Roku’s Pro Series TVs have low prices, 120Hz screens, and clever ideas

Roku’s Pro Series TVs have low prices, 120Hz screens, and clever ideas

Roku “announced” its Pro-tier series of TVs back at CES but provided little in the way of details at the time. But now, we’ve firmly entered the season when 2024 TVs begin actually shipping, so today, the company is sharing more on what sets these models apart from its self-branded budget TVs released last year — and the many Roku TVs available from other manufacturers.

Like Roku’s other products, the appeal all boils down to simplicity and ease of use. These TVs will automatically adjust and optimize their picture (and brightness) from scene to scene based on what content is being displayed. Roku calls its version “Smart Picture Max” and says its picture quality engineers have obsessed over performance. A less advanced version, Roku Smart Picture, will be coming to all Roku TVs (including those from other companies) as part of an upcoming OS update.

Every TV does art now, didn’t you hear?
Image: Roku

We already knew the Roku Pro Series would use Mini LED panels, but now the company has confirmed that they’ll feature 120Hz refresh rates for buttery smooth gaming. Roku’s also checking off the boxes for AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, auto low latency mode (ALLM), and VRR support. They’ve also got Wi-Fi 6 for smooth streaming. And as for HDR, you’re getting Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10 Plus.

Roku is also capitalizing on the success of Samsung’s Frame TV by rolling out a new feature it calls Backdrops. You can choose from a variety of art — “including famous classics, museum collections, abstract designs, and more” — to display on the TV when it’s idle. At least for now, Backdrops don’t cost anything, but on a media briefing, the company’s executives hinted they could become another source of monetization as time goes on. (Samsung charges a subscription for its art store on The Frame.)

The Pro Series TVs will come with Roku’s second-generation Voice Remote Pro, which now has backlit buttons and a rechargeable battery (with USB-C charging) while preserving the custom shortcut button. The TVs have side-firing speakers and support Dolby Atmos “for wide, cinematic sound.”

Roku is also building some thoughtful touches into the TV. There’s a remote locator button right on the side (shaped like a Roku remote), and the company will sell an optional $99.99 slim-profile wall mount that has a hinge and kickstand to make life easier when you do occasionally need to access those HDMI ports or other hardware components.

The Roku Pro Series TVs are available starting today in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes, ranging from $899.99 to $1,699.99. Obviously, those prices are significantly higher than the company’s previous sets, but they’re still priced somewhat aggressively for Mini LED sets. You can order them at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. Stay tuned for a review in the coming weeks to see how Roku fares against Hisense, TCL, and others that have been shipping impressive Mini LED TVs for years.

Source link

News Technology