Roku players come in all different shapes and sizes, from the compact size of the Roku Streaming Stick+ to the Roku Premiere and Ultra. But recently, Roku has partnered with TV manufacturers such as Sanyo, Sharp, Hisense and TCL.
I’ve been testing out the Sanyo 40” 1080p Roku TV (FW40R48FC) for a few weeks and while it’s a reasonably priced TV set, it does comes with some downsides.
Design & Hardware
The Sanyo Roku TV I tested had a 40-inch 1080p display. The screen looked good but not the greatest at all angles. Like other TVs, it can be wall mounted using the included wall mount plate. The screen has a 120Hz refresh rate to help provide a better picture.
If you prefer not to mount it, there are legs that come inside the TV’s box but be forwarned that attaching them can possibly damage them because they’re just made of plastic. The TV is LED backlit and it has 802.11ac MIMI Wi-Fi, 2 HDMI ports, antenna input, 1 Composite Video input, USB port, Digital Optical Audio output and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The speakers on the TV aren’t the greatest, they sound okay but you’ll want to connect some speakers or a soundbar to the TV. I tested the TV using the Anker Soundcore Infini soundbar which made video coming from the TV sound much better.
You also get Roku’s remote which is like other ones and has some shortcuts for Netflix, Deezer, Dazn and Crackle but there is no 3.5 audio jack for private listening. The remote includes some buttons that are exclusive to Roku TVs such as the sleep timer button that will automatically turn off the TV after a certain time limit.
The Sanyo 40” 1080p Roku TV is available now exclusively at Walmart for $349 CAD. Sanyo also offers a 32-inch (of which is 720p), 43-inch and 50-inch Roku TVs.
The Sanyo Roku TV is running Roku OS 8.1, which is the company’s latest. It not only brings bug fixes and improvements but also the ability to find and watch content using your voice.
While the Sanyo Roku TV doesn’t include a voice remote, you can use voice controls using the Roku app for Android and iOS. In addition, users will be able to connect up to four devices to privately listen on your Roku TV.
Navigating through Roku OS is fairly quick, there’s a slight delay when streaming content to the device, especially while using Plex. I found that it would buffer a lot, that could also be because it was a larger 1080p file being streamed or my internet.
The homescreen for Roku OS is just a simple grid of icons which can easily be rearranged using the options button on the remote. There are 5 sections to the OS, the first is Home which where you’ll find all your installed channels. The next is My Feed which is where you can find your bookmarked movies and TV shows and it will tell you which streaming channel you’ll be able to find it on. So it will search Netflix, Google Play Movies & TV, Crackle and the Cineplex Store and give you options of where to stream/purchase it.
The next section if Search, whereas you guessed it, is where you search for content. In Streaming Channels is where you’ll be able to add more channels for even more stuff to watch. Then the final section is Settings which is self-explanatory.
Roku OS also has features called Hotel and Dorm Connect, so users will be able to access public Internet networks when away from home. So if you’re staying at a hotel and it has an “I agree” or login page to use their Wi-Fi, then you’ll still be able to connect to it on your Roku.
Roku says there are more than 5000 streaming channels available on their platform and while not all will be to your liking, Roku OS does support some of the more popular streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and recently Prime Video.
Roku OS is fairly simple in its look and feel. It’s easy enough for anyone to pick up the remote and start using.
The Sanyo Roku TV is a great device for those looking for a good TV that doesn’t break the bank and allows them to watch their favourite content.
- Easy to navigate interface
- Solid performance
- Good picture quality
- Roku OS interface can seem slightly dated
- Cheap build quality
- A limited number of HDMI ports
- No voice remote included