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Can You Use Roku TV On Older TV? 7 Easy Steps (2023)

Roku TV On Older TV

Out with the old, in with the new? Certainly not with TVs. 

Smart TVs may have been the rage this decade. 

But it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your old set.

You can still make the most out of it. 

With the help of Roku TV.

Continue reading to find out:

  • 1 Roku TV product that’ll work even without an HDMI converter.
  • What connectors for Roku you’ll need depending on your TV type.
  • An easy step-by-step guide to connecting Roku players even to older TVs.
  • 5 solutions to possible problems you may encounter in connecting your Roku player.
  • And many more…

Can I use Roku TV on older TV?

You can use Roku TV on an older TV. Roku TV is designed to work even on sets without an HDMI port. No need for a Smart TV. For older TV models using an RCA connector, all you need is an HDMI to Composite converter along with your Roku player. Plug them in. Set up Roku. And good to go.

How to get Roku TV on older TV: 7 steps

Older TVs vary in design and functionality. 

The HDMI-compatible sets only appeared in the mid-2000s. And they didn’t become mainstream until a few years later. 

Is your TV over a decade old? Then chances are it’s using an RCA connector. 

“What’s an RCA connector?”

Well, it’s the one with orange, white, and yellow plugs. Yellow for composite video. Red and white for the stereo audio.

If your TV’s only compatible with that, don’t worry. Roku TV should still work perfectly fine. 

The following steps are specifically for TVs that use RCA connectors. 

For this, you’ll also need an HDMI to Composite converter. And an internet connection.

Here’s how to get Roku TV to work on them:

#1: Connect your old TV to the HDMI to Composite converter

Simply plug one end of your RCA connector cable into your TV. 

Then with the other end, connect it to the HDMI to Composite converter.

“Wait, why exactly do I need an HDMI to Composite converter?”

Because most Roku streaming devices are designed to connect to HDMI ports. 

“What if I don’t really want to use one?”

You’re in luck. There’s actually a Roku player specifically for TVs using RCA connectors.

It’s called the Roku Express+. 

If this is the player you’ll use? Then these are what you need to do:

  1. Connect one end of the RCA cable to your TV.
  2. Connect the other end to your Roku Express+.

You may then skip to Step 3 of our guide.

“What if my TV already has an HDMI port?”

That’s awesome. If you’re using a Roku Streaming Stick, you may connect it directly to your TV. 

For other Roku devices, you may connect them with an HDMI cord. You may then proceed to Step 3 as well. 

By the way, here’s a list of their products that you can use:

Note: Is your TV is really old? Then you may not get the full benefits of higher-specs Roku streaming devices. 

#2: Connect your Roku TV device to the HDMI port of the converter

The HDMI to Composite converter’s HDMI port is found on the side. 

Connect your Roku TV device to that. 

#3: Power up your Roku TV device

Roku TV streaming devices all come with a power adapter. This is because they need electricity to work. 

So go ahead and do the following:

  1. Attach the power adapter to your Roku device.
  2. Plug the adapter into a wall outlet. 

#4: Select the correct input setting on your TV

Grab your TV remote. Look for Input, Source, or something similar. Again, this varies depending on your TV model. 

For older TVs, you normally toggle from TV to AV.

How would you know if you got the correct input? If you see the Roku logo on your screen.

#5: Pair your Roku TV remote with the streaming device

Pairing the remote with your Roku TV is easy. 

Just follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Place the batteries inside the remote.
  2. Wait for the light inside the remote compartment to blink.
  3. When starts blinking, allow it to automatically pair. You won’t have to press anything. 

“But what if it doesn’t pair?”

You may do the following:

  1. Locate the button that’s also the remote compartment. 
  2. Press it for about 5 seconds.   
  3. When the light flashes, wait for it to pair automatically. 

#6: Connect to the internet

You’ll be asked to select your language. 

After which, you’ll be prompted to connect to the internet. 

The process is as follows:

  1. Make sure your Wi-Fi is on.
  2. Select your home network. 
  3. Enter your home network’s password.

When successful, you’ll see green checks. These indicate that your Roku TV device is now online. 

#7: Finish setting up your Roku TV 

You’re now really close to enjoying your Roku TV. 

These are what you’d see immediately after connecting to the internet:

  1. Software update.
  2. Resolution set-up. 
  3. Roku device activation. 

You won’t need to do anything for the software update. Just wait for the download and installation to finish.

For the resolution set-up. You’d be asked to select the best resolution for your TV. Or you may let Roku do it automatically. 

Then just follow the prompt for the device activation.

You may also view this guide from Roku’s official Youtube channel:

You may also be interested: 22 Steps To Connect Vizio Soundbar to Roku TV

Roku TV doesn’t work on older TV: 5 causes

#1: Resolution mismatch

Resolution mismatch is a fairly common issue. And it’s especially prone to happen with older TVs. 

This is because older TV models have a 480p resolution. Roku TV normally defaults to 720p. 

Your initial set-up should allow Roku TV to automatically detect your TV’s resolution.

If you’re getting a resolution error, though? It’s best to try to re-configure it.

Here’s how you do that:

  1. On your Roku remote, press the Home button.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Navigate to the Display type.
  4. Wait for Roku to auto-detect the most suitable display for your TV.
  5. Click “Ok, go to…” if Roku’s able to detect.
  6. If not, select “Force output to…”. 

You may also try to perform a system restart on your Roku player.

To do that:

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select Power if you see one.
  5. If you don’t see Power, select System Restart.

 In many cases, a simple reset should fix this issue.

#2: Faulty connectors

As we’ve discussed, you’d need connectors to get your Roku player to work. Be it an RCA connector. HDMI cord. Or HDMI to Composite converter.

It’s probable that your connector isn’t working properly. 

If you suspect that such is the case? It’s best to look for a replacement. 

You may try using another HDMI cord. Or another RCA connector that you’re sure is working. 

These connectors are also readily available online for purchase. 

#3: Poor internet connection

Poor Internet Connection

Your Roku TV streaming device won’t work without the internet. 

Check if you’re having internet connection problems. Try to connect your other devices online. 

You may opt to restart your modem by unplugging it for a few seconds. Then plug it back in. 

The other options you can do to solve internet-related issues.

One is to move your Roku player closer to your router and modem.

Another is to directly connect your ethernet cable to your Roku device.

#4: Outdated software

It’s important to keep your Roku’s software up to date. The process of updating should be automatic. 

However, you may also manually do it. This is also a way to check if your Roku player has the latest software.

To update your Roku TV’s software:

  1. Press Home on your Roku remote.
  2. Navigate to Settings and select it.
  3. Select System.
  4. Go to System Update. 
  5. Click Check Now. This will search for available updates. 

Your Roku device should then automatically download and install updates.

#5: Defective Roku streaming device

For hardware issues, it’s best to contact Roku’s customer support. 

Your Roku TV player also comes with a 1-year warranty. 

They should be able to repair or replace it. Especially if it’s proven to be a manufacturing defect. And you’re still under the warranty period. 

Further reading: (7 Fixes) Spotify Not Working On Roku