Roku is set to unleash a major platform update over the "coming weeks". Roku OS 11 will bring audio visual upgrades, personalisation features and more, according to the company blog (opens in new tab).
New sound modes for Roku speakers and soundbars will allow users to flick between Standard, Dialogue, Movie, Music and Night modes by pressing the '*' button on Roku remotes or in the Roku app. In theory, tailoring the sound to the on-screen action will ensure the best possible audio experience.
To make it easier to understand dialogue – and especially TV actors who mumble their way through lines – OS 11 will boast 'automatic speech clarity'. Roku reckons the new setting "dynamically identifies and amplifies dialogue so you don’t miss a word".
Roku OS 11 will also introduce a new calibration tool that aims to keep audio in sync with video. The tech only works when you have the Roku app connected to your Roku player or Roku Streambar, mind.
Fed up with having to tap out lengthy passwords every time you subscribe to a new streaming service? Roku feels your pain. OS 11 includes the latest version of the company's voice-enabled keyboard, which lets you enter email, password and PIN info via your Roku voice remote. The feature now works in Spanish, Portuguese and German too.
The updated home screen will feature a new "What to Watch" section, populated with suggestions from your favourite channels, as well as trending content. That's in addition to the Live TV Zone, which was added in January and provides quick access to (mainly US) live TV apps such as Hulu, Sling, fuboTV and YouTube TV.
Roku OS 11 users will also be able to change their screensaver to display their own photos with 'Roku Photo Streams', which seems to turn your TV into a giant digital photo frame. Sadly, there's no word on whether Photo Streams will integrate with the likes of Apple’s iCloud, Facebook or Google Photos.
Finally, Roku also claims to have "super-charged" its mobile app. 'Tweaked' might be a more accurate description but upgrades are upgrades. It should soon be easier to find out where to stream searched-for movies and TV shows for free. You also get visual images of cast and crew, in case you want to know what the key grip looks like.
Talking of Roku TVs, a recent rumour suggests that the California-based company is considering building its own range of Roku TVs in a bid to take on streaming rivals Amazon and Sky.
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