Roku OS 11.5 details, a free Thursday Night Football workaround

Roku OS 11.5 Watch to Watch menu with Save List support

This week on TechHive: Roku’s next update changes everything

After years of waiting for Roku to offer a better way to keep tabs on your streaming services, the company has finally delivered.

With the Roku OS 11.5 update coming later this fall, Roku will add several new ways to figure out what to watch: A “Save List” feature, for instance, will let you bookmark shows to watch later from any streaming service, while a “Continue Watching” section will help you quickly resume shows without leaving Roku’s home screen. To help in moments of indecision, another menu section called “The Buzz” will let you flip through movie and show suggestions.

Together, those features signal a shift in the way Roku approaches TV. While the company’s traditional app grid isn’t going anywhere, it’s becoming less of a focus as Roku comes up with new ways to navigate your streaming options. That’s a big deal not just for Roku users, but for streaming TV as a whole. Read the full column on TechHive.

Weekly rewind

More Roku updates: In other Roku news, the company has updated its $30 Express streamer to support dual-band Wi-Fi, so you’ll be able to connect to the faster 5 GHz band on most modern routers. Its remote, however, still lacks volume, TV power, and voice controls, so I still suggest buying something else.

The company is also launching a $130 wireless subwoofer to work with its streaming soundbars, which plug into your TV’s HDMI slot and double as Roku streaming boxes. The new model is $50 cheaper than Roku’s bigger woofer, and has about half the peak wattage.

Free Thursday Night Football: It turns out you don’t need an Amazon Prime subscription to watch Amazon’s exclusive Thursday Night Football coverage. Just tune into the Prime Video channel on Twitch, and you can watch the games for free.

There is a catch, though: You can only watch without a Twitch login through your web browser, and even with a login, I couldn’t get Twitch’s connected TV apps or Chromecast to work. I was, however, able to use AirPlay screen mirroring from Twitch’s iPhone app, so that’s an effective workaround if you have an Apple TV, Roku, or other AirPlay-compatible device.

More mandatory bundling? I will now direct your attention to a pair of related stories from the last week:

We already know that HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into one service next year. For media companies with multiple brands and streaming services, the age of mandatory bundling is starting to seem inevitable. After all, it’s what they know best.

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