Roku OS 8: Single Sign-On, Grid Guide, Fast Start, New Voice Controls, & More

Not only did Roku announce a brand-new line of Roku players today, but it also announced a new Roku OS 8.

The new Roku OS 8 will start rolling out this month and should be on most Roku players and TVs by the end of 2017.

So let’s take a look at what is new.

New Updates for Roku TVs

New Over-the-Air Grid Guide

Ever wish you had a traditional grid guide on your Roku TV for over-the-air TV? Now you have that option with your Roku TV including a free 14-day look into the future of what is coming up. You will also get a 7-day look back.

Why is the 7-day look back important? If you miss a show you can go back to it in the guide and your Roku TV will show you other ways to watch it so you never miss an episode again. For example, if you miss an episode of “The Simpsons,” Roku will show you how to find it on Hulu, FOX Now, and more.

Roku Over-the-Air Search

In the past Roku’s over-the-air TV did not show up in its search if you are looking for a movie or TV show. Now if you are looking for a show or movie that will be available over the air it will include the over-the-air option in your search results.

Voice Controls

You can now ask your Roku to switch inputs, load a streaming channel, and more from your Roku app or your voice-enabled remote voice controls on the Roku TV, which are better than ever.

Private Listening OTA

In the past private listening only worked with streaming apps. Now on Roku TVs you can use private listening for over-the-air TV too.

Roku Player Updates

Enhanced Voice Features

Not only can you launch apps with your voice but you also have a more natural voice search now. Want comedies with Will Ferrell? Just ask “show me comedies with Will Ferrell.” Not only will it look for Will Ferrell, but it will also show just comedies he is in.

Single Sign-On

Hate having to sign in every time you open a new TV anywhere app? With Roku you can now sign in once and get access to over 30 TV everywhere apps from providers such as Disney and FOX.

Currently there are no cord cutting services that support this feature yet, but both Dish and AT&T offer it for cable subscribers. Hopefully Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW —among others—will be added soon. As with all new services, look for more companies to sign up soon. (It may be a good idea to email both your streaming service and Roku with a polite request that they add live TV streaming services.)

4K Spotlight Channel

The newly redesigned Roku 4K Spotlight Channel will make it easier for Roku owners who have a 4K and 4K HDR TV to find 4K HDR content on their Roku. All of it will be in one easy-to-find spot.

The Roku OS 8 also comes with many back-end improvements and bug fixes. Roku also has a habit recently of not announcing all of the minor changes it made. Back when 7.0 and 7.5 came out both updates had many improvements hidden inside the update for us to find for weeks to come.

Rollout Details

Roku TVs should have the update in early November and all Roku devices by the end of the year.

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