Roku TVs start showing interactive pop-ups during related commercials

Roku TVs have recently begun to show interactive pop-up ads superimposed on related television commercials received by cable or antenna, reports Cord Cutters News . An image published by the publication shows a pop-up ad for Ghost Town that appeared during a Geico commercial ( Ghost Town is sponsored by Geico). The matching popup included a message for the viewer to set a reminder using the Roku remote. Cord Cutters News says that pop-ups will only show about ads that have been associated with Roku in the show.

Although Roku is best known for his transmission hardware, last year in an episode of Vergecast his CEO said he believed the company was in the advertising business instead of the hardware business. Previously, most of these ads were on the home screen of Roku's devices, but now the company is extending these efforts to TV broadcasts with advertising.

roku tvs start showing interactive pop ups during related commercials

Here, an interactive pop-up ad for Ghost Town, sponsored by Geico, appears in a Geico ad on TV broadcast.
Image: Cord Cutters News

The new pop-ups are based on Roku's existing Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, which is used to offer "More Ways to See", Introduced in 2017. This Optional function automatically detects what you are watching on TV broadcast and alerts you when it is available through streaming services.

Unfortunately, this means that you cannot deactivate new pop-up ads without also losing access to the "More Ways to See" feature. If you wish to disable it, you can do so by deactivating the "Use information from TV inputs" option within the privacy section of the setup menu, according to Cord Cutters News .

The new ads appear to have been introduced with version 9.2 of the Roku operating system, but at least one commenter claims to have seen the ads in version 9.1. We have contacted Roku for more information on pop-ups and we will update this piece with any response.

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