Roku announces Roku TV 4K plans

Monday, January 5th, 2015 
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Prepares Roku TV 4K Reference Design for TCL; Netflix Among First 4K Content Providers

LAS VEGAS — 2015 International CES — Roku, Inc. today announced its plans to support 4K Ultra HD streaming for future Roku TV™ models. The company has prepared a Roku TV reference design for 4K smart TVs for license to TV OEM partners. Global TV manufacturer TCL, which released award-winning TCL Roku TV models last year, is an initial partner to build 4K models. In addition, Roku® is working with Netflix to provide 4K content for streaming on the Roku platform.

“As one of the first streaming services to offer 4K Ultra HD content to our customers, it’s important for Netflix to work closely with partners like Roku to give consumers more streaming options,” said Neil Hunt, chief product officer of Netflix. “We look forward to bringing Netflix 4K Ultra HD content to Roku customers.”

Roku has always had an eye towards value for the consumer and now that the prices of 4K TVs are dropping rapidly, they will soon be within reach of the majority of consumers. According to Business Insider Intelligence(1), between 2012 and 2014, prices for 4K TVs in North America decreased nearly 90 percent.

“With the maturation of 4K, including the dramatic price reductions of 4K TVs, the growing amount of 4K content available for streaming and the increased consumer awareness of the benefits of 4K, the time is right for Roku to offer Roku TV 4K solutions to global TV OEMs,” said Roku Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood. “We are very bullish on 4K as we believe that streaming will be instrumental in its adoption. Bringing 4K to the Roku platform will give consumers even more choice and control of their entertainment viewing, and deliver the best streaming experience available.”

Launched in 2014, Roku TV introduced a simple entertainment experience into the smart TV market that had been plagued by complicated menus, confusing features and a lack of streaming choices. Through a single personalized home screen, Roku TV customers access all of their TV entertainment sources including gaming consoles, cable or satellite boxes, antennas and more than 2,000 available streaming channels without navigating through inputs or menus. In just a few clicks of the remote, consumers can watch live programming, stream a movie or play a game on their console. Roku TV and its simple remote control feature only the necessary settings and buttons. For example, the Roku TV remote control has 20 buttons – half the number found on traditional TV remotes.

“The reception of the TCL Roku TV models we launched last fall has exceeded our expectations. Together with Roku, we delivered a smart TV that consumers and industry experts truly love for its ease of use, streaming channel selection and value,” said Chris Larson, vice president of sales and marketing at TCL North America. “We are thrilled to now be working with Roku to develop TCL Roku TV 4K models that will bring the latest in TV design together with the best smart TV experience available. TCL Roku TV 4K models will be exceptional smart TVs available for the growing number of consumers who want 4K Ultra HD content.”

1. BI Intelligence, Sept. 2014