Roku, the maker of an online video streaming set-top box and HDMI dongle, said it will work with two Chinese TV set manufacturers this year to build its software directly into "actual TV" sets. The announcement came at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
Roku teamed with TCL and Hisense on a Roku-ready TV. (Source: Roku)
TV manufacturers TCL and Hisense are on board for 2014. In a blog post, Roku implied it is working with other manufacturers as well.
Roku appears to be gearing up to put some marketing resources behind the imminent launch. The company is hiring a marketing manager to work with "original equipment manufacturers" or OEMs, according to its website. "One of the areas of growth is with TV OEMs" the job ad says. "These TV manufacturers realize that streaming video is a critical component of their future and many see Roku as a perfect partner to provide a streaming platform."
The announcement comes amid widespread expectations that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) will enter the TV-set business in some way. Roku is planning to launch three models from each company that range in size from 32 to 55 inches, according to a CNET report.
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