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john262
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Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:22 pm

 
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atc98092
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:16 am

I'm not certain I agree with that article title. OS 9.1 is only adding one feature that starts playing media from The Roku Channel. That's a voice search. And it's only if that particular title is available on TRC. Otherwise, you still get the same list of all channels that title is available on. If you never use the search function (I never do, but I know others do), then you never see that side of it.
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An Amazon Fire TV is far from a neutral platform, as the entire UI is designed to showcase Amazon content. I've never seen an Apple TV, but would guess it's focused on iTunes. The Shield is neutral, almost. Even though I have all of the video recommendations disabled, sometimes they turn themselves back on and highlight Google Play movies. The Roku UI, even under 9.1, is still completely neutral. It doesn't move around the channel icons from where I place them, so it shows them the way I want. Yeah, it has ads that run on the right side of the screen, but those ads are not all for The Roku Channel. In fact, they are usually for some other channel offering. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
 
Tajson
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:56 am

Neutral platform? The Roku box started out as a Netflix only player and has prioritized Netflix in many revisions since in a semi-open environment for other channels. Until "recently" (reads: some years ago) the Roku platform started to prioritize/help other mainstream channels onto the platform.
 
blade_005
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:37 am

Tajson wrote:
Neutral platform? The Roku box started out as a Netflix only player and has prioritized Netflix in many revisions since in a semi-open environment for other channels. Until "recently" (reads: some years ago) the Roku platform started to prioritize/help other mainstream channels onto the platform.

Netflix may have started out as prioritized on Roku, but now that they are 'King of the Streamers' they are dictating to streaming platforms now.

Case in point. The recently introduced ALEXA ROKU SKILL can open many of the popular Roku apps thru voice commands now. Pause, Resume, Volume adjustment also work within these apps. NOT with Netflix. Can not open the app are make any adjustments once video is streaming. I can't imagine that Roku made the decision not to include Netflix in the initial release of the Skill. If so, the comment section of the Skill would say they mis-calculated. One of the bigger gripes is no Netflix support. Likely a Netflix decision to not allow support.

Neutral platform may mean different things for users, but compared to other platform choices, Roku was one of the more agnostic choices. That obviously has changed as they have gone public and commercial ad revenue from The Roku Channel has become more important. Even with the verbal restrictions they placed in the the Blog posting, it does sound like a slippery slope we may be led down. If I use a voice command to SEARCH for a program title, then I expect a list to be displayed of my 'SEARCH' request. I don't want Roku deciding that really meant PLAY a title if the only place it is found is on The Roku Channel. What if I intended to use it as an informational search to see if it is available on one of my favorite / commercial free subscriptions, but it not I will choose something else to view? Roku is now deciding that it knows best what I want and will force an ad-supported stream if it is only available on The Roku channel. If I want an auto play stream, give me an option via voice to request PLAY 'Title' on The Roku Channel. SEARCH should mean SEARCH and PLAY can mean AUTO-PLAY.

If this is not implemented with some level of customization or opting out, I can see it becoming as annoying as the Netflix Auto-Preview and the startling Netflix startup sound that we have no control over managing.

FYI. I am not anti-Roku in their drive for additional revenue streams. I use The Roku Channel and am happy to know that it is driving more revenue to the company from commercials. Just finishing up Season 2 of RELIC HUNTER. I just hope we are given some control and are not made to feel that we just have to live with a more Roku favored suggestion model, whether if fits our desires or not.
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
 
blade_005
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:55 am

atc98092 wrote:
I'm not certain I agree with that article title. OS 9.1 is only adding one feature that starts playing media from The Roku Channel. That's a voice search. And it's only if that particular title is available on TRC. Otherwise, you still get the same list of all channels that title is available on. If you never use the search function (I never do, but I know others do), then you never see that side of it.
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An Amazon Fire TV is far from a neutral platform, as the entire UI is designed to showcase Amazon content. I've never seen an Apple TV, but would guess it's focused on iTunes. The Shield is neutral, almost. Even though I have all of the video recommendations disabled, sometimes they turn themselves back on and highlight Google Play movies. The Roku UI, even under 9.1, is still completely neutral. It doesn't move around the channel icons from where I place them, so it shows them the way I want. Yeah, it has ads that run on the right side of the screen, but those ads are not all for The Roku Channel. In fact, they are usually for some other channel offering. 

An app-centric HOME SCREEN on Roku will eventually change. It will come down to how Roku chooses to implement a content-focused UI as to whether or not it will be seen as an enhanced user experience or just a Roku favored content UI change. If we are given no customization options for favored apps on the Home Screen, then it might be a big step backwards. I could see how a HOME SCREEN with a mixture of curated content and some favored apps for quick access could be a plus. I'm sure it will spark a lot of debate and complaints when it is implemented. Some are still upset with HULU for their UI changes as they began their LIVE TV offering.

Plans to make The Roku Channel the HOME SCREEN UI
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
 
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atc98092
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:10 pm

If they move to the Roku Channel as the home page, that would make it very similar to the Amazon Fire TV. I'm not in favor of that. I haven't seen that in OS 9.1, so I don't think they're rolling that out now. But if they think it worthwhile, I could certainly see them pushing it on us. That would just push me to buy another Shield and move away from Roku. I like the ability to move the channel icons where I want them on the home screen, and would be very annoying. 
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I agree that the voice search should not trigger immediate playback. I can see offering that as an option, but not as the default. Again, it would be one more thing to push me to an alternate player, such as the Shield. For family use, I like the Roku UI. Using the Shield is more complicated to watch my local media. But it they start complicating the Roku UI, then it's not so big an impediment to move to a different player. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
 
blade_005
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:22 pm

atc98092 wrote:
If they move to the Roku Channel as the home page, that would make it very similar to the Amazon Fire TV. I'm not in favor of that. I haven't seen that in OS 9.1, so I don't think they're rolling that out now. But if they think it worthwhile, I could certainly see them pushing it on us. That would just push me to buy another Shield and move away from Roku. I like the ability to move the channel icons where I want them on the home screen, and would be very annoying. 
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I agree that the voice search should not trigger immediate playback. I can see offering that as an option, but not as the default. Again, it would be one more thing to push me to an alternate player, such as the Shield. For family use, I like the Roku UI. Using the Shield is more complicated to watch my local media. But it they start complicating the Roku UI, then it's not so big an impediment to move to a different player. 

Comments from the CEO about The Roku Channel becoming the Home Screen UI started last fall. Early heads up for what is inevitable. Maybe it is the new Home Screen UI when OS 10.0 rolls out. Who knows? I hope it isn't so bad that it makes me consider hanging an alternative streaming box off of the three (3) TCL Roku-enabled TV's that I have.
TCL-TV Roku 55P605 (4K HDR & DV) | VIZIO SmartCast SB3651‑E6 Soundbar
TCL-TV Roku 43S425 (4K HDR) | TCL-TV Roku 32S301 (720p)
 
Tajson
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:57 pm

blade_005 wrote:
Neutral platform may mean different things for users, but compared to other platform choices, Roku was one of the more agnostic choices.

I am not sure if that is what you want to believe or you just are mad about the current changes to their features but the Roku has never been a neutral platform.

Each channel have to opt-in and send data to Roku for the Roku search feature to work for the channel. Similar is the Alexa Roku feature so if a channel wants to say no, they can stay opted out for this Roku feature.

Per the article, The Roku is no longer a neutral platform so lets get back to that.

Roku introduces "My offers" which is not a new feature. On older Roku boxes, there is a area on the home screen where Roku will display their players and accessories and users can buy them through the Roku platform. Now, this area has just been updated with content and re-introduced.

In this room alone, I have two Roku remotes with predefined (unchangeable) buttons for various channels that will lead to that specific channel's content or to the Roku Channel Store for installing said channel. (One is Neflix, HBO Now, Sling, and Hulu and the other Netflix, Spotify, Google Play, and YouTube) How many other streaming boxes have predefined buttons on their remotes to promote specific content which is not related to the streaming box?

Like I wrote before, Netflix was heavily integrated into the Roku platform but it has been diluted with other similar tier 1 services while there has always been a semi-open environment for lower tiered channels. Roku has always been prioritizing services and will always do so please do not be blue eyed about it and say Roku Platform is neutral (or has been neutral).

Yeah, Roku will always pornotize their "own" content (channel) but you can always uninstall their channel if you do not like the autostart of "their" content.
 
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atc98092
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:45 am

Tajson wrote:
In this room alone, I have two Roku remotes with predefined (unchangeable) buttons for various channels that will lead to that specific channel's content or to the Roku Channel Store for installing said channel. (One is Neflix, HBO Now, Sling, and Hulu and the other Netflix, Spotify, Google Play, and YouTube) How many other streaming boxes have predefined buttons on their remotes to promote specific content which is not related to the streaming box?

While most streaming boxes don't have dedicated buttons, there are many, many smart TVs and Blu Ray players that have at least a Netflix button. The Vizio remote next to me (for a TV that I only use as a computer monitor) has Netflix, Amazon, and iHeart Radio dedicated buttons. They can't be reprogrammed either. 
Dan
Nvidia Shield, Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
 
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speechles
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:36 am

blade_005 wrote:
Case in point. The recently introduced ALEXA ROKU SKILL can open many of the popular Roku apps thru voice commands now. Pause, Resume, Volume adjustment also work within these apps. NOT with Netflix. Can not open the app are make any adjustments once video is streaming. I can't imagine that Roku made the decision not to include Netflix in the initial release of the Skill. If so, the comment section of the Skill would say they mis-calculated. One of the bigger gripes is no Netflix support. Likely a Netflix decision to not allow support.

Not true. The reason is Netflix is written using the NDK not the standard RSGA. As such the oversight/regulation or what we call "review" Roku does to the app to certify it complies with certain things is not done. NDK apps go through an entirely different process as these are usually big partners who also are published on their "Roku Powered" stores. 

Netflix agreed to the single sign-on that Roku offers. They are playing ball. Amazon isn't privy to how to connect to Netflix because it isn't using the standard dial/ecp like regular apps. This is why it doesn't work. There is nothing nefarious going on.
 
Tajson
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:22 pm

atc98092 wrote:
While most streaming boxes don't have dedicated buttons, there are many, many smart TVs and Blu Ray players that have at least a Netflix button. The Vizio remote next to me (for a TV that I only use as a computer monitor) has Netflix, Amazon, and iHeart Radio dedicated buttons. They can't be reprogrammed either. 

So Roku is not a neutral platform, correct?
 
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jeffrok
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:49 pm

Of all the major players, Roku is the most neutral of them all.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
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Emissary35
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:47 pm

These companies like Roku will never stop trying to fix what isn't broken. The home screen is perfectly fine now, if they alter it to focus on The Roku Channel which I don't use and couldn't care less about it will be a big push to make me not buy another Roku device in the future.
 
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jeffrok
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:58 am

Emissary35 wrote:
These companies like Roku will never stop trying to fix what isn't broken. The home screen is perfectly fine now, if they alter it to focus on The Roku Channel which I don't use and couldn't care less about it will be a big push to make me not buy another Roku device in the future.


People said that several years ago before the current home screen was created.. if you have never experienced the original home screen, I can assure you, the current home screen is TONS better than the original one. Instead of being so sure you wouldn't like the new home screen, try it.
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
https://youtu.be/d1CSEeqWl10
 
ghb51
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Re: Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update

Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:53 am

jeffrok wrote:
Emissary35 wrote:
These companies like Roku will never stop trying to fix what isn't broken. The home screen is perfectly fine now, if they alter it to focus on The Roku Channel which I don't use and couldn't care less about it will be a big push to make me not buy another Roku device in the future.


People said that several years ago before the current home screen was created.. if you have never experienced the original home screen, I can assure you, the current home screen is TONS better than the original one. Instead of being so sure you wouldn't like the new home screen, try it.

I still remember that original home screen, white with all the channels in one horizontal row.

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