Streaming service provider Rakuten TV is stepping up its VOD war with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, by expanding into 42 countries and promising 8k content before the end of the year.

It is also partnering with Samsung, LG, Philips and Hisense to introduce a dedicated remote control button on their respective smart TVs. The move will enable the European streaming TV service to reach more than 30 million households.

Rakuten TV says it will offer the widest 4K HDR movie catalogue available through Smart TVs, as it pursues “the best cinema experience at home.” The company also says it will introduce 8K technology VOD distribution “during the second semester of 2019.”

Rakuten TV currently rents movies in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos via LG TVs, and is the VOD partner for IMAX Enhanced in Europe. It has also bankrolled its own movie slate, including Hurricane.

“This is a major step that our company is undertaking within a plan of expansion which aims at making Rakuten TV the first choice of entertainment for Smart TV owners” says Jacinto Roca, CEO and founder of Rakuten TV.

“Having a remote control button directly connecting to the platform aims at empowering users to access the best movies in the best quality just with one click, dramatically increasing our number of users. The collaboration with premium partners Samsung Electronics, LG, Philips and Hisense is a seal of quality in offering the best service to our users around Europe.

“This is proof of our commitment with providing an always better experience to cinema lovers. With this move, Rakuten TV will triple its presence on a continental level, strengthening its commitment to deliver the best cinematic experience at home”.