At CES, Roku announced that it will finally be building its own Roku TVs, as well as working with partners like TCL and Hisense. Starting today, you can pick up one of those sets in stores and on the Best Buy website. Roku offers two series of TVs, both powered by its streaming platform: Roku Select TVs that range from 24 to 75 inches, and 55-, 65-, and 75-inch Roku Plus TVs.
We’re still waiting for a full price breakdown, but Roku says Select TVs will start at $149 (with a possible drop to $120 this summer), and Plus models will start under $500. That’s in line with similar deals. from TCL and other partners. At CES, Roku VP of retail strategy Chris Larson said the company aims to offer features that partners don’t always include, such as voice-enabled remote controls, as well as automatic brightness adjustment (on Premiere TVs).
Roku doesn’t say much about its Select TVs, perhaps because there isn’t much to say. They’ll include HD and 4K models (after all, there’s no need to go to 4K on very small TVs), as well as your standard voice remote. Like most budget TVs, they’ll also rely on edge-dimming backlighting, so expect to see grayish blacks and uneven lighting. The Roku Plus sets are much more advanced: They will include QLED panels, local backlight dimming for better contrast, 4K Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos-approved speakers. They’ll also get Roku’s rechargeable voice remote.
While Roku told us that it’s not trying to compete with its longtime partners, it will be interesting to see how those companies respond. By making voice remotes standard, perhaps TCL and others will follow suit. The company also today released an update to the Roku operating system, which will include local news and support for premium subscriptions in the Roku live channel guide.
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