‘Roku TV Ready’ Aims to Simplify Home Theater Set-Up

Streaming pioneer Roku is launching a “Roku TV Ready” program that will certify home-theater products that are easy to hook up to devices using the Roku TV operating system.

The first products to carry the Roku TV Ready logo are from TCL North America and Sound United, whose brands including Denon, Polk Audio, Marantz, Definitive Technology and Classé.

Roku also announced that 15 device makers have agreed to license and make smart TVs with the Roku TV operating system. The new TV brands with Roku TV include ATVIO, Element, Hisense, Hitachi, InFocus, JVC, Magnavox, Walmart’s onn., Philips, Polaroid, RCA, Sanyo, TCL and Westinghouse.

Users who buy home theater products certified as Roku TV Ready will be able to set up their systems quickly and use just the remote from their Roku devices to control all home theater settings and functions.

“Our goal is to make the TV experience incredibly simple, accessible and fun. Roku devices continue to delight millions of consumers for these reasons. And now with this new program we hope to make it super easy to setup and control soundbars and audio/video receivers using just a Roku TV remote,” said Mark Ely, VP, retail product strategy at Roku. “Meanwhile, consumer electronics brands benefit by offering their products in a more appealing way to our large and engaged audience of millions of active accounts.”

Ely noted that more than one in three smart TVs sold in the U.S. came with the Roku operating system last year. “As TVs get bigger and thinner there just less and less space for speakers and as a result of that the sound can really suffer,” he said. “If you’ve our Roku TV in your living room, we’d like to see it connected to a great audio system. It makes a difference in how much you enjoy the content."

Sound United will make some Denon sound bars Roku TV Ready using a software update later this year.

“Denon is consistently at the forefront of technology trends and services. Our joining the Roku TV Ready program demonstrates a continued dedication to this ethos while offering consumers an incredible value, endless entertainment and new features delivered over time,” said Brendon Stead, senior VP, product development at Sound United, parent company to Denon. “The Roku TV Ready program enables Denon users to easily access Denon product features via the Roku TV Remote, among other features. In the name of seamless entertainment, this is a boon for watchers everywhere.”

TCL is expected to announced its rollout plans for Roku TV Ready products later on Monday at CES.

“TCL and Roku have been working to deliver incredible home entertainment innovation to consumers for many years and we’re thrilled to be extending our partnership to home audio compatibility,” said Chris Larson, senior VP, TCL. “As America’s fastest-growing TV brand, we’re focused on providing a first-class home theater experience and a big part of that is ensuring consumers know their TCL television will work well with other products throughout the home.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.