At CES 2014, streaming platform specialist Roku unveiled Roku TV, a smart TV platform licensed to TV OEMs, with the goal of providing its TV partners with a cost-effective solution to build the best Smart TVs in the industry using the Roku OS.
Now, with approximately 8 per cent smart TV market share in the US, and one million Roku TVs in the homes of consumers at the end of 2015 alone, Roku enters 2016 with plans for the first 4K UHD Roku TV models, the introduction of the Roku TV HDR reference design, and its TV OEM partners expecting to introduce nearly 60 Roku TV models.
“We’re very pleased with the success of Roku TV since the launch of our licensing programme in 2014. Consumer response and engagement has been tremendous, and our TV partners have secured great retail placement and stellar product reviews that have led to strong sales results,” said Chas Smith, general manager of OEM for Roku. “We expect momentum for Roku TV to accelerate as we continue efforts to add new TV partners while expanding our work with existing partners to bring many more Roku TV models to the US, Canada and soon Mexico.”
Delivering the Next Era of Roku TV
Beginning this spring, consumers are expected to be able to purchase the first 4K UHD Roku TVs that combine the full Roku TV experience with the beautiful picture and detail of 4K UHD resolution. Much like the recently launched Roku 4 streaming player, 4K UHD Roku TV models will help consumers easily find entertainment with access to what is expected to be one of the largest line-ups of 4K UHD streaming channels available on a smart TV, and unique features such as Roku’s 4K Spotlight Channel. TCL, the fastest=growing TV brand in America, is the first Roku TV partner to announce a 4K UHD Roku TV, with multiple models expected to hit store shelves this spring. 4K UHD TVs from additional Roku TV partners are expected to be available this year.
Roku is also releasing the Roku TV HDR reference design for TV partners to incorporate HDR technology into future 4K UHD Roku TV models. Roku is working closely with Dolby to implement support for Dolby Vision HDR into the reference design. The Roku TV HDR reference design will also include support for the HDR 10 standard. TCL will be an initial TV partner to integrate the Roku TV HDR reference design.
“The introduction of 4K UHD TCL Roku TV models is a significant step in our partnership with Roku,” said Chris Larson, vice president of sales and marketing, TCL. “We’re confident we’ll deliver one of the richest experiences available on a 4K Smart TV, and that consumers will love the complete 4K entertainment package these TVs deliver. TCL is also thrilled to be one of the first partners using the new Roku TV HDR reference design to enhance the great picture quality of TCL Roku TVs.”
More Models, More Regions, More Choice
In 2015, nearly 40 Roku TV models were available from five TV partners including Haier, Hisense, Insignia, Sharp and TCL with models ranging in size from 28” to 65”. Entering 2016, Roku TV is well positioned for growth as the company’s TV OEM partners are expected to introduce nearly 60 Roku TV models. Availability is also expanding into more countries with TCL Roku TVs expected to hit store shelves in Mexico in the first half of the year. This international expansion follows the successful spring 2015 launch of Roku TV in Canada with models available from both the Insignia and Sharp brands.
Always Up-to-Date Smart TV Experience
Roku TV models receive software updates to deliver an always up-to-date streaming entertainment experience. In 2015, Roku OS updates for Roku TV models included the Roku Feed, a feature that lets consumers follow actors, directors and titles to automatically receive updates when favourite entertainment becomes available to stream – including which streaming services have it available and at the lowest price. A software update also enabled Voice Search for Roku TV customers using the Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android devices, helping them quickly search for entertainment across more than 20 top streaming channels.
Three Distribution Paths to Customers
Roku TV is one of three ways Roku distributes its powerful operating system (Roku OS) purpose-built for the TV screen. The Roku OS also powers Roku streaming players such as the new Roku 4, as well as streaming players offered by pay-TV operators around the world as part of the Roku Powered programme.