CES Report: Roku Gains Time Warner Cable, 300 Live Channels
Cable doesn't require a cable anymore. In a surprise CES announcement, set-top box-maker Roku announced that Roku owners can begin streaming Time Warner Cable content (with an account, of course) probably later this quarter. The move will bring 300 live television channels to Roku owners. For a company that needs to be seen as more than an inexpensive way to stream Netflix, this is an important release.
Time Warner Cable content will be accessible to owners of Roku 2 models, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku LT, and Roku Streaming Stick. This is the first time that Time Warner Cable is providing television streaming.
While that Roku's biggest CES announcement, it's not the company's only announcement. Roku announced that it now has over 700 channels available on its platform. Channels new to Roku include Blockbuster on Demand, Dailymotion, DishWorld, Flingo, Fox Now, PBS, PBS Kids, Syfy, Vevo, Amazon Cloud Player, iHeart Radio, and Spotify.
Roku will also add new hardware partners in 2013 supporting the company's Streaming Stick device. The Streaming Stick requires an HDMI MHL port, but rather than confuse consumers with that requirement, Roku is getting partners to brand TVs as "Roku Ready." Today, Roku announced six additional Roku Ready partners: Coby, Harmen Kardon, Hisense, TCL, Voxx, and Westinghouse.
Known for its set-top boxes, Roku will use the money to move beyond the box and into new integrations.
An improved user interface makes it easier to explore and discover new channels, movies. and television shows.
Streaming video has come far, but the real obstacle is people's established TV viewing preferences.
"Roku Ready" TVs let shoppers get a connected TV experience by plugging in a compact Streaming Stick.
In a Streaming Media West keynote, Roku says that streaming delivery will account for most or all TV viewing in 10 to 15 years.
$299 compact projector creates 10-foot wide image and offers access to over 600 streaming Roku channels.