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Why Is My Sony Smart TV Picture Better Than My Roku Picture?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I have a Smart TV that's a Sony and a Roku Smart TV device, but the streaming picture from the Sony Smart TV apps is better than the Roku. How come? -- Catherine.

Catherine, this is an interesting question, but it doesn't have a definitive answer. For starters, without being able to look at the picture on your set, I can't say for sure the Sony is better than the Roku. So I'll have to take your word for it.

So assuming it is, let me say this: Some display experts believe some Smart TVs will offer a better streaming picture than a Smart TV set-top, even if both purport to offer the same 1080p video over the Net. The reason is that the Smart TV, which might cost 20 times more than the Roku box, will feature higher-end parts inside that will deliver a higher-quality picture.

That's not to say that the Roku set-top doesn't offer a very good HD picture -- it does. But the Smart TV picture might be better.

There's another reason why some believe the Smart TV will display a better picture.
Some Smart TV device manufacturers use secondary servers to transmit the signals from the streaming service and therefore the picture may not be quite as sharp or reliable.

Is this true? I have both a Smart TV and a few Smart TV Blu-ray players and I wouldn't say that the picture is necessarily better on one or the other. But there are those people who say the Smart TV does a better job with streaming so keep that in mind.

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