If you’re planning on purchasing a television any time soon, the common thought is to buy a cheap set to hold you over until 4K TVs and content are widespread. That 4K pixel upgrade is just over the horizon. However, if you need a new set right now, that horizon is too far away to pay the premium 4K price just to watch a couple Netflix shows and YouTube videos in the highest definition available. For now, your best bet would be something of a side-grade until you can make the full 4K commitment. Roku is betting on this mentality, and hoping that its new Roku TV looks like the best option!
Roku has partnered with two television brands, Hisense and TCL. The partnership incorporates all the functionality of a Roku into TV sets without the need for Roku’s own streaming box. Even though the best Roku available is just $99 and inhabits a tiny square of shelf space, these three companies have posed an interesting scenario to shoppers. If you’re at the store shopping for a new TV and media device, would you buy two separate items if you only had to buy a single combination?
What Does the Roke TV Have to Offer?
Much like the regular Roku devices, the televisions come with a minimalist remote. Though with a slightly different layout and without the motion control. You’ll also be able to control your television with your smartphone or tablet. Which is convenient considering you’ll likely be messing around on one of those devices while only sort of paying attention to Netflix anyway.
As for the actual televisions, they’re not mind-blowing, but they offer exactly what a placeholder TV should while awaiting 4K. The LED sets range from 32″ to 55″ and offer 720p or 1080p. They have 802.11 dual-band WiFi, 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rates, have HDMI and USB inputs, and optical and headphone audio. Hisense hasn’t set an MSRP for its sets, but TCL’s range from just $230 to $650.
What makes Roku the best set-top media box (not counting various consoles) is the breadth of services available. Most Smart TVs will come with the big-name services like Netflix, but only Roku has extremely specific, specialist channels. If you need a new set-top media streamer but your current TV is going strong, it’s likely better to buy the set-top box than replace your television. If you need a new TV while you wait for 4K, the Roku TV might be your best option.