CES is in full swing in Las Vegas this week and Roku is using the event to announce a new line of 4K Smart TVs that will hit the market later this year. The Roku TV, first introduced back in 2014, have been quite a hit with consumers over the past few years and Roku will be building on that success with new features and new designs.
Roku TVs combine the simple, personalized home screen, 3,000+ streaming channels and powerful search and discovery features of the Roku OS with sleek hardware designs and affordable prices, making them some of the most-awarded, highly sought after smart TVs available today. Now, with approximately 8% smart TV market share in the U.S., and one million Roku TVs in the homes of consumers at the end of 2015 alone (according to the company’s announcements); 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 expect to introduce nearly 60 Roku TV models.
“We’re very pleased with the success of Roku TV since the launch of our licensing program 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 U.S., Canada and soon Mexico.”
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 lineups 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.”
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.
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 favorite 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.