Roku today announced Roku TV, a new generation of Smart TVs designed to give consumers a simple entertainment experience. The company plans to license the new reference design platform and software stack to manufacturers to build and distribute Roku TV models. TCL and Hisense are the first partners, who plan to release Roku TV models this fall.
Roku TV aims to simplify the notion of a so-called Smart TV by removing all of the complicated layers and menus, and unnecessary features and settings that plague TVs today. Instead, Roku TV gives consumers a Roku home screen that unifies all content sources in one place making it easy to watch live programming, stream a movie or listen to a song in just seconds. The TV and the remote control feature only the necessary settings and buttons. For example, the Roku TV remote control has 20 buttons – half the number found on traditional TV remotes. Roku TVs can be controlled by either the TV remote or mobile devices using the Roku app for Apple iOS or Android. Roku TV supports modern casting standards including DIAL, which streams content from a mobile device to the TV.
TV manufacturers will receive the Roku TV reference platform complete with TV and remote control design as well as software and support to build and maintain the best TV experience. Just like Roku streaming players, Roku TVs will have full access to the Roku Channel Store filled with more than 1,200 channels that offer 31,000 movies and feature TV shows and live sports plus news, music, kids, food, science, tech, fitness, foreign language and other programming – more options than all the other Smart TVs on the market. Roku will manage the entire software ecosystem for all Roku TVs which includes securing and updating all of the streaming channels available and providing frequent software updates to deliver new features and experience enhancements.
“Consumers will enjoy the ease and satisfaction of Roku TV while manufacturers leverage our design specifications, content relationships and software expertise. At the same time the content community will gain additional distribution and revenues through an already popular and trusted streaming platform – now in the TV,” said Roku Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood. “I’m very excited about our partnerships with TV manufacturers and the first Roku TV models planned for release this fall from TCL and Hisense.”
Price and Availability
Roku TV models are expected to be available for purchase by fall 2014 from major retailers in the U.S. and Canada. They will be available in a variety of sizes ranging from 32 to 55 inches. Pricing will be determined by the manufacturers and should be released later this year.