Roku launches new smart TVs, 4K streaming

Streaming set-top box and smart-TV maker Roku is partnering with several TV manufacturers to help push forward the emerging 4K streaming standard, the company said Monday.

Roku said that consumer electronics maker Haier will make TVs that have Roku's streaming software embedded—models that are set to be released in the third quarter of 2015—and that Chinese company TCL will manufacture 12 new Roku TV models.

Also, Best Buy-owned Insignia will be manufacturing TVs using Roku software that will be exclusive to Best Buy.

Content streaming platforms like Netflix have started producing and streaming content in 4K, a standard which all future Roku TV models will now support. Roku has engineered the build and design of a TV main board for its partners that are customized for 4K content specifically.

Roku TV
Source: Roku TV
Roku TV

At last year's CES, Roku announced partnerships with TCL and Hisense to integrate their technology into traditional television sets. Since then, companies like CBS and HBO have offered more streaming options, and nontraditional players like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have produced more original content.

Chas Smith, general manager of Roku's OEM business, told CNBC that the company has seen an average of 45 hours of streaming a month on its devices with a total of more than 3 billion hours in 2014. Smart TVs in 2015 are expected to outsell nonconnected TVs for the first time.

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"With the maturation of 4K, including the dramatic price reductions of 4K TVs, the growing amount of 4K content available for streaming and the increased consumer awareness of the benefits of 4K, the time is right for Roku to offer Roku TV 4K solutions to global TV OEMs" said Roku CEO Anthony Wood in a press release. "We are very bullish on 4K as we believe that streaming will be instrumental in its adoption."