Roku smart TVs could end up being a reality in the future, as a recent rumor suggests that the streaming stick manufacturer could be working on its own line-up of smart TVs.
As reported by flatpanelshd (opens in new tab), Roku may be looking into ways to produce smart TVs that feature the company's own operating system. Roku is perhaps best known for its excellent streaming sticks, as well as its streaming boxes, but this would mark the first time the company has opted to manufacture its own TVs, instead of licensing its operating system to other makers like TCL.
"[Roku] showed different models, feature sets and names, sizes, price points," a source said to Business Insider when discussing an apparent focus group test for potential Roku TVs. "This is a manufacturing operation. They want to go into making their own TVs."
According to flatpanelshd, a second source who has some familiarity with Roku's strategy claimed that the company has actually been discussing smart TV manufacture for upwards of a year. This means that if the rumors are true, it's possible Roku has already made a lot of progress in a potential smart TV strategy.
Analysis: Is Roku making TVs a realistic endeavor?
It makes a lot of sense for Roku to be looking into manufacturing its own line-up of smart TVs. Amazon, perhaps the company's closest competitor when it comes to streaming devices, has its own line-up of smart TVs like the Omni series, in addition to streamers like the Amazon Fire TV Cube and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, both of which are among the best streaming devices you can buy.
The best Roku streaming devices are certainly worth their relatively low price tags, too, meaning that a potential Roku smart TV could be made to match a similarly small budget. However, that would likely come at the cost of higher-end features like HDR10+, HDMI 2.1 support, and fancier panel technology like OLED or QLED.
A Roku TV, then, could bypass the need for a Roku streaming stick entirely by essentially having one built into the television. Not only would that free up a valuable HDMI slot, it could also help less tech-savvy consumers by having Roku's OS ready to go by default, with no external devices needed.
Roku devices are lauded for their incredibly wide range of the best streaming apps, all available on a singular OS. And while the company did struggle with a tad with licensing issues last year, it was able to amend contracts to bring Netflix and Disney Plus back onto Roku devices.
We'd love to see what kinds of features a Roku smart TV can bring to the table. The company already has a brilliant track record when it comes to making some of the best streaming devices you can buy, so it would be interesting to see a Roku smart TV attempt to make up for some of its competitors' shortcomings, such as the poor upscaling and audio issues found in some Amazon Omni TVs.
(via Business Insider (opens in new tab))