Chinese Manufacturers Launch Roku TV19 Aug, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
New smart TVs from Hisense and TCL feature more than just Roku's streaming media platform
Roku Aug. 19 announced that its streaming media platform is now offered in smart televisions marketed by Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL.
First announced at CES in January, the launch marks the first time Roku’s streaming technology moves from set-top devices and dongles directly into a customized television.
TCL and Hisense are the world’s third and fourth best-selling TV brands, respectively, according to Roku. Hisense Roku TVs will be available in 40-inch, 48-inch, 50-inch and 55-inch models beginning in late September.
TCL Roku TVs are available for preorder now from Amazon in 32-inch, 40-inch, 48-inch and 55-inch models. They will also be available through big-box retailers in the coming weeks. Prices start at $229 for the 32-inch models.
The TVs feature a personalized home screen with access to third-party set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players and video game consoles, as well as 1,700 streaming channels featuring more than 200,000 movies and TV episodes across myriad genres. A search function for the top 13 streaming channels, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus. There is also internal integration with mobile devices for iOS, Android and Windows.
The Roku TVs also include a simplified remote control with half the buttons of a traditional remote, including the input button.
“We didn’t just stick a Roku player inside the TV. We enhanced the Roku operating system to power the entire TV,” Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood said in a statement. “That means we’ve applied our philosophy of simple and powerful across the entire TV — from the home screen to the remote control to picture settings.”