Community discussions

Discover Roku questions and answers directly from the community. Find help, troubleshooting tips, how-tos, and make sure you know the latest announcements.
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Why can I not watch all of the offerings on my laptop?

Except for the Roku device acting as a TV stream decoder/translator to TV (NTSC/ATSC) formatted data stream, I see no reason for needing the device at all if you are perfectly happy to watch your content on your laptop like you would do for a Netflix subscription. Seems the masses are being lulled into "SmartTV" when they are in fact dumb tvs that are preloaded with extra software in the firmware in order to do things that a true or "classic" TV does not do. I look far and wide for buying only DUMB Tvs as TVs are a receiver only device. I can add more functionality by adding a device separately and thus maintain far more control over what is happening as well as minimize problems and diagnosis of any issues as well. Am I missing something or is there another point of view that makes sense logically other than "convenience"??

0 Kudos
Roku Guru

Re: Why can I not watch all of the offerings on my laptop?

I also prefer using a dumb TV with one or more devices. including Rokus, attached.  However, back when I was designing consumer electronic equipment, the marketing guys kept telling me that many consumers think connecting things to other things is complicated, so they prefer whatever functionality to be built-in to something they already have to have like a TV.  The marketing surveys I used to have to read for my job just blew my mind sometimes.  For example, back in the 90s, only about 60% of VCR owners said they were aware that their VCR had a Record feature. Smiley Happy

0 Kudos
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Why can I not watch all of the offerings on my laptop?

Well, most people would rather watch something on a screen larger than most laptops. So that's the first reason for using either a Smart TV or a player like a Roku to make any TV "smart". The next reason would be for improved sound quality, as very few laptops have much in the way of speakers. 

As to why it's so hard to find TVs without an underlying OS that supports streaming, it's probably because very few people want a TV without the features anymore. I've never been enamored by any Smart TV OS, other than a Roku TV that offers the same user experience as a Roku player. But the problem with a Smart TV is there's no way to "upgrade" it. You're stuck with the OS it has, regardless of its ability to update itself. You can't add memory or upgrade the CPU. When you use an outboard player like Roku, you don't have to replace a very expensive TV to get an improved streaming experience. 

Virtually every TV in my home has a smart OS. And we don't use that OS on any of them. Every TV in my home has an Nvidia Shield or Roku player connected, and it will always be that way. I haven't seen a TV OS yet that can touch the usability of a Roku, Fire, or one of the Android based players. Again, not counting TVs that use the Roku or Fire OS. 


Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee, just another user.
0 Kudos
Streaming Star

Re: Why can I not watch all of the offerings on my laptop?

I suppose you could install streaming apps on a small PC, connect that to a very large monitor, and have a "TV"/streaming experience  - but building an OS into the TV essentially makes it an TV-specific computer with an easier setup

0 Kudos