Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

TCL to launch Roku sound bar

TCL to launch Roku sound bar

This means a TCL soundbar can easily work with other TVs or smart speakers within the Roku ecosystem.

Lastly, as part of its ongoing relationship with Roku, TCL also announced the Roku Smart Soundbar, which can be paired to a TV or simply be used as a standalone speaker.

This is a big first step for TCL and Roku, both of which have primarily focused on the video end of home entertainment with TVs and media streamers. TCL ended 2017 as the #3 smart TV brand in the US, with all of its smart TVs powered by the Roku OS. This integration goes beyond a shared remote, though.

The TCL Roku Smart Soundbar will feature Roku Entertainment Assistant, the company's voice assistant built specifically for the home entertainment experience. In addition, the sound bar will leverage Roku Connect to wirelessly connect to other Roku Connect devices in the home entertainment network. This will let users search for and play music over the soundbar without turning the TV on or navigating on-screen menus. Bringing powerful high dynamic range playback to a mainstream TV line, the brand new 5-Series will feature Dolby Vision HDR imaging combined with striking wide color powered by TCL's NBP Photon technology. It hasn't specified any other Alto speakers yet, but it would be reasonable to assume a Google Home or Sonos One-like tabletop speaker could be coming. The new smart soundbar is expected to launch in late 2018. This is still an early concept device that hasn't been finalized for retail release.

Pricing has not yet been announced on any of the new TCL products. Its 2018 TVs drop the letter designations of previous TCL TVs.

TCL has established a name for itself as the most value-for-money 4K television brand, and at CES 2018, the TV brand showcased a revision to its highly successful P series, dubbed the TCL 6 Series.

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The new 2018 TCL 4K UHD HDR Dolby Vision 6-series and 5-series will be very popular TVs in 2018.

As the higher-end line, the 6-series adds zone-based LED backlight and contrast adjustments.

The 6-Series comes with the Roku TV Voice Remote as well, and supports TCL's Performance Package Pro, which includes Contrast Control Zone Technology, which identifies bright and dark areas in each frame of content and controls each zone within the frame to create the contrast between light and dark areas. And though the 5-Series does not include Contrast Control Zone Technology, TCL mentions an HDR Dynamic Contrast feature.

Roku announced its new Entertainment Assistant alongside a new licensing program called Roku Connect. As for the TCL Roku Smart Soundbar (pictured below), that won't be available until the fall.

The 5-Series will be available this spring with sizes ranging from 43 to 65 inches.

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