Competition in the television space is looking to heat up with the arrival of Roku TVs, which start at an affordable $229.
Earlier in January this year, California-based Roku announced its Roku TVs at the CES. The Roku TVs, being built by two companies (China-based TCL and Hisense), are finally set to make their way to stores in the coming weeks.
For the unfamiliar, Roku TV is a Smart TV that runs on the Roku operating system and will let users enjoy on-demand and live programs, as well as streaming. Roku TVs will also pack in video apps like Hulu Plus, HBO Go and Netflix, as well as music apps like Spotify and Pandora. Roku TV will also bring with it several niche channels.
On Tuesday, August 19, TCL announced the launch of its models of the Roku TV.
"TCL Roku TV is the result of combining one of the world's best-selling TV brands with Roku, the U.S.'s most popular streaming platform," said Chris Larson, VP of sales and marketing at TCL. "Working together we developed a high-quality and very affordable Smart TV that features a stylish design, access to the most streaming channels, and a user experience that can't be equaled by other Smart TVs on the market today."
The eagerly-awaited TCL Roku TV line-up is composed of four models: 32 inches ($229), 40 inches ($329), 48 inches ($499) and 55 inches ($649). The TCL Roku TV models are now available for pre-order from e-retailer Amazon per the press release.
Hisense too announced the release of Hisense Roku TV H4 Series for the U.S. market on the same day. The Hisense Roku TV H4 model is set to retail in four screen sizes: 40 inches, 48 inches, 50 inches and 55 inches. The TV will be available for sale from major retailers end September. However, the company is yet to disclose the pricing for the Roku TVs, but it is anticipated to be competitive.
Both the TCL and Hisense variants of the Roku TV will be Wi-Fi enabled and tout 1080p resolution displays. The bigger models (50 inches and 55 inches) will have 120Hz refresh rates.
With the Roku TV's being priced competitively, it will be interesting to see if the Smart TV can make a dent in the pie of regular TVs.