Roku is planning yet another home screen revamp

Mike Wheatley

Smart TV platform provider Roku is planning a revamp of its home screen, intending to show more content options to users at a glance.


A new version of the Roku OS, depicted in this screenshot, is currently being tested, with multiple Roku users reporting on Reddit that it has already appeared on their TVs. Most users still see the older Roku home screen though, so it’s likely to be a limited beta rollout.

Roku told Cord Cutters News that the screenshot does indeed depict a new design for its user interface that is currently being tested. However, it declined to say if the update will eventually be rolled out to everyone. The Roku OS is used by the company’s media streaming devices, such as the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, as well as various third-party TV brands.

With the revamp, Roku is adding more tiles to its home screen. So instead of the traditional three-column grid that features four rows, it now has a four-column grid with four rows. So there are now 16 tiles visible, instead of just 12.

Roku’s unwillingness to confirm that this will be the final appearance of the next generation of its OS suggests that it’s still undecided. The experiment is likely to test whether or not the new layout provides any benefits to it and its users. It may well tinker with the design before it makes any final decisions on what its new home screen will look like.

It’s interesting in any case, as Roku only recently rolled out a significant update to its TV platform in April, where it notably tweaked the home screen design. However, Roku traditionally likes to announce new streaming devices every September – for example, last year it debuted the Roku Express – so it could be that it’s planning to roll out the update for whatever new gadget it announces next.

TV operating system providers tend to tinker with their platforms quite regularly as they seek to find the most optimal balance between content discovery and ease of use, while also taking their sponsored content recommendations into consideration. Earlier this year, Apple made some changes to tvOS, while Google TV enhanced its platform too.