For Christmas, in a bid to slowly acclimate my family to the idea of cutting the cord, I got a Roku 3 and bought my Dad an HDMI switcher since he also was getting a Chromecast. So far, the little puck has worked our great for me, streaming video content has been fine. It’s the only way I watch YouTube now.
Now the Roku Company has announced Roku TV. That’s right…an actual TV. In ablog post, CEO Anthony Wood describes the operating principles behind this new device.
We’ve applied the same principles that have made Roku the most popular streaming players in America to TVs. Roku TV removes all of the complicated layers and menus, and unnecessary features and settings that plague smart TVs today, and instead provides a Roku home screen that brings together all content sources. Just like Roku streaming players, Roku TV will have full access to the Roku Channel Store filled with more than 31,000 movies and 1,200 channels that feature TV shows and live sports plus news, music, kids, food, science, tech, fitness, foreign language and other programming – more options than all the other Smart TVs in the market.
There is an odd amount of remote control talk in the post. The Roku TV remote will only have 20 buttons and also allow for navigation via the iOS and Android apps.
The TV will be manufactured by TCL and Hisense in models ranging from the 32-55 inches.
If the Roku TV is actually able to gain any kind of traction in 3 years, that could be something in the cord cutting world. Most of my family has shown apprehension at having to buy another box and using it after replacing cable. Now with it built into a TV proper there is a chance for more overall utility.
What this does for the Smart TV market, if anything, should also be worth looking at. Personally, I think Smart TVs are all kinda dumb, with poor app interface and controls. The Vizio Smart TV my parents use is just so slow and clunky compared to a Roku or Apple TV.
Maybe this will kick the speculation that Apple will actually make a TV proper into another gear.
Here are some other 2013 highlights from Roku
- Strong sales growth of Roku players – in fact, we’re just shy of 8 million Roku players sold in America (cumulative)
- The number of channels in the Roku Channel Store doubled – we’re at more than 1,200 channels and during the year we added M-GO, AOL News, FOX NOW, WATCH ESPN,WATCH Disney, YouTube, TWC TV Video On Demand and others
- Total streaming hours on Roku players grew by 70 percent to 1.7 billion hours
- Research from Parks Associates and NPD shows that Roku is America’s favorite streaming experience with more than twice as much video streamed per device compared to other leading devices and Smart TVs
- We refreshed our entire line-up with the new Roku LT, Roku 1, 2 and 3 and introduced great new features like the new user interface, integrated search and in-remote headphone jack