Roku has unveiled a new list of hardware partners who are working on making sure that the Roku stick works well on their HD Television. Partners include: Element Electronics, GlobalVue International LLC, Haier, Hitachi America Ltd, Insignia, a Best Buy brand, Mitsubishi Electric (TVs), Onkyo and Integra, OPPO and TMAX Digital Inc (Apex Digital® TVs).
The reason why this is important to get the TV folks on board is because the Roku stick uses an MHL port, which looks like -and plug into- an HDMI port. While physically identical from the outside, MHL does provide power to the Roku stick and requires internal electronics to interpret the signal. It happens fairly often that consumers buy a MHL device and connect it via HDMI only to discover that it won’t work because the TV does not support MHL.
By working with these TV manufacturers, Roku will be able to provide a compelling list of compatible devices to their customers to improve the overall user experience. The Roku streaming stick is expected to launch in the “fall of 2012″ and it should be one of the most affordable and small video streaming device.