By Joe Whitaker, January 04, 2013
I just talked to Westinghouse about its new line of 4K Ultra HD displays – up to 110 inches – and was surprised to learn that this long-forgotten TV brand is launching a line of Roku Ready displays at CES 2013.
Where did that come from. The brand best known for kitchen appliances and cheap little TVs is now leading the charge in TV technology?
Earlier this year we heard about the new Roku Streaming Stick providing all the Roku streaming goodness in a simple-to-add stick for “supported devices.”
Westinghouse will launch several such “supported devices” in a new line of “Roku Ready” displays debuting at CES (following in the footsteps of Hitachi).
This “Future Proofing” technology – their term, not mine— allows users to simply slip the Roku stick into the slot for instant Roku access on the home network. The entire slate of features is immediately available, with navigation via the Westinghouse remote.
What is an A/V professional to make of this development from such an unheralded TV brand?
And what should we think in general of the Roku Streaming Stick? This could be turned into a great selling and profit point. Clearly you won’t make money on the Roku stick, but maybe there is profit potential for compliant displays and devices – not to mention your networking expertise?
We have all been waiting for easy-to-implement services such as Roku, without the need for new boxes. Now we have it.
Or should we fear the value-added TV brands making great claims about display sizes and feature sets?
From the custom installation side, I am wondering: Roku has had IP control available for some time (I use the Extra Vegetables driver for Control4). Will support like that be available for the display as well? Can I turn this into an all-IP solution for both control and connectivity?
As a custom installer, can I sell Westinghouse with confidence?
Roku Ready TVs, 110-inch 4K Ultra HD: Is Westinghouse Back?,