Roku Targeting 50% Uptick in Branded TVs in 20179 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Roku, along with Netflix, helped create the streaming video market and online user-interface. The company’s branded TVs captured 13% of the domestic smart TV market in 2016, including Chinese brand TCL, which ended last year as the sixth-largest TV brand in the United States.
This year, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company will increase the Roku TV brand 50% on 150 HD and 4K models from Hisense, Hitachi, Insignia, Sharp and Element Electronics. As of December, following launch into Mexico, there were 100 Roku TV models available in the North American market.
“Customers will be able to choose from very affordable HD and 4K UHD models to TVs with picture quality boosted by high dynamic range (HDR), Dolby Vision and local dimming,” said Chas Smith, SVP and GM of Roku TVs and players.
Local dimming reduces the backlight behind parts of the screen that are displaying black. This feature is said to enhance picture quality on darker scenes in movies and TV shows.
Separately, Hopster, a kids educational and entertainment app, has bowed a $5.99 monthly subscription streaming channel on Roku available in Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. A French-language app is available as well.
The service features a variety of kids shows, including “Peppa Pig,” “Super Why!,” “Teletubbies,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Bob the Builder” “Caillou” and “Monster Math Squad,” among others.
“We believe that it’s important that kids can have access to a reliable, safe and ad-free app where they will only ever see the best learning content. We hope that by reaching millions of families via the Roku platform, we will help parents relax guilt-free, knowing … their little ones will always learn and discover something new,” said CEO Nick Walters.