You’ll soon be able to use more than just Roku-branded home entertainment equipment on the Roku TV platform. The streaming platform has announced that it will allow third-party companies to release products that work seamlessly with Roku TV.
Although you can technically use third-party soundbars and such with a Roku TV, the feature-sets aren’t fully streamlined in a way that allows you to access settings and capabilities on third-party hardware directly through the Roku TV, using a Roku TV remote. The new “Roku TV Ready” program will simplify that process by making sure that participating third-party hardware will be easier to set up and access everything straight through the Roku system.
“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.”
The Roku TV Ready program already includes partnerships with TCL North America and Sound United (the parent company of Denon, Polk Audio and others), which have Roku TV Ready products in the making for later this year. In the case of Denon soundbars, certain models will reportedly receive a software update later this year that make them Roku TV Ready, so you won’t even have to buy new hardware.
In the event that you do wind up shopping for new gear, you’ll be able to identify third-party hardware that is compatible with Roku TV by the Roku TV Ready branding, and this equipment shouldn’t cost any more than it already would have since Roku says participating in the initiative comes at no additional cost.
Along with streamlining the way third-party hardware works with Roku TVs, the company is working with 15 TV brands who plan to launch Roku TV models in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the UK this year. Those deals include an expanded partnership with Walmart, which recently launched an Onn-branded soundbar and subwoofer as an alternative to Roku’s own hardware.