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New Pluto TV update breaks service for some Roku users

(Image: ViacomCBS/Handout)

Some Roku users are reporting problems accessing the free streaming TV service Pluto TV after the service relaunched with a new look and feel.

The new design makes it easier for users to access more than 240 treaming TV channels and a robust on-demand library with hundreds of movies and TV shows — all for free. It also allows users to store certain channels as favorites and quickly access them from the top of an electronic program guide similar to what’s found on cable and satellite — a feature that was previously accessible in previous versions of Pluto TV, but not fully functional.

The new look-and-feel is a welcome addition to Pluto TV and marks the first major interface change since the company was acquired by Viacom in 2018.

But some users of Roku’s streaming hardware and smart TVs are reporting issues accessing Pluto TV since the service was refreshed. On Facebook and Reddit, some users say the app either fails to load or crashes.

A spokesperson for Pluto TV said on Twitter the company had identified a bug “affecting a small number of Roku users” and said a software patch was in the works that should be rolled out next week.

In the meantime, Pluto TV says uninstalling and reinstalling the app once should be enough to fix the problem. The app can be uninstalled from the home screen of a Roku device, then reinstalled either by visiting the channel store on a Roku device or smart TV, or by re-adding the app through Roku’s online channel store.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).