Are Roku TVs Reliable? (Explained For Beginners)

If you’re on the lookout for a decent smart TV platform, Roku should be on your list. Roku is used as a platform by both big-name and affordable brands, giving you a number of TV options for your budget. 

Given how many brands use Roku for their platform, is it safe to assume that Roku is dependable for the long term? Are Roku TVs reliable? 

Here’s What You Need to Know about the Reliability of Roku TVs. 

As an operating system, Roku is quite reliable, considering that it uses Linux as its backbone. Meanwhile, Roku TVs generally perform well, but it depends on the TV manufacturer. 

Do Roku TVs Last As Long As Other Brands?

The lifespan of Roku TVs is generally the same as other TVs on the market. But, considering that Roku is used by several brands, your mileage may vary due to the quality of components used.

Some of the notable brands known for using high-grade components for their Roku TVs include Philips, Hitachi, and JVC. 

Are Roku TVs Worth Buying? 

Roku TVs are worth buying, considering the apps available on the platform.

And they are easy to use; navigating through the interface is a breeze.

Another good thing about Roku TVs is that the platform is used by different brands and covers a wide price range, meaning you can find something that fits your budget and every size room. 

Do People Generally Have Problems With Roku TVs?

Now and then, people encounter issues when using the Roku TV platform, but not enough to call it a factory or software bug. 

These problems are easy to resolve, so there’s no need to worry about them. 

What Are the Most Common Issues with Roku TVs?

Many of the common issues involving the Roku TV platform may be solved by either restarting, updating the firmware or doing a factory reset. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Restarting the Roku TV 

Restarting your TV is a great first option if something goes wrong. 

To restart the Roku TV:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote and scroll to the Settings. 
  • Under Settings, go to System and select System Restart.
  • Highlight the Restart option and press Ok.
  • Your Roku TV will then restart its system.

Should your Roku TV freeze and the remote becomes unresponsive, you can still do a restart. 

  • To restart, press the Home button five times.
  • Then press the Up arrow once, then the Rewind button twice, and the Fast Forward button twice.
  • Your Roku TV will then restart after a few seconds.

Updating the Roku Firmware

Should restarting the system not resolve the issue, you may need a firmware update. It’s always a good idea to check for firmware updates, which are designed to improve reliability and any app issues. 

To check for updates:

  • Press the Home button on the Roku remote and scroll to the Settings menu.
  • Go to System and select System Update. Here you will find the firmware version and build, as well as the date and time it was last updated.
  • Go to Check Now to see if there are any updates.
  • Should there be any updates, the TV will then download and install it.
  • The process will be completed after rebooting.

How to Factory Reset a Roku TV

Should restarting or updating the firmware not fix the issue on your TV, consider doing a factory reset. 

Factory reset puts your Roku TV back to its original state, as if it were brand new. Be aware that your apps will be removed, but they will be in your profile, so you can download them again. 

A factory reset should be the last resort to resolve any issue, given the trouble of restoring all your apps and settings.

To do a Factory reset:

  • Press the Home button and go to Settings.
  • Go to the System option and look for Advanced System Settings.
  • Under this option, go to Factory Reset and select Factory Reset Everything.
  • You will be given on-screen instructions to follow.

Note that this option is only for responsive TVs. Should the TV be unresponsive and you need to do a Factory Reset, Roku TVs have a Reset button that you may use. Consult the manual of your TV for the exact location. 

Roku TV Remote Control Issues 

You may encounter some connectivity issues with the remote control of your Roku TV. 

There are two kinds of remote controls for Roku TVs: an Infrared remote and a Bluetooth remote control. Before proceeding to any remote control troubleshooting, you need to know which one are you using. 

  • You can check by opening the battery cover of your remote control. Here, you will find a small button meant for pairing.
  • Should you have this button, your remote control is Bluetooth-enabled. 
  • If the button is not there, then the remote control is an Infrared remote. 

You may also use the Roku Remote app, should you not have the remote available. The app may be found on Apple App Store or Google Play Store and will turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control. 

Infrared Remotes
For Infrared remote controls, unresponsiveness is usually attributed to the remote not being in the receiver’s line of sight.

  • If something is blocking the receiver’s path, then it won’t be able to receive any commands. 
  • Roku TVs that use Infrared remotes work better when not stored in consoles or cabinets, which can block the remote’s signal.
  • Another thing that can contribute to an unresponsive Infrared remote is weak batteries. Make sure there’s enough power and replace any weak batteries. Infrared remotes work very much like flashlights. The stronger the battery, the better the signal.

Bluetooth Remotes
For Bluetooth remote controls, obstructions are not an issue.

  • The most basic troubleshooting here is to replace any dead batteries in the remote control.
  • You may also restart the TV and remote control by unplugging the TV and removing the power cable and batteries of the TV and remote.
  • Wait for a minute, then plug the TV and insert the battery.
  • Check if it solves the problem. You may have to re-pair the remote with the TV.

To connect the Bluetooth remote:

  • Restart both TV and remote as explained above, and wait for the TV to finish booting up. Note that you should not insert the battery yet.
  • Once the TV boots up, insert the battery and press and hold the pairing button for three seconds, or until the pairing light flashes on the remote.
  • Wait for 30 seconds as the TV reestablishes the connection with the remote control. A pairing dialog box will then appear on the TV. Follow the commands.

Roku Streaming Stick
For those using the Roku Streaming Stick, interference may happen when the device is too close to the TV.

  • You can solve this by getting an HDMI extension cable. 
  • Roku also gives away these cables for free, which you can get through this page.
  • Interference may also happen when the 2.4GHz bandwidth is congested in your home network. This frequency is used for the remote control to pair with the TV. You can resolve this by using a different wireless channel for your router or set your Roku TV to use the 5GHz network, if available.

Wi-Fi Issues with the Roku TV 

Audio and video degradation issues, sluggish performance of the Roku system, or a “Not connected” pop-up on the upper right corner are attributed to Wi-Fi issues.

To check the status of your Wi-Fi:

  • Go to Settings, then select Network.
  • Here, you will see if the Wi-Fi signal is Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.
  • If the signal is Fair or Poor, you need to resolve it for better performance. You may not be able to move the TV, but if your TV has an Ethernet port, you can try using it to check if Wi-Fi is the culprit for the sluggish performance.
  • Should you encounter a Roku error code 009, it means that your TV cannot connect to the Internet. You may want to check the network settings of the TV and try reconnecting.

Should you notice that other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi, like your phone or laptop, connect to the Internet fine, you should consider restarting your router and TV. 

If the router has an external antenna, you may try adjusting it. You may also want to upgrade routers if other devices also have the same problem connecting to Wi-Fi. 

Walls may also hinder connectivity with your TV. You may try moving the router closer to your TV. 

Audio Issues on the Roku TV 

Sound issues are one of the easiest issues to resolve on a Roku TV. 

Should you encounter any problems:

  • Check if all cables are plugged in properly and in good condition, and devices are turned on. 
  • Check as well if the mute function is on. Turn it off if active.
  • Adjust the volume level and check if the sound is back to normal.
  • If you are using an Audio-Video receiver, open the Audio settings on the TV and set Audio output from HDMI and S/PDIF to Dolby D (or Dolby Digital).
  • If connected via HDMI, open the audio settings and set the audio mode to Stereo, and HDMI to PCM-Stereo.

In some cases, audio can be selective. This issue is attributed to audio formats that your TV may not support. Should this be the case, you may follow the same procedure for HDMI-connected devices.

If you have a surround sound setup but only get stereo, go to the Audio Settings and select the audio output setting from Auto Detect to the appropriate setting to match your sound setup. 

If you encounter Distorted Sounds, you can try fixing it by pressing the star or asterisk button and going to Volume Mode, then pressing Off.

Audio and Video are not synchronized 

In some cases, audio and video may not be playing in sync. 

  • You can try fixing this by exiting the video and restarting your TV.
  • If this doesn’t work, try pressing the Home button and go to Settings.
  • Go to System and open Advanced System Settings.
  • Under this option, go to Advanced Display Settings, then disable Auto-adjust Display Refresh Rate.
  • While this issue may fix synchronization issues, you may encounter some video problems. Should that be the case, return Auto-adjust to Enabled.

How Reliable Are The Cable Ports?

For the most part, Roku TV cable ports are reliable.

They have a snug fit so that you don’t lose signals from your devices. 

That said, you should also properly care for these ports. Don’t pull the cables forcefully. Gently unplug it by holding and pulling the plug with care. 

How Many Years Should I Expect It To Last?

The lifespan of Roku TVs usually ranges up to seven years under heavy usage. 

But with the proper care, you can get more mileage. That means not using the TV round the clock and not cranking up the brightness, which can speed up the degradation of backlights. 

How Long Is the Warranty On These? 

The warranty of Roku TVs depends on which brand you get. 

For most of the TVs that offer Roku, the warranty is 12 months. Some brands offer extended warranties for an added cost. 

What’s the First Thing that Breaks in a TV? 

The backlights are usually the first thing that breaks in a TV, regardless of brand. 

As backlights are responsible for providing brightness on the screen, they are constantly in use, and the higher you set the brightness, the more stress they are put under.

That is why you should not set the brightness too high. You only need to set it to a level that is enough to remove any reflections or glare. 

Are Roku Sticks Better than Roku TVs? 

Roku sticks and Roku TVs have their strengths and weaknesses. 

  • Roku sticks are more affordable but need you to have a TV to plug it into.
  • Roku TVs, meanwhile, are all-in-one devices but cost more.
  • Given the price, Roku sticks have an advantage as they are easier to replace.
  • But Roku TVs, such as those made by Philips and TCL, also have an edge, considering that they offer the whole nine yards, making them complete and convenient. 

Deciding which one is better is a matter of preference. 

Final Thoughts

The nice thing about Roku TVs is that there is no exclusivity over the platform. 

You get options when choosing a brand, and there’s a Roku for every budget and room size. 

 

Sources:

The most common Roku problems and how to fix them

The Best Roku TVs (and Why It’s Worth Buying One)

 

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