Roku TVs Get 4K, HDR in 2016

We've liked the Roku TV smart TV platform, but so far it's been relegated to regular HD sets. Not anymore. Roku is here at CES 2016 saying that it now has a new 4K reference design—and with the release of those specs, this spring should bring the first UHD TVs that include the 4K-ready Roku TV interface. Roku is also working on a version that includes support for high dynamic range (HDR)—both the SMPTE 10 and Dolby Vision standards—for models that will launch later in the year.

TCL, which showed off a 4K Roku model at CES 2015 but never shipped it, will be the first company to bring these models to market, but Roku says other brands will follow. Last year, regular Roku TV models were available from companies including Haier, Hisense, Insignia, Sharp and TCL, so we imagine that several of these brands will offer 4K Roku TVs in 2016. Models that use the 4K Roku TV platform will be able to stream 4K content from a number of services, including Amazon and Netflix.

Roku also says that TCL will be the first TV brand to adopt the Roku TV HDR reference design in TVs this year. TCL is holding a CES press conference on Tuesday, so we expect to hear more about specific models, availability, and pricing. And we'll also look for news from several other TV brands.

Although we haven't yet seen any of these new 4K Roku TVs, we did recently test the new 4K-enabled Roku 4 streaming media player, which should provide a good preview of what we can expect from Roku TVs, since they will have the same user-friendly interface and access to content. The Roku 4 player now tops our streaming media player Ratings.

Here at CES this week, we expect to hear a lot more about UHD TVs, HDR technology, and 4K streaming services, so keep checking back for all our CES 2016 updates.

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