Roku Creates Hybrid Box for Operators, Joins Linear and Streaming

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Roku is letting viewers attach one less box to their television sets, while enjoying a simple, unified viewing experience. The OTT streaming device provider announced that it's creating a hybrid box that it will market to operators, letting them offer their traditional channels alongside streaming options. Cable and satellite operators are starting to take an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude about OTT options, packaging OTT services with their usual bundles. With a hybrid box, viewers don’t have to constantly switch between devices. To entice operators, Roku has created new customization features that let partners surface content on the home screen and create recommendations.

The box will be available later this year to partners in the Roku Powered licensing program. Began in 2014, the program offers operators and end-to-end solution for reducing churn and growing their addressable ad market.

“Many consumers have a hybrid viewing pattern and leverage both traditional broadcast and on-demand or catch-up services,” notes Andrew Ferrone, vice president of pay TV at Roku.

Sky has already announced it will be the first operator to deploy the hybrid box. Sky and Roku worked together to create the Now TV box in 2014.

The hybrid is roughly the same shape as the recently released Roku 4. It doesn't appear to include onboard DVR storage.

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