How to choose a Roku TV or Roku device in 2021

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Roku is a very popular video streaming service in the U.S. and Canada. Users like the concept, buy a small external device and get access to thousands of TV channels, series and movies. With Roku TV you can get rid of cable TV and what’s important you can get access to channels that are not broadcast by your cable TV provider. And if you have an old TV you can watch streaming services that your TV doesn’t support.

Roku TV vs Roku Streaming Players

You should know that there are two Roku platforms that you can buy, the Roku TV and the Roku device. They are different devices even though they perform the same functionality.

Roku TV is the operating system for TVs
Roku Streaming Players is a separate device that you can connect to your TV.

What is Roku TV

Roku TV is a platform, an operating system designed for televisions. This operating system controls the television and provides access to the Roku servers. The operating system was developed in collaboration with Chinese TV manufacturers. So you can buy a TV with Roku TV OS made by Chinese companies like TCL, Hisense, Philips, Onn, Westinghouse, Magnavox, RCA, Sanyo, Element. TVs Roku TV is usually in the low-price segment, as these companies conquer the market with the cheapness of their TVs, the claimed image quality parameters may differ from the actual parameters. For example, many Chinese manufacturers claim a color depth of 10 bits, which corresponds to 10.7 billion color shades, in their TVs of the medium price segment. By comparison, LG, Samsung, such parameters are indicated only in televisions in the premium segment.

Buying a TV with Roku TV operating system, you get access to Roku without having to buy a separate device.

How to choose the right Roku TV

For the right choice of TV with Roku it is strongly recommended, before buying visit the store and look at the quality of the picture, especially pay attention to the quality of black. Look at the uniformity of the backlighting of the screen when showing a black picture, this is an indicator of the quality of the screen. Also be sure to pay attention to the sound quality of the TV, many budget TVs have pretty mediocre sound systems. Check out the TV if you are in the US at Walmart, BestBay chain stores.

We recommend you check out the following TVs

What is Roku Streaming Players

These are external devices, Roku streaming players. These devices can be connected to the TV and access TV channels over the Internet. Such a device has a processor (as in the phone), receives and processes streaming video over the Internet, and transmits it to the TV via HDMI. The TV can be any brand the only condition is the presence of HDMI inputs. If your TV does not have HDMI you need to pick up a Roku with component, analog outputs. But in this case, some of the Roku features will not be available to you.

What you should know about Roku devices

In 2021, Roku offers the ninth generation of devices. The devices differ in technical capabilities and form factor.

  1. The standard Roku Streaming Players is a separate box, installed next to the TV, powered by AC or USB.
  2. Roku Streaming Stick – the device is directly connected to HDMI, power the device from USB or an adapter. Please note that if your TV is mounted on the wall there must be enough space to install the device. If there is not enough space, do not forget to order the special cable, allowing you to connect the device not directly to the TV port, but through an adapter cable.
  3. Special devices Roku Streambar – allows you to get better sound for your TV.




Roku media players of the latest generations support HD resolution, can broadcast content to your smartphone, and support HDR.

For your convenience, in the table you can find a Roku model that you are interested in and see the parameters of the device.

How to choose the right Roku Streaming Players

Pay attention to the TV you are going to connect the Roku device to. If your TV does not support HDR or Dolby Atmos there is no point in buying a device with these features. You can save $30-40.

Also be sure to pay attention, especially if you have an older TV, to HDCP support, the latest current version is 2.2. Why this is important, HDCP is a protection against copying content when streaming over HDMI. Many streaming services stream new movies with HDCP support, Roku also streams videos with HDCP 2.2 to your TV. If your TV does not support HDCP, you will get a black screen.
We recommend checking out the Roku Express 4K+ now it’s the newest with the most features Roku has to offer.

ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storage micro SD slotNetflix   
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p, 1080p (HD)2160p (4K)AnalogOptical, HDMIEthernet802.11 wireless
First generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generationFirst generation
Roku DVP (N1000)May 2008BothBothBoth720pNoYesBothYesb/gNoIRPNX8935 400 MHz 256 MB64 MBNoNo
Roku SD (N1050)Oct 2009CompositeNeither480iNeitherNoYesNeitherYesb/gNoIRPNX8935 400 MHz256 MB64 MBNoNo
Roku HD (N1100)Nov 2009BothBothBoth720pNoYesBothYesb/gNoIRPNX8935 400 MHz256 MB64 MBNoNo
Roku HD-XR (N1101)Oct 2009BothBothBothBothNoYesBothYesa/b/g/n dual-bandYesIRPNX8935 400 MHz256 MB256 MBNoNo
Roku HD (2000)Sep 2010CompositeHDMIBoth720pNoYesHDMIYesb/gNoIRPNX8935 400 MHz256 MB64 MBNoNo
Roku XD (2050)Sep 2010CompositeHDMIBothBothNoYesHDMIYesb/g/nNoIRPNX8935 400 MHz256 MB64 MBNoNo
Roku XDS (2100)Sep 2010CompositeBothBothBothNoYesBothYesa/b/g/n dual-bandYesIRPNX8935 400 MHz256 MB256 MBNoNo
Second generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generationSecond generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storage micro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p, 1080p (HD)2160p (4K)AnalogOptical, HDMIEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku LT (2400)Nov 2011CompositeHDMIBoth720pNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM2835 600 MHz256 MB256 MBNoNo
Roku LT (2450)Apr 2012CompositeHDMIBoth720pNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM7208 405 MHz256 MB256 MBNoNo
Roku HD (2500)Apr 2012CompositeHDMIBoth720pNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM7208 405 MHz256 MB[38]256 MBNoNo
Roku 2 HD (3000)Jul 2011CompositeHDMIBoth720pNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM2835 600 MHz256 MB256 MBYesNo
Roku 2 XD (3050)Jul 2011CompositeHDMIBothBothNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM2835 600 MHz256 MB256 MBYesNo
Roku 2 XS (3100)Jul 2011CompositeHDMIBothBothNoYesHDMIYesb/g/nYesIR, BluetoothBCM2835 600 MHz 256 MB256 MBYesNo
Roku Streaming Stick, MHL (3400, 3420)Oct 2012NeitherMHL only480pBothNoNoHDMINob/g/n dual-bandNoWi-Fi DirectBCM2835 600 MHz256 MB512 MBNoNo
Roku Streaming Stick, HDMI (3500)Mar 2014[43]NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoNoHDMINoa/b/g/n dual-bandNoWi-Fi DirectBCM2835 600 MHz512 MB256 MBNoYes
Third generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generationThird generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storagemicro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p,1080p (HD)2160p (4K)AnalogOptical, HDMIEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku LT (2700)Sep 2013CompositeHDMIBoth720pNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM7218 600 MHz512 MB256 MBNoNo
Roku 1, SE (2710)Sep 2013CompositeHDMIBothBothNoYesHDMINob/g/nNoIRBCM7218 600 MHz512 MB256 MBNoNo
Roku 2 (2720)Sep 2013CompositeHDMIBothBothNoYes & RemoteHDMINoa/b/g/n dual-bandNoIR, Wi-Fi DirectBCM7218 600 MHz512 MB256 MBNoNo
Roku 3 (4200)Mar 2013NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoRemoteHDMIYesa/b/g/n dual-bandYesIR, Wi-Fi DirectBCM11130 900 MHz512 MB256 MBYesYes
Roku 2 (4210)Apr 2015NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoNoHDMIYesa/b/g/n dual-bandYesIRBCM11130 900 MHz512 MB256 MBYesYes
Roku 3 (4230)Apr 2015NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoRemoteHDMIYesa/b/g/n dual-bandYesIR, Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchBCM11130 900 MHz512 MB256 MBYesYes
Fourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generationFourth generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storage micro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p, 1080p (HD)2160p (4K)AnalogOptical, HDMIEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku Streaming Stick (3600) Apr 2016NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoStream to smartphoneHDMINoa/b/g/n dual-bandNoWi-Fi DirectBCM2836 900 MHz512 MB256 MBNoYes
Roku 4 (4400) Oct 2015NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesRemoteOptical & HDMIYes, 10/100 Mbpsa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYesIR, Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchSTV7723A011.5 GB512 MBYesYes
Fifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generationFifth generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storagemicro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p60, 1080p60 (HD)2160p60 (4K)AnalogOptical,Ethernet802.11 wireless
Roku Express (3700)Oct 2016NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoStream to smartphoneHDMINob/g/nNoIRMStar MSA3Z177Z1 900 MHz512 MB256 MBNoYes
Roku Express+ (3710)Oct 2016CompositeHDMI480iBothNoYes & Stream to smartphoneHDMINob/g/nNoIRMSA3Z177Z1 900 MHz512 MB256 MBNoYes
Roku Premiere (4620)Oct 2016NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesStream to smartphoneHDMINoa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandNoIRMStar MSO9380 1.2 GHz1 GB512 MBNoYes
Roku Premiere+ (4630)Oct 2016NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesRemote & Stream to smartphoneHDMIYes, 10/100 Mbpsa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandNoIR, Wi-Fi DirectMStar MSO9380 1.2 GHz1 GB512 MBYesYes
Roku Ultra (4640)Oct 2016NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesRemote & Stream to smartphoneOptical & HDMIYes, 10/100 Mbpsa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYesIR, Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchMStar MSO9380 1.2 GHz1 GB1 GBYesYes
Sixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generationSixth generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsHDR formatAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storagemicro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p60, 1080p60 (HD)2160p60 (4K)HDR10/Dolby VisionAnalogOptical, HDMIEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku Express (3900)Oct 2017NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoNoStream to smartphoneHDMINob/g/nNoIRARM Cortex A53512MB256MBNoYes
Roku Express+ (3910)Oct 2017CompositeHDMI480iBothNoNoYes & Stream to smartphoneHDMINob/g/nNoIRARM Cortex A53512MB256MBNoYes
Roku Streaming Stick (3800)Oct 2017NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoNoStream to smartphoneHDMINoa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandNoWi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A53512MB256MBNoYes
Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810)Oct 2017NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Stream to smartphoneHDMINoa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandNoWi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A531GB512MBNoYes
Roku Ultra (4660)Oct 2017NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Remote & Stream to smartphoneHDMIYes, 10/100 Mbpsa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYesIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A531GB512MBYesYes
Seventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generationSeventh generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsHDR formatAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storage micro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p60, 1080p60 (HD)2160p60 (4K)HDR10/Dolby VisionAnalogOptical, HDMIDTSDolby AtmosEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku Premiere (3920)Sep 2018NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Stream to smartphoneHDMIYesYesNob/g/nNoIRARM Cortex A531 GB[41]512MBNoYes
Roku Premiere+ (3921)Sep 2018NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Stream to smartphoneHDMIYesYesNob/g/nNoIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A531GB[57]512MBNoYes
Roku Ultra (4661)Sep 2018NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Remote & Stream to smartphoneHDMIYesYesYes, 10/100 Mbpsa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYesIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A531GB512MBYesYes
Eighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generationEighth generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsHDR formatAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storagemicro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p60, 1080p60 (HD)2160p60 (4K)HDR10/Dolby VisionAnalogOptical, HDMIDTSDolby AtmosEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810)Sep 2019NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Stream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0aYesYesNoa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYes*, for long-range wireless receiverIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A531GB512MBNoYes
Roku Express (3930)Sep 2019NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoNoStream to smartphoneHDMI 1.4bYesYesNob/g/nYes*, for powerIRARM Cortex A53512MB256MBNoYes
Roku Express+ (3931)Sep 2019NeitherHDMINeitherBothNoNoStream to smartphoneHDMI 1.4bYesYesNob/g/nYes*, for powerIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A53512MB256MBNoYes
Roku Premiere (3920)Sep 2019NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Stream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0aYesYesNob/g/nYes*, for powerIRARM Cortex A531GB512MBNoYes
Roku Ultra LT (4662)Sep 2019NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Remote & Stream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0aYesYesYesa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandNoIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A531GB512MBYesYes
Roku Ultra (4670)Sep 2019NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10Remote & Stream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0aYesYesYesa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYesIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A532GB512MBYesYes
Ninth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generationNinth generation
ModelIntroducedVideo outputsVideo outputsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsVideo resolutionsHDR formatAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputAudio outputNetworkNetworkUSBRemoteProcessorMemoryChannel storage micro SD slotNetflix
Composite, S-VideoComponent, HDMI480i, 480p720p60, 1080p60 (HD)2160p60 (4K)HDR10/Dolby Vision/HLGAnalogOptical, HDMIDTSDolby AtmosEthernet802.11 wireless
Roku Express 4K (3940X)May 2021NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10, HLGStream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0bYesNoNoa/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMOYesIRRealtek 13151GB4GBNoYes
Roku Express 4K+ (3941X)May 2021NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10, HLGRemote & Stream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0bYesNoNoa/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMOYesIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchRealtek 13151GB4GBNoYes
Roku Ultra (4800)Oct 2020NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesAllRemote & Stream to smartphoneHDMI 2.0bYesYesYesa/b/g/n/ac dual-band MIMOYesIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchARM Cortex A552GB4GBNoYes
Roku Streambar (9102R)Oct 2020NeitherHDMINeitherBothYesHDR10, HLGRemote & Stream to smartphoneOptical, HDMI 2.0aYesYesNoa/b/g/n/ac dual-bandYesIR,Wi-Fi Direct, Voice SearchMStar C21GB512MBNoYes

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