Roku just launched a pair of wireless speakers for your (Roku) TV

Roku just launched a pair of wireless speakers for your (Roku) TV

This is a hardware play, of course, but what it really amounts to is an attempt by the company - whose TVs accounted for one out of every four smart TVs sold in the the first quarter - to use its hardware to more tightly Wednesday customers to its platform. "We're actually looking to increase the engagement on the platform". Since Roku controls the hardware and software of both the TV and the speakers, Roku is able to easily pair the wireless speakers - the only wired connection you'll need is to plug in the power cable for the speakers. While they are rather intriguing, I do have a specific concern.

Smith adds that Roku is also entering this part of the consumer A/V game as TVs continue to get slimmer and require smaller, under-powered built-in speakers that tend to lack bass or miss on the low-end of audio range in a way that can make it more hard for consumers to hear the dialogue of a TV show or movie. Likewise, an Automatic Volume Leveling feature and a Dialog Enhancement feature are integrated as well, allowing the speakers to lower or raise the volume according to the scene and make speech easier to hear. But up against a standard TV, the wireless speakers transform an ordinary living room into a soundscape worthy of - well, not quite a movie theater, but definitely something in line with a good pair of headphones. The latter is a battery-powered tabletop voice remote with a press-and-hold design for voice commands, playback control buttons and programmable preset buttons. Roku says the wireless aspect is to address consumer "frustrations" with wired speakers. Roku told Ars in a briefing that the speakers will play optimized audio from anything connected to the paired Roku TV, including cable boxes, antennas, and even Bluetooth devices like your smartphone. What exactly is my concern? However, the company did some neat work with the technology inside them. Roku TV users can pre-order from between July 16 - 23, 2018, for a special introductory price of $149.99. But what if your TV breaks? They are the first Roku Connect speakers to be released, but not the first ones announced; that credit goes to the TCL Alto soundbar, also announced at CES, though we don't have a formal release date or pricing for that one.

Ultimately, the lock-in is a bit concerning. "We believe that by offering better sound, people will watch more TV and stream more music". After all, a sound bar will work on any TV - regardless of brand or platform.

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However, Amazon's Alexa software has a wider range of skills on offer that enable it to link up with and control more third-party devices around the home.

Roku has decided that too many customers are dissatisfied with the default speakers that come built into TVs and think it's also too much of a headache to set up and use an external speaker system.

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