Roku just announced a software update that is rolling out to its Roku 2 and LT lines, bringing several changes that should bring a smile to many users faces. The only additional functionality coming to the devices is the introduction of MKV support. This is constrained to USB support for now; there remains no official local network streaming channel available, though unofficial channels have been available for some time. Gaming, WiFi and audio performance improvements have been included, and the Roku Channel Store has been updated to include options for purchasing accessories along with Roku devices. Lastly, an official Roku iPhone app is being introduced, with an Android version to follow. We'll explore these upgrades further shortly and report in as we learn more. 

 

In this release, we focused on several improvements and enhancements:

  1. Support for more games – Added improvements to the 3D game experience on Roku 2. The first games to take advantages of these improvements—Downhill Bowling 2, Castle Warriors and Frisbee Forever—will be available in the Roku Channel Store shortly and are designed to work with the Game Remote.
  2. Mobile support – Added enhancements to support an official Roku iPhone app that will be in the iTunes App Store soon. Followed by Android for our non-iOS loving friends.
  3. MKV playback support – If you have a Roku 2 XS, you can use the USB Media Player channel to play MKV movie files from USB drives. Also, MP4 video playback has improved.
  4. Improved Wi-Fi performance – Added optimizations to enhance streaming quality and reliability over Wi-Fi in Roku 2 players.
  5. Improved Bluetooth Game Remote battery performance – Prolonged the battery life of the Roku Game Remote when it is used in conjunction with Wi-Fi networking on the player.
  6. Improved Game Remote responsiveness – Improved wakeup responsiveness of Roku Game Remove over Bluetooth for quicker actions during video playback.
  7. Improved audio performance – Fixed the cause of intermittent audio dropouts with some stereo receivers.
  8. Shop Roku Deals in the Roku Channel Store – Recently we added the ability to purchase Roku players within the Roku Channel Store; now you can bundle accessories with your purchase too, like an HDMI cable.
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  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Until then, Roku is useless. Reply
  • chucknelson - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Roku has had youtube for as long as I can remember. I've used it plenty of times on my original Roku. Reply
  • aceat64 - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    It's probably just a personal preference thing but who cares about YouTube? We use our Roku box for Amazon streaming (prime is awesome), Netflix, Revision3, TWiT, Pandora, Drama Fever, Crackle (never even knew about that until Roku), and Hulu.

    Sure, I could watch some of those on my PS3 and most of them on my PC, but the Roku has a really nice, super-responsive interface and is easy to use when I'm laying on the couch. To top it off, this update looks like it's fixing one of the issues I've had with our Roku box, namely that the remote did feel really laggy after not using it for a long time (see #6).

    Would it be great to have YouTube on Roku? Sure. Is the box useless without it? Heck no.
    Reply
  • chucknelson - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Is YouTube not available for the Roku 2 or something? As I said above, it has been available on my original Roku ever since I got it almost a year and a half ago. Reply
  • laytoncy - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    What the Roku really needs is to be able to stream those MKV's from your home network. I'm sorry but I don't care to copy files to a thumb drive and plug said drive into my Roku. This is after all a streaming device. So, I'm hoping that one day they will actually support this feature. I'm sure there are ways around it with other channels but for now I'll stick with my ATV2 for MKV's. I have a Roku XD|S now and can't see a reason to upgrade for the time being. Reply
  • TheMan876 - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    I thought the first Roku has MKV support, no? Reply
  • fashionbook - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

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    Reply

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