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NAB 2017: Roku, RCA Strike Smart TV Deal

Roku is broadening its push into the smart TV market after inking a licensing deal with RCA.

The deal, in conjunction with Display-Vu Group, an affiliate of Curtis International, will see RCA start to offer Roku-powered HDTV models sometime this summer in the U.S. and Canada.

Outfitted with Roku’s operating system, those TVs will provide access to Roku’s array of more than 5,000 streaming “channels,” and a library of about 450,000 movies and TV shows, they said. RCA TVs are manufactured and distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Display-Vu Corp.

The deal also marks a shift of allegiance for RCA, which has also been working with Android TV.

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RCA, a brand now owned by Technicolor, joins a growing roster or Roku TV partners. Others TV makers with Roku licensing deals include Element Electronics, Hitachi America, Haier America, Sharp, Insignia (Best Buy’s in-house brand), and Hisense. Of that group, Haier is pivoting to a platform powered by Google’s “Chromecast built-in” platform, but Roku has pledged to continue supporting and providing software updates to Haier smart TVs that use Roku’s OS.

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Citing shipment data from IHS, Roku has previously held that Roku TVs accounted for 13% of all U.S. smart TV sales, or one out of eight smart TV purchases, citing new TV shipment data from IHS.

“RCA is an iconic brand with deep roots in the living room. Consumers love the brand and as we combine that with today’s modern streaming approach, RCA Roku TVs are sure to be a favorite this year,” Chas Smith GM of Roku TV and players, said in a statement.

Roku said recently it had 14 million “active accounts” as of March 31, 2017. The privately held companypulled in nearly $400 million in revenues for 2016, with $100 million coming from its media and licensing division.