One of the best features of HDMI ARC connection is being able to control basic functions of your soundbar like volume and power with your TV remote. Now, Roku’s new Roku TV Ready initiative is taking things a step further, allowing soundbar makers to work with Roku software so you can control everything on your soundbar — from EQ to sound modes — all from your Roku TV remote.
The first manufacturer on the list is long-time partner TCL, which has committed to releasing at least one Roku soundbar in 2020. Sound United brand and storied audio company Denon has promised to launch some Roku TV Ready audio products as well, allowing you to control their high-quality sound machines from the Roku TV Remote.
In practice, the new program means that if you’ve got a Roku TV Ready soundbar connected to your Roku TV, you can essentially put its remote in a drawer somewhere. All parameters will be available from the TV’s on-screen menu, and all control can be handled with your Roku TV remote. Roku TV Ready features are expected to be delivered to Roku TV models via the Roku operating system in the coming year, while manufacturers can jump on board by simply contacting Roku directly,
“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 set up and control soundbars and audio/video receivers using just a Roku TV remote,” said Mark Ely, Vice President, Retail Product Strategy at Roku, at CES 2020 on January 6. “Meanwhile, consumer electronics brands benefit by offering their products in a more appealing way to our large and engaged audience.”
In a separate announcement, Roku revealed that it has teamed up with a host of new manufacturers to launch new Roku TV models in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These include Element, HiSense, TCL, Philips, RCA, Walmart’s onn, Westinghouse, with TCL continuing to pledge allegiance to the platform. As usual, all of these televisions will offer support for at least one form of HDR — be it Dolby Vision or HDR10, or both — and will run Roku OS to boot (duh!).
Today at CES in Las Vegas, Pax unveiled a new vaporizer that might help ease some of those concerns. Called the Pax Era Pro, the pocket-sized cannabis vaporizer includes a new PodID feature that allows users to read more about the cartridge they’re inserting in their device through the Pax app. It’s a new Pro version of the Pax Era that is currently on the market.
When using one of the new NFC-enabled Pax Pods, which are already on the market, the app will be able to provide information such as oil content, strain information and potency, flavor profiles, producer information, and state-regulated test results. It’s worth noting that Pax Pods have never contained vitamin E acetate, which is thought to be responsible for the wave of vaping illnesses last year.
All that information is front and center and easy to read, so there’s little question about what you’re putting in your lungs.
“Our customers want a premium cannabis experience, so we’ve reimagined the Era from the inside out to offer a first-of-its-kind device that really delivers on that,” said Jesse Silver, Pax’s Senior Vice President of Product. “We have taken an obsessive eye to even the smallest of details — like dual pressure sensors or heating coils custom smelted in Sweden — to provide increased safety, access to information, and an intuitive, smart experience that elevates the entire cannabis vape category.”
Beyond just information, the Era Pro has a number of other new features. The current Era device will allow you to set a temperature for your cartridge to burn at. The Era Pro takes that a step further and offers suggestions from the maker of the cartridge on what the optimal vaping temp is. When you find your perfect setting, the device will also remember it, so you can pop a cartridge in and out and have it still remember your settings.
The Era Pro also expands on the dose control already available in the traditional Pax Era. With it, you can set the number of doses you’d like to consume. When you reach your desired setting, you’ll get haptic feedback from the device letting you know your session is complete.
The Pax Era Pro is available starting today for $70 on Pax’s website, as well as at licensed retailers in states where Pax is sold. Unlike the Era, which is available exclusively in black, the new device is available in red, jade, and gray, as well as black.
Updated 1-6-2020 at 8 a.m. PT: This article has been updated to clarify that Roku Ready is primarily designed for the integration of soundbars and other audio devices with Roku TVs.
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