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7 Surprising Reasons Why Roku TVs Are So Cheap (2023)

Why Are Roku TVs So Cheap

If you’re thinking of buying a new TV with a tight budget…

Then, there are many brands to choose from.

And you’ve noticed Roku TVs because they’re cheap.

You may be wondering…

What’s with the low price tag?”

Well, let me share my findings with you.

Keep reading to find out:

  • 7 interesting reasons why Roku TVs are so cheap.
  • Why streaming data can lower the price of Roku TVs.
  • How Roku’s operating system makes their TVs inexpensive.
  • Why Roku’s collaboration with TCL and Hisense creates a lower TV price.
  • And lots more…

Why are Roku TVs so cheap? 7 reasons

Roku TVs are so cheap because they teamed up for TV production with other companies. Also, their operating system is offered at a lower price than the competition. Moreover, they share streaming and viewer data for advertising.

#1: Teaming up with TCL and Hisense

Roku released its first generation streaming device in 2008.

This was possible due to a partnership with Netflix. 

And in 2014, they did another collaboration.

But this time with TV manufacturers TCL and Hisense.

Together they released a smart TV with the Roku service already built-in.

Plus, Roku’s interface was used as the ‘‘brain’’ of the TV.

’’But why they’re teaming up with these companies?’’

Well, it creates certain pricing advantages.

Roku’s core business is streaming devices.

So, if they want to make their own TVs, they must start from scratch.

That takes a lot of time and money.

Plus, the TV manufacturers sell more with these partnerships.

More sold TVs mean more resources for production.

And by buying more resources in bulk, they can negotiate a lower price.

Therefore, TV companies can lower the cost of manufacturing.

As a result, the price also becomes cheaper.

#2: Roku’s OS is built cheaper

A TV needs an operating system (OS) to function like a smart TV. 

The same goes for Roku TVs. 

However, there’s a small difference between the OS of Roku and its competitors.

For example, take Android TV or Apple TV. 

Their OS is also designed for smartphones and tablets.

And these devices have different kinds of chips. 

Sometimes much more powerful than a TV. 

Roku can skip this step.

They only design their OS for TVs, and this saves them money.

As a result, they offer it cheaper to TV companies than the competition.

Plus, Roku OS is designed in such a way that it also can run on low-cost TV hardware.

#3: Mother glass is sold bigger

The manufacturing process of TVs gets better every year, resulting in cheaper TVs.

For example, TV screens are cut from a larger piece known as mother glass.

Early In 2004, they were around 114 inches.

Nowadays, they come in 176 inches.

Meaning, TV companies can cut 8 TVs of 65 inches from it.

With smaller mother glasses, this isn’t possible.

Plus, regardless of the size, the time to manufacture them is the same.

Therefore, bigger mother glasses like 176 inches, are more economical.

As a result, the price of the TV gets lower.

Wanna know more about it? Then check out this video:

#4: Trackers collect your viewer data

As I’ve mentioned, Roku TVs use the brand’s interface as the ‘brain.’

Meaning your TV is smart, and you can install all your favorite streaming apps on top of it.

But no lunch is for free…

These streaming apps come with so-called trackers.

They trace and collect your viewing behavior. 

And this valuable data is shared with advertisers and TV manufacturers.

So, Roku can offer cheaper TVs because they’ll earn it back by sharing your routine.

’’How do they pull this off?’’

Well, most people accept default settings on their TV. This allows lots of data collection.

Plus, even if you would like them not to track your viewing behavior… 

It’s difficult to turn it off completely.

You might also like: 9 Ways To Fix A Roku TV That Won’t Connect To WiFi

#5: Roku built-in

When you buy a Roku TV, you already save a few bucks. 

Because otherwise, you had to buy the Roku streaming stick separately.

And that would cost you an extra 44 USD.

Even more, if you buy Apple TV, which sells for around 110 USD.

Also, the built-in Roku supports most of the popular streaming apps.

So, the TV manufacturers don’t need to make the TV smart. 

Therefore, they don’t need to spend time or money on that.

Which lowers the cost of Roku TV production.

You might also want to know: Does Roku Work On Any TV? 5 Surprising Answers 

#6: Early adopter tax

When technology is new and just released, it’s more expensive at the beginning.

This is known as the early adaptor tax.

You’ll get the premium since you’re a timely buyer.

But, this can also mean that demand gets lower.

See, if new technology costs too much, consumers tend to wait to buy it.

Because of this, the demand gets lower.

And when that happens, the price drops as well.

The same principle applies to the TV market.

#7: Watching TV on other devices

Watching TV Not On A TV

According to the LA Times, Americans spend more time watching TV on their phone or tablet than on a TV.

And it makes total sense. 

Your phone or tablet is often close within your reach.

And streaming apps are just a finger tap away. 

This makes it easy to watch content on it.

If this trend continues, it can lower the demand for TVs.

#Bonus: Low-quality speakers

By doing some research, I found out that the built-in TV speakers weren’t the best. 

On many Roku TVs, the built-in speakers were often negative.

For example, on the Roku TV – TCL 4 Series, the sound was harsh and baseless. 

And on the 8K Roku TV – TCL 6 Series, it came across as mediocre.

So, you can say that they saved some money by not spending too much on quality speakers.

But this problem is easy to solve by adding a soundbar to your TV.

It doesn’t need to cost that much, 

For example, the Majority Bowfell can do the job. 

This soundbar is under 40 bucks, comes with BlueTooth, and has powerful 50-watt speakers.

It produces a clear sound and is perfect for watching a movie or playing a video game.

And if you’re ready to spend more money on it, the Vizio 2.0 would be an excellent choice.

It comes for under 110 USD and also with BlueTooth. 

This soundbar produces a rich sound and is ideal for watching a movie or listening to music.