Sonos ‘Home Theater OS’ could be first push into TV streaming

The audio company makes great soundbars, but now it might be trying to have a bigger hand in how you watch things at home.

Sonos is reportedly developing a ‘home theater OS’ to help it serve an even more central role in the living room, Protocol writes.

The smart speaker company has developed TV hardware in the recent past — namely the Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc — but recent job listings suggest it’s looking to bring on talent who’ve developed software for TVs, with a possible focus on streaming media.

Next Generation — The job listings focus on hires with experience in developing software across platforms, and Sonos doesn’t seem too shy about what they’ll be working on. One listing for a “Principle Platform Product Manager” is expected to “define and drive delivery of the Next Generation Sonos Home Theater OS.” Other roles, like “UX Lead - Next Generation Home Theater Experience” are expected to “work across device surfaces (mobile, television, tablet, and HW remote) to deliver a next generation content delivery experience.”

Adding one last intriguing ingredient to the future product stew, Sonos’ chief innovation officer Nick Millington suggests the company is looking for hires with “experience leading partnering and business development in a streaming media-related field (audio, video, games, sports, music, news, movies, TV, news, podcasts).”

Input has contacted Sonos for comment on Protocol’s reporting and will update if we hear more.

Another soundbar? — Protocol reports Sonos has considered several ways of getting in on the popularity of TV streaming, including partnering with TV manufacturers to get the company’s audio tech in new TVs. The company also reportedly considered turning its smart soundbars into streaming media devices of their own, with the ability to run apps. Not unlike Roku’s Streambar, or the Apple TV/HomePod combination Apple was rumored to be developing last year.

It’s not clear if this “Home Theater OS” project is connected to the other ideas Sonos has reportedly explored (it could possibly run on future Sonos hardware or simply be a TV app), but the company is increasingly interested in both expanding its line of products into new form factors like the Sonos Roam, and offering services on top of its premium hardware. Anything’s possible, and given Sonos’ track record, the possibilities are exciting.