clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Roku Adds Voice Search, My Feed for Upcoming Movies

Roku adds new search and discovery features to its players and mobile apps.


Starting today, Roku users will have new ways to search and discover content on their set-top boxes.

That’s because the Silicon Valley-based company updated its line of media streaming devices and mobile apps to support voice search. Instead of typing out a search term, users can now press a button on the redesigned remote or use the iOS or Android app to look for content by speaking the name of a movie, actor or director. They can also use voice search to call up channels like HBO Go or Sling TV.

Only the new Roku 3 model, which goes on sale today and costs $100, comes with the enhanced voice control remote. The company upgraded the Roku 2 ($70) with a faster processor, but it ships with a more basic remote. Those who opt for this model or owners of older-generation Roku devices can still access the new voice capabilities through the mobile apps.

Roku isn’t the first streaming media product to offer voice input. Amazon’s Fire TV has had the feature since its launch, and Google’s Android TV also does voice search. But Roku Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Anderson believes that the company’s solution has a couple of advantages over its competitors.

The first is that Roku searches for content across a wide selection of streaming channels, compared to other companies that might surface results from their services and maybe one or two others. Second, Roku filters results based on the cheapest price to the highest, so users can make faster, smarter decisions.

“We call our service unbiased, basically,” said Anderson in an interview with Re/code. “It’s built around the consumer rather than trying to sell something through our own store. And that’s one reason why it gets used a lot and gets a lot of positive feedback.”

Roku currently offers more than 2,000 streaming channels.

In addition to voice search, Roku added a new “My Feed” feature that lets you follow new movies to see when they become available on Roku or if there’s a change in rental or purchase price.

From the Roku homepage, users can select My Feed and then choose Movies Coming Soon to browse through a selection of movies recently released in theaters and check the ones they want to follow. Any updates on availability and price are then displayed in that feed.

For now, Roku is only using My Feed for upcoming movies, but the company may add more functionality in the future.

“We are very excited about this concept of following, so we’re open to lots of feedback and suggestions,” said Anderson. “But we also think that there are different ways you might build a feed. For now, we want to launch it in a very straightforward way, in one use case that’s simple and understandable.”

Roku is rolling out My Feed and voice search to its current players (including Roku TV) and mobile apps starting today, and the company hopes to deliver the software update to everyone by the end of the month.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.