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Roku Rolls New OS

Roku has introduced a new version of its operating system (opens in new tab) that will bring a bevy of new features for integrated Roku TVs as well as its current crop of Roku streaming players.

For both Roku TVs and Roku players, the company’s search platform now ties into more than 300 streaming channels, with NBC and BritBox, a new SVOD service from BBC and ITV, among the recent additions. Roku said that’s an increase from 150 channels in January 2017 and a 10x increase from the number of streaming channels it was indexing for search about a year ago.

A new More Ways to Watch element, for Roku TVs, will detect the shows being watched on set-tops or over-the-air and present related streaming options. That opt-in feature is powered by Automatic Content Recognition technology, Dave Sharp, VP of OEM product management at Roku, said, noting that much content is still being consumed through traditional TV inputs.

Roku is starting to roll out the More Ways to Watch feature to HD Roku TVs, and 4K-capable Roku TV models are slated to get it sometime this summer, the company said. Roku’s TV partners include Element Electronics, Hitachi America, Haier America, Sharp, Insignia (Best Buy’s in-house brand), and Hisense.

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