Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Roku beats Apple to the TV market

Roku, which first shipped its own set-top box for streaming Internet content in 2008, announced at CES 2014 that it has partnered with Hisense and TCL of China to bring to market HDTV models ranging in size from 32-in. screens to 55-in. screens. All models will include built-in Wi-Fi and deliver the full Roku experience, plus traditional broadcast television channels. Users will get Roku's Channel Store, which boasts 1,200 streaming services, many of them developed by broadcast and cable/satellite networks. Users will also be able to navigate content using an iOS or Android app and the devices will feature "casting" support that will allow users to project content from mobile devices or PCs onto the TV screen -- similar to the integration of Apple's AirPlay service in newer Apple TV models.

Roku has been the primary competition for Apple in the smart or connected TV market and the two companies largely dominate that market. As Apple has sold more than 13 million Apple TVs, Roku has wracked up sales of 8 million devices across its lineup. According to market research, the two companies represented more than three quarters of the global streaming device market in July 2013. (Apple had 56.1% of the market to Roku's 21.5% at the time.) A separate study from Parks Associates the following month showed Apple in a more precarious place: It found that among U.S. households with a streaming device, 37% used Roku hardware while 24% had an Apple TV.

From the article, "Roku beats Apple to the TV market" by Ryan Faas.

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