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Roku adds AOL-powered news channel to home screen

The streaming-video box added an integrated news service to its home screen, giving users quick access to videos from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, BBCNews and ET through AOL's On network.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku turned to AOL Thursday to provide quicker access to news on its streaming-video box.

In addition to the AOL On app that has been on Roku for a while, the box is adding an integrated AOL news service to its home screen, providing fast access to a selection of real-time news videos from more than 1,000 sources like the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Reuters, BBCNews, HuffPost Live, and the E! cable network. CNET, which puts its videos on AOL's On network, will be there too.

Roku has more than 1,000 channels, adding new ones nearly everyday. This addition, however, is different. "This is the first integrated news service on a TV streaming platform and we expect for it to be a big hit," said Steve Shannon, said general manager of content and services, in a release.

AOL said the partnership indicated its commitment to making premium video accessible on all screens. The company recently topped Google as the property with the most video ads watched in September, recording 3.7 billion views compared to the YouTube parent's 3.2 billion in ComScore's Web video rankings for that month.

The Roku AOL news service is available without charge in the US on the new Roku LT, Roku 1 and Roku 2 players, and will automatically roll out as a free software update in the coming weeks to all current-generation Roku devices - the Roku LT (models 2400 and 2450), Roku HD (model 2500), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS and Roku 3 players as well as the Roku Streaming Stick.