Roku TVs from Walmart’s private-label onn. brand will be available for the first time in Canada selling at a starting price of just over $300. But are they worth getting?
What Are onn. TVs?
The onn. TVs featuring the Roku OS will be available both in stores and online this month, in time for Father’s Day. Designed to be affordable, they range from 24 up to 75 inches in size and start at just $328.
Like other Roku TVs, onn. TVs feature simple and intuitive access to the Roku interface. This includes 150,000+ movies and TV episodes from thousands of free and paid streaming channels, and access to The Roku Channel with 100+ live channels and Roku Originals for free.
Spec-wise, they come in a variety of picture resolutions including HD, FHD, and 4K UHD. The top-line onn. 75-inch TV boasts LED technology, the smart interface via Roku, 4K UHD resolution, HDR, three HDMI inputs, one composite, one USB, one LAN, optical, coaxial, and headphone. All of the models come with the easy-to-use Roku remote and can also be controlled using the free Roku mobile app. Automatic software updates ensure the TVs are always up-to-date with the latest features and channels. They are also compatible with popular third-party voice assistant devices.
The simple home screen features instant access to both traditional entertainment sources you connect, like a cable set-top box or video gaming system, as well as favourite streaming channels. Each TV comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Marcin Lempka, Director Business Development at Roku, says the onn. TVs are “an accessible solution for Canadians looking to upgrade their TV without sacrificing quality.”
Walmart also sells tablets and computer monitors under its onn. brand.
What Company Makes onn. TVs?
While the brand is owned by Walmart, onn. TVs are reportedly manufactured by Durabrand, a private label tradename of Walmart (Walmart has not confirmed this information). Durabrand is also the company behind Funai Electric small-sized TVs. Onn. functions as Walmart’s generic brand electronics label, similarly to the Insignia brand by Best Buy or the Kirkland brand by Costco.
Are onn. TVs Worth It?
Is it worth the small savings in price? There’s always a trade-off, and based on reviews, this might come in the face of picture quality. According to Consumer Reports, while onn. TVs might be inexpensive, they “don’t rival TVs from the top brands for performance.” (Note that Walmart, at the time of the report in December 2021, did not confirm the manufacturer of the TVs).
With that said, Roku is a top provider for media streaming, with customers who applaud the usability and intuitive nature of its user interface. Which means as a Roku TV, onn. TVs will likely be simple to use, navigate, and access content from.
But also consider that while the pricing seems too good to be true, there are other TV brands that offer models at similar price points. A 40-inch onn. TV, for example, is $248 at Walmart while a 40-inch TCL or Hisense model is $280 at Best Buy. With the larger sizes, there isn’t much of a price difference either: a 75-inch onn. TV at Walmart is $898 while the lowest-priced non-refurbished 75-inch TV at Best Buy is a TCL model on sale (at the time of this writing) for $800 (regularly priced at $1,200). Spend $1,200, meanwhile, or $300 more, for a 75-inch Samsung TV. You might also find a top-brand TV for a similar price in the refurbished or open box category. Provided the retailer or custom shop stands by the quality of these sales and offers a decent warranty to go along with it, it could be a better bet.
Bottom line: if you’re pinching pennies and looking for a really cheap TV for the kids’ room, a dorm, or for the guest room in the cottage, an onn. TV might work. Otherwise, you might be best to save up a little more for a TV from one of the top brands.