Roku TV vs Amazon Fire Stick

Published December 11, 2019

Let me start this by saying I prefer the Amazon Fire Stick over the Roku streaming device. I also prefer the Amazon fire stick over the 55” Roku Smart TV my hubby bought for himself for his birthday. Don’t get me wrong, the TCL Roku TV (Amazon affiliate link) is an impressive piece of technology, although too large for my liking.

Roku TV

What I do like about the TV is that it’s lightweight. The wall bracket (Amazon affiliate link) was at least 10 times heavier than the TV.

To make grandpa's birthday gift complete, I purchased the Bose Solo 5 (Amazon affiliate link) soundbar and affixed it to the wall so he could have full-bodied sound to accompany the extremely large screen. Grandpa can now watch his games and have a near stadium experience while sitting in his comfy chair.

Here’s What I Don’t Like about Roku TV

Unfriendly Roku TV

It’s not very friendly. It appears the Roku TV doesn’t like to play with other devices. It seems to only like its own Roku soundbar. I attempted to connect the Bose soundbar to the TV via Bluetooth and it wouldn’t accept it.

Since it wouldn’t pair, I had to connect via hardwire. I used the optical cable to connect the soundbar to the TV.

After connecting the soundbar, I was disappointed that it didn’t give the full Bose sound. For a Bose speaker of that size, I expected a robust room-filling sound of beautiful highs and lows that Bose speakers are known for. Instead, the sound was rather flat. So much so that I continually attempted to adjust the bass to add more body to the sound, to no avail.

I also wasn’t crazy about the picture. When we first turned on the TV we were amazed at the size of the thing. After adjusting the settings to share as little personal information as possible, I started looking at it for what it was...a big TV. As such, I expected a certain vibrant real-life picture quality. Instead, I kept feeling like the display needed tweaking to make it more vibrant. Don’t get me wrong, the picture was acceptable, but it just wasn’t as sharp nor as vibrant as I was used to.

Correcting the Roku TV Sound and Display

Imagine my surprise when I found a simple solution to the Bluetooth pairing and the just ok picture display. All I had to do was access the Amazon Firestick via one of the TV’s HDMI ports. The Amazon Fire Stick gave me the option to connect the speakers via Bluetooth. I was pleased to finally hear the full sound range capacity of the Bose speaker.

Amazon Fire Stick Pairing Bluetooth Devices

The Amazon Fire Stick also fixed the less than stellar picture. The TV screen is now sharp, clear and vibrant.

After connecting to Hulu through the fire stick, I only asked one question, “Why didn’t we get an Amazon Fire TV instead?”

Streaming Devices on Smaller TVs

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I had the exact same experience on one of our smaller TVs. The 32-inch Samsung is equipped with both the Roku and Amazon streaming devices. While watching TV through the Roku, the picture quality was good, but not great. Also, the Roku didn’t allow me to connect speakers via Bluetooth.

Bose Sound

When I switched streaming devices and watched TV using the Amazon Fire Stick it was a different experience. The picture was clear and vibrant, and I was able to enjoy full sound through the Bluetooth speaker (a smaller Bose - affiliate link).

Another TV Purchase

When I watch a movie, I want a great picture and good sound. I want to feel like I’m a part of the movie. For me, the Amazon Firestick (when working properly), gives me a better movie experience than the Roku. Having said that, my husband is happy with his purchase, so my critique doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. However, if I were to buy another TV (which I’m not), it wouldn’t be a Roku TV.

This is just one grandma’s opinion.

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 24 June 2023


  • Rita Montague December 11, 2019, 1:32 pm

    Thank you for that review. I wasn’t looking to get a Roku TV, but now I am not for sure. Interesting about how the Fire Stick allowed Bose to connect and to get a better pic. Wow! Love my Fire Stick!

    • Felicia December 11, 2019, 5:02 pm

      I’m appreciating my Fire Stick more and more each day! 🙂

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