It seems like 2016 is already the year of 4K. Content is growing, particularly for home viewing, Blu-ray DVD players are being released, and today, there’s word TV giant Insignia and smart TV pioneers Roku are ready to bring a 4K TV to market.
While Roku and Insignia have been collaborating on TVs for some time, the addition of a 4K TV to their shared stable is huge, and the sets will only be available at Best Buy.
“Best Buy is the destination for all the latest in TV technology,” said Jason Abrams, Best Buy’s VP of Home Theatre. “With the new 4K UHD Insignia Roku TVs, the 4K viewing experience is now available to more of our customers than ever.”
What will be in the box?
The new 4K UHD Insignia Roku TVs will have a sharp and thin bezel design and will include features unique to the Roku platform, but features designed to enhance the 4K UHD viewing experience. Right out of the box, that’ll include access to Roku’s 4K Spotlight Channel and a 4K UHD category within the Roku Channel Store.
All about size and speed
The 4K UHD Insignia Roku TV models will be available in 43”, 50” and 55” screen sizes and are equipped with a powerful quad-core processor and fast 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi to ensure a smooth 4K UHD streaming experience.
“These new TVs combine excellent picture quality and resolution with an easy to use smart TV experience that is truly unique to Roku TV – all at an affordable price,” said Chas Smith, general manager of OEM for Roku. “Customer response to the HD Insignia Roku TV models has been tremendous and we expect that same enthusiasm for these new TVs as consumers look for a great 4K UHD smart TV.”
A quick primer on Roku: it’s a smart streaming TV service, which exists in a couple different incarnations. You can get an add-on Roku TV box (called Roku Streaming Media Player), or a smaller Streaming Stick, which will allow you to turn ‘dumb’ TVs into smart TVs.
These external devices use your home’s Wi-Fi to access the web and allow you to stream shows, movies, and content direct from apps like YouTube, Netflix, Plex, and a host of other channels.
4K is the next logical step
Increasingly, Roku’s streaming smarts can be found built right in to traditional TVs, such as Insignia and Sharp. Today’s announcement has now made this capability available in rich, sharp, high contrast and ultra realistic 4K Ultra HD resolution.
4K TV provides a resolution that’s four times greater than the best TVs on the market today. Also called Ultra HD, 4K TV is the next step up in technology, delivering higher resolution, sharper images, bolder and more brilliant colours, higher contrast and a video picture that’s leaps and bounds ahead of any other TV technology. (Read more about 4K on the blog.)
Options for controlling your Roku-powered Insignia 4K TV
Roku gives you a few options for controlling your TV. While the existing external streaming devices like the Streaming Stick come with a remote control, you can also use the Roku app on your smartphone or tablet to control your TV. It will be the same story with the new 4K TVs.
The Roku Mobile App also allows you to share personal video, photos and music, directly from a mobile device to the Roku TV. In addition, the app will also allow you to cast video from the Netflix and YouTube mobile apps right to the TV. You’ve also got options for the Roku home screen, which allows for customization, depending on what your most-watched services or channels are.
Voice Search is already here
While Apple made a big deal out of adding Siri to Apple TV, voice search is already available for Roku TV, via the app.
I’ve tried the voice search option while using my Streaming Stick, and it’s very responsive and easy to use. If it doesn’t recognize a word, it’s easy enough to use your on-screen keyboard to type instead. The best part about it is that voice search will check out all channels in the Roku Channel Store for the program you’re looking for, so there’s no need for tedious one-channel-at-a-time searches. Another thoughtful option the designers at Roku built in? Search results are ordered with the least expensive or free results listed first. Roku TV also features the Roku Feed which lets you follow entertainment you’re interested in and get notified when it becomes available to stream — and at what price.
4K + Roku + Insignia = an amazing quality, smart TV package. Be sure to check out the 4K Roku Insignia TV options when shopping for a new TV.