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Roku OS 13 Rolling Out Soon, Adding Backdrops, Roku Smart Picture And Other Upgrades

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New Roku OS 13 Backdrops feature shown on a Roku TV

Roku has confirmed that its next major operating system update (Roku OS 13) will roll out to all supported devices in the U.S. in the coming months. The latest Roku version introduces a number of improvements and upgrades, as well as some completely new features.

One of the very new features is Backdrops. According to Roku, Backdrops “instantly transforms your TV into a work of art and makes it the centerpiece of the house.” Basically, Roku is adding the ability for users to either upload their own images to display on their TV or choose from a selection of free artwork, including famous classics, museum collections, and abstract designs.

Another new feature is Roku Smart Picture. Roku actually announced this feature earlier this year, so we are already aware of what to expect. With Roku Smart Picture, users won’t have to worry about messing with the settings to maximize the viewing experience. Instead, the TV will make use of AI and partner data to automatically identify the content being shown on the display and adjust the settings to best match that content.

On a related noted, Roku also announced the release of its new Pro Series smart TV models today. These new Roku TVs build on Roku Smart Picture with Smart Picture Max, a feature that makes use of AI to refine color, contrast, and sharpness in real-time scene-by-scene.

Fans of the company’s ‘Roku City’ screensaver can also expect to see vehicles hitting the streets with the new upgrade. According to Roku, a variety of TV and movie cars are being added, and will change over time.

Other new improvements included with Roku OS 13:

  • IMDb ratings: In the coming weeks, you can expect 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. Plus, we’re also populating a new row within What to Watch that will feature highly rated IMDb titles, so users can tune in with ease.
  • Trailers: With trailers coming to entertainment details pages across the platform, you can seamlessly preview TV shows or movies, allowing you to feel confident in your selection.
  • Save List Updates: We’ve made your Save List even smarter. Now, when a TV show or movie on your Save List drops in price or when new seasons or episodes are available, we’ll let you know with badge updates right on the entertainment tile, bringing titles that may have been at the end of your list right to the front.

Along with these TV specific improvements, Roku also confirmed that the mobile app is getting its own upgrades as well. These include a new navigation bar (with Home, Search, Remote, Devices, and Account tabs) and a new ‘Top Searched TV and Movies’ row containing content popular with other streamers. Roku mobile app users can also expect some Search-related improvements, including access to a full keyboard and more visually immersive results.

John Finn

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