January 6, 2016
Video streaming company and CES exhibitor Roku has partnered with TV manufacturer TCL to make 4K televisions with Roku’s streaming service already built-in. Users will be able to start streaming the UHD video content from apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube when the first 4K UHD Roku TVs start shipping this spring. Roku also announced that it is working on a reference design for a high dynamic range (HDR) system for its smart TVs.
The 4K UHD Roku TVs are essentially adding the capabilities of a Roku 4 streaming player to a smart TV, according to the press release. Roku’s personalized home screen, the powerful search and discovery features, and access to one of the largest collections of 4K streaming video sets this smart TV apart. Roku even has a 4K Spotlight Channel with curated content to help viewers discover the power of UHD.
TCL, a Chinese TV manufacturer, will ship the first 4K UHD TVs, but eventually Roku plans to introduce 60 UHD TV models with other manufacturers including Haier, Hisense, Insignia and Sharp. According to BGR, the models will range in size from 28- to 55-inches. The TCL 55-inch model will cost about $600, reports CNET.
And Roku isn’t stopping there. The company plans to continue upgrading the 4K UHD models with an HDR system. It is currently working on an HDR reference design so that the manufacturers can include the technology in future models. The design will support both Dolby Vision and HDR 10, the two current HDR systems. These systems generally require a powerful backlight system and local-dimming technology, according to Wired.