Roku unveils whole home ecosystem

Roku unveils whole home ecosystem

Expect Roku to reveal more information about these upcoming products at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas next week.

This new platform will let the company's partners - like those who are already manufacturing Roku-branded TVs - offer products that work together as an entire home entertainment network. Instead it will license out the Roku Connect software and hardware reference points to third-party companies to allow them to build devices that work with the entertainment platform and virtual assistant.

When launched, the Roku Entertainment Assistant will enable consumers to use voice commands to enjoy entertainment on voice-supported Roku devices.

Voice assistants are increasingly becoming popular and Roku has now confirmed that it's throwing its hat in the ring as well. Users will be able to start playing music from a personal device, including phones and tablets, and then distribute it across the speakers in their homes through Roku Connect.

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.

More news: Vivo unveils first under-the-display fingerprint smartphone at CES 2018

"Amazon Prime and Netflix will be very happy to tap into Roku connect voice controls", he told TechNewsWorld.

The Roku OEM announcement further complicates an increasingly crowded market for voice controlled smart speakers, which thus far has been dominated by Amazon Echo and other devices using the Alexa voice control system, followed by Google Home devices. Roku added that it is expanding its licensing program by allowing a company to make smart speakers.

From that point forward, eight TV brands have begun offering Roku TVs in North America. While those Roku-designed soundbars will work with any TV with an HDMI ARC input, they are being created to be optimized for Roku-powered devices, providing a simplified setup alongside the aforementioned integrated voice control.

Roku's Entertainment Assistant will go beyond Roku Connect's simple voice commands.

The extension of the Roku environment, including voice control, is undoubtedly being watched closely by pay TV operators, including Comcast, that are trying to develop comprehensive, whole home voice-controlled solutions like X1 to distance themselves from over-the-top competitors like Roku. And from Funai, look for that Roku TV logo to start appearing on Magnavox TVs as the Roku TV platform rolls out to that brand's displays. Roku said Magnavox is becoming the ninth TV manufacturer to license its discovery technology, meaning that one of every five smart TVs sold in the USA features a Roku user interface.

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