TCL is one of the fastest growing television brands in the world, with the Chinese company producing LCD displays for Samsung and even building TVs in partnership with IKEA. Now, another partnership could help propel TCL even further forward in the marketplace.
Roku is to bring its OS to more TCL Smart TVs in 2016, a move not completely unfamiliar – as Roku’s operating system can also be found on TVs from Haier, Hisense, Insignia and Sharp, as well as some current TCL TVs.
What’s special about the TCL agreement however is the fact that it will be the first 4K TV to support Roku’s operating system, which is convenient given the set-top box manufacturer’s recent 4K focus – which includes a dedicated 4K channel to find the Ultra HD content quickly.
For those unaware, TCL is the company behind IKEA’s Uppleva concept that launched in Italy, Poland, France and Sweden, amongst other markets. It was the Swedish furniture giant’s attempt at producing a simple home theatre system which included speakers, TV and a Blu-ray player.
The concept largely fell flat on its face, with consumers and critics alike unconvinced by a home cinema set-up that is put together with an allen key.
TCL received much of the criticism, with the TV’s picture quality being lambasted, while its Smart TV interface was reviled by reviewers for being completely unresponsive.
It appears that the company is not willing to make that mistake again partnering with Roku, which is already behind some of the most popular aftermarket set-top boxes on the market; including the recently announced 4K Roku 4.
Roku is keen to stay ahead of the competition as well. While the company has partnered with TCL for a 4K TV, it understands that 4K is essentially yesterday’s news. That’s why at CES 2016 Roku is showing off a reference television supporting Dolby Vision – all in the hope that a TV manufacturer will adopt the technology and its software in tandem.
In the US, Roku commands 8% of the Smart TV market, which is pretty substantial considering the market is currently dominated by the likes of Samsung, with its Tizen operating system, and LG, with its WebOS interface.