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Roku TVs are getting one of Samsung's best features via a free update

With new premium Roku Pro Series TVs, a new Roku Voice Remote Pro, and some helpful software updates, Roku has big plans for spring 2024.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Roku Pro Series TV

The Roku Pro Series TVs have a thin 1.9-inch bezel that gives them a shadowbox look.


On Wednesday, Roku announced the availability of a new Pro Series line of smart televisions, complete with AI-powered picture adjustments and likely the best remote control of all major streaming companies. Major software updates are coming to all Roku TVs, which will begin rolling out today, delivering convenience and a better user experience for Roku users. 

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"We want our platform to be relevant to how you watch TV, whether you purchased a device today or years ago," Preston Smalley, Vice President of Viewer Product at Roku, said in a press release. "With personalized Backdrops to suit your mood, Smart Picture for crystal-clear visuals, and better ways to help decide what to watch, we're setting a new standard for streaming excellence. This is the future of TV, tailored just for you by Roku."

Here are all the updates Roku announced today:

Roku's new premium televisions feature a mini-LED backlight with a 4K QLED panel with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Described by Roku as the snappiest Roku device ever, the Pro Series TVs have a new quad-core processor with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) that intelligently adjusts picture settings through Roku Smart Picture Max, powered by artificial intelligence. 

"We've invested years in making the picture great for the shows and movies you're watching — and now we've added the simplicity of automation," Chris Larson, Roku VP of Retail Strategy, said. "Our Pro Series TVs not only look and sound beautiful; they also give our customers the best possible viewing experience, no matter what they're watching."

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To create an immersive audio experience, the Pro Series TVs have side-firing speakers that project the sound out and around the viewer instead of down and back.

The new Roku Pro Series TVs are now available at Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch models, with prices ranging from $900 to $1,700. Roku is also adding a Roku Slim Profile Wall Mount Kit to its lineup of products later this month.

Roku Voice Remote Pro 2

Roku Voice Remote Pro 2

For the first time, the Roku remote will have touch-activated backlit buttons, USB-C charging, and a customizable shortcut button to access a favorite show or channel quickly. The backlit buttons illuminate when a user picks up the remote and when they say "Hey Roku" commands.

The Roku Voice Remote Pro 2 will also be easy to find, as Pro Series TVs will come with a dedicated remote finder button on the side of the TV that triggers a chime on the remote. Thanks to its hands-free voice commands, users can also say, "Hey Roku, where's the remote?" to trigger the chime. The remote will also flash the backlit button panel to make finding it easier. 

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Though it is included with all Roku Pro Series TVs, Roku will sell the Roku Voice Remote Pro 2 separately for $30 at Roku.com before bringing it to major retailers in the coming months. 

Cars coming to Roku City

Cars coming to Roku City

If you've ever seen a Roku TV or device, you're probably familiar with Roku City: a digital rendering of a magenta and purple city with fun characters and buildings and full of movie references. 

Roku City is a screensaver for Roku devices that the company updates periodically, depending on the season. Now, Roku City is getting vehicles as a dynamic addition to add some fun to your screen, serving as an income opportunity through advertisements. Roku explained that vehicles will always change and will add short-term advertisements to its new cars to promote digital content, like a 007 James Bond vehicle. 

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Other Roku software updates

Backdrops - Roku Pro Series TV


Roku is also rolling out a new feature that displays digital artwork on idle TVs. You can choose from free artwork, including classic works, museum collections, and abstract designs, or upload digital art or photos. This and other software updates will be available in the coming months through OS 13.

Roku Smart Picture update

Roku is improving picture quality by automatically adjusting the backlighting, uniformity, and colors based on the apps streaming and the type of TV. Roku Smart Picture uses metadata from channel partners to adjust picture modes before the content starts to play automatically. 

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The biggest difference between Roku Smart Picture and the Roku Pro Series' Roku Smart Picture Max is that the latter uses AI, powered by the TV's NPU, to refine color, contrast, and sharpness in real-time. 

This update will be available to all Roku TV models. Customers buying a Roku TV in Spring 2024 onward will have the Roku Smart Picture feature enabled by default, while the rest of the Roku TV models purchased before will need to enable it in the picture settings option. 

Make it easy to pick something to watch

Roku is adding IMDb ratings to title trailers across the platform and new badge updates on TV shows in your Save List when prices drop, or new episodes are available. Much like checking reviews before buying a product, many users rely on ratings to choose a new show or movie to watch, so Roku is including IMDb ratings on title detail pages and adding a new "What to Watch" row with highly rated IMDb titles.

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Updates to the Roku app

The Roku mobile app is getting a new navigation bar with five tabs: Home, Search, Remote, Devices, and Account. It's also getting a "Top Searched TV and Movies" row showing daily searched TV shows and movies across the platform. 

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