CES 2014 Highlight: Roku TV Available In Your Living Room This Fall
On Day 1 of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Apple competitor and Silicon Valley set-top box manufacturer, Roku, announced the launch of Roku Television, a product-line extension that may revolutionize the smart television industry segment. Six models of the Roku-powered smart TVs will be available for a live demonstration during the CES. In the meantime, Roku will work with global Television (TV) manufacturers Hisense and TCL , who account for 9% per capita TV distribution in the world, to integrate its hardware and software solutions into a set of 32 inch to 55 inch TV offerings that will be available in the marketplace this fall.
“We’ve applied the same principles that have made Roku the most popular streaming players in America to TVs. Roku TV removes all of the complicated layers and menus, and unnecessary features and settings that plague smart TVs today, and instead provides a Roku home screen that brings together all content sources”, said Anthony Wood, Roku’s chief executive officer.
Similar to the set-top boxes, Roku TV customers will have access to the full suite of English and foreign language programming options from 1,200 TV stations like NBC, Fox, ESPN, TWC, and HBO as well as content sites like Netflix, WSJ, You Tube and Hulu, among others. Roku TV users will also have access to a newly designed remote control with 20 buttons relative to the number on traditional TV controllers. Additionally, though Roku TV is WiFi-compatible for on the go users with the Roku app available on IOS or Android platforms.
Successful brands today are those that provide clear differentiation from the competition and continue to offer value to customers. After more than 5 years initially streaming video and movies via its set-top box, and then later adding live TV content, Roku’s decision to enter the TV market now is a smart one. Though the set-top boxes will continue to be available as a companion device for consumers who desire to use it to stream content, the TV business enables Roku to ring fence the marketplace—i.e. the consumers, cable providers, TV manufacturers, video game console makers, etc.—to gain competitive advantage now before other set-top box manufacturers enter.
So, what are your thoughts on this new market for Roku? Feel free to share your insights via the comment section, or email me at [email protected]. Also, follow me on Twitter @MUIPR so that you can be kept abreast of top stories coming out of the CES 2014 program.