Roku TV Launching This Fall

Dave Zatz —  January 6, 2014 — 8 Comments

roku-smart-tv

Nearly two years after announcing their MHL Streaming Stick designed to make dumb TVs smart, Roku has now inked deals with Hisense and TCL to produce Roku TVs — in sizes ranging from 32″ to 55″ that are expected to ship this fall. It’s a great win for manufacturers looking to integrate a mature and continually updated platform. But, like LG, Roku and their partners will soon learn if a television operating system matters to shoppers the way it does in mobile as these guys collectively work to shorten the consumer television refresh cycle.

roku-tv-remote

Roku’s outreach emphasizes their minimalistic remote, yet I wonder if it might benefit from a few more buttons – and it’s not clear if it’ll include universal or learning capabilities to adjust devices on other inputs… that are clearly displayed in the updated Roku TV UI.

So what’s the consensus here? Some think replacing an inexpensive streamer on a frequent basis is a better approach, while others may find value in a secondary Roku TV. I’m definitely not a fan of my Panasonic’s Internet app area, which is slow and covered in ads, but I chose my set based on panel quality. And I imagine my next HDTV will be purchased based on similar criteria, placing me squarely in the first category.

8 responses to Roku TV Launching This Fall

  1. Roku’s press team tells me the Smart Stick and these new smart TVs will coexist in their lineup, and in fact, mentioned TEN manufacturers here at CES will showing “Roku Ready” sets.

  2. Would someone be any more likely to buy a Hisense or TCL TV to get the Roku experience than Insignia to get the TiVo experience? I wouldn’t. Maybe if it was at least a Vizio level manufacturer.

  3. Of course, the TiVo TV wasn’t really the complete “TiVo experience” lacking DVR capabilities with most apps provided via the dearly departed Chumby. Not to mention Best Buy’s marketing was atrocious. Having said all that, I agree with your point. ;)

  4. My next TV will be bought on panel quality as well and I’ll probably upgrade to the new Roku box of the time as well. Right now I just have a Roku 2 XS (3100). I’m not sure it would happen, but it would be nice to have a TV with at least 5 or 6 HDMI inputs all supporting MHL and CEC.

  5. As noted in the tweet you linked to, unless there’s a way to upgrade the Roku interface inside my TV, I’d much rather just buy a new box every two years for $50 than buy a new TV for $500.

  6. Sorry I missed you (and your panel) yesterday Alan! For what it’s worth, I haven’t even seen ZNF’s own Mari Silbey at this CES.

  7. “Sorry I miss you (and your panel) yesterday Alan! For what it’s worth, I haven’t even seen ZNF’s own Mari Silbey at this CES.”

    You’re actually still stuck in Denver. You’re just having a very, very vivid dream in the airport hotel.

  8. Agree with xdreamwalker. Until (if ever) the evolution of this stuff settles down, I won’t care in the slightest what internet apps if any the next TV I purchase has. Rather, it’ll be panel quality (4K required), number of inputs (5 HDMI this time? including two MHL?), quality of speakers (need to get better), etc. Its just a monitor to me. Everything I interact with will be provided by one or more boxes connected to it that I MIGHT upgrade periodically. I still have a Roku 2 for example, even though I could upgrade to a new one for like $50.

    Certainly most folks aren’t like me, with multiple boxes connected to the TV, but with most people still using cable, most folks just use the cable remote and lose the TV remote pretty quickly. I don’t see this changing soon.

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