Roku has updated its Roku 2 TV streaming box, however the new package loses certain features to kept the cost down.
The new on demand box that gives customers access to over 1400 channels, will now be identical to the Roku 3 box in terms of performance, but will lose the advanced remote control the previous Roku 2 offered.
That means an IR remote requiring line of sight instead of a wireless remote and the loss of the headphone jack to let you listen without disturbing others.
Also separating it from the remote found in the box with the Roku 3 is the lack of a motion sensor to aid certain games like Angry Birds.
Both remotes will now feature four dedicated buttons giving you quick access to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Rdio. The buttons can't be reprogrammed.
The new version of the Roku 2, which will land in the UK in May, will cost a familiar £69: the same price as the Apple TV after it received a price drop in March.
Aside from improved hardware specs Roku has confirmed to Pocket-lint the new box will come with improved software that should have a dramatic affect in speeding up accessing your favourite channels, shows and movies.
The new tweaked interface, which is rolling out to all Roku boxes in the family past and present, adds two new features as well as speeding up boot times, something that plagues the Roku streaming stick for example.
New though is a search feature that allows you to search across channels for movies, TV series, actors, directors, channels, and games.
The search results will give you all the places you can watch what you are looking for with prices or subscription details where relevant.
It will however only work with services that have supplied data feed, however judging from our time with a demo unit already running the new software this should cover most of the mainstream services like Netflix.
The other main new feature is the ability to be notified when a certain show becomes available on a streaming service.
Called My Feeds it will allow users to follow releases so they know when you are available to be watched, rented or bought. It will then send you notifications so you don't miss it.
Roku says you'll be able to unfollow at any time, but it won't auto turn off once you've watched it. You also can't at the moment just restrict to services you subscribe to either.
Both new services are likely to be welcomed by users of the service and channels offering content because it will highlight which service offers the content you are looking for without you having to dip into each one to and repeat the search feature each time.
In addition to using the included remote control, Roku offers a free mobile app to enable consumers to control their streaming player with their mobile device. An updated version of the Roku Mobile App for both iOS and Android devices will be available by early May and will include support for the new search and discovery features announced today.
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