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HomeTV HacksCan You Use Roku on a Non-Smart TV?

Can You Use Roku on a Non-Smart TV?

If you’re not familiar with Roku, it’s a streaming device that allows you to watch your favorite shows and movies on demand. It’s similar to other devices like Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Google Chromecast.

One of the great things about Roku is that it’s affordable and easy to use. But what if you don’t have a smart TV? Can you still use Roku?

Here’s everything you need to know about using Roku on a non-smart TV…

Can You Use Roku On a Non-Smart TV?

Yes, Roku is compatible with non-smart TVs. Roku devices can connect to any TV with an HDMI port, regardless of whether it is a smart TV or not, as they use HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) to transmit audio and video. Even older CRT TVs with analog A/V connections can be converted into smart Roku TVs by getting the right HDMI to AV adapter.

Additionally, Roku Sticks and other similar media players were developed to turn your HDTV into a smart TV, so you can use it on your non-smart TV.

Connecting Roku to a non-smart TV is easy and can be done with an HDMI cable and an HDMI port on the television. Once you have the necessary equipment, you can start streaming your favorite shows and movies in no time.

Although some non-smart TVs don’t have an HDMI connection, there are other options available. For example, you could upgrade your TV to something with an HDMI connection, or you could use the Roku streaming stick, which allows you to stream to multiple screens at once.

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Overall, it is possible to watch Roku on a non-smart TV and enjoy all the benefits of the service. With an HDMI connection and the right equipment, you can begin streaming content in no time.

What To Consider When Buying a Streaming Device For Your Non-Smart TV

1. Inputs and outputs

When buying a streaming device for your non-smart TV, you should consider the following inputs and outputs: HDMI, USB, AV, component video, optical audio, and Ethernet. You should also make sure that the device is compatible with the type of TV you have (e.g. LCD, OLED, etc.).

2. Supported streaming services

The Roku streaming stick and other streaming devices like the Roku Express and Roku Streaming Stick+ support streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Pandora, Vudu,, NHL GameCenter Live, CBS All Access, and Showtime Anytime.

3. Streaming apps and channels

For non-smart TVs, streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, or Google Chromecast can be used to access a variety of apps and channels. Some of the most popular streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Prime Video, Peacock TV, HBO Max, The Roku Channel, Spectrum TV, YouTube, and Pandora. Additionally, users can access specialized channels such as, NHL GameCenter Live, and CBS All Access.

Different Roku streaming devices for non-smart tvs
There are different Roku streaming devices for non-smart TVs

4. Power source and power cord

When selecting a power source and power cord for a streaming device for a non-smart TV, two main considerations should be made: the power source and the type of connection.

When it comes to the power source, it is important to ensure the streaming device is getting the proper and consistent power it needs. Wall outlets are preferable when it comes to providing consistent power to the streaming device, so it is best to use an AC adapter. This is especially important for Roku players and Streaming Sticks, as they may lose power if connected to a USB port on the TV when the TV is in standby mode. The AC adapter should be included with your streaming device and should be used if possible.

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The type of connection is also important. If your TV doesn’t have HDMI or composite connections, it may have component ports. If this is the case, you won’t be able to plug your streaming device directly into your TV’s component ports. However, you can bridge the connection by using an HDMI-to-component converter. This converter will provide the bridge between the HDMI socket on the converter box and the component cables connected to the appropriately colored ports on your TV. Make sure to also connect the USB cable (or the DC power adaptor for the Ultra) to a power source, like an AC adaptor, for the streaming device to work properly.

5. Size and shape

When buying a streaming device for a non-smart TV, size, and shape considerations should be taken into account. HDMI ports are usually located at the back of the television and have a larger shape than the standard USB port. This means that the streaming device should be large enough to accommodate the size of the HDMI port.

Additionally, some streaming devices use other forms of storage, such as cookies, which can have a longer duration of up to 15 days. This should be taken into account when making a purchasing decision. Thus, when choosing a streaming device, it is important to compare and contrast the size and shape, as well as the types of storage used.

6. Resolution and refresh rate

When using a streaming device for non-smart TVs, resolution and refresh rate are two important considerations. 1080p or Full High Definition (FHD) is the most commonly used resolution, providing 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) is an even higher quality resolution, providing 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and offering four times the video quality of FHD. 8K or Full UHD (FUHD) is the highest level of video quality and offers 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, four times the resolution of 4K.

Refresh rate is a measure of how often the image on the screen is updated per second. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the viewing experience will be. A device such as the Roku Ultra offers 4K HDR with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, ensuring a crisp and smooth viewing experience.

7. LEDs and backlighting

When it comes to streaming devices, there are several different types of LEDs and backlighting available. A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is the most common type of technology used to power smart TVs. LCD technology features millions of pixels that turn on and off dozens of times per second, which helps to create a bright image.

Light-emitting diode (LED) is the light that is emitted by LCD TVs, and the more LED lights a TV has, the brighter it can be. Mini-LED is a new LCD backlight approach that shrinks the size of LED lights, allowing for a thinner TV panel and greater brightness and contrast. Organic LED (OLED) displays emit their own LEDs, so a TV does not require an LED backlight as its source of light.

Quantum Dot LED (QLED) uses an LCD screen with a quantum dot film layer, which is lit with LEDs to create more accurate primary colors. This results in a more realistic and vibrant image.

8. Wi-Fi and network connectivity

When buying a streaming device for your non-smart TV, you should consider both Wi-Fi and network connectivity. Wi-Fi offers convenience for most people, as it allows for a wireless connection without the need for additional cables. However, using an Ethernet cable will provide a direct, faster, and more reliable connection. In addition, some streaming sticks may require an Ethernet adapter for a wired connection.

If you opt for wireless, you need to select a network and enter its WPA key or network password. Wired connections, on the other hand, do not require this step.

9. HDMI connectivity

HDMI connectivity is an important factor when buying a streaming device for a non-smart TV. HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface, and it is a digital connection designed to transmit audio and/or video signals from one device to another. It is used to connect many types of digital devices, from laptops and smartphones to digital TVs and game consoles.

Having an HDMI connection on your TV is important for streaming, as it allows the connection of devices such as the Chromecast, Roku streaming stick, Amazon Fire TV stick, Nvidia Shield TV, Apple TV, and more.

In some cases, having an HDMI connection may not be enough. You may need other connection ports like Component Video Audio connections, depending on the type of TV you own.

Additionally, if you want to stream in a 4K HDR, your TV’s HDMI 2.0 connector must support HDCP 2.2. Every single device in your chain must support HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 in order to stream in 4K HDR.

10. Remote control

When selecting a streaming device with a remote control, there are several considerations to keep in mind. The type of remote control is key, as it can make a huge difference in the user experience. There are three main types of remote controls available: the Simple Remote, the Voice Remote, and the Enhanced Voice Remote.

The Simple Remote is the basic remote that offers streaming channel shortcuts to premium channels, while the Voice Remote adds voice search and command capabilities as well as TV power and volume buttons. The Enhanced Voice Remote is the most advanced option, featuring customizable shortcut buttons, voice controls, and TV controls.

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The other factor to consider is the type of streaming device. Roku offers four main devices: the Roku Express, the Roku Streaming Stick, the Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Roku Ultra. The Express is the most basic, while the Ultra is the most powerful and capable with 4K HDR and Dolby Vision streaming, and Dolby Atmos for compatible sound systems.

Finally, make sure you have all the required items for setting up the device, including batteries, an HDMI cable, and an AC charger. Once everything is in place, you should be able to pair the remote to the device and start streaming.

11. Physical inputs and outputs

The physical inputs and outputs of a streaming device for a non-smart TV are dependent on what type of streaming device you are using. Generally speaking, the inputs can include HDMI, composite, component, and coaxial cables and the outputs typically include the same.

HDMI inputs and outputs are the most common and reliable type of connection, and they provide the highest quality video and audio. Composite, component and coaxial cables are all analog connections, which means that the quality of the video and audio will be lower than with an HDMI connection.

Overall, the input and output connections for a streaming device for a non-smart TV will depend on the specific device you are using. For example, some devices may have additional connections such as USB, optical, or ethernet. It is important to research the device you are using to determine the exact inputs and outputs.

12. Safety features

When shopping for a streaming device for a non-smart TV, it is important to ensure the device is secure and comes with a range of safety features. Look for devices with built-in security protocols, such as encryption, authentication, and authorization, that can help protect your data.

Additionally, look for devices that have a privacy mode where the data that it collects is not shared with third parties. Consider devices that have a cookie duration of at least 14 days for added privacy and security.

Finally, look for devices that come with user-friendly features, such as the ability to easily reset or change passwords, as well as helpful guides on how to arrange furniture in a small space and make paint colors.

13. Picture quality

When buying a streaming device for your non-smart TV, you need to consider the screen resolution. Smart TVs typically support up to 4K, which is the highest resolution available for streaming content.

Additionally, there are three levels of screen resolution available: 1080p or Full HD (FHD), 4K or Ultra HD (UHD), and 8K or Full Ultra HD (FUHD).

For even better picture quality, there are several technologies available for smart TVs, such as Liquid-crystal display (LCD), Light-emitting diode (LED), Mini-LED, Organic LED, and Quantum Dot LED (QLED). LCD TVs use a backlight to create a bright image, while LED TVs have more LED lights to create a brighter display. Mini-LED and OLED displays offer greater brightness and contrast, while QLED TVs deliver more accurate primary colors and a more realistic and vibrant image.

14. Audio quality

When buying a streaming device for a non-smart TV, there are several audio quality considerations to take into account. The Roku Streambar Pro is our top pick for a soundbar thanks to its performance in the audio space. It provides a full range of sound, thanks to its four 2.5-inch full-range drivers, and can mimic directional audio without extra home theater speakers.

The Roku Ultra is our pick for a streaming device given its performance and capability. It offers 4K HDR and Cinematic Dolby Vision streaming, along with Dolby Atmos for any compatible sound system.

In terms of private listening, both the Streambar Pro and the Ultra’s Voice Remote offer wired headphones for a private listening experience.

Lastly, the Roku mobile app allows users to listen to their Roku’s audio through headphones with private listening activated, where no sound will be heard from the TV speakers. Thus, when choosing a streaming device for a non-smart TV, these are some of the audio quality considerations to take into account.

15. Interface and navigation

When considering the interface and navigation for a streaming device for a non-smart TV, it is important to consider the features offered by the device and how they compare to more expensive 4K streaming devices. All Roku devices run Roku OS, which provides a simple navigation system and access to thousands of streaming services. However, higher-end 4K streaming devices offer features like Dolby Vision and more advanced smart home integration.

For ease of control, all Roku devices come with a remote and are compatible with the mobile app. In addition, all Roku devices feature smart home integration, allowing users to use Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s HomeKit for home automation. This makes it easier for users to control their streaming devices from their phones or voice assistants.

Overall, the interface and navigation for a streaming device vary depending on the device’s price and features. Lower-end streaming devices typically offer a basic navigation system and access to streaming services, while more expensive 4K streaming devices offer advanced features like Dolby Vision and integrated smart home support.

16. Ethernet and Wi-Fi

When choosing between an Ethernet or Wi-Fi streaming device for a non-smart TV, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, an Ethernet connection offers a faster and more reliable connection as it provides a direct connection to the router. Secondly, a wireless connection requires a WPA key or network password to be input, while a wired connection doesn’t.

Lastly, a streaming device such as Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, or Roku needs to be connected to the TV’s HDMI port in order to receive and send information. Ultimately, it depends on your own personal preference and whether you have access to a wired connection or not.

17. Customer service

When evaluating customer service for a streaming device for your non-smart TV, it is important to consider the data usage and privacy policies, as well as the range of available customer service methods. It is important to review the terms and conditions of a streaming device so you can understand how the company will use your personal data.

Additionally, it is important to understand what customer service methods are available, including phone, email, social media, live chat, and more. It is also important to find out if there are any subscription fees for customer service, as well as other fees associated with the streaming device.

Lastly, you should consider vendor preferences and marketing permissions to ensure that you are comfortable with the level of customer service you will be receiving.

What Is The Best Roku Device For a Non-Smart TV?

When it comes to connecting a Roku device to a non-smart TV, the best option available right now is the Roku Streaming Stick Plus. It works with HD and 4K HDR TVs and comes with features like voice search, TV power and volume control, and dual-band WiFi compatibility. Additionally, it can be used with any TV model regardless of its age.

For TVs without an HDMI port, a composite-to-HDMI converter can be used to connect the Roku streaming device. If you have an Android phone, you must also enable Unknown Sources in the phone’s settings before purchasing a Roku device.

Roku device to a non-smart TV

A Roku TV Box is another option for watching Roku on a non-smart TV. This is a set-top box that plugs into your TV and provides the same Roku streaming experience. However, it is important to note that it only works with TVs that have an HDMI port.

How Do I Set Up a Roku On a Non-Smart TV?

Setting up a Roku on a non-smart TV can be a great way to access a variety of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and others. In order to set up your Roku device on a non-smart TV, you will need to have an HDMI cable.

Here are the steps to get started with setting up your Roku on a non-smart TV:

  1. Plug the Roku streaming stick into the HDMI port of your non-smart TV. You can also use a Roku-enabled TV or Roku TV box if you don’t have an HDMI cable.
  2. Once your Roku is connected to your TV, you will need to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network.
  3. After the device is connected to your home Wi-Fi, the Roku will automatically download the latest software.
  4. If you don’t have a Roku account yet, create one to activate the device.
  5. Once your device is activated, open the Roku App Store and download the apps of your choice.
  6. Now, you can enjoy your favorite streaming services on your non-smart TV!

These steps should help you get started with setting up your Roku on a non-smart TV. Enjoy your favorite streaming services without having to upgrade your TV!

How To Stream Using Roku On a Non-Smart TV

Watching your favorite shows and movies on a non-smart TV can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of a Roku streaming device, you can easily transform your traditional TV into a smart TV. Here’s how to stream using Roku on your non-smart TV.

First, you’ll need to purchase a Roku streaming device. There are a few options available to you, including Roku Streaming Sticks, Roku-enabled TVs, or a Roku TV Box. Each of these devices can be connected to your non-smart TV via an HDMI port. Once you’ve connected the device, you’ll be able to access the Roku App Store and stream your favorite content.

Once the device is connected, you’ll need to activate it. To do this, you’ll need to log in to your Roku account at and enter a unique activation code. Once you’ve activated your device, you’ll be able to access the Roku App Store and stream content from your favorite streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Go.

Once you’re up and running, you’ll be able to use the Roku app for iOS and Android devices to control your Roku device. This app will give you access to all the same features and content that you would get on a smart TV. You’ll also be able to stream content to multiple screens at once with the help of a Roku Streaming Stick.

Using Roku on your non-smart TV is easy and convenient. With the help of this streaming device, you’ll be able to access all your favorite content and services on your traditional TV. All you need is an HDMI port and an internet connection, and you’re ready to start streaming.


What Types Of Inputs Can I Use To Connect Roku To a Non-Smart TV?

You can connect Roku to your non-smart TV by using an HDMI port and an HDMI cable. If your TV does not have an HDMI port, you can still connect your Roku device with a composite video cable or a composite-to-HDMI converter. Additionally, some Roku models can be connected to a non-smart TV using a round connection.

What If My Television Doesn’t Have An HDMI Port?

If your television does not have an HDMI port, then you will need to find an alternative way to connect your Roku to your TV. Fortunately, there are a few options available.

If your old TV has a Component Video Audio connection, you can use an HDMI to Composite Video Audio Converter Adapter. This will enable you to connect your streaming device to your non-smart TV. You can find the latest price of this adapter on Amazon.

On the other hand, if your old TV has only a SCART connection, then you will need an HDMI-to-SCART adapter. Be sure to get the HDMI-to-SCART adapter, and not the SCART-to-HDMI adapter. You can find a variety of adapters on AliExpress.

Once you figure out the available connection ports on your TV and how to transform the signal into HDMI, the rest is easy. You can use streaming from a smartphone, streaming from streaming devices like Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire stick, etc.

If your TV has an HDMI port, then you can simply plug the HDMI cable into the TV. Some TVs have multiple HDMI ports, so remember which port you plugged it into. Once the cable is connected, you will need to choose the input when setting up your TV.

If your TV does not have an HDMI port, you can still connect your Roku to it by using a converter to downscale the feed and make it viewable on analog 480i or 576i CRT TV sets from various formats and regions (PAL, NTSC, and SECAM).

What Is The Difference Between a Roku Player And a Roku Stick?

The main difference between a Roku player and a Roku stick is that a Roku player is a streaming media device that connects to a TV or HDTV, whereas a Roku stick is a small device that plugs into an HDMI port on the back of the TV.

The Roku player is typically used to access content from networks like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video, whereas the Roku Stick uses the Roku mobile app for operation.

The Roku Stick is also portable and needs to be connected to the internet for streaming, whereas the Roku player does not need to be moved around and can be used with any smart or non-smart TV. Additionally, the Roku Stick does not come with a remote control, while some Roku players do.

How Do I Connect My Roku To a Wireless Connection?

To connect your Roku device to a wireless connection, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Connect your Roku device to your TV using an HDMI cable.
  2. If your Roku device has an Ethernet port, connect it to your router.
  3. Turn on your TV and select the correct input.
  4. Use the remote and follow the on-screen instructions to connect to any available Wi-Fi. Make sure you have the Wi-Fi network’s password before you proceed.
  5. Select the internet to which you want to connect your Roku.
  6. Enter your password and user name.
  7. If your Roku has any pending updates, it will proceed to do so automatically.
  8. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen to pair the Roku remote with your TV.
  9. Set up your internet connection. Roku offers two options – Wireless and Wired. Select the one you want and follow the instructions.
  10. Detect the display of your TV using your remote.
  11. Log into your Roku account. If you don’t have one, create an account via the Roku website or smartphone app.
  12. Once you log in to your Roku account, you can stream your favorite content.

How Do I Update My Roku On a Non-Smart TV?

Updating your Roku on a non-smart TV can seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple when done step-by-step. The first step is to connect your Roku device to your non-smart TV using an HDMI cable. Once your Roku device is connected, you need to make sure that you have the latest version of the Roku software installed. This can be done by going to the Home page, selecting Settings > System > System Update > Check Now.

Once the system update has been completed, you will be able to access all of the latest features available on Roku.

Finally, you can go to the Roku Channel Store to browse through the various streaming options available. With these simple steps, you can easily update your Roku on a non-smart TV.


It is possible to use Roku on a non-smart TV with the use of an HDMI cable and an HDMI port. This makes it possible to stream content from various TV networks, original channels, streaming services, and entertainment apps. It is also possible to connect your non-smart TV with a Roku device using the Roku app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. This allows you to control your Roku device and access all of its features on your non-smart TV.

Chinedu Ochemba
Chinedu Ochemba
"Chinedu Ochemba is a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist (B.MLS). Currently, He is a Certified SEO Manager and a Content writer/developer. He enjoys reading, writing, traveling, general health, and learning new things."

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