Saturday, August 10, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #22

Hi, everyone !!

If you read my previous post, "Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #21", then you may recall that my response to the launch of the new 'NFB' channel on Roku player was, "WAY TO GO CANADA !!!!!!", such was my enthusiasm for this latest addition to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This week, after months of having hints dropped by me (for one), Roku FINALLY decided to update the banner headline for the "Official" Roku UK Website which, ideally, would have been met with a similar Roku-related response. Unfortunately, however, this was the image that greeted me...

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

Granted, the figure used is far more accurate than the previous "300 channels and counting" which has been out of date (seemingly) forever. However, to update the banner headline after so long and yet STILL FALL (so far) SHORT OF THE MARK is, quite frankly, beyond comprehension. To put things into perspective, the "updated" headline figure of "450 channels and counting" was actually first reached back in May 2013, around twelve weeks ago, and (by the time it was published) their headline ought to have claimed "550 channels and counting" for it to be entirely accurate. In fact... if ever Roku or any readers of this blog would like to get a MORE ACCURATE FIGURE as to the number of channels available in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store (at any given time) they need only take a look at my "Official Roku UK Channel Store - Overview" to do so. Those who do will always get a CHANNEL COUNT that is NO MORE THAN ONE WEEK OUT-OF-DATE in terms of the number of "Public" channels available on Roku in the UK. Meanwhile, even the quoted price bracket, "Starting from just £49.99", is too high compared with the ACTUAL PRICE of just £34.50 for a Roku LT, now being offered by 4 out of 7 RECOMMENDED RETAILERS for Roku in the UK who (currently) stock the product. A further two have the price set either side of the forty pound mark (£40 GBP) and ONLY ONE still sells it for MSRP of £49.99 suggested by Roku. Such inaccuracies have left me flabberghasted that a company, whose product(s) I have championed since owning one, can leave me thinking "WAY TO UNDERSELL YOURSELF, ROKU !!!!!!" when it comes to their operations outside of their native USA. I mean, sure, they'll take our money when they need it... but, when it comes to standing by the people who have supported them, it's a different story altogether (or so it would seem). To my mind, there's far too many companies these days whose customer service gets worse as the business grows. What should happen is the exact reverse, and we should expect customer service to improve as businesses grow - so take note Roku, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE !!

Anyway , fortunately they were able to redeem themselves (just a little) when, later in the week, Roku made THIS ANNOUNCEMENT on their "Official" Blog. If you haven't yet heard the news, you'll see from the Roku blog post that they've NOW ADDED the ability to stream video from iOS devices to Roku players, by expanding the functionality of the "Play On Roku" feature. Before you get too excited, however, I should point out that this merely enables the playback of video(s) from the 'Camera Roll' which were taken on the device (itself) and NOT FULL AIRPLAY of movies & videos from iTunes. Even so, it is a step in the right direction... as was the addition of support for the audiophile-requested FLAC and WAV file formats which can now be played via the 'USB Media Player' channel on the Roku 2 XS, provided you are using the latest firmware update to Version 5.1 on the player. Those of you with a compatible iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) can get the FREE UPDATE for the Roku Remote App VIA THIS LINK but, apparently, Android users are going to have to wait a little longer for the update to be applied on their devices. One more thing... the latest firmware update (to Version 5.1) from Roku means GOOD NEWS for those of us with a MicroSD Card installed in our Roku 2 XS player(s) because the 'Player Info' found under the 'About' section of the 'Settings' menu NOW INCLUDES both "PERCENTAGE" and "ACTUAL" Memory USAGE INFO so you now have a visual indication as to how many more channels and/or how much additional game data can be stored on your streaming media player. Looking at my own figure(s) I am pleased to say that my 8GB MicroSD Card is in NO DANGER of filling up anytime soon - even with the ridiculous amount of channels I have installed on it since starting this blog !!

Still, let's get on with the details for the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time, there are SIX 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 Games, News, Weather, Sport, Special Interest plus Screensavers & Apps 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 for each one:-

WEBCAM PLUS...............................COST: £1.49 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

THE OCCULT NETWORK CHANNEL.............COST: £1.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

ESCAPE GOAT...................................COST: £1.49 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

TODAY'S DAILY APP...............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

HERMAN THE HERMIT...................COST: £0.69 (ONE-OFF PAYMENT) [Roku Guide Review]

THE SNOW NETWORK......COST: FREE (2-DAY TRIAL) + $9.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]


So, whether it's watching your favourite webcam feeds, playing video games, dabbling in the esoteric sciences, getting your fix of ski and snowboard movies, or catching up on all the latest mobile apps & hottest games for your iPhone or Android device, we've pretty much got all those bases covered with these latest 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 twelve 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 six 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 !!


Meanwhile, spare a thought for all those poor folk who handed over their hard-earned cash for one of the NEW NowTV Boxes [Powered by Sky] and, yes, that does include me. "Why is that?", I hear you ask... well, take a look at the photo below and you might just get a clue !!

PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH GENTILES of Observation Full & Felt Photography (Facebook)

N.B. If you'd like to purchase the ORIGINAL FULL (UNCROPPED) VERSION of the above photo, it's available from Hannah's Etsy Store VIA THIS LINK where you will also find many other fine examples of her work. Those wishing to connect with the photographer can do so either via her Twitter Feed: @observationfelt or, if preferable, through her Facebook Page (see link in photo credit).

Anyway the point I was trying to make (by using this particular photo) was that, despite the promise of "more great content" with "more apps being continually added", there hasn't been a single extra new channel anywhere in sight since the player was launched just over two weeks ago. All of which means that NowTV [Powered by Sky] have managed to produce a (NOT SO) GRAND TOTAL of absolutely ZERO NEW CHANNELS which can be added to the (already SEVERELY REDUCED) version of the Roku Channel Store that features on their NowTV Box. Meanwhile, the "Official" Roku Channel Store that features on all UK Roku players has added ELEVEN EXTRA CHANNELS during that same period of time. If the NowTV Box is to succeed, they need to show that they really are "Powered by Sky" and live up to the moniker of their device by adding those "must-see shows" from Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living "NOW" rather than "later this year" as per the website.


Still, whether you happen to own a Roku player, a NowTV Box, OR BOTH, as I do... 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 all the UK Roku action (as it happens) throughout the coming week, by following the companion 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 comment:

  1. Available as a Private Roku Channel at the moment.
    Hoping it will be approved and make it into the channel store.
    Current access code KYAXX

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    A Radio Channel