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Roku looks into inserting ads whenever your HDMI device idles

The company recently filed a patent that would allow it to check when an external device has idled

Roku is looking into ways to insert advertisements into idling external devices connected to a Roku TV. As reported by Lowpass, the smart TV and streaming device company has filed a patent that would allow a Roku TV to read what was being sent from an external device via HDMI, and use this information to insert the desired content, most likely ads. Most smart TVs are already capable of reading and reacting to picture frames or audio cues, but this patent would allow the TV to also utilize this feature over HDMI inputs.

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“This way, 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,” reports Lowpass. “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.”

According to FlatPanelsHD, Roku could theoretically introduce this type of feature via firmware update to existing Roku TVs. Roku is no stranger to utilizing idle time to insert ads, as the company began offering sponsorships for its TV screensaver last year, with some big-name companies including McDonald’s taking advantage of the screen real estate.

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