Saturday, July 27, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #20

Hi, everyone !!

Looking back to the start of the week, it didn't seem like anything out-of-the-ordinary was about to happen in terms of Roku news and/or NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. Things started out quietly enough and it appeared to have the makings of another fairly regular working week for the Roku channel developers. Then came THIS ANNOUNCEMENT (via the Official Roku Blog) that an official 'Sky News' channel had been launched for the Roku player. Better yet, it was released simultaneously across the four main channel stores (i.e. USA, Canada, UK & Ireland) meaning Roku owners on both sides of the Atlantic could now enjoy instant access to LIVE BROADCAST NEWS from the Sky News team.

Later on Wednesday came the unexpected appearance of a standalone 'BBC News' channel in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. Some of you may even have spotted a comment to that effect which I made via the companion Twitter Feed to this blog. Bizarrely, though, the channel was swiftly removed from both the channel store and my Roku player without so much as a hint as to why that might have been. I promise you, however, that it was released - as can be evidenced by the following screenshot of the 'Payment History' from my online Roku Account (N.B. 'Invoice' information has been edited out):-

HINT: Click on the above image to ENLARGE IT for easier viewing

Two days later, on Friday, came this OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT from Now TV [Powered by Sky] that a BRAND NEW piece of Smart TV technology was JUST RELEASED via, in the shape of a NowTV Box (or perhaps that should be "in the shape of a Roku LT"?!! - ahem) which would allow purchasers to convert their existing television into a "Smart TV" for under £10.00 (or, for £9.99 including P&P, to be more precise). Once I get my hands on one of these, I'll be able to give you a more detailed comparison between the content and the user interface (UI) for the NowTV Box & the Roku player. For now though, the GREAT NEWS is that this new bit of kit has brought with it another of the UK's CatchUp TV services. The tie-in with Roku means that this channel is ALSO AVAILABLE ON UK ROKU PLAYERS via the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. The details for exactly which of the UK's CatchUp TV services has been added will be outlined below...

So, without further ado, let's get on with the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time, there are TEN NEW CHANNELS which have been added during the past seven days. These latest additions to the Roku UK Channel Store provided FRESH CONTENT to the Film & TV, News, Weather, Sport, Internet TV, Photos & Video, Special Interest plus Religion & Spirituality genres (i.e. categories).

In keeping with previous installments from the 'Weekly RoundUp' series, details of these new channels have all been listed below, together with links to obtain further information {by clicking on the channel name(s) beneath the respective channel icon(s) as pictured} and to read a 'Roku Guide' review (where available) for each one:-

DEMAND 5.............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. Since this channel does not currently (and is unlikely to) feature in the Roku (USA) Channel Store, the link above is for the Official Website for Channel 5's "Demand5" Service which should already be familiar to most of you. It's addition to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store marks a long overdue boost to the UK CatchUp TV aspect of the Roku player and will no doubt be welcomed by many UK Roku owners, as well as purchasers of the new NowTV Box (on which it also features).

Again, due to the fact that the 'Demand 5' channel has not yet been (and is unlikely to ever be) added to the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, there is no Roku Guide Review available. If, however, this situation does change, I will (of course) add a link to this post.

Still, after my (somewhat limited) initial testing, this new Roku channel does seem to perform fairly well, which could not always be said for previous means of accessing Demand 5's CatchUp TV offerings. All that remains now is for similar official Roku channels to be made available for the UK's other CatchUp TV Services (i.e. '4oD' from Channel Four and 'ITV Player' from, erm... ITV) and the Roku player really will be worthy of a place in ALL of the nation's living rooms !!

EDM DJ'S......................................................COST: FREE + $0.99 (DAILY) [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. Although the "EDM DJ's" channel is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku player, there is a DAILY SUBSCRIPTION FEE of $0.99 which MUST BE PAID in order to access the content. Essentially, BEFORE YOU CAN VIEW ANYTHING, you will first need to VISIT the SIGN-UP PAGE for the "EDM DJ's" channel via THIS LINK. The registration process requires that you provide your full name & email address. In addition, you must choose a username and create a password for your EDM DJ's Daily Subscription, as well as providing payment details. Once you have subscribed, you will then need to ACTIVATE YOUR ROKU PLAYER by entering the UNIQUE ACCESS CODE which will be displayed on your screen when you first attempt to watch any of the premium content on the "EDM DJ's" channel via your Roku player. The webpage you must visit, in order to enter your unique access code, can be found HERE. You will know that the activation process was successful because the screen (containing the access code) will be updated automatically upon completion.

So, what can you expect for your ninety-nine cents (or the current equivalent thereof)? Well, content-wise, at the time of this post the main feature was "Put the Needle on the Record" which is a DJ Documentary (RUN TIME: 1hr 20mins) and there were a further NINE SHORT VIDEOS, ranging in length from 2 to 7 minutes, of BONUS MATERIAL, but nothing more than that. Although, it must be said that Alex Hodges Jr., who had a hand in the creation of this Roku channel, made it known that there are more features (currently being licensed & filmed) which will also be offered through this channel, at a later date. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the "Put the Needle on the Record" DJ Documentary by visiting their OFFICIAL WEBSITE and, if you'd like to, they may also be connected with via their Facebook Account: Put the Needle on the Record (Facebook).

PLEASE ALSO NOTE: That the prices quoted for this are in $USD (U.S. Dollars) because that is how they are shown on the website, when you follow the link (above) to sign-up for an EDM DJ's Daily Subscription. Currently, you will not find any prices quoted in £GBP (British Pounds)... even in the channel description that is included among the channel details for the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. Needless to say, until that changes, the price you actually pay will depend entirely on the applicable exchange rate at the time you take out your subscription.

CHUCKY TALKS TO GOD.......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. As per the 'Roku Guide' review, you should NOT simply pass this channel off as just another Roku player religious channel, because it is more "Alternative" than that. Having fond memories of both the full-length weekly comics, as well as the shorter 'comic strips' found in newspapers and such like, I was keen to check out this channel as soon as I came across it in the Roku USA Channel Store. After more than a month of messaging to-and-fro, plus some additional 'Tech Tips' via email, Chucko (the developer of this channel) and I managed to finallly get it released to the "other" Roku channel stores (including the UK). It was a rather prolonged affair but we got there in the end !!

Anyway, what you get here is a simple animated cartoon comic strip featuring drawings by 'Chucko' [aka 'Chuck Butler' or 'Charley Beans'] of Chucko Comics. The premise for this cartoon is that the character of "Chucky", a young boy, hosts "interviews" with a disembodied voice (purporting to be that of God) on a variety of subjects based on how he views the world, in it's current state. Many of these have been previously available elsewhere online, such as the Official Blog for Chucko Comics FOUND HERE. You can also access them through the Official YouTube Channel for Chucko Comics which can be found via THIS LINK. If you would like to connect with the creator of this comic strip who, as I said before, is also the developer of this Roku channel then you can do so easily via his Facebook Page: Chuck Butler (Facebook)

Lastly, I would like to remind readers of this blog from elsewhere in the world that this channel should also now be available in Roku Channel Stores for ALL REGIONS (including 'Canada', 'Ireland' and 'Rest of World') so look out for it and, if you get a chance, send a quick message to Chucko to let him know it's available in your country. I know he'd appreciate it !!

CHRISTIAN LIFE MINISTRY...................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

TOON GOGGLES...................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

SKY NEWS............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

PILATESOLOGY................COST: FREE (10-Day Trial) + $19.00 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

KINGDOM TV NETWORK.......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. Since this channel does not currently feature in the Roku (USA) Channel Store, the link above is for the Official Website of Kingdom TV Network. It may further interest you to know that the 'Kingdom TV Network' channel currently features a CHANNEL ARRAY of FOUR SUB-CHANNELS, one of which includes LIVE STREAMS for SIX CHANNELS (featuring religious programming & spanish-language news from Venezuela). Another of the sub-channels features LIVE SUNDAY SERVICES from various churches in the USA, including MCJ El Ray (Washington, D.C.), C.C. Monte Calvario Interna├žional (Charlotte, NC) and The Global Revival Center (Greenville, SC). There is also a sub-channel which has been set aside for LIVE SPECIAL EVENTS, details of which can be found on the official website linked to above. The fourth sub-channel, labelled 'Sobre Nosotros' (i.e. "About Us") gives website information & contact telephone numbers for both the continental USA and Venezuela, for those wishing to find out more about 'Kingdom TV Network' and their services. 

What may not be so obvious (either from the channel icon, or the weblink, above) is that the 'Kingdom TV Network' channel is an "International" Multi-Channel Web TV Service, which offers a variety of (mainly) Christian TV channels from around the world AND in several languages. It must be said, however, that the content is largely from the South American continent and, therefore, best suited to Roku owners who are among the Venezuelan or Peruvian diaspora living in Europe. That said, the programming offered through the 'Kingdom TV Network' channel can be enjoyed by anyone fluent in the spanish language, regardless of their origins, assuming the content is to their particular taste of course. Occasionally, there is some content suited to english speakers, although the vast majority is not.

Now, I wouldn't normally go into much detail within a 'Weekly RoundUp' post (such as this) but, in view of the fact that there is (currently) so little information "out there" for potential viewers of the 'Kingdom TV Network' channel, I'm going to make an exception. So, for the benefit of all Roku owners, here is a COMPLETE LIST of the SIX LIVE STREAMS on the 'Kingdom TV Network':-

  • WZC - White Zoom Channel - Spanish Language Music/Arts Channel, from Orlando (Florida)
  • Op72 TV - Spanish Language Religious TV Channel, from Charlotte (North Carolina)
  • Enlace TV - Spanish Language Religious TV Channel, from Costa Rica
  • Cadena Vida Visi├│n - Spanish Language Religious TV Channel, from Houston (Texas)
  • TV La Luz - Spanish Language Religious TV Channel, from Peru
  • Globovision - Spanish Language News Channel, from Venezuela

Some of you may recall that the 'WZC - White Zoom Channel' was previously featured as a standalone Roku channel in my "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #14". In which case, it probably comes as no surprise to you that the 'Kingdom TV Network' channel was produced by the very same developer. The company name for this particular Roku channel developer is 'Iglesia y Tecnologia' and you can easily navigate to their official website using THIS LINK. If you would like to communicate with the developer of this channel, then you should do so using the CONTACT INFO from their official website. You can also connect with them via their Twitter Feed: @igletec or, if you just want to get social with them, you may do so directly via their Facebook Page: Iglesia y Tecnologia (Facebook).

Lastly, and no doubt due (again) to the fact that the 'Kingdom TV Network' channel has not yet been added to the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, there is no Roku Guide Review available. If & when this situation changes, I will add a link to this post.

BIBLE SCREEN......................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

DS VIDEO..............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]


So, whether it's more UK CatchUp TV (courtesy of Demand 5), animated comic strips, kids cartoons, religious programming in multiple languages, international news stories, playback of films & videos stored on your Synology NAS Server, EDM DJ-related content or pilates videos, we've pretty much got all those bases covered with these NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store.

Anyway, like it or not, that is your lot for this week and, whilst it doesn't quite the match-up to the twenty-four channels which made it into the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store during the same time-frame, I always think it's better to have SOME NEW CHOICES than none at all, don't you ?!!

Still, hopefully everyone in the UK with a Roku player managed to find something they like within the ten channels outlined above. If not, then you'll have to pay us a visit another time when, with any luck, there will be something more to your liking. Afterall, there's no point installing every channel because, as I've said before, when it comes to adding new channels to your Roku player, IT'S YOUR CHOICE and, as with all things Roku... THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS !!

Either way, be sure to come back in seven days' time for my next 'Weekly RoundUp' and, if you can't wait that long, remember you can always keep up with the UK Roku action (as it happens) throughout the coming week, by following our Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels where up-to-the-minute info on all things Roku-related (here in the UK) is posted on a daily basis (well, almost).

Until the next time, then...

That's all folks !!


  1. Thank You Roku Meister... You're the greatest...

  2. Roku Meister, you are still doing a great job as always. I added a link to your wonderful blog in our Facebook Roku Rocks group especially for our UK Members.

    1. Hi, Ben !!

      Thanks for your kind words and for adding a link to this blog as part of your 'Roku Rocks' Facebook Group which will (hopefully) benefit any of your members who visit!

      To repay your kindness, I have since added a link to your 'Roku Rocks' Facebook Group as part of the "Roku Link List" on these pages in the hope that it will send a few people back your way and add to the community of people you have already gathered who share our passion for streaming media and, in particular, Roku players.

      If any readers of this blog have yet to visit the 'Roku Rocks' forum, via their dedicated Facebook Group, then I recommend your using the aforementioned link (situated towards the top right of the page) on this blog to navigate there and join the discussion on all aspects of media streaming. You'll find that there are many helpful members on hand to answer any media streaming questions you may have, or to help out if things aren't going quite right for you in the world of streaming media via Roku!

      Keep spreading the word people !!