Roku moves beyond just set-top boxes, will now come bundled with some HDTVs
Roku has announced at CES 2014 in Las Vegas that along with its set-top boxes, the company will begin placing its software in television sets as part of a Roku TV platform. The move for more marketshare comes after selling 8 million set-top box units, releasing several versions, and securing more funding in 2013 .
To manufacture and distribute Roku TV, Roku is working with TV manufacturers TCL and Hisense. Roku TV models ranging from 32 to 55-inches will be available in major retail stores starting in autumn 2014. Six models will be shown-off at the tradeshow this week.
The same software found on Roku's own hardware, which it sells for roughly $100, will apply to the Roku TV platform. Roku says it aims to remove complicated layers and menus, and instead provide a home screen that brings together all content sources.
Roku TV users will have access to a Roku Channel Store filled with 31,000 movies and 1,200 channels that feature TV shows and live sports plus news, music, kids, and more. Roku TV will feature 20 remote-controlled buttons, "so consumers will only need to interact with the necessary controls", according to the company. Additionally, Roku TV can be navigated via iOS or Android apps.
Essentially with Roku TV, Roku wants to become the go-to source for manufacturers looking for software for their televisions.
"Of course we’re still making our popular Roku players alongside Roku TVs," the company wrote in a blog post. "Now consumers will have a choice for how to get Roku on their TVs."
Roku says it will pricing information, along with more hardware partners, later this year.