Who would have thought that streaming set-top box manufacturer Roku would actually introduce a TV before Apple? Well, it looks likely that’s going to happen, thanks to partnerships with Hisense and TCL that will make Roku’s streaming video platform available directly on a new generation of smart TVs launching later this year.
The companies are making the announcement ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show, where Hisense and TCL will show off and demo six models of Roku-powered smart TVs. Those TVs will range in size from 32 inches to 55 inches, and all will be WiFi-compatible.
Putting its software and streaming video channel store directly on TVs seems like the next obvious step for Roku, which has spent the last five years selling set-top boxes that cost between $50 and $100 each. It’s seen a fair amount of demand for those devices over the years, selling nearly 8 million streaming…
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