So everyone knows I love my Roku. It’s a great little box that just keeps on giving, but recently I bought an internet ready “Smart” television, and was faced with the choice of keeping my Roku and 2 remotes or taking my Roku to another television in the house, and sticking with the Smart television apps.

I went with the television, but in comparison to the Roku, my Vizio Smart TV can’t hold a candle to what the Roku has to offer. Vizio uses the Yahoo app store. Yahoo, as you might imagine, doesn’t have the largest list of channels or apps for the television. As a matter of fact it’s very limited. So let’s break it down.

Roku 3

The Roku has 1000s of channels. It gives you access to all the top basics like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, and it gives you access to many other channels that I would consider essential. For instance PBS has an app that you can watch recent shows. It’s the Public Broadcasting System, so I call it essential. I think at least a couple streaming channels, like world news channels, are also essential.

Roku of course goes far beyond the essentials and lets you look up just about every channel that is out there floating in cyberspace. I get my local news webcasts on Roku, which I really enjoy. I also get weather apps and free movie channels that sometimes hit the mark with film festival films, and other special interest channels. Some people would really love some of the outdoor channels and things like that. I’m not crazy about them, but they are fun to look through.

Some of the fun of a Roku is looking at the options. I’ve spent hours going through the channel store on my Roku 3.

Vizio Smart TV

The Yahoo app store is very limited. You do get the basics like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and YouTube, but that is about it. The rest are honestly pretty bland apps. The weather apps leave a lot to be desired. They do have M-Go, and then some music channels like Pandora, Iheartradio, and Spotify. You get some apps from other countries, but it is very very limited. They offer some local station feeds, but unfortunately my city, and no large city even in my state are options. If you want news you’ll have to go with Yahoo news feed, and there are no streaming options to speak of.

The only positive is that you don’t have to switch to your input channel to watch your apps. It’s just one button, and some apps have a very nice popup display that lets you watch TV and review the app at the same time. The biggest benefit is of course, one remote, one button, and easy access.

Overall

If you are looking to get the best viewing experience, go with a Roku. Vizio apps simply cannot compete with the Roku. If you want the convenience of only 1 remote, you might end up like me wishing you had more options, but happy to use the basics to avoid the constant remote switching.

***If you are thinking of buying a Vizio Smart TV, I highly recommend it. Even thought the apps don’t compare well to Roku, the TV is excellent,

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