Roku Continues To Screw With Customers Via Firmware/Software Updates

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Roku Continues To Screw With Customers Via Firmware/Software Updates

Post by Admin » Sat Jun 15, 2024 4:44 pm

Whether intentional or not, the process for tech companies to fall to the process of enshittification seems to be a very real trend.


The term, coined by Cory Doctorow, describes the process by which once good and useful technology platforms devolve to become worse and less useful as the owners of those platforms move on from creating a great user experience and turn instead towards aiming purely at profitability.

This typically involves injecting advertisements anywhere possible, or altering useful features via firmware updates, or cutting cost by axing development and support teams. All of this leads to platforms pissing customers off to the point of un-adoption.
And that brings us to Roku. Roku, over recent months, appears to be fully engulfed in the process of enshittification. The platform recently began the process of layering advertisements foisted on customers where there once were none. They’re legal and communications teams are clearly not thinking things through when they pull stuff like sending out a new ToS requirement for already purchased devices with a threat to brick them if users don’t agree.

And now a recent OS update for some Roku TVs has managed to lock in users to a motion-blurring option that they may not even want.

Reports on Roku’s community forums and on Reddit find owners of TCL HDTVs, on which Roku is a built-in OS, experiencing “motion smoothing” without having turned it on after updating to Roku OS 13. Some people are reporting that their TV never offered “Action Smoothing” before, but it is now displaying the results with no way to turn it off. Neither the TV’s general settings, nor the specific settings available while content is playing, offer a way to turn it off, according to some users.
When it works, a signal looks more fluid and, as the name implies, smooth. When it is left on and a more traditional signal at 24 or 30 frames per second is processed, it works somewhat too well. Shows and films look awkwardly realistic, essentially lacking the motion blur and softer movement to which we’re accustomed.

Everything looks like a soap opera or like you’re watching a behind-the-scenes smartphone video of your show. It’s so persistent an issue, and often buried in a TV’s settings, that Tom Cruise did a whole PSA about it back in 2018.


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