Roku releases its line of premium-ish TVs with Mini LED backlighting

Prices range from $900 to $1,700, depending on the size.


Roku has released a line of TVs called the Pro Series after first unveiling the collection at this year’s CES. These televisions are packed with tech, with the standout feature being Mini LED backlighting for better brightness and contrast. The 4K TVs also boast QLED panels, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and a responsive refresh rate of 120Hz. The company’s calling them the “ultimate TVs” for streaming.

To that end, the quad-core processor should allow for snappier menu navigation and for apps to launch quickly, so you can spend less time waiting on a load screen and more time binging Hulu’s Shogun while scarfing down a big bowl of popcorn. They're also Wi-Fi 6 capable, which comes in handy when streaming 4K content.

On the audio side of things, the Pro Series models include side-firing Dolby Atmos speakers for a “wide, cinematic sound.” The TVs integrate nicely with wireless soundbars, speakers and subwoofers, in addition to wired variants. Each model also features Bluetooth for connecting wireless headphones, to prevent spoilers from seeping into every corner of the house. They come with a refreshed remote control that includes motion-activated backlit buttons, USB-C charging and new shortcut options.

The Pro Series TVs feature a new neural processing unit (NPU) that allows for some nifty OS features. Smart Picture Max uses AI to automatically adjust the best picture mode for a particular piece of content, refining the color, sharpness and motion as required. This carries over to brightness, which also automatically adjusts depending on room lighting.

While Smart Picture Max might be tied to the Pro Series line of TVs, due to the updated NPU, there are more OS features coming to all Roku panels. The company’s televisions will soon get something called Backdrops, which are basically just fancy screensavers pulled from a wide catalog of popular artwork or via uploaded images. This won’t exactly turn a Roku into a Samsung Frame TV, but it’s a start.

The Roku Backdrops feature in action.

Roku TVs are also getting deep integration with IMDB in a forthcoming OS update. This will provide data sourced from the site as you scroll through potential shows and movies to watch. Finally, the mobile app is receiving a comprehensive upgrade, complete with a streamlined design, better search and new content categories.

The Pro Series line is available now from Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart. Prices start at $900 for the 55-inch model and rise up to $1,700 for the chunky 75-inch version. There’s also a wall-mount kit available for $100.