I’m Clearly Out of Touch – Roku Plus Series TV Review

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If you already have a Roku account, should you skip the middle man and buy a Roku TV? The Plus Series QLEDs might have just found the right price bracket if you're looking for an upgrade.

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MUSIC CREDIT
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Intro: Laszlo – Supernova
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Outro: Approaching Nirvana – Sugar High
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Intro animation by MBarek Abdelwassaa
Monitor And Keyboard by vadimmihalkevich / CC BY 4.0  
Mechanical RGB Keyboard by BigBrotherECE / CC BY 4.0
Mouse Gamer free Model By Oscar Creativo / CC BY 4.0

CHAPTERS
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0:00 Intro
2:27 Color Accuracy
4:30 Brightness
6:25 Gaming
7:30 UI
8:55 Conclusion
10:39 Outro

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60 Comments

hobobbobho

I got an OLED and Apple TV to replace a 4k TCL with Roku built in and I still sometimes miss some of the features of that thing. Their HD tv antenna integration is amazing and everything was very seamless. My new setup is objectively better in most ways but the Roku tvs are genuinely just all around great for the money.

    WellKnownAlias

    This has been about two years, but as a former Geek Squad home theater install/repair tech… Roku TVs were always nice while they worked, but they had by far the highest failure rate, mainboards, displays, etc vs anything else. At least in the time I was doing it.

    Paul Plante

    I also sometimes miss some of the features. My Roku TV died, and I learned quickly that you do not get access to the Roku channel without a Roku device. Not a huge loss, but occasionally I streamed content from their channels. I’m surprised they do not have an their platform extended to other devices.

    Lonnold Hendrickson

    Are you able to turn the TV on and have it automatically switch over to the Apple TV? I’ve had a Roku tv for a while now and it’s hit or miss on getting it to switch to the proper input when I turn it on.

    a̶r̶l̶i̶a̶n̶

    been using a tcl 55 Roku 4k 60hz tv for gaming / work as my primary monitor and don’t think I can get rid of it soon! for roughly $250 during the beginning of Covid- it’s been a steal and an important piece of my setup for entertainment and work alike. Highly underrated but definitely not produced with gaming in mind.

    Mike Patrona

    Maybe if your Roku tv didn’t drop Wi-Fi non stop I would never recommend Roku anything ever again

RadioactiveLobster

I bought a Roku TV for my parents because it so simple and easy to use (once I set it up) that they can’t really accidentally mess it up, the main screen grid has easy to see big “buttons” and they can talk to the remote.

For older parents it’s a no brainer.

    thecloner

    this so much this use to work in electronics at walmart and i would always suggest roku tvs for older people. simplar remotes are amazing

    Treader

    This could be why they made the decision to call them channels instead of apps too, answering linus’ question about that.

    some kinda apeman

    My mom needs one…. 69 years on this planet (nice) and the Source button is still a mystery to her.

    Saul Goodman

    @Treader It also just makes sense. Because they are just streaming videos.

    Justin Dunn

    @Treader Roku started selling streaming media boxes in 2008 so I think the more likely reason is that at the time, TV channels were a more well known concept then apps were at that point so it made since to call then channels then apps.
    I think at this Roku should just change the name to apps but that could just made it confusing for those used to the existing name convention Roku started.

BPBomber

I was in a similar boat, but I rediscovered Roku’s merits about 4 years ago and I continue to be impressed with its reliability and simplicity.

    ꧁GlorifiedGremlin꧂

    I recently bought a roku and was shocked to see its the same simple easy UI I’d used nearly a decade ago the last time I’d had a roku 😂 If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

    ModelLights

    @꧁GlorifiedGremlin꧂ ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ Amazing how many websites continually break themselves just for the web developers to say they are doing something to justify their paychecks, isn’t it?

    Okachobe

    I just seen Roku was making smart lights and I thought it was them trying to exit the TV market not because they are just looking for some side monies.
    Maybe my next TV will be a Roku

    Jason W.

    Reliability? Search Roku constantly blinks over HDMI. It’s been a problem for YEARS on every Roku device. Fixed? Nope. Not even a thing for them I think.

    Edit: I will give you the simplistic UI though. Very simple.

    intrnl

    @ModelLights if you have complaints about websites getting redesigned every so often, blame management, not its developers 😉

Andrew Robinson

I remember when a floatplane app for Roku was discussed on the WAN show and Linus and Luke immediately dismissed it saying “who even buys those?” I hope this video has changed Linus’ opinion, as so many sub $500 TVs run on Roku OS

    DrabberFrog

    YES! 100% agree

    Commodorefan64

    Tons of the Roku boxes, and sticks are out there as well, that can be picked up for $30 – $50, and the support life is really good on them, as in my game room I have a my main Sceptre 4K 55in, and a 27in Panasonic CRT from the early 00’s for my retro gaming, throwing on a 2nd football game, etc.. but I have a Roku 3900X from a few years back, as it’s the last model to support RCA composite output, and it just got the latest Roku OS12 update a couple weeks ago. Stuff like this is why ROKU is the most widely used smart TV platform, with Google in 2nd place thanks to cheap ONN streaming boxes that do 4K 60Hz HDR for $20. So yeah I really do hope they change their mind on having Floatplane on Roku.

    TheKillerPrawn

    I don’t have roku tvs but I do have 2 of those little roku boxes; one 1080p and the other a 4k version

    boxman91210

    Yes please

Joe Nicholls

I really like my TCL Roku TV. I am not at all a big TV watcher, so it was just a way to get a bigger screen in my apartment living room. The OS has never failed me, the companion app on the phone is solid, and if you pair that thing with a Chromecast, it’s everything I personally need.

    Noah Warren

    Their app is great. You are able to use it for Bluetooth headphones for your living room tv. Which if you live with others is super convenient for noise canceling and not to disturb them.

Nigel Smith

For me, I prefer my TV to be fairly dumb, and with a Roku as a peripheral. But it is cool to see Roku TVs remove some of their bottlenecks.

    Stephen D

    I’m with you on getting a dumb tv. No monitoring of what we’re watching and no ads on the screen. I’ve used a roku to connect to my tv and I love it like that. And, yes, the phone app works well too.

    rig4365

    I have an early smart TV, a Sony, from 2010. All of the streaming channels no longer are supported. Picked up a Roku stick and I love it. I don’t plan to buy another TV until this one dies it’s still going string. Plus I love thst I can cast from my phone or laptop now.

    Nigel Smith

    @rig4365 I actually have a similiar situation with my bedroom TV. It’s a Visio where most of the smart features are no longer supported, but like yours, the Roku makes it work as well as I could want

    Scratch Pad

    I had a Toshiba picture tube TV that would have required a Roku set-top box with the RCA composite plugs. Having been manufactured in 2003, it is the very definition of a dumb TV since it has an NTSC tuner. Such a setup, along with a converter box, would likely be your dream setup. I use a Sansui TV built in 2012 with an ATSC tuner, but it is also a dumb TV, using a Roku streaming puck in a very similar setup to what you likely imagine a smart TV to be.

Draken X

Roku was the gateway drug for me to cut the cable back around 2012 or so when they were pushing heavy on their second-gen box. Still, to this day, I have never looked back to any other streamer OS. The best thing about it is having all your accounts in one place. Search for whatever you want; it will let you choose what platform is available or if you need to pay/rent for it. Also, having the smartphone app is handy if you “lost the remote again” somewhere between the couch cushion.

    Brandon

    Same ive never used any other OS since 2012

Chad Small

Linus, I work for a major sports league (one you Canadians love) and they have a website where we can access the streaming feed that employees can access to view any game. I have a Roku TV and the issue I have run into is that Roku TVs do not have a web browser. I have to connect my laptop directly through an HDMI connection. My coworker can pull up his browser on his Samsung TV and access the feed directly and use his TV remote to watch and control the games. We have access to Home & Away, clean and dirty feeds, and alternate cameras which my coworker can select using his remote. I, on the other hand, have to keep the laptop close by, or get the settings correct then let it sit. I have requested a web browser be made available and was told by Roku to “cast” the game but unfortunately the league website doesn’t work when you try to cast. So while I love the simplicity for my wife and kids, it infuriates me that in 2023 Roku has no browser option.

    Musawer Belfamyja

    talk about this ratio 🤓

    Nintendo Prime

    There are certainly select instances not having access to a web browser sucks – but as someone who ahs used them before to do some things most TV webbrowsers are very clunky, barely work, and have a hard time with streams. Not all, but some. It is a feature I would like to see them add and if they do, I suspect it will be way better than other options.

    But they haven’t. For me, this use case is so rare as to not matter. Plus I have never had an issue casting from my phone with the given apps. Works every time.

    GameFox

    Adding a cheap Chromecast to one of your HDMI ports should solve the casting issue.

    Tractor

    You can airplay to a newer roku

Mithos56

One of the other nice things about Roku is that they have a phone app that acts as a remote control. As long as you’re on the same network, you can do everything from your smartphone, including turning the TVs on and off. If you have a roku account, you can even make shortcuts to “channels” on the phone app as well.

    Bob Smith

    Works great until it doesn’t. The recent update broke it for those using iPhones above the 8. If it’s working for you do not update the app.

    clarkzer0

    Chromecast and Fire TV can both do this as well

    Ben Goacher

    @clarkzer0 And Samsung TVs with Samsung Phones.

    Emir K

    Literally every tv has this

    Brandon

    My remote also acts as a remote, which is really awesome

Stewart Price

I was pretty confused when Linus didn’t get the Roku popularity on WAN show a while back. It’s pretty solid and has been a way better experience than my nvidia shield pro.

    Nintendo Prime

    I think Linus always associated Roku with cheap crappy TV’s. And when you can’t shake that association, it’s easy to look down on them. Even though the Roku Streaming sticks have been around for even longer and have been, for the most part, very excellent and a popular choice among TV enthusiasts to switch to when they buy more expensive TV’s, simply because their interface sucks that bad. That’s why Roku has the higher end streaming options. THey know high end TV’s interface is garbage.

    I too hope, as Linus said at the end, that Roku’s mid tier tvs sell well, Because I really want to seem them become a go to for integrated Smart TV stuff on the high end. I can’t think of a single android alternative offered by any smart tv that’s actually better.

    specki

    Out of curiosity, how is it better thant the shield pro? I have one of these and am quite happy.

    Stewart Price

    @specki It’s great, when it works. Maybe I got a dud unit, but I’ve had so many issues with ethernet just not connecting, apps crashing (and I kinda remember not being able to find/install some apps from the app store), and seemingly random HDCP issues. It could all be my fault somehow but holy crap it’s been frustrating.

Sk0gg1es

The only downside to the Roku Ultra I’ve found is the Dolby Vision profile support, where it only supports Dolby Vision from streaming services. If you’re streaming backups of your own UHD movies, then it will default back to HDR10.

Zaha Wolfe

I’ve never been disappointed with roku. It’s just a pleasure to use and works reliably well. Clearly not the top of premium, but usually the best for budget and value

Ninja Cookie

One of the main reasons I got Roku was because their phone app has private listening and some of the remotes have an audio port to plug into for it as well. It helps a lot when you’re a night owl and live in a house full of people who prefer the morning.

    MickleMackleMor

    As an over night employee this is facts

Lt. Ligma II

I bought one of these for my parents shortly after it’s launch (though it cost $500 at the time, still a fair deal imo).

Overall I’m really happy with it. It’s a TV built for streaming and it does that exceptionally well at a competitive price and decently good image quality. It does lack a few gaming features like VRR and motion smoothing, but for older folks or non-gamers it’s a great buy

Josh Styles

I’ve been really enjoying the TCL 6 series with the Google TV interface.
Not only is it a bright mini LED, but during setup it gives you the option to totally bypass the google OS and use it as a “dumb” TV if that’s what you’d prefer. I feel like features like that aren’t getting enough spotlight for how consumer friendly they are.

    N1NT3NDUD3

    I snagged the 55″ one for 199 at best buy a few months back. Man no competition. Best deal in a while

    mrboojay

    I also have a 6 series, and I love that thing. While mine is a Roku version it also let me skip the sign in process and treat it as a “dumb” TV, which I then put an Apple TV on. (I just enjoy that interface and argue the picture is a tad nicer)

Redalpha

My biggest gripe and the reason I still prefer Android TV boxes is just how walled the list of channels(apps) available is, especially when I’m used to like a third party YouTube client, VLC, as well the ability to use Chromecast is really big for me, something roku just *doesn’t* have.

Kernelpickle

I’ve got a first gen Roku TV from 2016 that’s turned into a chugging mess, but it was pretty great until the software got too advanced and started taking up too much space for it to do much of anything. That’s the only downside, is the lack of hardware life for the Internal unit, and I wish there was an easy way to mod/upgrade them to faster hardware. Best case scenario would be figuring out how to swap out an internal board and insert another device into the signal path, or just make it a dumb TV, even if that means picking a single input and just living with it.

Xandy Field

I’ll be real, in one of the earlier videos with James having Linus blind test smart TV’s based on first impressions. I chose a TCL Roku TV from that video based on its performance and winning status from Linus in that challenge. Since then, after at LEAST 2 years of constant use, it’s held up. The response time is great compared to other “baked in” smart tv software (not including fire TV) and it’s color accuracy isn’t perfect, but for the price it’s WELL above average. Roku is definitely doing something right in my book.

sKaaP

It’s surprising how much of a difference a good user interface makes to the overall TV viewing experience. For some smart TV manufacturers I almost feels like the software engineers who created the “smart” software never actually tried using it themselves apart from checking that stuff mostly works. We recently upgraded our hisense “smart” TV to a newer Samsung QLED and I can with confidence say I will never use a Hisense TV again, not even if they pay me.

Alex W

I hope Linus realizes people put the Roku stick and boxes on high end TVs as well. I worked with geek squad and it was very common to do a Roku box with a high end Samsung TV because well Samsung’s smart TV features really suck, and they get very slow in a short period of time. I myself had Android TV built in to the don’t TV I had and really enjoyed it for a bit, but then it just started running really poorly. Using a keyboard in any app would become a real test of patience. Bought a 4k Roku box and it has run smoothly ever since.

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