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February 22, 2024

Roku Launches Premium Pro Series TVs With Mini-LED and AI Picture Tech

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Jan 4, 2024

Consumer electronics company Roku has unveiled its first lineup of high-end smart TVs, aiming to push further into the competitive TV market. The new Roku Pro Series features premium picture quality powered by quantum dot LED and mini-LED technology, as well as AI processing to optimize viewing.

Roku Expands TV Lineup, Targets High-End Market

Roku announced its Pro Series TVs at CES 2024, expanding its smart TV lineup beyond its current mainstream offerings. The Pro Series will be available this spring in a range of large-screen sizes up to 85 inches, positioned as a premium 4K smart TV option:

  • Pro Series model sizes: 65″, 75″, 85″
  • Pricing starting under $1,500
  • High-end quantum dot LED (QLED) displays
  • Mini-LED backlighting for brighter images (75″, 85″ models)
  • New Roku smart platform with AI picture optimization

Roku currently licenses its smart TV operating system to brands like TCL, allowing them to build Roku’s software into their TVs. With the Pro Series, Roku joins brands like LG, Samsung, and Sony in making its own branded high-performance TVs. Industry analyst Ross Rubin of Reticle Research commented that the Pro Series helps Roku stake a claim in the TV space beyond low-cost models, “enhancing Roku’s perception as a full fledged TV platform provider.”

Specs 65″ Model 75″ Model 85″ Model
Screen type QLED QLED w/ mini-LED QLED w/ mini-LED
Refresh rate 120Hz 144Hz 144Hz
HDR support Dolby Vision, HDR10+ Dolby Vision, HDR10+ Dolby Vision, HDR10+
Smart platform Roku OS Roku OS Roku OS
Processor Roku MediaTek MT9615 Roku MediaTek MT9615 Roku MediaTek MT9615
Built-in sound 30W stereo speakers 30W stereo speakers 30W stereo speakers

AI-Powered Picture and Next-Gen Mini-LED Displays

A key highlight of Roku’s Pro Series TVs is the inclusion of Roku’s Smart Picture experience, powered by AI technology. Smart Picture uses computer vision and AI to automatically adjust picture settings in real-time based on what’s on screen. This allows the TV to optimize brightness, color, clarity, motion, and contrast frame-by-frame.

The two largest models also feature next-generation mini-LED backlighting containing thousands of tiny LED zones. This unlocks higher peak brightness for better high dynamic range (HDR) performance. The 75″ reaches up to 1500 nits peak brightness while the flagship 85″ model achieves an ultra-bright 2000 nits. Both also benefit from a high 144Hz effective refresh rate.

Taking on TV Heavyweights With Strong Value

Despite the premium features, Roku aims to undercut competitors aggressively on pricing. The 65-inch 4K QLED model is set at an MSRP under $1,500 while the 75-inch and 85-inch mini-LED sets cost less than rivals like Samsung and LG’s smallest mini-LED models. This disruptive strategy mirrors its early days popularizing streaming with low-cost Roku players.

Roku now licenses its operating system to 1 in 3 smart TVs sold in the US and sees an opportunity to grow its share with own-brand premium TVs carrying recognizable Roku branding. Extending higher up the price tiers also allows Roku to monetize its platform through a cut of content revenues from its streaming channels. As Roku pushes more expensive TVs enabled with surround sound audio and vivid picture quality, it aims to drive more usage of streaming entertainment apps where it can insert more advertising.

What Comes Next: Retail Launch, Platform Expansion

The Roku Pro Series TVs are slated to launch widely across US retailers this spring after their CES unveiling. Roku is working to expand retail distribution for its sets beyond existing partners like Best Buy, Walmart, and Costco. International availability in Canada, the UK, and Mexico is planned later in 2023.

On the software side, Roku announced efforts to bring more voice control, smart home, and customization features to its smart TV platform this year. This includes expanding support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice agents, enabling TV control via voice commands. Roku is also building out an ecosystem of home theater audio devices like wireless surround speakers to complement its Pro Series TV lineup.

With its ambitious play into premium TVs packed with the latest display technology and AI processing, Roku aims to compete directly with the top-selling TV makers. The company hopes its formula of combining cutting-edge features with aggressive pricing can win over consumers and put Roku TVs into millions more living rooms.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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