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Roku unveils new wireless soundbar reference design, No. 1 smart TV OS

TCL Roku TV
(Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

Roku has announced a new reference design for a wireless soundbar to work with its Roku TV Ready ecosystem, and TCL (which also manufacturers a popular line of Roku TV) is expected to announce an initial product at CES 2021 on Jan. 12.

The reference design is intended to give manufacturers a blueprint for making wireless soundbars that work seamlessly with Roku TVs, allowing for greater control over the audio experience. It'll provided better synchronization, the need for fewer remote controls, and you'll be able to control more settings from within the Roku user experience itself.

Simultaneously, Roku also announced that NBD Group says that Roku TV is now the No. 1 smart TV operating system in the United States. Based on tracking data from Jan. 5 to Dec. 26, 2020, Roku TV had a 38 percent. Market share in the United States, and 31 percent in Canada.

“We are proud to power the smart TVs that are most frequently purchased in the United States and Canada," Mustafa Ozgen, senior vice president of Account Acquisition at Roku, said in a press release. "Every day we work to ensure our customers have the best TV experience and that means — ease of use, choice, endless entertainment and great value."

“Additionally," added Ozgen, "With the introduction of our new wireless soundbar reference design, we are continuing to expand our home entertainment eco-system to ensure consumers can pair any Roku TV with great sound.”

The Roku TV Ready program is a scheme by which third-party manufacturers can create products that work more seamlessly with Roku TV. And that program is expanding. Element will launch a 2.0 Roku TV soundbar and a 2.1 soundbar and subwoofer later this year, Roku announced.

Earlier this week, Roku announced that it now has more than 50 million active accounts (as in accounts that have been used in the past 30 days).

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.