Exciting updates on YouTube TV, Fire TV, Roku

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This week saw many new product updates in video streaming. Here are the ones we found most interesting.

youtube tv to add new features

Full details have not yet been released, but we’re excited about the upcoming changes that YouTube released in a blog post.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like this new package is an add-on that costs a bit more. Just an educated guess. But who knows, since the price was just raised to $65/monthly in July, maybe it will stay the same.

1. Viewers can watch available shows in 4K resolution. Super cool, but really only applies to shows that were created in 4K.

2. Viewers can download programs to their DVR to watch later offline. Not many live streaming services allow this, so this could be a big deal.

3. You can watch unlimited concurrent streams at home, so the whole family can enjoy YouTube TV on different screens at once. Right now that limit is 3 concurrent streams.

roku testing rechargeable remotes

According to multiple sources, Roku is testing a new remote that features some useful upgrades. Exact details are a bit sketchy now, but what’s being discussed certainly seems legit. The new device is being called the Roku Voice Remote Pro.

The most noticeable improvement is the ability to recharge the remote via a micro-USB or USB-C. Some Roku users have reported that their AAA batteries die too quickly. Personally, I’ve seen this happen with a demo model that was usually unplugged and had the batteries in the remote.

Another new feature is hands-free voice control so you could say “Hey Roku, find my remote” and other commands.

The other features of the remote seem to line up with the remote that’s currently supplied with the Roku Ultra.

  • It’s a little bit larger and fits in the hand better
  • Two personal shortcut buttons
  • Lost remote finder
  • Private listening via a built-in headphone jack

fire tv update coming

We’ve been expecting an interface change from Amazon for a while and it looks like it’s about to be released widely. This latest redesign came with some of the Fire TV devices sold starting in December, and now the updates are rolling out widely in March.

Currently the menu system on Fire TV is a bit complicated and confusing. The choices are often redundant and unclear, plus there’s a ton of promotion and banner ads for Amazon Prime Video programming. All that pales in comparison to the much cleaner and useful interfaces used by Roku, Chromecast with Google TV, and even Apple TV.

Jared Newman at TechHive talked with Amazon and has a detailed review of the new interface. There are some interesting positives and negatives about the change. From what I can see, it’s a step in the right direction … just not enough of a step.

apple tv+ is now on chromecast with google tv

The Apple TV+ app (this is the TV service!) was recently released onto Chromecast with Google TV. That’s a really nice addition because of how the Chromecast user interface features your own subscribed services.

if you bought an Apple product in the past year, it may have included free access to the TV service, which features exclusive shows like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show.