Roku Spam Buttons Now Less Intrusive

Dave Zatz —  May 22, 2017

As disseminated by Cord Cutters News, the new Roku 7.6 OS update resolves at least one “spam button” annoyance. When you accidentally sit on your Roku remote or your toddler grabs it, you won’t necessarily be dumped into a paid partner’s streaming app. Instead, while video is playing, you’ll be offered up a confirmation screen (as shown above, which doesn’t seem to time out) before making the leap. Sadly, Roku still doesn’t provide the ability to remap their growing list of rotating affiliates… to regain valuable real estate from a variety of shuttered services, like Rdio and Target Ticket (as shown below). While Roku remains a compelling player in this space many of their recent product decisions are driven by advertising and, by comparison, the similarly priced Fire TV offers a superior, clutter-free remote (that obviously pitches Amazon services via the on-screen interface).

5 responses to Roku Spam Buttons Now Less Intrusive

  1. Might have spoken too soon… Amazon’s new Fire TV “television” brings its own spam buttons. Although you’ll probably want them. http://amzn.to/2rtLfeB

  2. Roku interface is just so much easier though Dave

    Fire has so many confusing submenus and looks like it was designed by an engineer.

  3. It does have simplicity going for it… but that also comes across in many (still) simplistic apps. We may also have reached a tipping point, where Fire TV may be getting more, earlier updates. For example DirecTV Now is on Fire TV, but not on Roku, and PS Vue hit Fire TV first. Amazon Music on Roku is pretty bad, but that could be incentive to go Fire TV. If it weren’t for nowhere man, I’d probably have dropped Roku by now.

  4. I realize there’s an audience for the very simple, straightforward grid-o-apps approach of the Roku UI but I prefer UIs like Fire TV, the upcoming redesigned Android TV UI, and the Apple TV “TV” app, that focus more on content, with a universal watchlist (i.e. Watch Next / Next Up / Continue Watching) and set of recommendations that span popular apps. Not sure if Netflix will ever let their original content be part of a universal watchlist feature, though, as they don’t want third parties to have access to their viewership data. And it remains to be seen whether Amazon will participate in such a feature on non-Fire TV devices (we’ll see when their app comes to Apple TV this summer). But everyone else (Hulu, HBO, Showtime, other major channels, etc.) seem to be on board. At any rate, if the future is TV truly is apps, as the Apple TV ads says, it will require a more user-friendly, aggregated UI than what we have now.

  5. Roku is still a good product however as someone who used to be a huge lover of Roku I have recently changed my mind and will no longer buy any more roku’s but will instead continue to buy Amazon Fire TV’s for many of the reasons others have cited. It’s just a much more robust device it has all the really important apps that people really want and I don’t value all those in junk apps that Roku has who cares how many apps they have I just want the most important ones that matter. As an Amazon Prime member such things Amazon music are far superior experience with my entire library of music available. And perhaps the killer thing about Amazon Fire TV is that it is based on Android.

    As an android-based device Amazon Fire TV has VLC app Which Beats Roku media player easily and plays files that may not on a Roku app. And further there is the matter of having to write apps that support roku’s operating system as opposed to Simply keeping your costs down and sticking with Android based Fire TV is as far as connected devices are concerned and as Android TV becomes more popular this puts even more pressure on Roku and it’s OS. The costly issue of having to develop apps for different OS is becoming a major one forsen even big companies and in my humble opinion I really don’t think a Roku will be what it is today in just a few years.

    Amazon’s Alexa seems to be powering everything including DVRs as well as dish hoppers and having the Amazon Fire TV is a natural segue when it comes two voice activated and connected devices in your home. Add to that the superior Innovation coming from Amazon as in the recently-announced Amazon show a great way to check in on elderly parents and its other uses which includes support for personal security devices and the ring video doorbell and the matter of value or how many things such a device can do has to be taken into consideration when choosing which connected device to invest your hard-earned money.

    The Dish Anywhere app now on fire TV with no word about it ever coming to Roku. Also the SlingPlayer app is far superior on the Fire TV compared to the clumsy SlingPlayer experience for Roku that requires using a mobile device to initiate the process and then sends the stream first out to the public internet then back down again to be played back on the Roku even if you’re just trying to watch only within your LAN it still goes out to the public internet first and this can result in a degraded picture quality.

    The world is changing and it seems Amazon is changing with it while Roku seems very much a one-trick pony that was really great some years ago but one has to wonder if it will be as ubiquitous in 5 years from now as we expect Amazon’s products will be, and that extra costs develop for Roku OS doesn’t help matters.

    Of course I’m no fan of having only the option of Amazon I much prefer competition but we’re going to see it come from Google and possibly Apple but I believe Roku’s finer days beginning wane.