CES Report: Roku Announces Connected TVs from Haier and Insignia
Roku will soon provide the interface for even more connected TVs, the company announced today at International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. While Roku has already partnered with TCL and Hisense on connected TVs, today it announced that it will work with Haier and Insignia, as well. Insignia will introduce sets that use the Roku TV reference design in the spring, and will sell them exclusively at Best Buy and BestBuy.com. The companies didn't say how many sets would be in the lineup. Haier gave a few more details, saying that it will offer Roku-powered TVs in Q3 2015, with sizes from 32- to 65-inches.
Meanwhile, TCL seems pleased with its Roku partnership, as it will release 12 new TCL Roku TVs in the first half of this year. TCL promises new hardware designs in the lineup.
With ultra-high-definition video growing in importance, Roku has announced the availability of a Roku TV 4K reference design. It's inviting OEM partners to create Roku TVs that support 4K resolutions. TCL is already working on a 4K Roku TV, Roku says, but didn't offer a date when the product would be available. Roku is working with Netflix to get 4K video for the new platform.
“As one of the first streaming services to offer 4K ultra HD content to our customers, it’s important for Netflix to work closely with partners like Roku to give consumers more streaming options,” says Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix. “We look forward to bringing Netflix 4K ultra HD content to Roku customers.”
Roku first announced that it would partner on Roku TVs at CES 2014.
The more powerful (and expensive) Roku 4 supports 4K streaming, and adds helpful content discovery options in its upgraded operating system.
In addition, Roku set-top-box owners will get updated software with channel search and a way to follow new movie releases.
As the company transitions away from being purely a device maker and builds its TV OS, Roku wants to be one of the winners of the new world of streaming TV.
Is the company staying quiet about new funding because it's planning an IPO? The Wall Street Journal says Roku plans to go public.
Previewed at CES, the first Roku connected TVs are almost here. Hisense and TCL give specs, availability, and pricing info.
Roku will license its platform to TV manufacturers, freeing viewers of the need for a set-top box. Hisense and TCL are the first partners.