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Roku debuts new devices and upgraded operating system

New players will also include a new operating system, Roku OS 8

Following last week’s IPO launch, Roku has announced five new streaming players will go on sale later this month.

Roku said it’s aiming to reach a full spectrum of consumers with low-, mid- and high-end devices that include those for people who are new to streaming or have secondary TVs in the home, to people who require 4K and HDR capabilities.

The new players will also include a new operating system, Roku OS 8 which will also optimised for integrated Roku TVs.

Among the new features, OS 8 will enable consumers to use their voice to command and control Roku TVs, as well as a more integrated support of video that is streamed or obtained over-the-air with an antenna, explained Shubhada Hebbar, Roku’s VP of product.

Voice controls for Roku TVs can be used with Roku-made remotes with built-in microphones or via the free Roku app for iOS and Android devices.

The new OS’s Smart Guide for Roku TVs integrates and displays what’s on via OTA (up to 14 days’ worth of TV programming) and OTT, while also implementing search results from both sources. It also includes a More Ways to Watch component that lists various options for how a show or movie can be accessed on the platform.

The new operating system also includes features for users who have a traditional pay TV subscription.

For example, Roku OS 8 adds a TV Everywhere single sign-on element that will initially support about 30 TVE apps that are authenticated by MVPDs such as Dish Network, Cox Communications and AT&T. Roku initially has teamed with Adobe for the new SSO component, the company confirmed.

The new operating system also features a redesign of the Roku 4K Spotlight Channel.

Roku plans to start rolling out OS 8 on Roku players in early October and to Roku TVs from November. The company expects to complete the launch by the end of 2017.