Roku’s streaming boxes, like the Roku 4 and Roku Streaming Stick, are some of the easiest ways to add smart TV features to your nonsmart TV. But some people don’t want to deal with plugging anything into their TV, so the company works with manufacturers like TCL and Insignia to have Roku features built in to their TVs.
Now the options for Roku TVs are expanding even more. On Wednesday, Roku announced that it had inked a licensing deal with Hitachi America, Ltd. to become the next manufacturer of smart TVs in the U.S. to be powered by the Roku OS operating system.
“Hitachi has an exceptional history of product innovation and quality, and is committed to providing outstanding consumer experiences,” Chas Smith, general manager for Roku TV, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with Hitachi on the launch of Hitachi Roku TV.”
No specific details have been shared on what sizes will be available and how much they will cost, but both standard HD and 4K Ultra HD models from Hitachi will be sold. Details on exactly when we’ll see the first models are similarly sparse, though the company expects to begin shipping some models this fall.
“Roku offers us everything we need in a smart TV solution — a cost-effective way to produce great TVs that run a powerful operating system, access to a compelling streaming channel store, and software features that make it easy for consumers to find and discover entertainment,” Hitachi’s Bill Whalen said. “We couldn’t be more excited for the launch of Hitachi Roku TV this fall.”
This new deal is only part of Roku’s plans for this year. The company expects to ship more than 60 models in the U.S. this year from six different brands, including Hitachi. Models currently available range in size from 24-inch class to 65-inch class in both HD and Ultra HD resolutions.
Roku-enabled TVs are generally priced fairly modestly, and while they might not offer the range of features or picture quality of more expensive TVs, it seems they’re selling fairly well. Roku says that in 2015, the first full year Roku TVs were available, they accounted for 8 percent of the U.S. smart TV market.
Like the company’s stand-alone streaming products, Roku TVs offer more than 3,000 streaming channels, including some aimed at replacing cable and satellite subscriptions, like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, which launched for Roku devices earlier this month.
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