Your Roku TV Is Getting a Picture Quality Upgrade

Plus, Roku has finally launched its Pro Series TVs.

Your Roku TV Is Getting a Picture Quality Upgrade

In the coming months, Roku TVs dating back to 2014 will gain a Smart Picture setting that automatically adjusts image quality to match on-screen content. Roku is also launching its Pro Series TVs, and the company is preparing a "Backdrops" feature that turns TVs into works of art.

Everybody wants a good-looking TV, but nobody wants to adjust their picture settings. Roku Smart Picture aims to solve this problem by automatically matching your viewing mode, backlight intensity, and colors to whatever content you're watching. If you switch from a movie to a sports channel, for example, your Roku TV will detect the change and flip your settings to Sports Mode.

The Smart Picture feature seems to piggyback off of Roku's content-identification technology (which is mainly used for advertising). Interestingly, the new Roku Pro Series TVs get an enhanced version of Smart Picture with AI image enhancements and other features.

New Roku TVs will have Smart Picture enabled by default. If you own an older Roku TV, you'll need to enable the feature from your picture settings.


Smart Picture is joined by a new "Backdrops" screensaver feature. Backdrops allows you to place a work of art (or a personal photo) on your TV—similar functionality is offered by rival platforms like Google TV. However, I'm sticking with the Roku City screensaver, as it's supposed to gain animated cars in an upcoming update.

Roku is also celebrating the launch of its Pro Series TVs. These TVs, which were announced in January, feature a 4K image resolution, a 120Hz QLED panel with locally-dimming mini-LEDs, side-firing speakers, and enhanced processing power for quicker app load times. The TVs are available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch sizes.

All Pro Series TVs come with Roku's new Voice Remote Pro 2, which features motion-activated backlight buttons, USB-C charging, a Live TV Guide button, and two shortcut buttons that can open apps or toggle functions (such as Headphone Mode). Roku also sells a slim Pro Series Wall Mount for these TVs.

Note that Roku Pro Series TV pricing is a bit higher than we anticipated. These TVs start at $900 but cost up to $1,700 in some configurations. We expected a top price of about $1,500 when the Pro Series TVs were first announced.

Smart Picture mode and other software improvements will arrive with the Roku OS 13 update later this year. You can purchase Roku Pro Series TVs at Best Buy, Amazon, or Walmart with prices starting at $900. The Roku Voice Remote Pro 2 is also available for $30 and can be paired with non-Pro Roku TVs.

Source: Roku

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