"As we broaden the Roku ecosystem allowing consumers to add new devices to their Home Entertainment Networks, we are in a unique position that is unlike any other TV streaming platform,” says Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku. “Our single operating system running across Roku TVs and Roku TV Wireless Speakers give us the ability to innovate how consumers experience audio and entertainment in their homes.”
Soon, Roku will be able to integrate Google Assistant devices to control select Roku streaming devices to pause and search for content and launch channels using voice commands. Additionally, Roku TV owners can turn their TV on and off, turn up the volume, mute, switch inputs and change channels if there is an OTA antenna connected.
With Pandora Premium, listeners can search and play any song, album or featured playlist, with the option to create their own, and access personalized soundtracks based on changing moods. The service is available via the Pandora channel in the Roku Channel Store now.
With the new Roku OS 8.2 update for Roku TVs and Roku TV Wireless Speakers, users will be able to access and control iHeartRadio, Pandora and TuneIn by voice. The features enable users to launch live radio stations from across the country, podcasts, custom artist stations and more with iHeartRadio; Playlists, stations and more via Pandora; and live radio stations, play-by-play sports, news, etc. with TuneIn. All using simple voice commands using Roku voice remotes, Roku Touch or the Roku mobile app.
Automatic Volume Leveling enables a uniform audio level across various types of content, so users will no longer feel jarring when a commercial comes on or when streaming channels are changed. Night mode lowers the volume level for louder scenes, and boosts it for quieter ones. The volume mode setting will be accessible by pressing the star button during video playback when Roku TV Wireless Speakers are connected to a Roku TV.
Also new is the Speech Clarity feature that looks for voice frequencies and boosts them to address intelligibility. Speech Clarity will be available via the star menu when Roku TV Wireless Speakers are connected to a Roku TV.
Spotify integration will allow Roku users to access the world’s most popular music streaming service, accessing over 35M songs for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features including offline mode, improved sound quality, Spotify Connect and ad-free listening. Roku users will be able to launch and navigate the channel using a Roku remote or via Spotify Connect on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
The upcoming Roku OS 9 update for all Roku devices will enable users to browse free content available on the Roku platform with simple voice requests such as “let’s see free sitcoms,” “show me free comedies,” “free dramas” and more. This update will also enhance Automatic Volume Leveling available on select Roku streaming players, as well as select Roku TVs whether paired or not to Roku TV Wireless Speakers. The integration with Spotify will enable users to launch and navigate the channel using a Roku remote or via Spotify Connect on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
Pandora Premium is available via the Pandora channel in the Roku Channel Store now. Users will be able to control Roku streaming players and Roku TVs using Google Assistant devices in the coming weeks. Roku OS 8.2 is now rolling out to Roku TVs and is expected to be completed in November. Roku OS 9 will begin rolling out to Roku streaming players in early November and Roku TVs early next year. It is expected to be completed in Q1 2019.
Roku streaming players and Roku TV models are available around the world through direct retail sales and licensing arrangements with TV OEMs and service operators. Roku is headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif. U.S.A.