TV STREAMING OUTFIT Roku has partnered with Chinese telly makers to launch the Roku TV internal device, integrating the Roku set-top box directly into the TV set.
The move means that Roku fans in the market for a new TV can buy one with the hardware already installed, without the need for a separate plug-in streaming box and annoying additional cables.
"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," Roku CEO Anthony Wood wrote in an online post.
"Just like Roku streaming players, Roku TV will have full access to the Roku Channel Store filled with more than 31,000 movies and 1,200 channels."
Wood claimed that TVs that include Roku will deliver more options than all of the other smart TVs in the market. The service will also feature 20 remote control buttons, half the number that Roku claims are found on traditional TVs, so viewers will only need to interact with the necessary controls.
Roku inked deals with big Chinese TV makers Hisense and TCL to produce its first TV sets. Six models are slated to launch this autumn, three from each company, in sizes from 32in to 55in.
Wood explained that Roku TV can be navigated via mobile devices with the Roku app for iOS or Android as well as supporting broadcasting standards including the multi-screen protocol called Dial.
The company has promised it will continue to make and sell its set-top boxes alongside Roku TV, so those that want to keep their TVs can keep updated with the service, but now consumers have a choice of how to get the service on their televisions.
A Roku spokesperson told us that there's no plans as of yet for a UK release, and the TVs will only be available in the US when they launch later this year.
The last we heard of Roku was in September when it refreshed its streaming player lineup, which debuted a "private listening" feature thanks to the remote control's built-in headphone jack.
At present there are around 60 games available in the Roku store and over 500 apps such as Netflix, Now TV, Sky News and BBC iPlayer. Users will also be able to play content from their iPhone or Android devices through the Roku 2 and Roku 3 boxes. µ
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