Google users with Roku boxes may be pleased to learn that the streaming TV set-top now offers a Google Play Movies & TV app.
Google Play Movies & TV is a competitor to Apple’s iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. It allows people to buy or rent online videos and stream them to Android gadgets, iPhones and iPads, and Google’s Chromecast TV stick.
Now Roku TV products have joined the fold, giving the service a stronger footing in the living room—a key area of interest for Google. It also means that Roku and Google, once fierce rivals, appear to be growing closer.
The new Roku app (or “channel,” as Roku calls it) offers the same “info cards” you’ll find on other versions of the service. “Info cards” are a feature that identifies the actor on screen whenever you pause the video. It also features “gifts from Google,” a rotating selection of freebie entertainment. Right now, that’s the HD version of the original X-Men movie (for new Play subscribers).
Existing Google Play subscribers seem to have the biggest benefit here, since they can start watching a title on a tablet, then shift it to a big-screen TV. With 1,600 channels, Roku offers a far more expansive array of services than Chromecast—so the result is that Google can lure customers away from Apple and Amazon while offering a similarly wide range of video services.
Google Play Movies & TV is available in Roku’s Channel Store, and works on current generation set-tops in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Ireland. Roku says HiSense and TCL smart TVs with Roku software will get them as well.
Photos courtesy of Roku