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Roku TV OS Expanding To More TVs, Including First 4K TVs

The Roku TV smart-TV OS will expand to almost 60 TVs this year in the U.S. and Canada compared to almost 40 in 2015, and the 2016 selection will include the first 4K Ultra HD TVs with the OS, Roku said on the eve of CES.

The company has also developed an HDR (high dynamic range) reference design that TV makers can use to add Dolby Vision HDR or HDR 10 to Roku TVs.

TCL will be the first TV maker to incorporate Roku TV in 4K TVs, with multiple models due in the spring. Roku also said TCL will be an initial TV partner to integrate the Roku TV HDR reference design.

4K UHD TVs from additional Roku TV partners are also expected this year.

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Roku began licensing its OS in 2014, and in 2015, almost 40 Roku TV models were available from five TV brands, including Haier, Hisense, Insignia, Sharp and TCL, in sizes ranging from 28 to 65 inches.

The coming 4K Roku TVs will access “what is expected to be one of the largest lineups of 4K UHD streaming channels available on a smart TV,” said Roku GM Chas Smith. “We expect momentum for Roku TV to accelerate as we continue efforts to add new TV partners while expanding our work with existing partners to bring many more Roku TV models to the U.S., Canada and soon Mexico.”

By incorporating the Roku OS smart-TV platform, Roku TVs access all Roku streaming audio and video services available in Roku’s own settop IP-video streamers. The services consist of more than 3,000 streaming channels, including Sling TV. The Roku TV platform is also promoted as simplifying content selection by putting all video sources — TV, Roku streaming services, and connected sources such as game consoles — on a home screen UI. The TVs also display video, pictures and audio sent wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet running a Roku app.

At CES, Roku TV models will be on the show floor from Haier, Hisense and TCL.

Roku also offers a 4K streaming player, the $129 Roku 4. The device streams 4K content at 60 fps, incorporates HDCP 2.2 copy protection, and accesses 4K content from Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, ToonGoogles, Vudu and YouTube.