Roku Found A Way to Show You Ads Everywhere, Even On Stuff You Play Via HDMI

hdmi port tv

Some people buy dumb TVs, others stopped using their smart TV interface and played media from an outside source. Sounds familiar? To avoid ads on your TV, those two strategies used to be the way to go. Soon though, if this Roku patent gets implemented, only dumb TVs will be the way forward. 

ArsTechnica and Lowpass spotted a Roku patent on a technology that can show ads on your TV, no matter where your content actually is. Roku’s latest headlines are definitely bad news for consumers (ie. forcing people to accept ToS under threat of disabling their devices).

Anyway, the new Roku tech is capable of showing ads over any device you connect to your TV over HDMI, from game consoles to DVD players, PCs or other streaming devices. 

Essentially, if your content uses HDMI in any way, the Roku TV could show ads on top.

The patent was filed in August 2023 and published in November but hasn’t been approved yet. Odds are, if it had been approved, you’d probably already see even more ads on your TV. With most streaming apps doing password sharing crackdowns and ad-supported subscriptions, Roku’s idea doesn’t seem that farfetched.

“Patents are just patents. A filed and granted patent isn’t the same thing as a concrete plan to actually implement the technology described in the patent. We could see this feature come to future Roku TV sets exactly as described, or we could never hear about it again. Everything from the cost of implementing the feature, to difficulty making it work in real life the way it works on paper, to user and partner backlash could dissuade Roku from putting this into practice.

But Roku the company is highly motivated to figure out more ways to make more money from more ads on Roku devices. Among the business risks disclosed on Roku’s financial filings from its 2023 fiscal year (PDF), the company says that its “future growth depends on the acceptance and growth of streaming TV advertising and advertising platforms,” reports Ars.

Also read: Strong Roku Alternative? Google TV Adds More Than 800 Free TV Channels

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