The Streaming Advisor recently published an article showing among other things that Roku has a dominant place in the TV device and OS market in the US. There is no great mystery as to why that is. ROku was on the scene early as far as streaming goes and was one of the first ways for users to watch Netflix on TV. It has continually made investments in the OS and user experience by improving its features while still keeping it simple to use. The biggest move Roku made though was its decision to license its platforms to television manufacturers. Having 12 TV partners building TVs and selling them all over the world often at a value price is a great recipe to get people watching and signed up with the company.
This week Roku announced another TV manufacturer will be selling 4k TV with the Roku OS built in. Sharp. Sharp was a major name in the US market for years before switching ownership and retreating from the region. Its newly announced sets mark Sharp’s return to the US TV market.
New TVs will be available in 55″ and 65″ screen sizes and will ship with a voice remote. The sets will support Dolby Vision IQ™ and Dolby Atmos®, and deliver a 120Hz refresh rate which allows for great gaming performance. The models are available for purchase at select in-store and online retail locations.
Roku’s continued push into partnerships that deliver high-performance TVs lets other companies do their marketing for them while also earning income for the use of the operating system in general. It leads to an experience where consumers walk into stores like Best Buy and see the Roku logo at every turn, especially in the TV section that usually takes up at least half of the store. Sure there are lots of other products too, but with multiple companies using the Roku OS it means that if Best Buy is trying to clear out inventory or promote sales on smart TVs it builds displays with 75-inch boxes up all over the place emblazoned with the Roku logo. The TVs could be made by any of Roku’s partners or even Roku itself.
Sharp’s new entry will add to that scenario and could make a big splash for American consumers due to their familiarity with the brand name. Names you know are comforting. The sizes and features of the TV won’t hurt a bit either. While the push in the exhibition and convention space is bigger is better the fact is that most Americans don’t have houses with dedicated home theater rooms or a wall where they can hang an 85-inch TV. So by offering sizes between 55-65 inches, it hits the sweet spot for average buyers who want a large screen without letting it take over the entire room.