The world has seen its fair share of smart TVs in recent years but consumers are yet to see a smart television with a decent feature apart from the sheer size and screen resolution. To get decent functionality out of a television set, consumers have to purchase separate set-top boxes from third party manufacturers. However, Roku is out to start a real smart TV revolution with a recent announcement at the Las Vegas CES 2014.
Roku has partnered with television and hardware manufacturers Hisense and TCL to produce a new series of smart TVs equipped with Roku TV, which promises a "simple and powerful entertainment experience" for consumers. According to the company, its new project makes use of lessons the company has learned perfecting the Roku Streaming Player. However, the new smart TVs the company is planning do not involve separate set-top boxes. Instead, Roku technology and software will be built right into the new TV sets. This means that consumers will be able to enjoy Roku's easy-to-use interface and feature-rich platform without the need for a separate device.
The new Roku TV-equipped sets will allow consumers to access the popular Roku Channel Store. From the Roku channel stores, consumers will also be able to choose from over 1,200 apps or channels and over 31,000 movies. In addition to this, Roku has also reinvented the remote control. According to a Roku blog post, their new TVs will come with a simplified remote that only has 20 buttons, a far cry from the current crop of smart TV remote controller that often come with over 40 buttons. In addition to the streamlined remote controller, future Roku TV owners will also be able to interact with their TVs with Roku's iOS and Android smartphone and tablet apps.
With Roku TV, consumers may finally get a smart TV that is neither confusing nor cumbersome to use. With a combination of numerous apps, a wide variety of content, and a simplified user interface, Roku may have finally hit the mark when it comes to perfecting the concept of smart TVs.