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Roku 3 lacks key universal search feature in the UK

Sam Loveridge


Roku 1, 2 and 3
Roku 1, 2 and 3

Roku has neglected to mention that any Roku 3 boxes purchased outside the US will lack one of the device’s key features, the Universal Search function.

The highly publicised universal search function isn’t featured in any Roku 3 set top boxes purchased anywhere outside of the US, but the company hasn’t said that on any of its websites.

One of our readers, Jim Gayes, purchased a new Roku 3 box after it became available to purchase in the UK at the end of September.

However, he was disappointed to find that the highly publicised universal search feature was mysteriously absent from the device.

Roku’s universal search allows users to look for specific programmes, films or other content across all of the services offered by the set top box, including BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

“We do apologise, but for the UK Roku player models do not have a search feature. As this is only available in the US Roku models,” said a Roku Support Operator. “We are sorry to hear about your disappointment, but don’t worry we will raise this up to our engineers and hopefully they will add this feature later on for the future updates for your Roku player.”

We reached out to Roku for comment on the lack of the universal search function on the Roku 3, and supposedly other models too, and the company confirmed that it is a US exclusive feature.

“At this time the search feature is only available on players sold in the U.S. We hope to bring it to players sold in the U.K. in the future", said an official Roku spokesperson to TrustedReviews.

The Roku 3 retails for £99.99 in the UK, and the universal search functionality is one of its key features, beyond being able to turn any TV into a Smart TV.

Hopefully, Roku will launch the feature outside of the US in the near future as part of a software update.

Next, read our pick of the best TVs of 2013.

Thanks Jim!


October 3, 2013, 4:48 pm

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Hamish Campbell

October 3, 2013, 9:18 pm

Errr, why on earth would the region make a difference to search implementation? Is it doing search on external net sources that need special ASI's/Service calls or something?

Roku Models

October 4, 2013, 2:11 am

Unfortunately, it is the same situation for people in Canada. What makes no sense is that this is truly a region specific thing. If you use a VPN service to create your Roku account on their website and then have your Roku box run through the same VPN it will download and install the universal search functionality.

For a feature that was advertised as one of the biggest additions, it is insane that they would not include it in markets outside of the USA. I hope to see it offered via download soon to UK, and Canadian users.

Darrell Birkey

October 18, 2013, 8:33 pm

It is not insane. There are legalities about what content the various services have rights to in different countries. That means an search software needs to be region specific. Those updates should come fairly soon with the priority being the largest markets first then working toward the smaller ones.

Darrell Birkey

October 18, 2013, 8:34 pm

Because different regions get different content.

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