Roku TV users will be able to freeze live broadcast television delivered via an over-the-air antenna — pausing it for up to 90 minutes — a handy feature that’s been available for years on DVRs.
The feature is part of the Roku OS 7.5 update, which includes other enhancements and bug fixes. The company said it will begin rolling out the new operating system to current-generation players and Roku-based TVs starting Tuesday.
The live-TV pause feature is available for Roku TV models, and requires users to connect a third-party antenna (like the flat antennas from Mohu). In addition, customers must have a USB storage device with at least 16 gigabytes of capacity connected to their Roku TV. Once that’s set up, users can watch free broadcast programming from networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS and pause live TV for up to 90 minutes.
The OS update also will add mobile private-listening mode for Roku TVs, a feature currently available on select Roku players. That lets Roku TV owners plug in a pair of headphones into the remote control to listen to the audio — ideal for late-night viewing when you don’t want to disturb slumbering members of the household.
Other new features with Roku OS 7.5:
- “Play on Roku” support for multiple mobile devices: With Roku OS 7.5 and the updated Roku mobile app for iOS and Android, multiple people can use the Play on Roku feature on a Roku device, to share photos from mobile devices on an HDTV at the same time.
- Screen mirroring for more Roku players: The update adds the ability to wirelessly mirror the screen of compatible Android or Windows Mobile devices onto the TV screen for the Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra.
- Roku player remote volume control: With their Roku remotes, users can control the volume level of TVs and audio receivers that support volume control via the HDMI Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) specification.
“We continue to improve the streaming experience for our customers long after they’ve purchased one of our products,” Roku said in announcing the OS 7.5 update.