Following Harvini's question: I'd like to know who's responsible for testing Roku software updates, and including hardware support, etc?
I don't know much about Android. But, I get the distinct impression Nokia, Motorola, et. al., are responsible for ensuring new version of Android work on extant models. They push updates out (not Google). They feed patches back to Android in a cooperative manner, thereby expanding hardware support, eliminating bugs (things like Roku's mac-addr all zeros which has existed for YEARS).
That arrangement would seem to promote a healthy, productive relationship for customers. Clear responsibilities & accountability.
The relationship between Roku and TV makers seems opaque. It appears Roku pushes the updates out. (I can't fathom what that would look like if Google were pushing updates out to Nokia phone users. Who would bless the software? If their blessing wasn't everything it's expected to be, and phones broke, who would be accountable for that? Especially when Google -- in this scenario -- wouldn't let users go back to a previous version?).
What exactly is the expectation between Roku and its TV-maker partners for supporting Roku's software, testing it, ensuring updates don't break TVs? This seems to be something Roku never wants to talk about. Which makes me wonder why. If Google pushed out Android updates to customers of smartphones, it seems like there would be a lot of documenting/publicizing the approvals leading up to that update. Especially if Google didn't let those customers opt out or roll back. But, with Roku, it's a mystery (and, we can't opt out nor roll back).
The implication always seems to be: it's the tv makers who are responsible. Does that mean they test updates before Roku pushes them out? What happens when updates break tvs (which has been happening)? That's the tv maker's fault? Roku doesn't feel any responsibility for enabling what's obviously not working well *for the customer*?
I guess what bothers me about this most is, Roku's CEO was swaggering about how Roku's different/better than the big tech icons:
“In the tech business, superior technology often wins and tech companies basically compete on how smart their employees are and the quality of their products... We’re much more focused. All we do is we come to work every day and we think about how to make TV better. Those companies, yes they’re great companies, but they come to work thinking about 'how can I sell a bunch of shoes, how can I be better at search, how can I sell more phones?' TV is on their list but it’s at the bottom of their list.” (Roku CEO, Anthony Wood. Vox, Sep 13, 2018)
To me, that self-inflating rhetoric sounds misplaced when Android TV's software distribution isn't vague & nebulous the way Roku's is. In what way does Roku's untested (apparently) updates "make tv better?" In what way does not allowing customers to opt out of updates (nor roll back to a prior one) make "make tv better?"
That was 2-1/2 years ago, (an eon in tech) and nothing has changed -- except Android is being distributed on TVs now. We still don't know how Roku's development is coordinated with tv makers. It's clearly not working. That's met with silence.
I think these questions are justified, especially when the CEO talks smack about other companies who have structured their relationship with tv makers in a way that benefits the customer (doesn't lead to ambiguities about who's responsible for poor performance).
Thank you for your consideration.
"People are often amazed at how much we’ve done with the number of engineers we’ve got." (Roku CEO Anthony Wood, Austin Statesman, Oct 4, 2019). "Amazed" is one way of putting it.