Roku Wants to Play Ads on Your TV When Your Games Are Paused

roku tv

Roku, a leading TV streaming firm headquartered in California, recently filed a patent that could change how ads are displayed on its range of smart TVs. In a filing uncovered by Lowpass, it was revealed that Roku desires to display advertisements and commercials on its television sets by ‘keeping tabs’ on the video signal being delivered via HDMI inputs, injecting strategic ads when the image has remained static for some time – such as when a game is paused.

What Could Go Wrong?

In a recent newsletter published by Lowpass, a patent was highlighted that would see Roku further monetise its hardware platform by tactically inserting ads when an HDMI-compatible device is plugged in and running but not actively being used. It was summed up perfectly by Lowpass:

When an owner of a Roku TV takes a short break from playing a game on their Xbox, or streaming something on an Apple TV device connected to the TV set, Roku would use that break to show ads. Roku engineers have even explored ways to figure out what the consumer is doing with their TV-connected device in order to display relevant advertising.

Presently, Roku sells ‘sponsorship spots’ on its on-platform screensaver known as ‘Roku City’ – but this doesn’t function when something is running through an HDMI port. While engineers have been working hard to define what’s quantified as a ‘pause’, it has been reported that a final solution hasn’t been settled on.

What do you think? Do you own a Roku TV and are baulking at the idea of ads being inserted in this way?

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that Fallout 76 is free this month with Prime Gaming