How To Prevent Roku Theme Hijacking

Dave Zatz —  June 22, 2014


Roku’s gone ahead and pulled a TiVo, having crossed that ill-defined advertising obnoxiousness line. Whereas TiVo pause menu ads layer spam atop your television content, Roku now overrides the box “theme” for full screen sponsorship like the Lego Movie or AMEX concerts (shown above). I only recently noticed this, but it’s been in play since at least late last year. To Roku’s credit, while default box behavior will swap out even a theme that you specified, they allow you to suppress the takeover. Within the Theme options area you’ll find Custom Settings that house a Featured Theme On/Off toggle.

5 responses to How To Prevent Roku Theme Hijacking

  1. Pretty sure what threw me here is that I specified my theme before these sponsorships and related settings arrived. Again, kudos to Roku for giving us the option to turn if off. Perhaps ironically, after dsicovering the option and reading more on their support page, I left them on. For now.

  2. Yeah, since they allow us to turn them off, I think it’s fair to say Roku pulled the OPPOSITE of a TiVo. TiVo would never allow its customers to opt out of advertising.

    Roku did the same thing with their partnership with M-Go. They had a “Movies” entry right at the top of the homepage menu… and they allow us to turn that off too.

    I really do love them for it.

  3. Help. My Roku just took my HDTV on an airline flight to Cuba at gunpoint.

    Is there some remote command I can issue to stop this kind of hijack?

  4. Only problem is, I can’t get my preferred theme back. When the garish Lego theme was forced upon my Roku 2 XD early last month, it would not allow me to switch back. I went online and had a chat with them, and they had me reset to factory default, and the that took away the Lego theme, but I still was unable to go back to the Nebula theme-or any of the others. It switched to the Fathers Day theme during Father’s day week, and now the Amex is on-just checked, Amex is gone, with the default theme on, but I can’t change it. Even with it set on ”Featured Theme Off”.

  5. Now I wonder if there is a way to prevent Google from hijacking your browser with their Google Doodles?