We already rate Roku’s streaming players among the best streaming devices, and a growing number of tellies are using its software instead of a home-grown Smart TV interface. Well now it’s about to get even better, with a trio of Roku UI updates aimed at making it easier to find the sort of content you like to watch, and resume where you left off last time you flopped down on the sofa.
What to Watch is the big new addition, bringing personalised recommendations from a mix of channels and streaming networks including Channel 4, Disney+, ITVX, Netflix, Prime Video and My5. It’ll put movies and TV shows within the Home Screen nav menu, and will update on the fly based on your viewing habits. Maybe you’re not a streaming service kind of house? Then it’ll only serve content from the broadcast channels.
It all looked pretty slick in a pre-launch demo I was shown, with a young family’s recommendations being completely different from a couple that loved true crime (maybe a little too much, if you ask me).
Continue Watching feels purpose-built for binge-watchers, putting previously-started content all in one place. Rather than hunting through different services, it’ll put them all within the home screen menu, complete with timestamps for resuming exactly where you called it a night last time.
Finally, the Save List lets you tag content from multiple different services and have it show up in one location. That means you won’t add something to your lesser-used streaming services’ watch lists and forget all about it.
The tweaks will subtly refresh the familiar Roku home screen, so existing users should still feel right at home.
“There is so much great TV available across an array of streaming services, and sometimes deciding what to watch can be overwhelming,” Roku’s UK director of product growth Sally Nelson said. “Roku’s simple and intuitive home screen makes it a smart TV choice for consumers. By personalising the way our customers connect with the content they love and offering more ways to discover new content, our users can access entertainment with ease.”
Roku streaming players will be first in line for the updated Roku UI, which will start rolling out in the next few weeks. Roku TV models will then follow in the coming months.