Roku is adding a 'Continue Watching' queue and a platform-wide Save List (US only) as well as support for bluetooth headphones.
Over the coming months, Roku OS 11.5 will roll out to supported TVs, boxes and audio devices (a full list of supported models is available in the table). The new option to pair Bluetooth headphones is compatible only with the newest Roku Ultra, Roku Streambar, and Roku Streambar Pro.
Roku's new The Buzz section in the US will show you trailers and ads from Roku's partners on the homescreen.
Unlike major Smart TV brands such as LG and Samsung, Roku is providing new generations of the Roku OS to existing devices, although some older devices get left behind along the way.
Also read: Apple tvOS 16 releases today: Here are all the new features
Here is what else is new in Roku OS 11.5.
Roku OS 11.5 – new features
New Features Available in What to Watch (US) - As part of our previous software release, Roku OS 11, we introduced What to Watch as a single destination to browse movies and TV shows, recommendations based on popular and trending titles, and a tailored selection of entertainment centered around users' most watched genres. With the release of Roku OS 11.5, we're enhancing the What to Watch experience with two updates to help users quickly find and start streaming the entertainment they love.
- Continue Watching - Users will now see a "Continue Watching" row within What to Watch, making it quick and easy to resume watching movies and TV shows they were previously streaming. Continue Watching is a simple way for users to access a single destination to jump right back into entertainment across a variety of streaming channels. The Continue Watching row will enable users to pick up where they left off with partners like Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount+, and The Roku Channel, with more to come.
- Save List (US) - Users will be able to create a single, easy-to-access Save List of entertainment from across the Roku platform. A new "Save" option will now appear on movie and TV show details pages, allowing users to save that title to stream later with a simple press of a button. Once users save their first movie or TV show, a new Save List row will appear within What to Watch, giving them a convenient way to access saved entertainment and to add or remove titles in their list.
Because users often receive recommendations for movies or TV shows while having dinner with friends or at the office, the Save List is seamlessly integrated with the Roku mobile app as well. Users will be able to add a movie or TV show to their list from anywhere and have it waiting in their Save List on their Roku devices when they're back home.
Note: Save List is also available to users in Canada, Ireland, and the UK, and will appear as an item within the Home Screen Menu. Users in these countries can create their Save List with similar ease as those in the US with a convenient "Save" option on the title's details page, as well as managing and adding to their list from anywhere with the Roku mobile app.
Updates to Live TV - With over 300+ free live TV streaming channels, Roku's live TV experience is more robust than ever. With OS 11.5, discovering and streaming free live TV will be even easier and more personalized, with updates to our Live TV Channel Guide and the Roku mobile app.
- Categories - The Live TV Channel Guide will now include the option to view channels by categories, helping users get to the live entertainment they're looking for even faster. New categories like Recents, Favorites, and Subscribed (for users who have a Premium Subscriptions within The Roku Channel) make it simple to jump straight to the channels they enjoy. The Channel Guide also includes a selection of genres including News, Sports, Movies, Entertainment, Kids, Crime, Music, and En Español, all of which will be automatically updated based on the free live TV channels available. To access categories with the Live TV Channel Guide, users will simply press the left arrow on their Roku remote when they're viewing the program guide.
- Easy Access to Live TV via the Roku Mobile App - The Roku mobile app will now provide quick access to the Live TV Channel Guide via a "Guide" button on the app's remote screen. When users press the Guide button, the Live TV Channel Guide will appear on the screen of the Roku TV that is connected to the mobile app. They can then use the app remote to watch free live TV channels, browse the program guide, and quickly find channels that match their interests.
Note: The Guide button within the Roku mobile app will only be available when connected to a Roku TV with OS 11.5. This feature will be available in the US, CA, and MX.
Entertainment Discovery - Roku Search is designed to help users quickly find the entertainment they want to watch on the channel of their choice. With OS 11.5, we're making this experience more visual so it's easier for users to view search results and find exactly what they're looking to stream next.
- Visual Search Results - When users perform a search from their Roku Home Screen Menu, they will experience a more visual and convenient way to browse movies and TV shows with rows of artwork for relevant titles. These rows are organized in categories such as TV and Movies, Roku Zones, Channels, Cast and Crew, and more. Also, while typing in a search query, Roku will include suggested queries to make searching faster and more convenient.
- Updates to Movie & TV Show Details Page - With OS 11 we announced improvements to movie and TV show details pages within the Roku mobile app. With OS 11.5, those same enhancements will come to the big screen. When users land on the details page for a movie or TV show following a search, they will see a new page designed to make it easy to view more information, including where it's available to stream—with results organized by channels streaming it for free, premium services the user is subscribed to, and other options for viewing. Images of the cast and crew will also be included on the page, in addition to the Save button to add it to the Save List.
Introducing The Buzz and the Roku Store to the Roku Home Screen Menu - The Roku Home Screen Menu provides quick and easy access to search and entertainment discovery with just a few clicks. With OS 11.5 users now have two new destinations to explore all that Roku has to offer.
- The Buzz (US) - The Buzz is a new destination on the Roku Home Screen Menu that gives users a quick, engaging way to discover entertainment. When users enter The Buzz from their home screen, they can browse a frequently updated, personalized collection of posts from a selection of top streaming channels, as well as other popular entertainment and media brands. These posts include video clips, trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, images, and other short-form content to help users discover movies and TV they may want to stream. Users can engage with a post by liking it to see similar posts in the future, following the channel or brand that created the post, and more. Most importantly, if users see a post featuring a movie or TV show that captures their interest, they can immediately stream it with just a few clicks of the remote.
At launch, The Buzz will feature posts from a select group of streaming channels and entertainment brands, with more expected to come soon.
- Roku Store - The new Roku Store experience on the Home Screen Menu is the destination for users to browse, search, and add free and paid channels to their devices. Users will have a visual and immersive experience within the store where they can navigate through different categories to easily find and shop for new streaming entertainment.
New Visuals When Searching with Roku Voice - With thousands of streaming channels—including 300+ free live TV options—available on Roku devices, there are more ways to discover and watch entertainment than ever before. New on-screen visuals in Roku OS 11.5 makes it easy for users to find exactly what they’re looking for when searching with Roku Voice. In scenarios where there are multiple channel offerings for a voice search, a display will appear at the bottom of the screen with relevant options that make it easy for users to see and select their intended channel.
Bluetooth Private Listening on Select Devices - Roku Ultra, Roku® Streambar®, Roku® Streambar® Pro, Roku Smart Soundbar, and onn.™• Roku Smart Soundbar owners will be able to connect their favorite wireless Bluetooth headphones directly to their device for easy access to private listening. Once paired, wireless headphones can be easily connected or disconnected in the Options menu, or set to connect automatically.
Note: Bluetooth private listening will be available on Roku Ultra (4800X, 4801X, 4802X), Roku® Streambar®(9102R), Roku® Streambar® Pro (9101R2), Roku Smart Soundbar (9101R), and onn.™• Roku Smart Soundbar (9100X) devices.
For Roku devices without Bluetooth, private listening is still available with wireless headphones via the Roku mobile app and with wired headphones on supported Roku remotes.
Audio/Video (A/V) Sync for Roku TV™ - Roku TV owners who have connected audio devices (soundbars and AVRs) will now be able to improve audio/video (A/V) synchronization when required for seamless streaming. This simple calibration tool is available to use within the Roku mobile app under the Settings menu when controlling a Roku TV.
Automatic Input Naming for Roku TV™ - Roku TV owners will experience an easier way to identify the devices plugged into their HDMI ports. When a user connects a Blu-Ray player, set-top box, or gaming console to their Roku TV, Roku will automatically identify the device and name the input tile according to the model. This will enable users to easily identify which input they would like to access with ease. Roku TV owners can also assign names to Roku TV inputs for additional customization through the Settings menu.
Supported Roku Devices Receiving Roku OS 11.5:
Roku streaming players and Streambars – 9102X, 9101X, 9100X, 4802X, 4801X, 4800X, 4670X, 4662X, 4661X, 4660X, 4640X, 4630X, 4620X, 4400X, 4230X, 4210X, 4200X, 3960X, 3941X, 3940X, 3931X, 3930X, 3921X, 3920X, 3910X, 3900X, 3821X, 3820X, 3811X, 3810X, 3800X, 3710X, 3700X, 3600X.
Roku TV – All Roku TV models are expected to receive Roku OS 11.5.