The leading audio firm Sonos is believed to be working on a streaming media box to rival Apple TV and Roku, and there are good reasons to think such a device will come with multiple HDMI ports for connecting external soundbars, games consoles and Blu-ray players.
Although Sonos, which makes some of the best wireless speakers and soundbars in the business, hasn’t yet confirmed its plans for a media box, Lowpass suggests that it could launch by late 2024 or early 2025, citing an earlier report by Bloomberg. The Sonos TV, as it’s called, will reportedly come pre-loaded with apps such as Netflix and Disney Plus and support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
Should the multiple HDMI ports in the new patent end up making it into the new device, it seems likely that users would be able to sync an exterior audio system, with the Sonos TV acting as a kind of A/V receiver. The single connection shown in the patent is reminiscent of Samsung’s One Connect Box, which is found in high-end TVs such as the Samsung S95C. With One Connect, it’s possible to attach multiple external devices to the TV via a box that subsequently links to the TV via a single cable. So the primary benefit is a cleaner aesthetic.
The Sonos TV may also come with a control application, similar to the one that’s paired with its speakers and soundbars to simplify the setup process. What the device may not have, however, is a remote control. Rather, Sonos wants to promote the idea of using a second screen to control the device. In the patent, it notes that “the use of a smartphone is far simpler than navigating a conventional television menu.”
The patent also details a “Friends & Family” feature, where users can follow each other and make content recommendations to one another.
One curious thing is that the patent also mentions that the Sonos TV may not include an app store. Rather, app management and streaming app updates will be left to the device itself.
It should be noted that a patent is not a final product, and the details may well change if Sonos does indeed decide to launch a Sonos TV. But nonetheless it’s an interesting discovery, as Sonos has always been an expert in terms of connectivity and streaming. The ability to control multiple Sonos speakers in the same house through a single app is widely regarded as one of its best features.
Now it seems that Sonos is looking to do something similar on the TV side as well, with the plan being to integrate the Sonos TVs’ controls into the same, seamless control app. As such it’s fairly ambitious, with Sonos aiming to pull off a clean, cableless approach while also serving as a streaming hub.
What the patent is really describing is an AV receiver of sorts. The Sonos TV will be much more than just a streaming media player, and more of a home entertainment hub that connects the user’s various audio devices into a single box. So your media centre for streaming apps will also be your external sound control system. If Sonos is able to pull this off, its upcoming TV device would be fairly unique.