Roku brings smarter search features to UK set-top boxes

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Roku brings smarter search features to UK set-top boxes

Roku faces growing competition in the UK, but for now its streaming set-top boxes are still some of the best on the market. To help it fend off Apple, Amazon, Google and others, the company is introducing new software features and an upgraded Roku 2 player. The biggest addition is Roku Search, which lets you quickly see which streaming services have a particular movie or TV show in their library. Only Netflix, Snagfilms and Popcornflix support the feature at the moment, but Roku says it hopes to integrate more in the future. In addition, you can now search for actors and directors, as well as streaming services available in the Roku Channel Store. Finally, the new Roku Feed gives you updates about upcoming movies and when they'll be available to watch via on-demand services.

These software tweaks are rolling out to all Roku hardware, including the new and improved Roku 2. The £70 set-top box is nearly identical to the premium Roku 3 -- the only difference is that the latter boasts an upgraded remote with voice search and a headphone jack. If neither of these features interest you, the Roku 2 is arguably the better purchase, and puts it directly in contention with Google's Nexus Player and Amazon's Fire TV.

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