Roku announced Friday that it is expanding the Roku TV Ready Soundbar ecosystem with a new wireless soundbar reference design for consumer electronics brands.

This new wireless soundbar reference design uses Roku-developed audio technology to connect a soundbar seamlessly and wirelessly with any Roku TV model for optimal AV device synchronization and easier-to-use set-up and functionality.

The reference design will enable developing soundbars that eliminate many of the cord connections that add to clutter around the television, the company said. It also will enable different consumer electronic companies and brands to build and sell under their own brands wireless soundbars compatible with the Roku TV OS platform for connection to millions of Roku TVs already installed in the marketplace.

The technology supports Wi-Fi device connectivity, although the soundbars also support Bluetooth for wirelessly streaming music to the soundbars from smart devices. The soundbars will also connect with Roku soundbar peripherals including Roku wireless subswoofers and Roku wireless speakers.

Roku said TCL plans to launch the first wireless Roku TV Ready soundbar under the expanded ecosystem and will give further details at a CES 2021 virtual event planned for January 12th.

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“We are proud to power the smart TVs that are most frequently purchased in the United States and Canada. 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,” said Mustafa Ozgen, senior vice president of Account Acquisition at Roku. “Additionally, 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.”

Roku said it is also taking the expanded Roku TV Ready Program to more brand partners in the U.S. and soon, International markets .

In the United States, Element will launch a 2.0 Roku TV Ready Soundbar and 2.1 Roku TV Ready Soundbar + Subwoofer later this month. Element will join TCL, Hisense, Enclave, Sound United and Bose as companies who released Roku TV Ready certified audio products in the U.S. last year.

Roku will then take the program to other countries and plans to announce products and partners later.

Roku TV models are available from more than 15 TV OEM brands and today can be found in the U.S., Canada, UK, Mexico and Brazil.

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By Greg Tarr

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