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Roku Unveils New Operating System

Roku
(Image credit: Roku)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Roku, Inc. has announced that in the coming weeks it will be rolling out Roku OS 11 with new features to personalize the user experience, expanded content discovery menu options, automated speech clarity, new sound modes, an improved mobile app and other features. 

OS 11 includes Roku Photo Streams, which allows users to customize their Roku experience by creating a personalized screensaver using their own photos and easily share photos so they appear on the Roku devices of friends and family around the country. 

Once a Stream is shared, friends and family can also add their photos to the Stream, creating a shared album.

“At Roku, we are laser-focused on tailoring the streaming and visual experience to fit our customers' personal preferences,” said Gidon Katz, senior vice president product & experience at Roku. “We recognize not everyone interacts with their TV in the same way, so we are proud to offer a platform full of choice, while simultaneously providing our users an easy-to-use experience. With Roku OS 11, we’re offering a platform with new personalized updates across search, audio, content discovery along with a new feature that allows our customers to display and even share photo albums through Roku devices.”

Other noteworthy features of Roku OS 11 include: 

  • Automatic Speech Clarity and Sound Modes. Now available for Roku audio products, Roku's new automatic speech clarity setting dynamically identifies and amplifies dialogue so users don’t miss a word.
  • New Sound Modes for Roku Streambars and Speakers. Users can choose the optimal settings for whatever they’re streaming. The new sound modes, Standard, Dialogue, Movie, Music, and Night are easily accessed by pressing the star button * on the Roku remote or through the Roku mobile app and are tailored for different viewing scenarios to ensure the best audio experience.
  • A/V Sync. Roku is expanding A/V sync to supported player and audio devices with a simple calibration tool within the Roku Mobile app, syncing audio with the action on the screen. This feature is available when a users has a player or Streambar connected to the Roku mobile app and is accessible within the settings menu.
  • What to Watch on Roku Home Menu. What to Watch is a new destination added to the Roku Home Menu, leading to movies and TV shows from a variety of streaming channels, including those users most frequently interact with. What to Watch provides easy access, a personalized selection of new titles that were recently added, recommendations for users based on popular and trending content, and so much more.
  • Live TV on Roku Home Menu. In January, Roku added a Live TV Zone on the Roku Home Menu giving users easy access to free live and linear content from The Roku Channel as well as cable alternatives, including Hulu, fuboTV, Philo, Sling, and YouTube TV, to name a few. With Roku OS 11, users will be able to see recently watched live tv content and discover the latest in local and national news, sports, movies, and more in the Live TV section now located on the Roku Home Menu.
  • Voice Enabled Keyboard. Roku Voice simplifies device setup and channel login for supported apps by allowing users to enter email, password, and PIN information with their voice. With OS 11, voice-enabled keyboards are now available in Spanish, German, and Portuguese.
  • Mobile Content Details. With OS 11, the free Roku mobile app will provide users with a more visual experience when searching on the platform. New visual elements with OS 11 provide additional information about where to stream movies and TV shows, highlighting which channels are streaming the content for free or where it can be streamed within existing subscriptions, allowing everyone to get more out of the channels they are paying for. The new content details on the mobile app also show visual images of the cast and crew to assist with choosing what to watch. All of these updates fit in with the recently added Save List, which allows users to save movies and TV shows while on the go so that you can stream them when you’re back home and ready to watch.

For more information visit Roku.com (opens in new tab).

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.