With so many people binge-watching TV and even cutting the cord, having some type of media streamer is a must. Sure, a lot of manufacturers are now integrating streaming services right into the TV, but none have the selection of Roku.
That’s probably why Roku has partnered with a few companies on Roku TV, which basically cuts out the box that has made the company so famous. However, the real hook here is that you can set up a smart TV without additional hardware and still have that Roku selection—which currently offers approximately 1,700 streaming channels.
In addition to the Roku OS, users will also get a personalized home screen to keep track of favorites, including the cable box, game consoles and streaming selections. It also comes with a remote control that boasts about half the number of buttons you’d find on a typical remote. That may bother some people, but may be a sigh of relief to others looking for less clutter.
Other features include Roku Search, integration with the free Roku app, and the promise of upcoming software updates.
For now, only Hisense and TCL are making Roku TV models. Hisense has yet to release pricing, but plans to start shipping 40-, 48-, 50- and 55-inch models sometime in September. The top two models will include a full HD resolution, a 120Hz native refresh rate and UltraSMR 240 smooth-motion enhancement. The 40- and 48-inchers come with full HD and a 60Hz refresh rate. All four also have local dimming, built-in Wi-Fi, three HDMI inputs, a USB port, and a digital audio output.
TCL is now taking pre-orders on its 32-inch 32FS4610R ($229,) the 40-inch 40FS4610R ($329), the 48-inch 48FS4610R ($499), and the 55-inch 55FS4610R ($649), with plans to ship in the coming weeks. Each of those will have a full 1080p image, a 120Hz refresh rate, and three HDMI inputs.
Hisense’s Roku TV remote.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.