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RCA to Launch Low-Cost Android-Based UHD TVs

January 7, 2014 - Written By Lucian Armasu

The 4k TVs, or rather the UHD TVs (if you want to be really accurate about it), are coming, but RCA is going to do more than just launch some regular UHD TVs. It’s going to launch some with the Android TV platform (formerly known as Google TV), which apparently is going to come out this year.

The TVs will come with Search, Chrome and the PrimeTime guide, plus Miracast for screen mirroring. There will be several models of 55-, 65- and 84-inch, for which we don’t have the price tags yet, about apparently they will be “budget” UHD TVs (but probably still cost $1,000 or more each), so start saving now, just in case.

While I was initially excited about smart TVs, so far they seem to be about as successful and properly made as smartwatches (which is to say, not much). Everyone seems to be wanting to put “heavy” interfaces on the TV, and instead of making it easier to watch TV, some of them actually make it harder and more confusing, especially to regular people. Perhaps that will change in the future if someone “gets it right”, or if it becomes easier to just tell the TV what we want to watch without navigating through layers of menus and interface to get to that show we want to see.

There’s also an issue with upgrades. It’s one thing to not upgrade the phone you’re going to get rid of after 2 years more than once or twice, but what about the TVs that get replaced every 10 years? It’s not just a problem of performance or UI, but also one of security. If you make devices “smart” and “connected”, they are going to have to deal with a lot of security issues, too, that wouldn’t affect normal TVs.

Speaking of normal TVs, RCA will have some regular old 1080p HDTV’s that will be “Roku Ready” and each will come with an alternative to Chromecast called a “Streaming Stick”, which will completely replace the need for a set top box. RCA even has a couple of curved TVs to sell you, which seems to be all the rage lately (at least with the manufacturers themselves, if not the customers). At least “streaming sticks” and set top boxes can be upgraded even every year or two, so the issue of upgrading them is much smaller in this case, and you still get to enjoy having a “smarter” TV.