Roku extends tech into home entertainment sound

Courtesy of Roku

Courtesy of Roku

Roku also envisions being at the center of a home entertainment network with which people can easily connect a smart soundbar, add speakers in different rooms and control them with voice commands. The platform will be licensed to third-party manufacturers of speakers and other audio hardware, similar to how Roku's television service is integrated into many popular smart TV brands.

The first Roku Connect device is being made by TCL, the same company that made the Roku TV that was released previous year. The company will also roll out something called Roku Connect software, which will have a hardware requirement and will enable other manufacturers to build products that connect with Roku's TV-centric system. Roku's been releasing media streaming boxes since as early as 2008, and ten years later in 2018, the company has announced its two latest projects - Roku Connect and the Roku Entertainment Assistant.

"We've always focused on making it incredibly simple for consumers to find and enjoy streaming entertainment on their TVs, and with an expanded Roku ecosystem, consumers will be able to enjoy great sound to their TVs and audio around the home in a modern way", Roku CEO Anthony Wood said.

This means you will be able to play music, start watching something on your TV or your Roku player using a single smart assistant in your home.

Roku, Inc. primarily operates a TV streaming platform.

Roku's Entertainment Assistant plays a vital role in the new Entertainment Licensing Program, however. Those technology giants offer video-streaming devices, voice assistants and smart speakers.

They are calling this ecosystem Roku Connect and it will be able to connect to Roku devices wirelessly to form a completely wireless home entertainment system. Keep in mind it's separate from the voice control setup Roku already uses.

The company first unveiled its licensing program four years ago, allowing OEMs to develop televisions and other products that worked with the Roku streaming devices. The company also highlighted Magnavox will become the ninth TV brand to sell Roku TVs.

Unlike competitors such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which offer a broader range of skills, the Roku Entertainment Assistant will be optimized for home entertainment.

Roku's voice-activated assistant won't rollout until this Fall as part of a larger software update.

From that point forward, eight TV brands have begun offering Roku TVs in North America.

The Roku Entertainment Assistant is designed with home audio in mind, but Roku will not be making its own speakers - at least not yet.

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