Skip to Content

Do You Need a Smart TV for a Roku Stick? 3 Weird Facts

Do You Need A Smart TV For A Roku Stick

Roku streaming sticks are becoming more popular as they offer many different streaming options.

Much like other streaming devices, they’ll work off of your wifi to provide you with plenty of watching options.

But many people wonder if you need a smart TV to use a Roku.

You don’t need a smart TV to use a Roku stick. A Roku device is actually made to turn ordinary TVs into smart TVs, thus, you don’t have to have a smart TV to use one. In fact, a Roku stick can offer more options than some smart TVs, depending on their capabilities.  

Let’s take a closer look at Roku devices and see how they compare to a smart TV. 

What Do You Need for a Roku Stick To Work?

To use a Roku stick to its full capability, you’ll need a TV with an HDMI port and a WIFI or ethernet connection. You don’t need a smart TV at all. You’ll be able to use a Roku stick on any TV with an HDMI port, but you won’t be able to stream without an internet connection. 

A Roku Stick is a standalone port. It’s used to stream your favorite shows and movies through almost any platform you want. 

In fact, there are more streaming options available on a Roku device than a smart TV

You don’t need much to start streaming with a Roku. The setup is simple and doesn’t take long.

First, you want to make sure your TV has an HDMI port. Many TVs have HDMI capabilities as long as they’re compatible with high-definition viewing. 

You may want to make sure your TV has an extra HDMI port that isn’t being used.

As long as it does, then you’re all set. This keeps you from having to unplug your Roku after each use. 

Next, verify that your internet connection is strong enough to stream.

Roku will work well with WIFI, but there are often options for an ethernet connection if you need to hardwire it. 

Remember that a wired connection is more secure than a wireless one.

So, consider getting a Roku that’s ethernet compatible if you have issues with a strong wireless connection. 

Another important thing you need to get the most out of your Roku is access to streaming services. 

Roku itself isn’t a streaming service. It’s instead a host for other streaming services.

So, your Roku is going to allow you to access the content you’ve already paid for or streaming services you pay for regularly. 

For example, if you want to watch a movie on Netflix, just buying a Roku will not be enough. You’ll also need a subscription to Netflix. 

Alternatively, there are always free streaming options to look into. But if you want access to certain shows and movies, you’ll need a subscription.

You may also wonder: Can you use Roku and Firestick at the same time?

Can a Roku Stick Replace a Cable Box?

A Roku stick can replace a cable box if you have another box available in a different room or prefer to just move to streaming platforms. However, a Roku won’t provide access to cable if you don’t already use a cable company. 

A Roku stick will provide many different streaming options – more than a smart TV.

While a Roku stick can’t replace cable, it can give you other options. 

Many cable customers are moving to streaming rather than watching live TV.

With new programs like Hulu + Live TV, many people don’t see a need for those expensive cable boxes. 

This is where Roku comes in. 

The days of needing to put up with cable upcharges and maintenance fees are long gone.

With streaming services now giving live TV options, you don’t have to miss anything. 

A Roku is also important to consider if you have a cable box in another room.

Rather than paying for two cable boxes, you can use your Roku to stream from the cable app. 

Cable companies charge you extra for additional boxes. Most companies raise your bill monthly to accommodate the extra service. 

With Roku, you can use the cable app to stream cable in another room without facing the monthly cost of adding another box. 

When you stream from a Roku rather than a cable box, you rely on your internet connection. 

So, if your WIFI connection must be strong to stream live TV. Alternatively, you may want to consider a hardwire connection, as discussed above. 

Whichever method you choose, remember that a Roku isn’t a cable box replacement. It is something completely different. 

Check out: Do Rokus Ever Go Bad? Common Problems, Signs & Tips

Do I Need a Roku Stick for Each TV in My Home?

Do You Need A Roku Stick For Each TV

You do need a Roku stick for each TV in your home because a Roku is made to work on one TV at a time. Although, it’s possible to move a Roku from one TV to another. As an alternative, consider an HDMI splitter for viewing on multiple TVs at the same time. 

Since a Roku stick is made to work on only one TV at a time, you’ll need more than one stick to accommodate multiple TVs in your home. 

Thankfully, the Roku stick is very portable. 

The Roku stick is reminiscent of a USB drive. Thus, it’s small enough to easily be moved from one TV to another. 

Additionally, there’s no power source needed for a Roku. This means you don’t have to worry about plugging it into an outlet. 

To move the Roku device to another TV, just unplug the stick from your TV and plug it into a different one. 

This allows you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows on another TV. 

This is also convenient for people who travel. 

Your streaming services can come with you easily with a Roku stick. Simply unplug it from your TV at home and put it in your suitcase.

As long as the TV at your destination has an HDMI port, you can watch your movies and shows easily. 

This is a lot easier than getting to a new place and having to flip through channels.

So, take your Roku with you for easy access to your streaming platforms everywhere you go. 

If you’d rather not move your device, you’ll need to have one stick for each TV. 

Another exception to the rule is to use an HDMI splitter. This will allow you to use one Roku stick to stream to two TVs. 

If you do this, you’ll be streaming the same thing on each TV.

This means that if someone is watching Hulu on one TV, then the other TV will only be able to show the same show on HULU. 

This is a great option if you don’t plan on using both TVs simultaneously and they’re close enough to run a splitter.

Also, cords need to be connected to your TVs. 

So, this is mostly doable for those with reasonably close TVs. Otherwise, HDMI cords that are long enough to reach into another room will be needed. 

Without a splitter, you need to have another Roku stick to use the capabilities on another TV. 

Reading recommendation: Should a Roku Stick Get Hot? 7 Device Safety Facts

Final Thoughts

You don’t need a smart TV to use a Roku stick. In fact, A Roku can almost turn your TV into a smart TV because it has similar capabilities. 

A Roku stick can work with any TV that has an HDMI port. So, you can stream on all your favorite platforms, even through your cable provider’s app. 

A Roku can help you replace your cable box by giving you tons of streaming options.