Saturday, February 16, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - 25 Most Popular Channels



Okay... here we go, again !!


First off... apologies for not posting sooner but, if you've been following my Twitter feed, you will have noticed that there have been no fewer than EIGHT NEW CHANNELS ADDED since my series of posts outlining all available Roku channels, by way of a Roku UK channel list, that provides a definitive list of Roku channels UK users will find in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store.


This now brings the total number of channels available in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store to nine hundred and thirty-nine. Yes, that's 939 channels that have now been itemised and listed in full for the benefit of UK Roku owners, as well as any potential purchasers of Roku in the UK and all other Roku users around the world. As we've shown... it's FAR MORE than the 450+ quoted on Roku's website and that doesn't include any of the private channels available on UK Roku players, either !!


For your convenience, those eight channels have also been added to their respective genres and the individual channel totals within those genres have now been updated to reflect those additions.


Anytime that such changes occur, these lists will be amended (as necessary) to reflect those alterations. In this way, you will always be able to go to my post on a particular genre and view a concise list of the channels which make up that genre (i.e. category). Likewise, my A-Z BIG LIST (once complete and posted on this blog) will always provide you with an accurate list of all the UK Roku channels to be found, at any given time, within the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store.


Anyway, with all that new information to be processed and posted via Twitter, as well as the updates to the lists on this blog, I simply ran out of time yesterday. So, like I said, sorry for the delay.


Moving on, I've been thinking that some of you may be finding this HUGE CHOICE OF CHANNELS (now 939 and counting...) to be somewhat overwhelming and, if you are new to Roku, you may not know where to begin. So, to make your life (and your choice of channels) a bit easier, I thought it might be a good idea to list the twenty-five "Most Popular" channels from the channel store.


These are the channels that the majority of UK Roku users have chosen to add to their Roku streaming media players, here in the UK. Remember... the exact channels installed on each individual Roku player are the choice of the person that owns it. You don't have to wade through 939 channels every time, just because that's how many are available for you to install. For example, one UK Roku owner may decide to only install Netflix, BBC iPlayer  and NowTV (i.e. just 3 channels) because that's all they will ever use. Another might choose to install all thirty-nine channels from the "Food" genre because they are passionate about cooking. Basically, you can add as many (or as few) as you like from the choice of channels available. You can also add or remove as many channels as you choose at any given time. All of the channels can equally then be re-installed, at a later date, if you so wish. As you can see, IT'S ALL ABOUT CHOICE and, the best part of that is, THE CHOICE IS YOURS !!!!!!


Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea. So, without further delay, the 25 channels that have been deemed as the "Most Popular" by Roku UK users, are:-



01. Netflix
02. NOW TV [Powered by Sky]
03. BBC iPlayer
04. Plex
05. Demand 5
06. Crackle
07. Angry Birds
08. VEVO
09. 4oD
10. TuneIn Radio
11. Sky News
12. Sky Store
13. Facebook Photos & Videos
14. Spotify 
15. Flixster
16. Angry Birds Toons
17. Yupp TV [RoW]
18. Roku Media Player
19. BBC News
20. Popcornflix
21. Twonky
22. Anand Media
23. AfrikaSTV - ASTV
24. Viewster
25. Premiere (Movie Channel)




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PLEASE NOTE:- This list was last updated on Sunday 20th April 2014 with all details accurate as of Saturday 19th April 2014. Therefore, when viewing this list... you should ignore the original date of the post and, instead, refer to this section for precise details on when it was compiled.


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BUBBLING UNDER:- The 'YouTube' channel developed for Roku and (currently) only available on Roku 3 players is now listed among the "Most Popular" channels on the Roku 3. However, until YouTube & Roku make the channel available on other UK Roku models, like the original Roku LT & Roku 2 XS plus the newer Roku 1 & Roku 2, it is unlikely to feature in this overall list of 25 "Most Popular" channels on Roku UK players.



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Now, from what I've read elsewhere online, there are some glaring omissions from this list which (if they were made available) would no doubt appear pretty high up on the list. For example, people have been crying out for Amazon UK's 'Prime Instant Video' (formerly known as 'LoveFilm Instant') to be added to the Roku UK channel lineup. There have also been calls to add ITV Player alongside BBC iPlayer, 4oD and Demand 5 to strengthen the "CatchUp TV" aspect of the Roku for UK users. Although, if they did their research, they would know that, you can actually just install the "Plex" channel and access ITV Player through that, already. To be clear... ITV Player is already available on Roku in the UK, just not as an official individual channel like BBC iPlayer, 4oD and Demand 5. Hopefully Amazon UK's 'Prime Instant Video' (aka 'LoveFilm Instant') should follow in due course, whether returning as part of Plex (as with ITV Player) or as an individual channel, in it's own right. Needless to say, as soon as we hear anything, you'll be the first to know... because it'll be posted right here on this blog !!



In addition to the 'ITV Player' plugin for the 'Plex' channel on Roku player, there was a plugin for 'LoveFilm' but, unfortunately, the developer who came up with the plugin for that particular channel has been unable to maintain the updates for it (made necessary by software changes put in place by LoveFilm) due to other time commitments. It ought to have been completely removed from the 'Plex' channel selection by now but, for some reason, it remains there to taunt us !! Meanwhile, all we can do is wait, with bated breath, to see if an official 'Amazon Instant Video' app makes an appearance in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store at some point. Fingers crossed, if the folks at Amazon UK can get their counterparts at Amazon USA to clone the existing version of the 'Amazon Instant' Roku channel and adapt it for the UK, we might just see it here before too long !!

NEWS SOURCE FOR PLEX CHANNEL PROBLEMS: Plex Forums [forums.plexapp.com]



Glaring omissions aside, however, the above list of the 25 "Most Popular" channels does give you a good feel as to what kind of use people are getting from their Roku players, here in the UK. It's not surprising that the list includes channel content largely geared towards Film, TV, Music and Games (well, we are a playful bunch, aren't we?!!). Obviously, with 939 channels currently on offer via the channel store, there's a lot more to choose from than what is on this list. That said, it is a pretty good place from which to start building your own custom channel lineup, purely by virtue of the fact that it does include some of the best Roku channels currently available to Roku users in the UK. How you add to it from there is, as I've already mentioned, entirely up to you.


One thing is for certain, though, and that is you will be reading a lot more about the specifics of each individual channel in future posts on this blog. So, when it comes to compiling your own Roku UK channel selection, THE ONLY PLACE you will find a list of Roku Channels UK users will be able to add to their players IS RIGHT HERE on the pages of this very blog. The reason for that is because this is the only place FOR ALL UK ROKU CHANNELS being that no-one else (apparently) wants UK Roku users, or potential UK Roku purchasers, to know what is on offer content-wise from the current Roku UK channel lineup.


Speaking of potential purchasers, the next post will explain the differences between the two models of Roku streaming media player that were originally available in the UK. So, if you don't already own a UK Roku player or, if you are thinking of upgrading from a Roku LT to a Roku XS, then you won't want to miss that post. Of course, you may wish to bypass the earlier UK Roku models for one of the NEW ROKU FAMILY MEMBERS like the Roku 1, Roku 2 or Roku 3!! Although, if you opt for one of the newer models (released in the UK during September / October 2013) then you'll have to wait for another new blog post because, as I said before, the next one only covers the Roku LT and Roku 2 XS. Still, if you're considering a second Roku player for another room in the house you can't go wrong with one of those !! So, no matter what your reasons are for being in the market for a Roku streaming media player, here in the UK, you should visit this blog again in the very near future for all of the product information you will need to consider when making your buying decision for a Roku player in the UK.



Until then...


That's all folks !!


6 comments:

  1. Hi, I'm running Plex on a windows 7 pc and can stream Youtube etc to the Roku box but not 4OD... Do you have any idea where I might be going wrong?

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    1. Hi, Matthew.

      Thanks for submitting your question.

      The best advice I can give you is to visit the dedicated pages within the Plex Forums for help and advice that is specific to using the Plex Client for Roku Streaming Players. Those forums are frequented regularly by Plex employees and developers of assorted Plex PlugIns, all of whom are more than willing to offer help and advice to those of us who are in need of their assistance.

      You will find a direct link to Plex Forums in my Roku Link List, located on the right hand side of my blog (just after the Blog Archive and Roku Blog Roll, near the top of the page).

      May I suggest, though, that you give them a little more information about the specifics of your situation because, there are just too many variables and possible solutions to answer your question (as posted here).

      For example, it is unclear whether you have installed 4OD as a sub-channel within the Plex Channel on your Roku (using your myPlex Account) as I would recommend. Or, whether you have tried to use some other means of streaming 4OD to your Roku. Maybe you attempted to use the Plex It! function to add a video to your myPlex Queue directly from the 4OD website?

      If you did install the sub-channel, does it load correctly for you? If it does load, do you then get the options to Browse by Date, Browse by Category, Browse Alphabetically plus options for Search, Preferences and Featured Videos? Can you then access the next level(s) when you choose any of those options? If you do get to choose a specific video to watch, and select "Play", does the "retrieving" message appear with the progress bar and quality info? If the process completes, does the video play, or are you left with a blank screen? Basically, you need to provide as much detail as you can, before anyone can offer specific help or advice.

      From what you wrote here, I got the feeling that you may have used the Plex It! feature, as you can with YouTube or other web-based videos so, if that is what you are having difficulty with, I suggest you try actually installing the 4OD sub-channel within the Plex Channel on your Roku and using that to access the 4OD service, instead. I've been using 4OD to stream video on my own Roku, as I've been typing this reply to you, so I know that it's not a problem with the 4OD service OR the 4OD sub-channel.

      There is a possibility that your problem(s) could stem from the Windows Plex Client, itself, but (again) you are best advised to ask on the Plex Forums. If you navigate back to the Plex Client forum pages, or the main Plex Forums community index, you will find a discussion area specific to Windows issues. So, it might be worth checking there if you don't get any joy from the Roku Streaming Players discussion groups.

      Anyway, I hope you manage to find a solution to your problems. Do leave another comment, to let us know how you got on and, if successful, to let us know what steps it took to cure the issues you were having.

      Thanks for reading this blog.

      Good luck with it all.

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  2. Hi. I bought a ROKU 2 for my Mum today. What helped me decide which box to go for was partly due to seeing, on this page, that 4OD is the 12th most popular channel. 4OD is a particular favourite of hers, so I was happy about that. I am now (ahem) surprised to learn that 4OD is not available on my model - in fact it's only available on the ROKU 3. As you can imagine, this is a major disappointment. I really think it would be useful to list on your blog what channels are available on specific ROKU models. Many people, like me, will be deciding which model to buy based on features (straightforward tv / games / headphones / motion sensor etc.). It wouldn't even occur to most people that some basic tv channels would be excluded.

    Other than that, it's a really good gizmo and super-easy to set up... the only downside being the slightly nefarious user agreement which insists you allow ROKU to mop up personal information about you. There IS an opt-out option but that involves writing to them and pleading with them: something most of us won't be bothered to do.

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    1. Hi.

      Thanks for taking the time & trouble to leave a comment. It's much appreciated.

      I'm sorry to hear that you were disappointed not to find the 4oD app available on your new Roku 2. However, it is INCORRECT TO SUGGEST that 4oD is ONLY AVAILABLE ON the ROKU 3 since it has always been ALSO AVAILABLE ON the Roku LT & Roku 2 XS as well as on the NowTV Box.

      In fairness to '4oD' they ALSO STATE QUITE CLEARLY on their website that, "4oD is only on Roku 3, Roklu 2 XS and Roku LT", as you will see if you navigate to this web page:- http://apps.channel4.com/app/4od/#tv

      I have also made this information public by posting the above link on the companion Twitter Feed to this blog: @ukrokuchannels as well as generally informing people that it was not available on certain newer models. All of this was done far in advance of your purchase and, all things considered, I do not expect people to make their buying decision based solely on this list of the 25 "Most Popular" channels in the Roku UK Channel Store without doing some additional research of their own.

      For the record, I do try and specify which channels are available on specific models, via my blog listings, but you will find this information within the Roku UK Channel Store listings for each category, where individual channels have their permanent place, and NOT in the 25 "Most Popular" channels which is constantly changing week-to-week. For example, you will find 'YouTube' listed as "Roku 3 ONLY" under "Internet TV" and several of the entries listed under "Games" are also marked as such. Likewise, if you check the "Film & TV" listings I have clearly indicated the models on which '4oD' is available. This has proven to be sufficient for most people and I don't intend to insert the same information every time I mention 4oD on the blog because it wouldn't be practical to do so.

      Of course none of that really helps you, or your poor old mum, as of this point in time because you are sat there with a Roku 2 and unable to watch the '4oD' channel on it. What I can say is that Roku do intend to add the '4oD' channel to the newer Roku 1 and Roku 2 models (such as yours) "in the future". This was confirmed via their response to a post on their Official Facebook Page, which can be found by navigating to this web address:- http://www.facebook.com/roku/posts/10151933969404737

      All of which means, you can either keep your Roku 2, in the knowledge that you will (at some point) be able to watch '4oD' on it, or else return it to where you bought it and (maybe) exchange it for one of the other Roku models which DOES have access to the '4oD' channel.

      Another temporary "cheap fix" might be to spend £10 on a NowTV Box, which is also capable of receiving the '4oD' channel, and using that to watch any On-Demand content from Channel Four UNTIL SUCH A TIME as the channel is added to your Roku 2 "in the future".

      Unfortunately, I can't do much about the end-user license agreement from Roku except to say that any personal information they might "mop up" about you really isn't worth the bother of opting out from. The thing which concerns most people is their credit card information and that can easily be removed mere seconds after creating your Roku Account by choosing to "remove the payment method" from your account online.

      Anyway, hopefully this has answered most of the issues you raised in your comment. If there's anything else I can help you with, then please feel free to leave another comment here or via the Twitter Feed, if that's more convenient for you. At the end of the day, I'm sure you'll be able to get '4oD' set up for your mum using one of the methods I have suggested despite the initial disappointment resulting from your purchase of the Roku 2.


      Good luck with it all !!

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  3. Hi and many thanks for your kind and informed response. Can I make it perfectly clear that I did not decide to buy the ROKU2 based solely on this blog - in fact, quite the opposite - it's only that this blog contained more useful information on the ROKU device than all the other sites I visited put together including, may I add, ROKU's own site. This blog is a terrific resource.

    I suppose my gripe (if you will permit me just one) is this: we have all grown up in an era when our choice of device (TV apparatus) was determined by the spec - i.e. size, lines / pixels, connectivity etc. - but all devices carried the same channels. I chose my ROKU model using those criteria, so it was a surprise to discover that some channels are available on one box which aren't available on another. Personally, I think this is a shame. If it were up to me, I would have all the models deliver the same channel set - thereafter the consumer would only have to decide what further options they would like, be it gaming, headphone socket HD / 1080p or whatever.

    Having said all that, I was so pleased with my Mum's ROKU that I bought one for myself. Now I guess we'll both just have to wait for 4oD to appear on our boxes!

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    1. Hi.

      Thanks for getting back to me to clarify matters and for your kind words about the blog. I'm glad you've found it to be a useful resource and hope that you will continue to visit these pages for that very reason.

      I'm also glad you decided to keep hold of the Roku 2 for your mum, despite the (current) lack of a '4oD' channel, but I didn't expect you to buy another Roku 2 for yourself... especially after such a disappointment !! Anyway, I hope that the wait for '4oD' to be added to your Roku players will be brief for both of you.

      Your "gripe" remains a valid one, in so much as it would certainly be easier for everyone if the same channel set was available across all models, however I genuinely believe this was unavoidable in the case of '4oD' given that the newer Roku 1 and Roku 2 models were not available in the UK when their Roku channel was being developed. Essentially, the choice of UK models (at the time) was either the Roku LT, Roku 2 XS or Roku 3 and, as I've already pointed out, the '4oD' channel IS ALREADY AVAILABLE on all of those and has been since it's release. The unfortunate circumstance(s) arose when, immediately prior to the release of the '4oD' channel on UK Roku players, these two new models were announced by Roku... completely out of the blue !! So, really, it was simply down to bad timing that you (and your mum) now find yourself faced with the situation you are in... and I'm sure you're not the only ones !!

      With technology advancing as fast as it does these days, and coupled with the prolific output of new Roku channels week in & week out (except this past week, of course!), it's no wonder that things can easily get out of sync. This is not limited to the Roku player either... just look at how many apps for mobile devices will only work on certain models, or how support will suddenly cease for older devices, etc. Rightly, or wrongly, that's just a sign of the times we are living in now and, as much as we might prefer things to be different, I can't see things altering (in that respect) unless the majority of people flat-out refuse to invest in these things until a new approach is taken by manufacturers and developers. As far as they are concerned, rather than pay someone to dot all the "i's" and cross all the "t's" to make sure things work perfectly prior to release, they'd sooner get the public to discover all the bugs (if there are any) and worry about fixing it later. This, no doubt, saves them a lot of money in the development stage by using us as unpaid testers for their products but, ultimately, may cost them (think Blackberry) if things get too far out-of-hand and consumers drop their product(s) like hot potatoes !!

      However, like I said before, I don't think that particular scenario applies where the '4oD' channel for Roku players is concerned and, having already stated that IT WILL BE ADDED to other UK Roku player models, I'm sure it won't be too long until you are catching up on all those shows. Let's not forget, this is as much of a PR nightmare for '4oD' as it is for 'Roku' themselves (when it comes to their new Roku 1 & Roku 2 players) so I'm sure that both parties will wish to see the matter resolved sooner rather than later, just as they will with adding the new 'YouTube' channel for Roku player to other UK Roku models aside from the Roku 3 which (as of now) remains the ONLY player on which the channel can be added in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter !!

      Now... I wonder if Roku plans to release any of their new Roku TV's in the UK and, if so, whether they'll get a test set over to '4oD' ahead of time, so the same thing won't happen again?!! Since the product was only just announced, it looks like being another "Asquith" moment so we'll just have to "wait & see" !!

      Thanks for your input.



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