For those who have not heard of Roku, they are a digital media player company based out of Saratoga CA, founded by Anthony Wood in 2002. The players, since their inception, have varied slightly but offer the same core services. They offer the user both subscription based and free streaming media services directly to your TV. Some of the big name services they offer are: Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), HBO Go (NYSE: TWS), and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).
Even with the slight variations in the Roku devices and the evolving generations, they all share the fact that they are an external system which needs to be purchased and added on to a TV. Well, that is about to change. Roku, at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas NV, unveiled its plans manufacture TVs with Roku built in. Roku will be teaming up with the third and fifth largest global TV manufacturers, Chinese based TCL and Hisense.
Both companies will be producing a variety of TVs with Roku from 33” to 55” this fall and will compete directly with Samsung’s Smart Media Player but for a lower price. Roku believes that there will be a small premium at first but thinks that smart TVs will all be offered around the same price in the near future.
The Roku TVs will still be offering easy access to 1,200 channels of content which to date, has provided users with over 1.7 billion hours of entertainment with its over 8 million devices sold. Roku CEO Wood says, “Our goal is to be the platform for TV,”