Roku rolled out a major update (OS 12) this past March 2023 which added a number of new features. However, after only 6 months, Roku has just announced another significant update (OS 12.5).
Over the course of the coming week and months (hopefully by the end of 2023), Roku will provide users with new personalized content discovery features and more across Sports, Live TV, What to Watch, Music Playlists, Roku Photo Streams, and more.
From Preston Smalley, Vice President of Viewer Product at Roku: “As the leaders in streaming TV, we’ve made it our priority to offer a platform that anticipates our user’s needs and adapts in real-time,…With endless content to choose from and ways to watch, we will continue to innovate and release feature updates to our millions of users that better the viewing experience, making Roku the go-to destination for TV streaming.”
Roku OS 12.5 Features
Here is a rundown of what users can expect to see show up on their Roku devices soon.
Favoriting: Users can track live and upcoming sporting events for teams in one curated row. Users can add a team to the “My Favorites” row within the Sports experience by clicking the “Favorite” button on the game page and tuning in once it’s game time.
Highlights: This feature allows users to watch clips from recent sporting events they may have missed or want to view again.
Expanded Content: The Sports experience will add motorsports in early 2024 and new sports content from Max in the coming weeks. These will join the list of currently supported channel partners.
Personalized Live TV: Roku is adding more enhancements to the Live TV Channel Guide to better the Live TV streaming experience. The guide will enable simpler live TV browsing by personalizing the order of channels in the Guide and removing channel numbers.
Tip: Roku provides 400+ free live linear TV channels to choose from.
New Music Features
Music Playlists: In addition to shows and movies, Roku is enhancing the music experience in The Roku Channel to make it easier for customers to enjoy more than 250+ video playlists from our partners, including Stingray, Vevo, and Warner Music Group. Whether they’re listening to “Relaxing Jazz,” watching “Iconic Music Videos,” or revisiting their favorite “Boy Bands,” users will enjoy a more immersive experience, with new controls to shuffle, skip ahead, add video playlists to their Save List for listening, receive recommendations for similar playlists, and more
Tip: In celebration of Atlantic Records’ 75th Anniversary, Roku has collaborated with Warner Music Group and their artist services, media & creative content division WMX, to create 75 playlists in The Roku Channel from iconic Atlantic Records recording artists through the years. Five exclusive playlists have also been curated by music legends Debbie Gibson, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld of Hootie & the Blowfish, Kathy Sledge, Nile Rodgers, and Paul Rodgers.
Additional Content Navigation
What to Watch Categories: In the coming weeks, users will be able to browse by categories including TV Shows, Movies, New and popular, Free, and more.
Experiences: New experiences related to a specific genre or topic such as food or home will roll out across Roku. Within the new experiences, users will be able to browse through a curated selection of entertainment specific to each genre.
Roku Mobile App Search: Visual Search is coming to the Roku Mobile app. This allows users to discover new entertainment in a more visual and immersive way. Users can navigate to the “Search” tab on the mobile app and search for content easily.
Roku Photo Streams x Google Photos: Roku Photo Streams now supports Google Photos. Go to Roku Photo Streams, upload images or link an album from Google Photos, share with family and friends, and enjoy.
Smarthome Control From Roku Devices or TVs
Event History: With all-new support for Roku Smart Home Video Doorbell events, users with a Camera subscription can now go back and see who was at their front door using the Cameras app on any Roku streaming players and Roku TV™ models. As previously announced, users can also access Smart Home Camera events history within the Cameras app.
Notifications: No need to pause your favorite show to see if your package has arrived — Roku Cameras and Doorbell owners with a Camera subscription will now get instant notifications on their Roku streaming players and Roku TV™ models.
Customize The Way You Stream
Expert Picture Settings: For Roku 4K devices, Roku is going to provide an Expert Picture Settings feature for streaming content. Users will be able to adjust color temperature, color space, gamma correction, and noise reduction directly from the TV.
Tip: Expert picture settings are already available via the Roku Mobile app.
Availability For Roku Users
Roku OS 12.5 is rolling out to Roku TV models and streaming players in the coming weeks (October-December 2023).
Additional Reference: Official Roku OS 12.5 Release Notes (Includes Device Compatibility List and Security Updates Information)
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