Saratoga, Calif. — Roku expanded its Roku TV program to include select Sharp TVs, which will soon join select models from TCL and Hisense.
Best Buy’s Insignia brand, which previously signed onto the program, also announced plans to offer its first Roku TVs this month in Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com.
Haier also plans to offer Roku TV plans but hasn’t announced models or availability.
With the Sharp launch, a 43-inch LED TV at $379.99 and a 50-inch LED TV at $499 will be available soon exclusively at Best Buy stores as well as at BestBuy.com, Roku said. They feature 1080p Full HD resolution and a 60Hz native refresh rate. They’ll also be available in Best Buy Canada.
Two Roku TVs bearing Best Buy’s Insignia house brand will be available this month exclusively at Best Buy and BestBuy.com. They consist of a 32-inch LED TV and 55-inch LED TV at $229 and $549, respectively. They also feature 1080p FullHD resolution and 60Hz refresh rates, and they’ll also be available in Best Buy Canada.
The Insignia and Sharp models have also received the Netflix Recommended TV designation.
By incorporating the Roku OS smart-TV platform, Roku TVs access all of Roku’s streaming audio and video services, which consists of more than 2,000 streaming channels, including Sling TV and WatchESPN. The Roku TV platform is also promoted as simplifying content selection by putting all video sources — TV, Roku streaming services, and connected sources such as game consoles — on a homescreen UI. The TVs also display video, pictures and audio sent wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet running a Roku app.
All models also feature built-in Wi-Fi to access streaming services and display smartphone content.
Netflix Recommended TVs undergo an evaluation program to determine if they offer better performance, easier app access and new smart-TV features. Criteria include instant-on capability to display apps, including a prominently displayed Netflix app, as soon as the TV is turned on; a dedicated Netflix button on the TV’s remote; the latest version of Netflix; fast app launch and resume, and fast playback start.