Nearly two years after announcing their MHL Streaming Stick designed to make dumb TVs smart, Roku has now inked deals with Hisense and TCL to produce Roku TVs — in sizes ranging from 32″ to 55″ that are expected to ship this fall. It’s a great win for manufacturers looking to integrate a mature and continually updated platform. But, like LG, Roku and their partners will soon learn if a television operating system matters to shoppers the way it does in mobile as these guys collectively work to shorten the consumer television refresh cycle.
Roku’s outreach emphasizes their minimalistic remote, yet I wonder if it might benefit from a few more buttons – and it’s not clear if it’ll include universal or learning capabilities to adjust devices on other inputs… that are clearly displayed in the updated Roku TV UI.
So what’s the consensus here? Some think replacing an inexpensive streamer on a frequent basis is a better approach, while others may find value in a secondary Roku TV. I’m definitely not a fan of my Panasonic’s Internet app area, which is slow and covered in ads, but I chose my set based on panel quality. And I imagine my next HDTV will be purchased based on similar criteria, placing me squarely in the first category.