Google bypasses Roku’s YouTube TV removal by adding access in the YouTube app

Google has announced that they are adding access to YouTube TV through the standard YouTube app. This allows them to, essentially, get around Roku’s removal of the YouTube TV app since the YouTube app is still accessible on Roku devices. At the bottom of the YouTube app’s left-side navigation menu will soon be a button “Go to YouTube TV” button. Read more ›

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Roku removes YouTube TV from the Roku channel store

Roku has dropped YouTube TV from its channel store, making it impossible to install the service on any Roku device. This is due to a dispute between Roku and Google regarding the terms of their contract renewal which the two companies have not been able to agree on. Roku has chosen not to remove the YouTube TV app from devices that already have it installed, but they warn customers that there is no way to reinstall the app, should they choose to uninstall it or reset their Roku device. Read more ›

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Fire TV devices already do what Google is likely asking of Roku devices

Roku and Google are currently in a dispute which may result in the YouTube TV app being removed from Roku devices. At the core of this dispute are features that Google wants Roku devices to support. Neither company is being overtly specific about the features in question but Roku says they “harm users” and are “anticompetitive,” while Google says the features “ensure a high-quality and consistent experience for our viewers.” The more we learn about these requested features, the more it seems like Amazon’s Fire TV devices already support them, and rightfully so. Read more ›

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YouTube TV may disappear from Roku devices due to contract renewal dispute

Another month, another dispute between streaming services and streaming hardware manufacturers. This time it’s between Roku and Google over the presence of YouTube TV and YouTube app on Roku devices. It looks like the agreement between the two companies is up for renewal shortly and negotiations “have broken down,” according to an email Roku sent to its customers in hopes of garnering support that they can leverage against Google. Read more ›

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Roku announces new rechargeable Voice Remote Pro with hands free voice

In addition to new streaming media players, Roku has also announced a new remote that they’re calling the Voice Remote Pro (Amazon link). Unlike any of their other remotes, the new Voice Remote Pro has a built-in rechargable battery and hands-free voice capabilities that let you make voice requests without touching the remote, like you can with an Amazon Echo or Fire TV Cube. Read more ›

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Roku announces new Express 4K player and Streambar Pro soundbar

Roku has announced a few new products this morning. First is a pair of new entry-level 4K streaming media players, the Express 4K for $34.99 as a Walmart exclusive and the Express 4K+ for $39.99 (Amazon link). These replace the companies aging Roku Premiere models and differ only in the remotes that they come with. Roku is also refreshing its primary soundbar model with the new Streambar Pro for $179.99. This appears to just be a rebranding of the older Roku Smart Sounbar, but with a slightly better remote. Read more ›

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Roku is reportedly testing a new rechargeable remote with hands-free voice

It seems like Roku’s answer to the Fire TV Cube’s hands-free voice capabilities is building the functionality into their remote. Roku is reportedly selling a new flagship remote called the Roku Voice Remote Pro, via Zatz Not Funny. A photo of the new remote being offered for sale through an early access program on a Roku device has been posted to Reddit. It seems identical to Roku’s current top-end remote that is included with the Roku Ultra, except it ditches the two AA batteries for a rechargable battery and offers hands-free voice capabilities. Read more ›

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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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