Roku backtracks on combining over-the-air channel guide with streaming TV listings

Viewers unimpressed by over-the-air listings mixed with streaming channels
Image Roku

10 July 2020

Just a few days after debuting a new integrated TV programming guide that mixed over-the-air TV listings with more than 100 streaming linear TV channels, Roku says it’s rolling back the feature following user complaints.

As first reported by The Streamable, the Live TV tile on the Roku home screen will once again be dedicated to over-the-air channel listings, while live streaming TV channels can be accessed under The Roku Channel’s Live TV Channel Guide tile.

Roku announced earlier this week that it was folding over-the-air TV channel listings into its new Live TV Channel Guide, a DVR-style programming grid that includes up to 12 hours of upcoming programs for more than US 100 linear streaming TV channels, including premium TV channels such as HBO, Showtime, and Starz.

But while the idea sounds good on paper, some Roku TV users were annoyed that their favourite over-the-air channels were suddenly mixed in with dozens of streaming TV channels, and as users on the Roku subreddit noted, there was no way to hide or filter the streaming channels.

Here’s the official statement that Roku sent to TechHive:

We recently removed a feature which integrated streaming and over-the-air (OTA) content from an HD antenna into a combined live TV channel guide for Roku TV users. While we believe that the new feature is well-received by the vast majority of Roku users, we’ve also seen feedback from some users who did not want OTT channels included in their OTA channel list. Given Roku’s commitment to exceptional user experience, we have decided to roll back the inclusion of OTT channels in OTA live TV channel guide. Roku TV users will now see only OTA channels when selecting the Live TV tile on the Roku home screen. Roku TV users who would like to see streaming content within the live TV channel guide can do so through the “live TV channel guide” tile on The Roku Channel.

Roku didn’t reveal any future plans to try again to integrate over-the-air channels with its new streaming TV programming, perhaps with a filter or an option to keep over-the-air and streaming channel listings separate.

IDG News Service

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