Roku acquires Quibi’s library for the Roku Channel

Roku has announced that it has aquired the rights to Quibi’s library of content. Quibi shut down last month despite spending millions on original content featuring well known stars. Quibi’s content will appear on the Roku Channel, which recently arrived on Fire TV devices, for free with ads later this year. Read more ›

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Sony’s 2021 TVs will run Google TV and Roku was the best-selling smart TV platform in 2020

While Amazon and Roku are neck and neck for stand-alone streaming media player dominance, the same is nowhere near true for smart TVs, where Fire TV Edition TVs lag way behind Roku, which says it was the best-selling platform for smart TVs in 2020. Meanwhile, Sony continues to be all-in with Android TV for its smart TV platform of choice and has revealed that its 2021 TVs will run the new Google TV interface which is currently only available on the Chromecast with Google TV. Read more ›

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Roku passes 51 million active users

Roku has announced that it has reached 51.2 million active accounts. It gained over 14 million accounts in 2020, up from 36.9 million at the end of 2019. Roku says these figures are “preliminary estimated data for the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2020” which, to me, sounds like it couldn’t wait to one-up Amazon’s announcement last month of reaching 50 million Fire TV users. Read more ›

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HBO Max app is coming to Roku and Apple TV app is coming to Chromecast/Android TV

‘Tis the season for streaming services to make deals with streaming device manufacturers. Roku has announced that they’ve finally made an agreement with HBO to bring the HBO Max app to Roku devices. The app will arrive in the Roku Channel Store tomorrow, Dec 17. Similarly, Google has announced that an Apple TV app will be coming to the Chromecast with Google TV “early next year.” They also said that “more devices powered by Android TV” will be getting the app “in the future.” Now, if only Amazon would cut a deal with NBC to bring the Peacock TV app to Fire TV devices.

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Roku media players are on sale for up to 40% off for Black Friday — Starting at $24

Get these Roku Black Friday Deals

Roku has put several of their streaming media players on sale for Black Friday. If you’ve been thinking of giving the platform a try, these sales make it the best time to do so because all of these deals are the lowest prices that these devices have ever been. The Roku Premiere is on sale for $24.00, down from its regular price of $39.99. It’s the cheapest 4K media player you can get but be warned that this low price comes at the expense of a cheap remote which must be pointed at the box and does not have voice capabilities or TV controls. For those reasons, you’re much better off paying $5 more and getting the Roku Streaming Stick+ for $29.00, which normally sells for $49.99. While it’s the oldest model in Roku’s line up, having come out in 2017, Roku keeps it around because it gets the job done of being the closest competitor to the Fire TV Stick 4K and has an equally capable remote that can control your TV, doesn’t need to be pointed, and has voice search. At the top of Roku’s line up is the Roku Ultra on sale for $69.00, which normally sells for $99.99. Compared to the Roku Streaming Stick+, the Ultra adds Dolby Vision, an Ethernet port, a USB port for external media access, and a headphone jack to the remote. Lastly, the Roku Streambar is on sale for $99.99, which is down the least at just $30 off of its regular price of $129.99. The Roku Streambar is essentially a Roku Streaming Stick+ packed into a tiny soundbar.

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Roku OS 9.4 update adds Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to select Roku models

Roku is starting to roll out Roku OS version 9.4 and the big new feature is the addition of Apple Airplay 2 and HomeKit support. AirPlay allows users to cast video from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to a supported Roku device, providing a decent alternative to Apple’s own Apple TV hardware and a new way to watch HBO Max on Rokus, since the app is still not available on the platform. HomeKit support allows for control of compatible Roku devices through Siri voice commands and Apple’s Home app. Read more ›

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Roku officially brings The Roku Channel to all Amazon Fire TV devices

You read that right. Roku, the Fire TV’s largest competitor, has just released their own official Roku Channel app in the Amazon appstore. Similar to Amazon’s own IMDb TV service, the Roku Channel houses Roku’s library of over 100,000 ad-supported movies and TV shows, as well as over 100 live TV channels. It’s now all available through any Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Edition televisions, or Fire TV Edition soundbar. Read more ›

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New Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar compact soundbar announced by Roku

Roku has just announced a pair of new streaming media players for 2020. First is a new version of their flagship Roku Ultra for $99.99 which finally adds support for Dolby Vision HDR. Roku’s other hardware announcement is the all-new Roku Streambar for $129.99 which combines a compact soundbar with a built-in 4K streaming capabilities. Read more ›

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NBCUniversal and Roku reach agreement to bring Peacock to Roku devices — Pressure on Amazon increases to do the same for Fire TV

Over 2 months from when Peacock launched nationwide on other streaming devices, the app is now available on Roku devices after NBCUniversal and Roku finally reached a mutually beneficial agreement over the service’s revenue share. This leaves Amazon Fire TVs as the only remaining major streaming media players to not carry the Peacock app. While there are unofficial ways to install Peacock on Fire TVs, they come with complications and compatibility issues for some people. With any luck, the added pressure on Amazon of now being the odd one out will speed up negotiations and result in the app officially being made available on Fire TV devices. Read more ›

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Alexa can now control Roku media players and TVs

Roku has released an Alexa skill that allows customers to control Roku media players and Roku TVs with their voice through an Alexa device, like an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. The skill allows you to control media playback, launch channels, and search. Roku TV owners will additionally be able to use the skill to power on/off the TV, change the volume, change channels, and switch inputs. Read more ›

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