January 6, 2014
Roku, the company behind the popular streaming player of the same name, is set to debut its very own smart TV simply called Roku TV. "That’s right, actual TVs, designed to give consumers a simple and powerful entertainment experience in today’s connected world," says Roku CEO Anthony Wood in his announcement post. "We’ve applied the same principles that have made Roku the most popular streaming players in America to TVs." The Roku TV effectively gets rid of complicated layers and menus in favor of a single home screen that offers all available content sources. It also features just 20 remote-controlled buttons, which, according to Roku, is half as many as those in a typical traditional TV. The Roku TV can also be controlled via mobile devices with the official Roku app for iOS or Android. Moreover, it features support for casting standards, including the AirPlay-like DIAL protocol co-developed by Netflix and YouTube. And just like Roku's streaming players, the Roku TV provides full access to the Roku Channel Store, which, Roku notes, offers more movie and channel viewing options than any other smart TV. In launching the Roku TV, the company has teamed up with TCL and Hisense for the device's inaugural models, which are going to be put on display at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As noted by The Next Web, the first Roku TV models, which range in size from 32 to 55 inches, will be released this fall.