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TVs: Roku TV hands-on: A simpler take on Smart TV

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TVs: Roku TV hands-on: A simpler take on Smart TV

3:13 /

The Roku TVs are now available for pre-order. In addition to offering our favorite streaming platform built right into the TVs, the initial wave of models is priced even better than mainstays like Vizio.

[MUSIC] Hi there, David Katzmaier from cnet, and next to me is the Roku TV. This television is basically a Roku platform built in to the TV. It's kind of a competitor to existing smart TV's from Samsung, LG, and the like. This particular TV is manufactured by Chinese maker TCL The Roku TV platform also will also come out on [UNKNOWN] a little bit later this year. So those two makers are going to debut the Roku TV platform. We first saw this at CES and we really think it's very cool. It actually just looks just exactly as we saw it at CES. It's really fast. We played it a little bit. This is a preproduction version, but we expect to get the normal production version a little bit to review. It moves around very quickly like Roku, but the real benefit here is you get all of those Roku apps, 1700 apps in total right now, and growing every day. More apps than pretty much any platform. Another great thing about this platform is you can move around and arrange the icons very easily. You can set up the apps that you like at the top, and move the other ones around that you don't like toward the bottom. Of course you can install and uninstall other apps very easily. And it really is a very easy platform to use, unlike a lot of the Smart TV platforms out there. Another big benefit of the Roku platform is the search. The universal platform that hits a lot of different platforms. You can actually find out when you're searching on an app. Whether you have Netflix for example, and not have to pay for the Netflix movie that youre getting for free as a Netflix subscriber. So that cross-platform search works extremely well, and again, as a kind of real-value ad, with Roku, compared to a lot of other platforms out there, like Chromecast, AppleTV, FireTV, and, of course, the myriad smart TV platforms. But really the extra thing we got here is this TV has Roku built right into the television itself, so one of the cool things you get is instead of a normal TV menu to fire up, you have to actually go to the smart TV section. Right here, the smart TV section is part of the interface. So you can see along the top here, you have all the inputs: cable TV, XBox, Antenna, right along the top. And the cable box even shows a live feed of what's coming into that HDMI input. Of course, you can move those inputs around and adjust them and even rename them, so it's all sort of an integrated experience. And it kinda works just as well as when people watch TV now. So right when you turn on the television you get all these inputs. All of these apps immediately right on the interface right there. And it's a very simple, very straight forward arrangement. Again, in counterpoint, many, many of the more complex smart TV interfaces. Of course, it doesn't have a lot of that smart TV bells and whistles we've seen on some of these other TVs, like motion control, and built-in cameras, and a web-browser. That's stuff that you'll never use. We really don't think that's a big deal. We think. Really what people are gonna be using this T.V. for, a SmartTV for in general, is streaming video and audio and, again, some of the things you can do with this include Plex, where you can actually get audio and video services from, your home network. So you can stream those files pretty easily, as well, if you have a Plex service setup. Again, all the great capabilities of Roku built into a T.V. itself. This TV's coming out in the very near future and we've actually heard some extremely aggressive price points. So again, they're going to be competing right against those wheel house TVs, like the Vivio's and Samsung's of the world, with their own built in smart TV platform. With the added advantage of Roku. That's a quick look at the Roku TV, from CCL and Hisense. I'm David Cadimire with cnet. [MUSIC]

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