Roku’s Chas Smith with a TCL 4K Roku TV

Over-the-top streaming services platform Roku has added several useful features including “Live TV Pause” and private listening via mobile devices to its all-in-one Roku TVs, according to a new blog posted Tuesday by company senior VP and general manager of Roku TV and players Chas Smith.

A series of features and fixes are being introduced in the latest automatic software updates developed to improve the viewing experience for owners of Roku TVs and Roku streaming media adapters, Smith said.

Smith revealed that in the latest version of the Roku OS (v7.5) viewers with Roku TVs connected to antennas will find Live TV Pause for over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV programs. This will soon be automatically installed as part of the v7.5 OS roll out. The roll out is expected to be completed before the holidays.

Read more on Roku’s latest updates after the jump:

With Live TV Pause for Roku TV, over-the-air TV can be paused for up to 90 minutes, Smith said. This feature will require a USB storage device with 16GB or more of storage capacity to be connected to the USB input on the user’s Roku TV.

The mobile private listening feature for Roku TV models will bring the ability to listen to the audio of a TV program via head phones or earbuds connected to a mobile device running the latest Roku app, while turning off sound over the TV’s speakers. The feature was previously available on select Roku player media adapters with a remote control carrying a headphone input jack. The update now extends that benefit to more devices.

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“When using the latest version of the Roku mobile app (V3.6.0), Roku TV owners can now enjoy private listening via their mobile device while streaming. With this new feature, you can listen as loud as you like on your Roku TV while not disturbing others in the house,” Smith writes. “Simply launch the Roku mobile app for iOS or Android while connected to the same wireless network as your Roku TV, connect a pair of headphones to your mobile device and enjoy.”

The OS 7.5 update is also bringing a series of benefits to Roku streaming media adapters, including a new Audio Guide feature for Roku streaming players (4640X, 4630X, 4620X, 3710X, 3700X, 3600X) and Roku TVs in the U.S. This feature uses text-to-speech to assist with navigation of the Roku user interface and onscreen menus. Audio Guide can be activated by pressing the “*” button on the Roku remote four times consecutively, or by selecting to turn the feature on/off within the new Accessibility category in the “settings” menu.

In addition: Roku streaming player models with remotes that feature volume buttons (4640x, 4630x, 4400x, 4230x, 4200x) can now control the volume level of TVs and audio receivers that support volume control via HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) technology.

A variety of updates are included to improve the overall streaming performance on Roku devices. Videos will start more quickly in some channels and channels supporting video playlists have more seamless video transitions, Roku said.

By Greg Tarr


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