Roku has spent eight years of working with partners to produce HDTVs powered by its streaming tech. Now the company is rolling into the category itself with the first line of exclusively Roku-branded smart TVs.
Scheduled to be available in the spring of 2023, the Roku Select and Roku Plus Series TVs will be available in 11 models ranging from 24- to 75-inch screen sizes, with retail prices starting at $119 and going up to $999.
The company declined to disclose which manufacturing partner or partners it has enlisted to supply the Roku-branded TVs. Roku said it is not producing the units with any of its existing brand license partners for TVs, which to date have included TCL, Hisense, Sanyo, JVC, Philips, Sharp, RCA, Magnavox, Westinghouse, Element Electronics, InFocus, Aiwa, Daewoo, Sansui and Walmart’s Onn.
Roku is positioning the debut of its own branded TVs as a boon to partners that develop and sell Roku-powered TVs: Roku said “all innovations” from its own TV products “will be made available to the full Roku TV program, including current and future [original equipment manufacturer] partners.” Amazon, a key Roku rival in streaming devices, also sells its own branded line of TVs as well as licenses the Fire TV platform to third parties.
The company’s Select Series TVs will include the Roku Voice Remote with push-to-talk controls, and the Plus Series TVs include the Roku Voice Remote Pro featuring hands-free voice commands. All of the Roku-branded TV models will provide features available on other Roku-powered devices, including Find My Remote, Private Listening, and the Roku Channel’s lineup of live TV and on-demand streaming services. In addition, Roku-branded TVs will offer an expanded audio ecosystem with an all-new Roku TV Wireless Soundbar, also slated to be released this spring.
“These Roku-branded TVs will not only complement the current lineup of partner-branded Roku TV models, but also allow us to enable future smart TV innovations,” Mustafa Ozgen, president of Roku’s devices division, said in a statement, adding, “The streaming revolution has only just begun.”
Roku also announced a new premium OLED TV reference design, which is available to all Roku TV partners. The announcements are timed for the 2023 CES trade show in Las Vegas, which runs Jan. 5-8.
The company launched the Roku TV program in 2014. Since the first Roku TV model, the company has introduced 11 reference designs including those with 2K, 4K and 8K resolution. Roku-powered TV sets are now available in nine countries: the U.S., Canada, U.K., Mexico, Germany, Australia, Chile, Peru and Brazil.