With Roku facing increased competition from rivals, especially Google, the company has just unveiled its latest OS 12.5 update with a raft of new features. Those include expanded sports content with favoriting and highlights, enhancements to the live TV channel guide, music playlists, expert picture settings and more.
A feature that’ll be high on the list for videophiles is “Expert Picture Setting.” That lets users customize key pictures settings like color temperature, color space, gamma correction and noise reduction, adding to the current, more basic picture settings already available. This feature is already available on the mobile app, but it’s now debuting for TVs.
Roku is also expanding what you can do with sports. It’ll offer expanded content including motorsports coming in early 2024 and new content from Max “in the coming weeks.” It’s also introducing favoriting, letting users track live and upcoming events by adding teams to a curated “My Favorites” row by clicking the favorite button on the game page. It’s also launching highlights, letting users catch key moments they may have missed or want to relive.
The OS update is making it easier to find live TV shows among the 400+ channels as well, letting you personalize the order of channels in the Guide and remove channel numbers. It’s also introducing “What to Watch Categories” that let you browse by TV Shows, Movies, New & Popular, Free and more, along with “Experiences” related to a genre or topic like food or home. The update will also bring Visual Search to the Roku mobile app, “in a more visual and immersive way.” The company is also launching Music Playlists, adding more than 250 video playlists from partners including Stingray, Vevo and Warner Music Group.
Away from the entertainment side, Roku is also introduce smart home features, including “Event History” that shows Camera subscription users a history of who was at their front door, along with Notifications that will tell you if a package has arrived, for example. Finally, the new app now supports Google Photos, making it easier to do slideshows for friends more easily. Roku OS 12.5 will roll out to customers in the coming weeks, but some of the features may take awhile to arrive after that.