Roku said it’s developing a hybrid set-top box that will reach production later this year and be offered to pay TV partners that are involved in the company’s Roku Powered program.
The hybrid Now TV Smart Box, which looks a lot like the new Roku 4 model, will enable operator partners to offer linear and streaming services on the same platform. Sky will be the first Roku Powered operator to deploy it as part of its Now TV service in the U.K, Roku said.
Introduced in 2014, Roku Powered is a licensing program in which pay TV operators tap Roku hardware and customized interfaces to deliver apps and services to the TV. In addition to Sky UK, other operators on board with that program include Telstra, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
“With the new Roku Powered hybrid set top box we are enabling operators to bridge the gap between linear broadcast and streaming TV services,” said Andrew Ferrone, vice president pay TV at Roku, in a statement. “Many consumers have a hybrid viewing pattern and leverage both traditional broadcast and on demand or catch-up services.”
The contract-free Now TV service is also offered on Sky’s Now TV Box, the Chromecast, PS3 and PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360, LG smart TVs, YouView boxes, tablets, smartphones and Web browsers.
Sky is also preparing to launch 'Sky Q,' a premium, multi-room video platform.