Saturday, September 7, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #26





Hi, everyone !!



It's been a funny old week, this one, with early signs all pointing to the release of the much-anticipated Roku 3 streaming media player for the UK market, only for us to later be met with the suckerpunch blow from Roku (in mid-week) with an announcement which proclaimed, "Roku 3 Arrives In Canada"... and, needless to say, that was NOT exactly what we were hoping to hear from them !!


Meanwhile the Maplin Online Store, who had been teasing us ALL WEEK by having the UK model of the Roku 3 Streaming Media Player [Maplin Product Code: A21LT] advertised for £99.99 as a WEB ONLY pre-order item, with stock due "in 9 days", suddenly got all coy about it and introduced a forced '500 Error' for the Roku 3 product page on their website. Anyway, since I've already voiced my opinion on this matter in a previous post (FOUND HERE) I won't bother repeating myself now but, the long & short of it is, their stock is now listed as "overdue" with no sign of an official Roku 3 UK release date indicated anywhere on their website. The best you can now do is to perform a 'Roku' PRODUCT SEARCH of the Maplin Online Store VIA THIS LINK which will give you a quick summary of ALL the Roku products listed on their website. That summary should include brief product info for the Roku 3 Streaming Media Player from which you will be able to see when it is available, in stock and officially on sale via the Maplin Online Store.


Those of you who have been keeping up with my comments on the companion Twitter Feed to this blog: @ukrokuchannels should have spotted several references to a message posted on the Official Roku Facebook Page by a certain Leanne Wesley from Eastbourne who included the following photo of her (then) recently delivered Roku 3 streaming media player [UK Edition]:-




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



As you can see from the photo (above) there are one or two tell-tale signs that this IS the UK Edition of the Roku 3 streaming media player because NO OTHER REGION HAS official access to the likes of NOW TV and/or BBC iPlayer. Additionally, there is NO REFERENCE to the "One-stop search" feature which (unsurprisingly) is touted on the USA Edition of the Roku 3 streaming media player. Also the box front refers to "450+ entertainment channels" which just so happens to match the figure used in the LATEST BANNER HEADLINE from the Official Roku UK Website !!


Bizarrely, though (or, perhaps not?!!), this post no longer features on the Official Roku Facebook Page and I was unable to find it using an online search engine (as I had done before) which makes me wonder if mysterious forces were at play causing the photographic evidence of the UK Edition Roku 3 streaming media player to be withdrawn. This wouldn't surprise me since Roku have been standing by their official line of "We haven't made any announcements re: Roku 3 in the UK...", whenever anybody has mentioned it to them. In fact, if you were to ask someone from Roku what was depicted in the above image, they'd probably tell you it was "a laminated wood floor" and make no mention of any Roku 3 streaming media player, UK or otherwise, such is their unwillingness or reluctance to officially acknowledge it's very existence !!


Having said that, with barely more than 100 shopping days until Xmas, I would expect that Roku will be making an "announcement"sooner rather than later as to the availability of Roku 3 in the UK. So, whilst we may have been denied a Roku 3 UK launch this week, I doubt it will be much longer before an official Roku 3 UK release date is made known to us. Naturally, as and when we hear any such news, you will find out about it here and/or via the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels


Still, let's now press on with bringing you the all important details for the current 'Weekly RoundUp' of NEW ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. This time, you will be pleased to hear, there are FOURTEEN 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, Music, Internet TV, Special Interest plus Religion & Spirituality genres.


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:-






VINEYARD.............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






CHURCH OF GOD...................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES.................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]







ROK TOONS........................................................COST: £1.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]



N.B. This is a MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION channel. If you subscribe, YOU WILL BE CHARGED £1.49 per month until you cancel. You can cancel, at any time, from within the Roku Channel Store. Please bear in mind that subscriptions to the ROK Toons channel are non-refundable. If you do cancel, you will still be able to use the channel during the period for which you have paid.


PLEASE ALSO NOTE: That, since this channel does not currently feature in the Roku (USA) Channel Store, the link above is for the Official Website of ROK Global; the parent company of ROK Operations, who previously developed both the ROK Hard Kung Fu & ROK Cinema channels. If you visit the ROK Global website, you will find their worldwide contact information PLUS their product details & other associated websites. You can also connect with ROK Operations via the ROK Global Twitter Feed: @rokglobal if you'd like to know more about their current / future plans for Roku channel development. Additionally, and no doubt due (again) to the fact that the ROK Toons channel has not yet been added to the "Official" Roku USA Channel Store, there is no Roku Guide Review available. If, at some time in the future, this situation changes, I will add a link to this post.







CLASSIC ALBUMS.................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






LIVESTREAM........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






BAPTIST CHURCHES.............................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






FIT2B STUDIO...............................COST: FREE TOUR + $9.99 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

PLEASE NOTE:- Whilst the 'Fit2B Studio' channel is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku player AND allows you to take a FREE TOUR of their family fitness programme, which includes showing example workout routines & explaining the Fit2B training philosophy, A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION of $9.99 WILL BE REQUIRED in order for you TO GAIN FULL ACCESS TO their content library of FULL-LENGTH WORKOUT VIDEOS which are AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS ONLY !!

It's probably worth mentioning, at this stage, that there is also AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION option, AVAILABLE FOR $99.99, which effectively gives you a couple of months FREE !! No matter which subscription package you opt for, however, you will first need to SIGN-UP via THIS LINK to REGISTER for membership of the Fit2B Studio. ONCE REGISTERED, you will then need to ACTIVATE YOUR ROKU PLAYER and LINK TO YOUR ACCOUNT by entering the code obtained when you first load the 'Fit2B Studio' channel on your Roku player. NOTE DOWN the UNIQUE ACCESS CODE and NAVIGATE TO the 'Fit2B Studio' Roku player ACTIVATION PAGE using your computer, LOG-IN to your Fit2B Account, and ENTER your ACCESS CODE then get Fit2Roku !!

N.B. The prices quoted for Fit2B Membership Accounts are in $USD (U.S. Dollars) because that is how they are shown on the Fit2B website, when you follow the link (above) to SIGN-UP and REGISTER for a Fit2B Membership Account. 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 monthly or annual subscription through your Fit2B Membership Account.






BLOODY VALLEY FILMS TV...................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






ISTYLE.TV.............................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






TRAVELSMART.TV................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






SADDLE UP! WESTERNS......................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






UNITED METHODIST CHURCH..............................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]






NOW THIS NEWS...................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]




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So, whether it's Live Events (courtesy of Livestream), Digital News, Travel Shows & Virtual Tours of Key Destinations in the USA, Europe, Asia, Africa or elsewhere, Family Fitness Workouts, Horror Trailers, Shorts & Features, Beauty & Style Tips, Fashion News & Shows, Classic American & Foreign Western Movies, Assorted Religious Programming, Classic Cartoons, or even a musical journey through some Classic Albums from the years 1967-1973, 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 fifteen 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 fourteen 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 !!




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Meanwhile, for my last four 'Weekly RoundUp' posts, I have been suggesting we spare a thought for all the poor folk who handed over their hard-earned cash for one of those NowTV Boxes [Powered by Sky] which, as you may recall, have (so far) failed to live up to their full potential. Likewise, the original promise from NowTV of "more great content" with "more apps being continually added",  is yet to be adhered to, since there still hasn't been a single extra new channel added since the launch of the product. As previously, while time continues to move on so (it seems) does the tumbleweed...




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

PHOTO SOURCE: broodabroad.com



Sadly, despite this constant movement of time (and tumbleweed), there has (once more) been literally NO ACTION in terms of NEW ADDITIONS to the channel selection on the NowTV Box. This means that NowTV [Powered by Sky] have yet again produced a (NOT SO) GRAND TOTAL of absolutely ZERO NEW CHANNELS to add to their (already SEVERELY REDUCED) version of the Roku Channel Store that features on the NowTV Box. Meanwhile, the "Official" Roku Channel Store that features on all UK Roku players has added FOURTEEN EXTRA CHANNELS during that same period of time. To keep things in perspective, in the six weeks since the launch of the NowTV Box, there has been a total of FIFTY EXTRA CHANNELS added to the "Official" Roku Channel Store on UK Roku players, compared with ZERO EXTRA CHANNELS being added to the Roku Channel Store on the streaming player from NowTV. As I keep pointing out, if the NowTV Box is going to succeed, they really need to show that it is "Powered by Sky" and ensure that the device lives up to it's moniker by adding those promised "must-see shows" from Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living "NOW" and not "later this year". Basically... if this lack of support for the NowTV Box continues, as I said before, they risk it being branded as the "NO TV BOX" as people become more & more disillusioned at all the unfulfilled promises & associated lack of channel choice available.




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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 !!




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