At CES this year Roku and its TV manufacturer partners announced that some 4K models would be coming to market this year, bringing inexpensive Roku-branded TVs from the likes of TCL and Insignia to the next level. Now the first 4K Roku TV is here.
This morning Roku and TV-maker Insignia announced that Insignia-Roku 4K UHD TVs are for sale, selling at Best Buy.com exclusively and at Best Buy stores later in the month. They range in price from $400 for a 43-inch LED 4K TV, to $650 for a 55-inch TV. The TVs are available in the U.S., but some models are also shipping in Canada.
Pricing-wise, they're not much less expensive than other affordable TVs (a 55-inch 4K Vizio sells at Best Buy for $800), but are significantly less expensive than the 4K/UHD TVs sold by marquee manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, and LG Electronics.
Would you buy a 4K TV that runs on Roku's OS?
For those of you who need a refresher on what a "Roku-branded TV" is, it's a TV that runs on a Roku operating system, so, you don't need an external Roku box or stick in order to stream video through Roku. The TVs are still cable-compatible, but default to Roku's interface when you turn on the TV. As I wrote a couple years ago when Roku first announced the deal with partners like TCL, Haier, and Hisense, Roku doesn't make money off of sales of the TV hardware, but benefits from licensing its platform.
TCL is also expected to ship its 4K Roku TV this year, though we don't have exact timing on that yet.