Roku is announcing its entrance into the smart TV sector with the launch of Roku TV that will bring all a consumer viewing needs onto one platform.
Initially a bulky box when the company first launched in 2008 with only Netflix available, today, the company is moving into an integrated smart TV world where users can have access to cable, video gaming and all the apps and online channels that Roku users have come to expect.
The new television sets will be manufactured by China's two TV giants, TCL and Hisense. The hope is that by moving to the television realm, Roku can expand into the budget smart TV sector that many analysts and companies believe Americans are craving, especially as the economy remains stagnant at best.
Running only $229 for a 32-inch model to $649 for a larger 55-inch model, these TVs should be a hit on the market as they are affordable and offer more than the standard LCD or LED models on the market.
Who wouldn't want to be able to watch their regular cable subscription, switch between 1,700 online channels through Roku and still have the ability to use that gaming console, all on one device?
And that's what Roku is banking on with Roku TV. A one-stop device that allows viewers to easily switch between all their viewing and playing needs.
"TCL is expected to start shipping those models by August 22," according to a Roku spokesperson.
With Google having announced the Android TV, a smart TV, in late June, Roku appears to be entering battle against the search giant for budget smart TV domination. Sony and Sharp have already said they will manufacture the televisions, which will likely see a market battle this winter when they are both on the market.
The announcement of Roku TV shouldn't come as a surprise to the tech world, after Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in June that DVD players and cable boxes would soon disappear, Tech Times reports.
He argued television viewing in the future will be from online streaming. For him, the transition to smart TVs makes sense.
"To me, it's pretty clear that all TV is going to be streamed. It's either going to be streamed to a smart TV, a gaming console or a streaming player. That's the way people are going to watch TV. Things like DVD players are going to go away. Cable boxes are obviously going away, too. DVRs are just a stepping stone technology. When everything is on demand, you won't have to record anything anymore so that's going to disappear," Wood said.