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Operating Systems Television Movies Privacy Software The Internet Entertainment Technology

Roku-Enabled TVs Will Soon 'Listen' To Programs You're Watching To Suggest Streaming Content (variety.com) 52

Roku-enabled TVs will be receiving a new OS update that will listen to what show or movie you're watching via your cable or satellite set-top or over-the-air antenna, in order to suggest internet-streaming content. "Compatible TVs will use automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to identify the content and then suggest additional viewing options available on via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or Vudu," reports Variety. From the report: It may seem vaguely Big Brother-ish, but Roku is being careful about ensuring consumer privacy: Users will be required to enable the feature via an opt-in prompt. In addition, the "More Ways to Watch" feature can be turned off at any time (although Roku says viewing information collected prior to the feature being turned off will not be deleted). For now, the "More Ways to Watch" feature is available only in the U.S., and only for Roku-enabled television sets available from Best Buy's Insignia, Sharp, Hisense and TCL. It will be coming first to conventional HDTV models first, followed by support for 4K Roku TV models later this summer.
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Roku-Enabled TVs Will Soon 'Listen' To Programs You're Watching To Suggest Streaming Content

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  • Oh Boy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnotherBlackHat ( 265897 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @08:15PM (#54231891) Homepage

    Sure glad I own a stupid TV.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Getting weary of the poor performance and half ass app builds. Maybe I'll just delete all the apps except for PLEX. At least PLEX porformance is somewhat decent.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I need to investigate the availability of acquiring stock of dumb TVs for retail sale. There has to be a business model here that can work. The threat to our privacy and security is huge.

    http://www.freestateproject.org/

  • but they're not watching you, they're listening.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Loop interesting foreign content all day, set the volume and count the days until the police arrive to do a chat down at the door?
  • Roku (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @09:03PM (#54232105)
    I can't wait until they analyze your sex noises and recommend complementary products and/or services. People around here may be interested in the "Jackin' the Beanstalk" package. Roku knows what you need.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That's why I use a ball-gag on your mom.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In Soviet-America, TV listens to you!!!

  • Roku only wants to know what you watch away from it's box to know what advertisements to send to you.

  • Roku-Enabled TVs Will Soon 'Listen'

    Not sure what the scare quotes are for... that is pretty much exactly what it's doing.

  • Device ownership (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It pisses me off that I paid for this device and then it spies on me without my permission so the manufacturer can make more money. What's missing from a lot of the modern world is a concept of device ownership. I paid for my cell phone/laptop/etc. and I damned well want to control what it does and does not do. And I want it working for me, not some advertiser.

    The tragic thing is: I NEVER NEVER NEVER buy the shit that behavioral ads think I want. It's all a waste of time and effort for them.

    • It pisses me off when people don't even bother to read the summary. What's missing from a lot of the modern world is a concept of understanding before you shout in caps, because it's stated quite clearly that it's entirely opt-in.
    • fyi opt-in = needs your permission.

    • by Chrontius ( 654879 ) on Friday April 14, 2017 @01:34AM (#54232823)
      Append "/nocc" to the Roku activation link. It'll activate without a credit card. Normally you have to call support for that...

      CAPTTCHA: Keyhole [wikipedia.org]
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I use Paypal and then after I pass that, I deactivate the Paypal authorization. Once deactivated, that link cannot be used to charge your account anymore. The only way to reactivate it is create a new link which requires logging into your paypal account again.

    • I used a prepaid VISA rebate card that had 5 cents left on it to activate mine. I agree its irritating though.

      • I didn't buy the device for the fact I had to register it, luckily I read that on the reviews before I bought it. WTF is that? How come they don't say that at purchase time, oh yah their sales would tank as most people would say WTF?

  • Amazon stores everything I say to alexa
    Roku now records my viewing habits
    All the ISPs record my browsing history and soon will sell it
    Satellite with a disconnected set top box looks like my only option to watch awful television with no fear of being judged.
  • by hughbar ( 579555 ) on Friday April 14, 2017 @10:27AM (#54234297) Homepage
    To quote but Roku is being careful about ensuring consumer privacy. I love it when those little pigs fly with such elegance.
    • nice way to change the actual quote:

      "but Roku is being careful about ensuring consumer privacy: Users will be required to enable the feature via an opt-in prompt."

      that's a : not a . makes a big difference when what you are complaining about is actually opt-in by default.

  • So.. in the past I have advocated in favor of "smart TVs" because even if you don't use the features, they're basically "free" (as in beer). Some processing power is already going to be there anyway, and it's not like the chips are expensive. The price of Raspberry Pi should give you a good idea of the most it could possibly cost, and even that is a pretty pessimistic estimate.

    But that position was based on the assumption that "utterly and completely worthless to me" was the lower bound of what the user wou

  • Roku should either be dead, or adopting Android TV. It's obnoxious to have yet another incompatible, proprietary platform out there. Just like Nokia finally came into the Android fold, so should Roku. Their software leaves much to be desired.

    • Roku was the first platform, and is currently the biggest. so maybe you meant andriod should be adopting Roku?

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