Problems with Cheap Smart TVs Powered By Roku?

Sluggish Roku menu navigation. It’s true. We bought a 65″ super cheap TV and sometimes navigating through the Roku menu is like walking through quicksand.

There is a reason for this — and it’s not entirely Roku’s fault — or is it?

Scanning reviews for inexpensive smart TVs from Roku-powered brands including not just TCL, but also Hisense and Westinghouse, a theme emerges. Users seem to complain about a preponderance of product defects, like cracked screens, as well as an overall feel of cheap build quality. That’s what you get with cheaper consumer electronics. But a more common theme is an overall sluggishness of the Roku OS on these sets. 

Roku’s Looming Problem? A Lot of Those Cheap Smart TVs Aren’t Any Good | Next TV

So, by targeting low-end, cheapest of the cheapest Smart TVs, Roku could be underpowered, which is likely causing some of the slow responsiveness.

TCL might be the ticket if you want a cheap, non-Roku-powered TV, see: Chinese Backdoor Scare in non-Roku powered TCL Smart TVs. Or maybe the answer for a faster streaming smart TV is to go with Sony, Samsung, etc.

Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire and the biggest Smart TV OS is … Samsung Tizen?

The titan of the smart TV operating system world isn’t by Google, Roku or Amazon, it’s from Samsung and called Tizen. Didn’t know that? It’s OK, we’re with you.

Maybe our international readers are familiar with Tizen, but here in the states we know Amazon, Roku and Google as the go-to streaming devices. Gamers might favor the Nvidia Shield ($150 USD). The built-in smart TV OS are something of a streaming afterthought.

Coupled with the 155 million Tizen OS-powered TVs already out in the wild and it’s easy to see why Samsung has such a grip on the market. Those figures represent a 23 percent rise compared to this time last year. LG’s WebOS, Sony PlayStation, Roku TV OS, Amazon’s Fire TV OS, and Google’s Android TV are the next biggest connected platforms for TVs worldwide.

Samsung just secured a major victory over Smart TV rivals and Roku |

It does make sense, though, as there are a lot of Samsung TVs out there. Our beloved 3D TV is a Samsung model and we used it for almost 10 years. Our newest 65″ smart TV is Walmart’s brand Onn. We picked that up for the ridiculously low price of $238. Our adult sons and us all bought one. Such a killer holiday deal that we couldn’t pass up getting 4 smart TVs for the price of one.

Do you use Samsung Tizen on your smart TV? Or do you have a third party device powering your connection to streaming channels?