Roku is rolling out a major update to Roku streaming players and Roku TV™ models. Roku OS 12 brings local news for your area, additional sports options, and other customizations to supported devices. The update is being made over the next several weeks, so you should be seeing it on your own Roku device soon. The primary updates are discussed below. Along with OS 12, Roku is updating the mobile app; we will cover those updates in a later article.
Local News on Live TV
Live TV on The Roku Channel currently has over 350 free linear channels offering news, sports, reality, entertainment, comedy, and several other genres of content. Roku OS 12 adds Local News, with live news channels from major U.S. cities. Roku says that the Live News feature will be "powered by AI,... ensuring a curated experience within the Live TV Zone." After your Roku is upgraded to OS 12, just search for "local news" using Roku Search or Roku Voice, or go to the Live TV Zone on the Roku home screen menu to find this feature.
If you aren't familiar with Roku's home screen Sports feature, it lists upcoming live sporting events and provides links to the Roku channels on which you can watch them. This feature also includes links to sports shows, documentaries, and movies.
Roku OS 12 will personalize the Sports feature based on your location, your favorite team and sport, and your viewing habits. With OS 12, CBS Sports, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, and NBC Sports will be supported within the Sports feature, and there will be expanded sports coverage the addition of golf and additional soccer programming. The updated sports feature also promises to include more Spanish-language game coverage around select soccer leagues.
Continue Watching, located within the What to Watch feature on Roku's home screen menu, lets users resume recently-watched movies and TV shows on HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount+, and The Roku Channel. With OS 12, this content will now be available almost immediately after stop watching. In addition, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, and Freevee are now supported in the Continue Watching feature, BET+, Frndly TV, and STARZ will be added soon.
Home Screen Menu Customization
Roku OS 12 adds "machine learning" to the home screen menu layout, so items like What to Watch, Live TV, and Featured Free will be "conveniently ordered on how likely users are to stream from each feature," according to Roku's OS software release notes. Of course, "convenient" is in the eye of the beholder. Many Roku users may prefer to have the ability to rearrange menu items to their own liking instead of having "machine learning" try to predict their individual preference and move things around on them.
Supported Roku Devices Receiving OS 12 Updates
- Roku streaming players and Streambars – 9102X, 9101X, 9100X, 4802X, 4801X, 4800X, 4670X, 4662X, 4661X, 4660X, 4640X, 4630X, 4620X, 4230X, 4210X, 4200X, 3960X, 3941X, 3941X2, 3940X, 3940X2, 3932X, 3931X, 3930X, 3921X, 3920X, 3910X, 3900X, 3821X, 3821X2, 3820X, 3820X2, 3811X, 3810X, 3800X, 3710X, 3700X, 3600X.
- Roku TV – All Roku TV models are expected to receive Roku OS 12.
More details on the Roku OS 12 updates can be found in the Roku OS software release notes.