Roku is getting a big update, brings its new smart TVs to Best Buy
Along with the TVs, a new operating system is being rolled out to its 70 million active accounts.
What you need to know
- Roku's in-house smart TVs are hitting Best Buy Stores this week.
- The streaming service is also bringing a new operating system to Roku devices in the coming weeks.
- The new Roku wireless soundbar will also roll out to consumers later this month.
At CES 2023, Roku unveiled its first in-house developed smart TVs that comprise 11 models, starting from a lower 24-inch TV to as big as a 75-inch model. These are Roku branded, which include HD and 4K TVs. Roku has promised a best-in-class experience with this new range of TVs, which are now gearing up to be available in the retail market.
In a shared press release, Roku has announced that its Roku Select and Plus Series will be available through Best Buy stores and Bestbuy.com (opens in new tab) starting Thursday. There is a new accompanying Roku Wireless soundbar as well, which will be available at Best Buy stores and online later this month.
As suggested, Roku Plus Series televisions are the first in-house developed smart TVs from the company and utilize QLED technology for their displays. They come with a 4K Dolby Vision Picture, which promises eye-popping detail in spectacular color, contrast, and brightness. The TVs further support automatic brightness (triggers automatically based on the room's lightning), and local dimming, for better picture tuning.
These TVs support Wi-Fi 6, wireless surround sound, Bluetooth Private Listening, and Roku Voice Remote Pro for connectivity. Needless to say, they also incorporate Roku streaming, one of the best streaming services available. It supports hands-free commands and has shortcut buttons, which can be customized for their needs.
Alongside the new Roku television announcements, the company has announced new platform features with the OS 12 update for Roku devices, which promises a more intuitive interface, performance improvements, and new channel additions.
"Over the coming months, users will find even more to love with updates to Live TV, content discovery, Sports, the Roku Mobile App, and more rolling out in the U.S. this spring."
Live TV now includes Local News, allowing users to watch live news channels based on their location, including channels from popular cities across the U.S. It further incorporates AI for news recommendations. Users who want to access the local news can utilize Roku Search or Roku Voice or tap the Live TV Zone on the home screen.
The OS 12 also brings a Premium Subscriptions feature that allows consumers to discover and sign up for more premium channels.
"Premium Subscriptions will join previously launched Categories (Recents, Favorites, and Subscribed) and genres including News, Sports, Entertainment, and more."
Expanding the Sports experience, the new OS now supports golf and additional soccer programming. Roku says in the coming months, users will be able to enjoy sports based on their locations, just like local news. Additionally, channels like CBS Sports and MLB.TV, NBA App, and NBC Sports are said to be joining the current list to have a more streamlined sports experience.
Continue Watching is another nifty feature within the interface primarily utilized in streaming shows. It allows users to return to their favorite TV show where they left off earlier. Streaming services like Discovery+ and Amazon Prime Video will be joining the list supporting the Continue Watching feature.
The Roku Mobile App will also see changes as part of the operating system update from the company, with updates rolling out this spring. It will be refined in the coming months, including a revamped account hub, a more streamlined home screen, a Live TV Channel "Guide" button, and enhanced Roku photo streams.
The account hub changes for user preferences will have a new sign-up and sign-in process. Users will also experience a more straightforward interface, including new features like dedicated Sports and Continue Watching rows.
Roku Photo Streams was announced last year, which allows users to share photos directly to their smart TVs. They can now upload images directly from their photo albums, choose thumbnails, and set streams as screensavers. The service is getting enhancements with the latest updates, including uploading photo streams faster and easier.
The new OS 12 will roll out in the coming weeks, while the new channel partners, content expansion, and mobile app updates will roll out in the coming months.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.