LAS VEGAS — Seiki is probably not the first name that comes to mind when consumers think about TVs and monitors, but that could change soon. Over the last few years, this California-based company has quietly manufactured some impressive displays, and seems to be continuing that trend with a greatly expanded channel selection for its smart TVs.
We met with Seiki at CES 2016 to learn about how its channel lineup had changed since last year. Then, Seiki TVs featured Netflix, a few other premium streaming services, and little else. Now, Seiki TVs offer a much broader range of channels, including plenty of free content, thanks to software known as Hotlist that will work with both Seiki's 1080p and 4K TV sets.
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Seiki smart TVs use a unique operating system known as Muse, which functions as a simple way to access smart TV apps. Muse has been around since last year, but first covered only about six apps. Since then, Seiki has made great strides with Muse, offering niche channels such as A&E, Fox News, History, Popular Science and TMZ. Furthermore, 4K Seiki sets can now stream Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime in UHD resolutions.
Another new Muse feature is Hotlist, which appears to be something of a YouTube competitor. Rather than offering unique content, Hotlist aggregates short clips from other services, such as the aforementioned A&E and Fox News, then presents them in a streamlined menu. Hotlist ensures that users will always have something new and potentially interesting to watch, even if they only want to tune in for a few minutes.
While Seiki may not be a household name just yet (and, indeed, both its full HD and UHD TVs have received fairly middling reviews), the company has definitely taken its commitment to TV tech seriously in the last year. For consumers who want UHD resolutions, a fair selection of channels and few frills, the company's offerings appear to be worth a look.