In a move set to stir the turbulent UK smart TV market some more, Roku has launched a range of new Roku TV models in collaboration with Currys-owned brand JVC.
Announced today, this partnership brings together JVC’s robust hardware and the intuitive Roku OS to offer a friendly Smart TV experience.
With prices beginning at a competitive £169.99, these new Smart TVs aim to provide an accessible entry point into the realm of seamless streaming.
The new JVC Roku TV models, available in sizes ranging from 24″ to 43″, come with either HD or Full HD resolution.
So, while these models boast of superior HDR10 picture quality, they do fall short on the increasingly standard 4K resolution, which might deter consumers looking for a more future-proof purchase.
Then again, and especially at these sizes, it seems Roku and Currys are not really eyeing the higher-end market, and are instead looking to dominate the budget-focused market, where lower-sized TVs are often more popular.
Roku, known for its user-friendly streaming platform, has been steadily gaining traction in the UK TV market.
However, Roku has also been increasing the range of TVs with Roku-built-in sold in the UK – and there are now models from Sharp, TCL, Metz (see our review) and others – as well as the recently announced Polaroid Roku TV sold in ASDA (see more on that one below).
JVC Roku TV Feature Overview: A Mixed Bag
The integration of a Freeview tuner, along with Freeview Play in the JVC Roku TV models provides live television alongside a broad spectrum of streaming options from local apps such as BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, My5 and ITVX.
And, with Roku’s global reach, you get a vast library of streaming apps and services, such as Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+ and pretty much every major (and minor) streaming service that operates in the UK.
However, as is usually the case with Roku TVs, the Freeview Play part is not fully integrated with the rest of the Roku interface – therefore you can’t use voice search to find Freeview shows from the EPG, for example.
Also, the TV has no direct Freeview recording capabilities, as it doesn’t have any local storage.
Furthermore, despite the extensive streaming app support, the absence of 4K resolution may affect the streaming quality of 4K content available on platforms like Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube.
Looking at the specs of the 40″ model, the JVC LT-40CR330 Smart Full HD HDR LED TV, as its name suggests, offers a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080p on a direct-lit LED screen.
This model embraces HDR10 and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) technologies, attempting to provide superior contrast and more vibrant images (but without 4K).
The bezel width is a sleek 5mm, offering a near-edge-to-edge screen experience. However, with a native contrast ratio of 5000:1 and a peak brightness of 300 nits, it might not reach the dazzling brightness and deep blacks exhibited by higher-end models or those with 4K resolution.
In terms of audio, the TV is equipped with two speakers, delivering a total audio power of 16W.
While this setup should provide clear sound for everyday viewing, audio enthusiasts might find the power lacking compared to external sound system solutions (such as a soundbar).
Connectivity is a strong point, featuring three HDMI 1.4 ports (one ARC compatible), a composite input, a USB 2.0 port, optical audio output, and a 3.5mm jack, alongside WiFi and Ethernet for online connectivity.
JVC Roku TVs VS ASDA’s Roku TVs
The market saw a similar introduction recently when Roku launched a range of budget-friendly smart TVs in ASDA stores, using the Polaroid brand.
Both the JVC and ASDA Roku TV models cater to the budget-conscious consumer, but the JVC range provides a wider choice in terms of size and resolution.
However, the ASDA Polaroid TV does offer a model with 4K resolution – unlike the JVC range.
While it’s hard to compare the pricing of the two directly – especially when ASDA has only unveiled a 55″ 4K model so far – the Currys JVC Roku TVs certainly offer a wider range of budget-friendly models.
Paul Slater, a Vision Expert at Currys, shared his optimism regarding the JVC launch, stating that it would complement their existing portfolio and enhance their smart TV offerings.
With this launch, the Roku TV licensing programme now includes seven Roku TV brands in the UK, each pitched at competitive price points.
HD and Full HD JVC Roku TV models will be available in Currys stores nationwide and online from today:
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