Roku makes some of the most popular boxes that you can plug into a TV to stream content from Netflix, HBO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and hundreds of other internet services.

Now you don’t need a separate box anymore… provided one of the new TVs that has Roku software pre-loaded.

TV makers TCL and Hisense are now offering some of the first Roku TV options with prices starting at just $229.

roku tv tcl

Plenty of other TVs ship with smart TV software. Samsung has its own platform (and plans to move to a Tizen-based software solution soon), LG uses webOS, and Google’s Android TV will be included on products from a number of companies this fall.

But Roku makes some of the easiest-to-use smart TV software and supports hundreds of “channels” of content including sports, music, news, TV and movies, and much more.

On the other hand… I’m not really sold on the idea of buying a TV based on the software it runs. A good TV can spend a decade or longer in your house… and smart TV software available in 10 years may not be able to run on hardware released today. It’s a lot easier to upgrade to a new Roku box (or Apple TV, Chromecast, or whatever) than to replace your 50-inch TV.

Still, I suppose you could buy a Roku TV today and turn it into a dumb screen in a few years by plugging in a next-gen Roku (or other) box.

TCL’s 32 inch, 720p Roku TV will sell for $229. The company also has 40 inch, 48 inch, and 55 inch models with 1080p displays. The largest, mostexpensive model is priced at $649.

Hisense will offer 40, 48, 50, and 55 inch models with prices to be set by retailers.

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4 replies on “Now you can buy a TV with Roku baked in (or just buy a Roku box)”

  1. I hace a question can you turn on/off the tv with the iPhone App?? Or do you only can turn it on with the remote control?? I know it sound like a dumb question but for me, it is a very important feature!!

  2. After getting a decent new 55 inch Roku TV last month, my old Roku HD works fine as an input source, so as you say we’re not “broken” even if Roku evolves beyond the TV. And at $498 (WalMart in-store price, but matched by Amazon, with free delivery and no sales tax), it’s hard to find even a “dumb” television. Roku functionality (which some call the best smart TV interface yet) is essentially free…

  3. It’s getting harder to find a dumb tv these days. If you’re going to have to buy a smart tv just to get the tv, you might as well pick one that doesn’t have crappy software. It’ll all be outdated in a few years, but you’d at least get a little bit of usability from it.

    I’ve got a Samsung Blu Ray player that’s ‘smart.’ Crappiest slowest user interface. I only use it for discs and bought a Roku that duplicates much of it’s alleged smartness. The Roku goes past just usable to really nice to use.

  4. Good point. Any TV with this sort of thing built in may seem convenient at first, but the carries a strong aroma of planned obsolescence.

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