The long-awaited European invasion of the powerful Roku/TCL alliance is finally at hand, with TCL announcing models and retail availability for Roku-powered HD and 4K smart TVs in the UK ranging in sizes from 32 to 65 inches, and priced starting at around £229 ($319).
According to a news release published late last week by Chinese electronics maker TCL, interested UK customers can sign up at Currys.co.UK to receive a £20 discount and notification as to when these TCL sets can finally be purchased.
Models will span from the 32-inch HD RS520K to the full-featured, 65-inch 4K UHD RP620K. In the UK, the TCL TVs will support streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, BT Sport, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My 5.
TCL announced almost a year ago that it was expanding its successful U.S. partnership with Roku to Europe and South America.
Roku has emerged as the most powerful gatekeeper in the U.S. OTT market, largely on the fast adoption of low-priced TCL sets powered by its operating system. In the span of only around three years, Roku-powered TCL smart TV’s overtook market leader Samsung as the No. 1 selling smart TV brand. Factoring in other smart TV OEM partnerships, with companies including Hisense, Roku is now the top smart TV operating system in the U.S. and Canada, controlling more than one-third of sales.
In Europe, however, both Roku and TCL are not nearly as well infiltrated. Samsung controls the biggest smart TV market share, with 31% of the market using TVs powers by Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS, according to Statista.
Google, meanwhile, is the top-selling overall smart home brand—a category that includes smart TV, but also gadgets like smart speakers—controlling 18.1% of the overall market, according to International Data Corp. Not only does Google have a strong third-party OEM presence for Android TV/Google TV OS for smart TVs, the OS is also proliferate via pay TV distribution of Android TV Operator Tier.
“The combination of our affordable premium TVs with Roku’s operating system, offers consumers excellent picture quality and ease of use, alongside a huge variety of features and streaming channels. I am confident that this partnership will help us maintain our strong UK sales growth and increase our market share,” said Bernie Chen, TCL’s UK country manager, in a statement.
Added Arthur van Rest, VP of international at Roku: “TCL was one of the first TV brands to embrace the Roku OS and together we have created numerous award-winning TVs with great picture quality and ease of use. TCL Roku TV models are powered by the Roku OS offering consumers simplicity, choice and incredible value. The Roku OS offers consumers an always current smart TV experience, it is not without reason that the Roku OS is the No. 1 selling smart TV OS in the U.S. and Canada.”
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