Roku's New OS 9.4 Adds Features, Performance, and Convenience

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Roku's New OS 9.4 Adds Features, Performance, and Convenience


Roku in the coming weeks plans to begin rolling out its new OS 9.4, which is designed to provide easier and faster access to the platform's thousands of programs, a cable-like guide to Roku's 115 live TV channels, and Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility. One of OS 9.4's most interesting features is a new app for Android and iOS that will allow subscribers to Roku's platform access to the Roku Channel's free and premium content right on their mobile devices. Roku hardware will not be required for that. 

Additional Resources
• Read our review of the Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player (Model 4670R)
• Our Streaming Media Player/App Reviews index is your guide to streaming hardware and platforms
• Here are our picks for the best media streamers for 2020

Here are more details about Roku OS 9.4 from Roku:

Roku today announced Roku OS 9.4 will start rolling out to Roku devices in the coming weeks. Roku OS 9.4 offers customers new ways to access content quickly and a range of performance enhancements.

The Roku Channel is adding more ways to access all-in-one entertainment via a new dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones available in the coming weeks. Additionally, Roku announced a new streaming player line up in another announcement today.

"The Roku OS allows consumers to easily get to the content they want to watch so they can sit back and enjoy the show," said Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku. "With Roku OS 9.4, we give our customers even more choice and new ways to navigate and control content-rich experiences on and off Roku devices."

ROKU OS 9.4 FEATURES:

NAVIGATION & CONTROLS

    • Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit-Later this year, we expect Roku customers will enjoy Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on select 4K Roku devices. With AirPlay 2, Roku customers can stream, control, and share their favorite content directly from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their supported Roku device and bring the experience to the big screen. HomeKit allows customers to easily and securely control their Roku device using the Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or HomePod.
    • Live TV Channel Guide on Roku TVs -Roku TV users can now access The Roku Channel's Live TV Channel Guide directly from their home screen. Users can select the "Live TV" input tile on the Roku home screen and access more than 115 free live streaming channels from The Roku Channel. Users can also choose between two program guide views, including recently watched channels. And Roku TV users with an antenna have one-click access to a combined program guide featuring the free live streaming channels as well as over-the-air broadcast channels, including the ability to hide the streaming channel from the guide.
    • Helpful Hints for Roku Voice - - Helpful hints will appear directly on the user's TV screen to inform them of voice commands they can use on their Roku device. These hints are designed to help users enjoy quick, simple control of their Roku device using a wide variety of voice commands.
    • Surround Level Control for Multi-Channel Audio - - Users of Roku audio products who have a multi-channel speaker configuration will be able to adjust the volume of their rear surround speakers relative to the volume of their soundbarto match their personal preference.

THE ROKU CHANNEL

    • The Roku Channel Free Mobile App for iOS and Androids smartphones -The all new dedicated mobile app delivers free and premium entertainment for all; viewers can now enjoy a wide variety of free on-demand entertainment as well as access to premium subscriptions content (for those who sign up via a Roku devices or via www.therokuchannel.com), live TV and news.
    • More Free Linear Channels for Users -The Roku Channel is expanding its free live/linear channel lineup in the U.S. with new channels, such as Cinedigm's Bloody Disgusting TV, The Craftistry from Studio71, Circle, HappyKids.tv, Hi-YAH! -The Martial Arts Channel, iFood.tv, The LEGO® Channel, Maverick Black Cinema, MOVIESPHERE, Skills + Thrills, VENN, WeatherSpy, as well as a variety of Spanish-language entertainment including Sony Canal Novelas, Sony Canal Comedias, and Sony Canal Compentencias from Sony Pictures Television and Tastemade en Español, starting September 29.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES IN ROKU OS 9.4

    • Performance enhancements include faster initial setup as users will spend less time waiting for channels to install when setting up their Roku devices. Additionally, users will notice improvements in launch times for top channels, faster video start times, and more.
    • Updated Theme Packs allow users to customize their home screen and screen saver with a variety of fun themes such as Jungle, Western, Nautical, Kids, etc. and will now feature corresponding audio tones when users press various buttons on their Roku remote that match their chosen Theme Pack.

AVAILABILITY

Roku OS 9.4 will begin rolling out to select Roku players this month and is expected to roll out to all supported streaming players, including the all-new Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar, in the coming weeks. Roku TV models are expected to receive the update in phases over the coming months.

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