Roku has a lot of competition in the set-top box/digital TV marketplace, and it’s responding by getting sleeker, simpler, and more efficient. With the Consumer Electronics Show in the spotlight, Roku has announced the debut of Roku TV, which will contain the entire Roku experience within streaming-friendly TVs.
Roku has partnered with top television manufacturers like TCL and Hisense and will debut the new TV sets at CES. Each one will offer the entire suite of Roku channels and apps without the need for a separate set-top box. “Consumers will enjoy the ease and satisfaction of Roku TV while manufacturers leverage our design specifications, content relationships and software expertise. At the same time the content community will gain additional distribution and revenues through an already popular and trusted streaming platform – now in the TV,” said Roku Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood.
In the blog post announcing the new devices, Wood also shared some of Roku’s 2013 stats. The service now offers more than 1,200 channels, and claims 1.7 billion hours of streamed content and nearly eight million devices sold.
The launch of Roku TV is a smart tactical move that will only send Roku’s numbers higher. The release of Chromecast has made web-to-TV streaming into an extremely cheap, easy, and straightforward practice. By bringing TVs themselves into the equation, Roku is optimizing one of the few parts of the streaming process that is not yet extremely efficient. When you add in Roku’s expansive selection of apps and its recent integration of YouTube, it has once again given itself a leg up on its competitors.