Internet video streaming box and service provider, Roku has just announced that it’s building its service directly into TV sets and 6 of initial TV manufacturers will be selling the integrated Roku TVs this year.
Among the first 6 partners, TCL and HiSense will be the first to sell the Roku TVs, while showcasing them at tomorrow’s CES 2014 event at Las Vegas, Nevada. The Roku TVs will come in sizes between 32-inch and 55-inch with its own software and UI, according to Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku.
Roku’s service will be available right after the user switch on the television set, where he/she can select and stream any channels including Disney, Netflix, Hulu Plus, PBS and other channels specialized in movies, sports, news and international channels. All channels streaming on Roku services can be found here.
Roku TVs could also be connected to any cable boxes and HDMI ports also available for gaming consoles – everything will be same as normal TVs but with the deep integration of the service. However, the remote controls will be slightly different – with half the size of regular TVs, the controller also integrated with the Roku features.
Although, the leading TV manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Sony offers their own smart TVs, the Roku TVs will be having advantage of Roku’s 1,200 channels, which is largest catalog of them all. Wood also revealed that in 2013, the company has streamed 70% more content than that of 2012 to 1.7 billion hours of videos.
We don’t expect Samsung, Sony and LG could integrate Roku OS on their TVs as they have invested big for their platforms. LG will be using WebOS in its next generation smart TVs.
Currently, the Roku Internet video streaming boxes are selling in between $49 and $99 and it has shipped approximately 8 million such devices in 2013.
[Source: Roku blog]