April 8, 2015
Roku has updated its Roku 2 streaming box and is introducing platform enhancements that make it easier to find video content across multiple apps. The new Roku Search allows users to search for movies, TV shows, actors and directors across all apps via the interface. Since the company does not produce any of its own content, it does not include any bias when displaying content on its UI, something that cannot be said of rival streaming platforms. This may be appealing to television manufacturers looking for platform partnerhips.
“The search results will bring up a list of options from free ways to watch a specific film or program if they are already subscribed to specific services, followed by a list of paid options from most to least expensive,” reports Wired. “From there you can dive straight into the app you need, or into the app store to download that app.”
A second new feature called Roku Feed alerts users when video they have been waiting for becomes available on any streaming service. For example, users can earmark movies that are showing in theaters so that they can later be notified when the titles become available via apps.
“Roku Search is probably the best solution we’ve seen yet for bridging the great divide between streaming services,” suggests Wired. “It should guarantee a seamless home entertainment experience of the kind that people currently just don’t have access to. By changing the entry point into apps, the system is not only more democratic, but much easier to use for those who already have a good idea of what it is they want to watch.”