Roku Heads To 4K at CES

Roku LogoArguably the market leader in the media streaming market, Roku hasn’t been resting on its laurels. At this year’s CES, Roku has announced a raft of news reinforcing its platform’s position for both Roku TV and the move to 4K transmission.

After announcing Roku TV at last year’s CES, 2014 has seen Roku TV available on both TCL and Hisense TVs available from major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy. For 2015, TCL is going to release 12 models over the year with Roku TV built-in, which is good news from one of the fastest growing brands in the US.

Extending the availability of Roku TV, two new partners have been unveiled – Haier and Insignia. Insignia TVs with Roku will be on sale in the spring exclusively in Best Buy, with Haier models arriving in the summer. For non-US readers, Insignia is a Best Buy brand.

The Haier Roku TV 4 Series Smart LED TVs will be available in sizes ranging from 32″ to 65″. The 40″ to 65″ models will come with Full HD resolution and a Sound Chamber that produces enhanced sound quality, with superior dampening, improved mid-range response, cleaner and deeper bass, as well as overall richer sound texture.

The Roku TV OS has been named a 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honoree in the Software and Mobile Apps category and TCL Roku TV will be displayed in the Innovation Showcase located at CES Tech West, Booth #75545. The new Insignia Roku TV models will be shown tonight at Pepcom’s Digital Experience media event.

Finally, and this is the kind of news the geeks have been waiting for, Roku has announced the availability of a Roku TV 4K reference design for Roku TV manufacturing partners. TCL is the initial partner working to deliver a Roku TV 4K model in the future and Roku is working with Netflix to provide 4K content for streaming on the Roku platform.

As one of the first streaming services to offer 4K Ultra HD content to our customers, it’s important for Netflix to work closely with partners like Roku to give consumers more streaming options,” said Neil Hunt, chief product officer of Netflix. “We look forward to bringing Netflix 4K Ultra HD content to Roku customers.

While there’s no news on a new flagship Roku box, I think we can assume that there will be a Roku 4K in the not too distant future. Fingers crossed.

HiSense shows off the Android refrigerator.

HisenseThis year it almost seemed like the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was more about appliances than it was tablets, phones and computers. We saw an Android-powered oven and even a refrigerator that incorporates a tablet built right into the door. The latter was shown off by HiSense and Andy McCaskey got a first-hand look in the video below.

The smart technology allows the owner to monitor energy usage and food usage. Of course, being a full-blown Android device, it also allows for communication, checking recipes and more. As for the specific app that the company created for this purpose, it will have bar-scanning capability so that, upon return from the market, you can enter the purchased items as they are stored away. There is even a notepad feature. All of this data can be forwarded to a smartphone.

There is a lot more included, but you have to check out the video for the full rundown. The technology is not yet available, but the company hopes to have it on the market in the near future.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net

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