Take a Peek at Roku’s plans for a future with 4K TV

by on January 5, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 5, 2015

Roku, the popular manufacturer of streaming entertainment options for TVs, is getting seriously, majorly interested in 4K TV and it wants to play a bigger part in the future of the technology.

The company has announced plans for a new 4K reference model of a Roku TV and that the Asian TV manufacturer TCL will be the first electronics maker to partner with Roku in developing their Ultra HD space even further.

In essence, this means that Roku will soon have a complete platform ready for streaming out the kind of high quality 4K content that gets produced by Netflix and others. In fact, Netflix itself has already also announced that they will be amongst the first to deliver their ultra HD content through Roku TV.

Unfortunately however, this new development will also have to count heavily on TV manufacturers to cooperate with it in a way that turns it into an actual consumer product that’s ready for the public. On this count, both Roku and its partner are silent as far as timeframes go. For now, we likely won’t see anything concrete hitting TV shelves until the middle of 2015 at the earliest.

Roku already has several stand-alone devices such as its streaming sticks and also a purely digital mobile app but none of these yet support 4K resolution and the company has made no clear comments on when new models that are 4K capable are coming out. However, its pretty safe to assume that 4K capable streaming media sticks are also very much in the works.

Roku's streamin stick and remote are two of its existing products that will soon be undergoing 4K related changes

Roku’s streamin stick and remote are two of its existing products that will soon be undergoing 4K related changes

The CEO of Roku, Anthony Wood, has affirmed that he thinks 4K will become very much a mainstream format in the extremely near future and that its de factor transmission format will be via streaming media. Thus, while 4K is virtually non-existent in any sort of broadcast or physical media (something that’s already changing) it is going to be the king of internet transmission channels.

In addition to its still rather vague announcement of plans for Roku TV, the company has also shown up at CES with an announcement that Haier and Insigna will soon also offer models that run Roku TV. But again, a lot of details about this are also still unclear though we can expect very reasonable pricing.

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