Roku looks into serving you ads on whatever you plug into its TVs

Roku already serving ads through its platform, but is probably also exploring the idea of ​​showing you ads when you use third-party devices connected to its TVs. Based on recent information patent application revealed by Downlink, the company intends to develop a system or method for “inserting an advertisement with a display device coupled to a media device via a high-definition media interface (HDMI) connection.” This means that if you’ve connected another streaming device or console — such as an Apple TV, Chromecast, or PlayStation — to your Roku TV via HDMI, the company can still serve you ads.

Specifically, Roku hopes to show you ads while whatever you’re watching or playing on a connected third-party device is paused. In his patent, he describes several methods of how he can detect when a show or game on the screen is paused, such as receiving a pause signal from the remote, detecting the pause icon, viewing several video frames, and determining whether the image is open. the screen doesn’t change for a while and gets a silent audio signal from the HDMI connection.

If working as intended, these ads will not affect your browsing or gaming experience (many), assuming you’re actually away or doing something else in the meantime. While you’d probably prefer these experiences to be completely ad-free, Roku wants to make sure it’s at least serving you relevant ads. It can analyze video or audio freeze frames and use automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to determine what’s on the screen. Or it may analyze metadata to show you ads related to what you’re playing or watching. It may also serve ads based on which third-party device is connected to your TV.

whom Downlink notes that the company may have come up with the idea because manufacturers typically don’t make much money selling hardware. For fiscal year 2023, Roku lost $44 million in smart TVs. Likewise, Samsung’s visual display and digital home appliance division It posted an operating loss of $37.5 million for the fourth quarter of last year. Meanwhile, ads and services generated $1.6 billion in revenue for Roku. This idea could potentially make him more money… if, of course, the prospect of watching ads while your show or game is paused doesn’t deter you from buying a Roku TV. It’s just a patent at this point though, and Roku could very well revoke it and not implement it at all.

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