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Roku Announces OS 13.0 For Its TVs and Streaming Devices

Roku OS 13 brings a major update to the brand’s TVs and streaming players. Find out what’s new.

Roku TV Lifestyle

Roku rolled out a major update (OS 12.5) this past October 2023 which added a number of new features. However, after only 6 months, Roku has just announced another significant update (OS 13).

Over the coming weeks and months (hopefully by the end of Spring 2024), Roku will provide users with backdrops, Roku smart pictures, and updates across browse, discovery, and the mobile app, across all U.S. devices. Plus, cars will be hitting the roads of Roku City.

From Preston Smalley, Vice President of Viewer Product at Roku: “We want our platform to be relevant to how you watch TV, whether you purchased a device today or years ago,…With personalized Backdrops to suit your mood, Smart pictures for crystal-clear visuals, and better ways to help decide what to watch, we’re setting a new standard for streaming excellence. This is the future of TV, tailored just for you by Roku.

Roku OS 13.0 New Features

Create Backdrops on 2024 Roku Pro Series TV

Backdrops: Roku enters the art world with the addition of the Backdrop feature. Backdrops are designed to change your TV into a work of art, making it a centerpiece even when you are not actively watching shows, movies, sports, or playing games. To display a backdrop on your TV, an onscreen menu is provided that viewers can browse through. A large catalog of free delightful artwork, including famous classics, museum collections, abstract designs, and more is provided. Just choose the art you to update the look of your room. Users can select their favorite artwork or upload digital art or family photos to curate their display collection. 

Roku Smart Picture Settings

Roku Smart Picture: Over 90% of TV viewers don’t bother changing their TV’s picture settings to optimize the look of movies, shows, and games. However, Roku has come to the rescue with Roku Smart Picture.  As apps stream on the TV, Roku Smart Picture adjusts the backlighting, uniformity, and colors based on the TV’s capabilities. Support from partner apps across the platform enables Roku Smart Picture to automatically optimize the brightness and colors and select the best picture mode (sports, movies, vivid, and standard).

Tech Note: Roku Pro Series QLED Mini-LED TVs incorporate Smart Picture Max which uses AI to optimize picture quality even more precisely. 

Roku  OS 13 Roku City Update

Roku City Update: Roku City is TV’s biggest and most popular digital downtown (averaging a Roku-estimated 40 million active accounts a month). Two in three Roku users would take a trip to Roku City if offered. To make Roku City even more fun, Roku is adding TV and movie cars to the streets of Roku City. From an ice cream truck to a secret agent’s favorite sports car, the additions provide a new layer of easter egg fun to your screen. Vehicles will change, keeping you guessing.

Browse and Discovery Additions

Roku OS 13 Browse and Discovery

IMDB ratings: This feature will enable viewers to see IMDb ratings across entertainment details pages, keeping you in the know on what peers have rated TV shows and movies before you dive in. In addition, a new row within What to Watch will feature highly rated IMDb titles, so users can tune in with ease.

Trailers: Trailers are coming to entertainment details pages across the Roku platform. This allows viewers to preview TV shows or movies before they dive in. 

Save List Updates: This feature is being updated to make it easier to stay up to date on the content you’re interested in. Now, when a TV show or movie on your Save List drops in price or when new seasons or episodes are available, Roku will let you know with badge updates on the entertainment tile, bringing titles that may have been at the end of your list to the front.

Roku Mobile App Updates

Roku OS 12 Mobile App

As an extension of the Roku streaming experience, the Roku Mobile app helps you discover new content, control your TV, launch apps, and so much more. Updates to the app include:

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New Navigation Bar: Users will now be able to browse between five universal tabs: Home, Search, Remote, Devices, and Account.

Top Searched TV and Movies: With a new “Top Searched TV and Movies” row, users can scroll through what’s popular with other streamers and tune in. The row will be populated daily with searched TV shows and movies.

Search Updates: With a full keyboard, search results will be more visually immersive while you search for what you want to watch or browse through new categories or actors, among other topics.

Availability

All software updates will be available to Roku users in the coming months. 

  • Roku Smart Picture is coming to all Roku TV models. 
  • Any Roku-branded TV purchased in the spring of 2024 and onward comes with Roku Smart Picture as the default, and those purchased before that date will need to enable it (in picture settings).

OS 13 will roll out to all supported devices in the U.S. in the coming months.

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