Roku's new update just made one of Netflix's biggest features redundant


Today is a big day for Roku, which is rolling out a refreshed Roku 2 box and a couple of significant software updates across its line of streamers.

To start with the hardware, the new Roku 2 has been updated to match the performance of the Roku 3 (which gets voice search in the new refresh if you're in the US) but will stick at a lower price of £69.99 ($69).

So why not just opt for the cheaper variant? Although the box itself offers an identical service, the remote has been stripped back to cut out a couple of key features: the headphone jack and the game control buttons are no more.

The new controller also comes with a matt finish and dedicated buttons for Netflix, YouTube, Rdio and Google Play.

As for software, Roku's introducing a new search feature that will display results for movies, TV shows actors or directors across a number of its streaming channels, including prices where applicable.

One stop shop

Roku's idea is to create a one stop shop that will eliminate the hassle of jumping between Netflix, Now TV (if you're in the UK), Google Play and others to find out where you can watch Storage Wars. Not all apps and channels will be included in this feature, however, and Roku is yet to tell us which will be from day one.

The second big update is Roku Feed, another feature to save you from the job of digging through apps just to find that one film you're after. By "following" cinema releases that you're interested in, Roku will notify you when they become available for streaming on one of its channels - and at what price.

Now we just need a "leaving soon" feed across all these channels and we'll be set.

These new features will debut in an update that's set to roll out alongside the new Roku 2 box in early May. We'll let you know when Roku gives us a more exact date.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.