Roku updates historically don’t come with significant visual overhauls, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t feature-rich. Much like last September’s update, Roku OS 10 aims to bring more value to your streaming devices with changes that help you pick the strongest Wi-Fi network, automatic game modes, and much more.
Let’s start with the automatic features that should improve your quality of gaming and streaming. First, as seen in the screenshot above, Roku OS 10 adds automatic console configuration. Basically, if your Roku TV detects that you plugged in a PS5 or another compatible console, it will automatically turn on game mode and adjust available performance features.
Depending on what functionality is found on your television, auto console configuration can enable HDR gaming, Auto Low-Latency Mode, Variable Refresh Rate, High Frame Rate, and THX Certified Game Mode.
Choosing the correct Wi-Fi network is another pain point you may run into when setting up your Roku. With many routers offering 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks, it’s not entirely sure which is the stronger option for streaming from Netflix. With Automatic Network Detection, this problem will be a thing of the past.
As seen in the above screenshot, if your Roku device detects an optimal wireless network band, it will prompt you to switch. Ensure the password for both networks is identical for easy switching.
With nearly 170 channels available through Roku, the live TV guide can get a bit cluttered. Thankfully, with Roku OS 10, you can finally customize the guide to fit your ideal viewing experience. This includes hiding channels, grouping channels into favorites, and switching between recently visited, favorites, and all channels.
Speaking of channels, Roku has worked with several streaming platforms to introduce a new “Instant Resume” functionality. Instead of reopening and waiting for a channel that you navigated out of to reload, jump right back in where you left off and resume watching whatever you’re streaming.
At this time, there are just over 15 channels that support Instant Resume, including AT&T TV, FilmRise, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fubo Sports Network, HappyKids TV, Plex.tv, STARZ, and The Roku Channel. More are said to be on the way.
If you own a Roku Smart Soundbar or plan to purchase the just-announced Streambar Pro, prepare to have your audio experience taken up a notch. Using the new “Virtual Surround” setting, the soundbars can simulate the audio experience of having speakers placed around your home without the extra hardware.
Finally, several other changes are coming with Roku OS 10. Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit (made available to some 4K players in 2020) is coming to HD Roku streaming devices, voice entry is coming to some on-screen keyboards, and HDR10+ support is coming to the Ultra (2020), Roku Express 4K, and Roku Express 4K+.
Roku OS 10 is rolling out to “select” players starting today. The firmware upgrade should hit all compatible streaming boxes and Roku TVs “in the coming weeks.”