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Roku’s first and highly affordable 4K TVs are shipping out now and don’t need the Roku 4 Box

by on March 10, 2016
 

Stephan Jukic – March 10, 2016

Roku already has the 4K-capable Roku 4 box and since CES 2016 has also announced that it and its TV manufacturer partners would be releasing new 4K Roku TVs at some point in 2016, and now the time for these new models has come.

The new and inexpensive Roku-branded 4K ultra HD TVs from manufacturers like TCL, Hisense, Haier and others are now shipping out to retailers and consumers.

For starters, Roku and TV-maker Insignia have announced that 4K TVs with the Roku brand from Insignia are already for sale, with units to be available at BestBuy.com and at Best Buy retail outlets later in March. These new TVs, being an indicator of what is soon to come from other Roku TV variants, are indeed cheap, with prices ranging from just $400 for a 43 inch LED 4K TV model to $650 for a decently sized 55 inch 4K TV. These models are available on the U.S market and some are also shipping to Canada already, with possible expansion to other markets down the road.

As far as their prices go, the new Roku 4K TVs aren’t that much more affordable than some highly affordable competitor models like Vizio’s 4K UHD M-Series or D-Series televisions but they do cost much less than comparably sized LED/LCD televisions with 4K resolution from top-shelf brands like Samsung, Sony, LG and even Panasonic.

That said, as very basic 4K starter TVs which don’t break the piggy bank completely to pieces, the new Roku 4K TV models are genuinely unique and while they may lack some of the high-end display specs of their flagship cousins from LG, Samsung or Sony (particularly the new 2016 models), these new TVs do run on Roku’s own excellent Roku TV operating system, which is the same as that found in the excellent Roku 4 4K set-top box. This means that you won’t need a Roku 4 box or external plug-in stick to run their selections of streaming video content and it also means that the selection of said 4K UHD content will indeed be fairly decent, with access to movies and shows in ultra HD resolution from sources like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, 4K Spotlight and other major providers, amounting to a total of more than 10 different sources of 4K content of some kind or another.

Some of the streaming 4K content offerings in the new Roku 4K TVs

Some of the streaming 4K content offerings in the new Roku 4K TVs

Furthermore, the Roku Operating system on the TVs will also include access to thr more standard-issue Roku experience, which amounts to more than 3000 different streaming services for non-4K content and music. In essence, anyone who’s ever used a Roku streaming box will quickly recognize the functionality of the smart platform in these new, cheaper Roku 4K TVs.

Additionally, the new Roku 4K TVs will offer up quad-core processors, built-in 802.11ac WiFi and some decent color and contrast specs. They won’t be as thin, cutting edge or beautiful as Samsung and Sony’s or LG’s new 2016 4K TVs but their low price is excellent compensation for these deficiencies.

For now, the only Roku 4K TV models going on sale are those from Insignia but we should expect to see Hisense and TCL models arrive on the U.S market at some point later in 2016.

Story by 4k.com

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  • Bill
    March 17, 2016 at 8:26 am

    At CES this year Roku announced they were coming out with Roku branded TVs from brands like TCL and Hisense, and based on this article it seems like they are finally hitting the market.
    However I remember the Roku CEO also saying that there would be Roku branded TVs that support HDR (based off of Roku’s reference design) coming from these manufacturers in the future as well – though no release date was given at that time.
    Does anyone have any idea when Roku branded TVs that support HDR will be hitting the market?

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