Roku revealed this week that it in the process of updating its popular over-the-top (OTT) streaming services platform for all Roku devices.

The latest version of the Roku OS, which is called OS 7.6, will be rolling out to all connected Roku players and TVs in coming days and weeks.

Among the key features will be additional home screen customization features, the addition of thumbnails when using Live TV Pause on Roku TVs so that users can fast forward, pause or rewind programs and a “More Ways to Watch” function that provides enhanced viewing based on what viewers watch through cable or satellite TV boxes, broadcast antennas or when setting up the Roku TV.

Read more on the Roku OS update after the jump:

Roku said the software update comes at time when the service has grown to more than 14 million active user accounts and the Roku Search feature has grown to include more than 300 channel partners, up from 150 channels in January 2017

Key new points in the Roku OS 7.6 include the following:

More Ways to Watch: This brings enhanced viewing based on what viewers watch on their cable or satellite boxes, or over-the-air broadcast antennas, connected to their HD or Full HD Roku TVs. Users must enable the feature via an opt-in prompt on the Roku TV once the feature is available or when setting up a new Roku TV account. The feature can recognize the show or movie being watched on connected cable or satellite TV boxes and antennas using Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology and suggest additional viewing options via streaming to enhance your experience, Roku said. The feature will also offer the ability to watch a program in progress from the beginning, watch more episodes of the same show or view suggestions for similar entertainment available to stream.

The feature is being rolled out on HD and FHD Roku TVs now, new 2017 4K Roku TV models and will move to 2016 4K Roku TV models this summer.

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More ways to watch OTA TV: Viewers in certain regions might be able to access more than 100 channels via an OTA antenna but most only watch a a handful of those stations. A new feature on Roku TVs will let users create a list of favorite broadcast channels when a broadcast antenna is connected to the Roku TV. To create favorite channels, the viewer can press the left button when watching over-the-air TV on a Roku TV to bring up the list of available channels, the press the options button “*” on the remote to add individual channels to a favorites list. The favorites list will offer the ability to browse the tuner channels added to that list. Viewers can switch back to the all-channels list to view all available tuner channels at any time.

Thumbnails with Live TV Pause: This feature in Roku TVs will present thumbnail images on the screen while pausing, rewinding, or fast forwarding to make it easier to identify where the action point is in a movie or show. That way the viewer can resume playing at any particular moment in a scene. In addition, Live TV Pause now supports a Closed Caption on Replay feature. When this option is turned on, the replay button can be played on the Roku TV remote to go back a few moments in the movie or show to view closed captions for dialog that were missed.

Customize the Home-screen with Custom Input Naming for Roku TV: Roku TV customers now have additional home screen customization options with the ability to assign custom names to inputs icons. To name an input, users need only highlight the input tile on the home screen and press the options button “*” on the Roku TV remote. Scroll through the list of pre-populated input names until  “set custom name and icon” is found and press “OK.” Any name desired can then be entered (up to 15 characters) for the input device to make it easier to identify on the main Roku TV home screen.

By Greg Tarr


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