD and up, so before you decide which Roku you want, you should take a look at your TV to see what your TVs capabilities are. (Is it only capable of supporting HD resolution, 4K UHD resolution, or above?)

If your TV can only support HD resolution, you can use any of the Roku devices available on the market, including the 4K options.

However, suppose your TV has a resolution of 4K UHD. In that case, you will want to get a Roku with a 4K resolution, such as the Roku Streaming Stick 4K or any of the other models that have 4K in the name, so that you aren’t wasting your TV capabilities.

What Subscriptions Do You Already Have?

If you are looking at getting a Roku, you probably don’t have any subscriptions to any streaming services. Some people have streaming apps on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops, like Netflix and Hulu. However, even with these apps, you are extremely limited in what shows you can get access to.

There are also cases where some people have access to streaming services and don’t even know it. If you use an Amazon Prime subscription, you already have access to Fire TV. In this scenario, it could be advisable to buy a Fire TV stick instead of a Roku streaming device.

What Are Your TV Consumption Habits Like At The Moment?

If you consider getting a Roku, you need to ask yourself if the expense is justified. You can do this by checking what you watch daily and weekly, what shows or series you are missing, or what shows you want to watch but can’t.

Suppose you are not missing any shows, then you don’t need to go and get a Roku. However, if you miss the shows you used to watch and want to continue to watch them, you definitely should consider getting a Roku or similar device.

Can I Use A Roku On A Non-smart TV?

Suppose you are contemplating whether or not you have to have a smart TV to use a Roku. The answer is NO; you do not have to have a smart TV to use a Roku. You can use a Roku with any TV with an HDMI port (High-Definition Multimedia Interface).

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use a Roku if your TV does not have an HDMI port. It simply means that you will have to go through a few more steps to connect a Roku to your TV.

To connect a Roku to a TV that doesn’t have an HDMI port, you simply need to use an adapter for HDMI to composite video cables. Alternatively, if your Roku has the capability to, you could use composite video cables without a converter.

How To Connect A Roku To Your TV

Before connecting a Roku to your non-smart TV or a smart TV, you need to ensure that you have everything you need ready.

You will need; the Rokus AC power cable, the Roku streaming device including the remote, batteries for the remote, an HDMI cable, the user guide, and, if applicable (an HDMI cable to composite video cable converter as well as composite video cables.

  1. Turn your TV on. Turning the TV on isn’t absolutely necessary to connect your Roku to your TV. However, it makes the process much easier as it will be easier for you to establish if your device is working.
  2. Take the fresh batteries out of the pack and place them into the remote, ensuring they have the correct orientation.
  3. Locate where your TV’s HDMI port is. Often, the HDMI port can be located on the back of the TV or sometimes on the left-hand side of the TV. If your TV is only compatible with composite video cables, you can generally locate the ports in the same place as the HDMI port.
  4. After locating the HDMI port, you need to plug one end of the HDMI cable into the Roku device and the other end into the TV. If the TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, the process is the same, with the only difference being that the HDMI goes into a converter with the composite video cables going into the TV.
  5. Plug the AC power cable into the back of the Roku device and then plug the other end into the wall’s power outlet and turn the Roku on.


We have gone over how to connect a Roku to a TV, what your TV consumption is like, what streaming subscriptions you currently have, if any, and if you can use a Roku on a non-smart TV.

We have also learned which Roku devises are best, whether or not you need a Roku if you have a smart TV, what brand and model of TV you have, and whether or not your Rokus resolution and your TVs resolution are compatible.