Roku Preps New Streamer With Television Tuner*

Roku has announced plans to expand their hardware licensing offerings, beyond simply rebranded streamers and streaming televisions, with a “hybrid” box that integrates a television tuner alongside over-the-top apps. Further, new software customization will be made available to pay TV service partners “enabling them to surface content directly on the home screen or give recommendations to their customers.”


UK-based Sky TV has been leasing a pretty standard, but white, Roku box that taps into their NOW IPTV service the last few years. As such, they will be the first to deploy this new hybrid set-top, that looks a lot like the Roku 4 hotplate, with a region-specific over-the-air tuner. Roku suggests other tuner options are on the table dependent upon partners, but it’s not clear if a retail Roku STB might ever ship with a tuner to provide live OTA television. Compare and contrast to TiVo’s more heavy handed deeply integrated provider offerings – which probably says more about partner co technology than technical approach. In any event, with another $45 million in funding, Roku’s definitely working on something to keep Apple and Amazon at bay… and it sure would be ironic if the founder of ReplayTV, aka Roku’s CEO, once again gets into the DVR business.

7 thoughts on “Roku Preps New Streamer With Television Tuner*”

  1. Just goofing off – not making a change yet… but a cardinal IT sin in developing on the production site. :) My ultimate goal is to maintain a pretty similar layout, but with better bones for performance and compatibility.

  2. Yeah Dave, that would be ironic if Anthony Wood did integrate a dvr with a Roku…or Apple TV, Fire TV, Amdroid TV etc. But whoever pulls it off can take my money. I’d pay up to a thousand dollars for such a product. Even more if the product is really good (quick, reliable, agnostic universal content search etc.).

  3. @ensaburnur that product technically already exists – it’s called TiVo. They lack the polish and versatility when it comes to the streaming apps, but you can’t beat it as a OTA dvr first and foremost. I don’t think any internet based service could ever top just hooking an antenna to a TiVo. Crystal clear hd for all your network channels.

    My frame of reference is the older Premiere, but it is slow and clunky dealing with Netflix, Amazon, etc., but it does work. I even use Plex. If they could blur the lines between the native TiVo interface and the ‘apps’ and make content easier and faster to access, it would be perfect.

  4. Bryan, I totally agree with you. However, like you said, they don’t do the internet apps or media streaming as well as the others (Apple, Google, Microsoft etc). I’m content to use Tivo for Live TV/Recording and use another device for watching those recordings, along with internet and personal media streaming. In other words, Tivo please make it so I can use my (Apple TV, Android TV etc) in place of a Tivo Mini. The Fire TV can do this, but only after transcoding the video and killing the picture quality.

  5. Right – perhaps they will release an app for the Apple TV? Their iOS apps are pretty solid.

    It would be good if they could continue to polish the streaming apps on their own device though. The OnePass feature was a nice start to sort of blend the streaming content with DVR/Live TV content, and they do effectively have universal search in that regard as well.

    If Roku added a OTA device to their lineup, I’d welcome the competition.

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