Skip to main content

Roku TVs can now detect what you’re watching on cable to see if it’s available on Netflix

Roku TVs can now detect what you’re watching on cable to see if it’s available on Netflix


Customers need to opt in for the new recognition feature

Share this story

Televisions with Roku’s software preinstalled can now automatically detect what you’re watching via cable, satellite, or an antenna. The new feature, coming to Roku TVs as part of a the latest operating system update, is called “More Ways to Watch” and is designed to show you whenever a show or movie you’ve got on can also be streamed using popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video. This could allow you to watch an in-progress episode from the beginning, find other episodes of a series, or view recommendations for similar content.

Roku uses Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology to recognize what’s currently being viewed in your living room. Somewhat creepy, yet also helpful! Not that the creepy side is stopping other companies from doing the same thing. Roku is at least being careful about how it’s all being implemented. More Ways to Watch requires customers to opt-in once the feature is rolled out or whenever they perform an initial out-of-box setup on a Roku TV. Only Roku TVs are doing this right now; your streaming set-top box isn’t (yet) detecting what you’re watching.

Other new additions that are part of the Roku OS 7.6 update include thumbnails for live TV pause, choosing favorite channels when you’re watching TV through an antenna, and giving custom names to inputted devices.

The update will roll out over the next few weeks and Roku estimates it will reach all compatible devices by June. For 4K Roku TVs in particular, More Ways to Watch will be available sometime this summer.