Saturday, September 21, 2013

Roku UK Channel Store - Weekly RoundUp #28

Hi, everyone !!

Once again, there have been certain distractions going on around me which have made the task of compiling this current 'Weekly RoundUp' just that little bit more difficult than it otherwise ought to have been. Sometimes those distractions are more welcome than at others but, I have to say, this past week has provided perhaps THE MOST WELCOME DISTRACTION OF 2013 courtesy of a Roku 3 UK RELEASE DATE finally coming to light via it's addition to the product pages of Amazon UK. So, those of you who wish to PRE-ORDER THE ROKU 3 [UK EDITION] can now do so AHEAD OF the Amazon UK PUBLISHED RELEASE DATE of 26th September 2013 VIA THIS LINK !!!!!!!!

By some strange coincidence, the Roku channel developers must have suffered a few distractions of their own, during that same time-frame, because they appear to have collectively (or, as some cynics might say, 'conveniently') forgotten to edit the channel store options for more than half of the NEW CHANNELS which made it into the "Official" Roku (USA) Channel Store throughout the past week. Maybe they were just as shocked as us to hear that the Roku 3 UK launch was imminent?!!!! 

Whatever the reason, however, it means the current crop of LATEST ADDITIONS to the "Official" Roku (UK) Channel Store does vary somewhat in comparison to it's North American counterpart. Hopefully, those 'other' new channels, which were inexplicably "missing in action" this week, will emerge here at a later date. Meanwhile perhaps our friends from across the pond can make sure there are less distractions for those Roku developers, over the coming seven days, so that we are not "forgotten" when it comes to the next batch of channels to be released for the Roku player - no matter which channels they may be, nor the country from which the developer originates !!

Moving on, in addition to new channels, we've also had some more new readers coming to the pages of this blog. Once again, there were many repeat visits from various countries that I've mentioned in previous posts but on this occasion, as with last week, there was just one country that had not featured previously. So, before we go any further with the current 'Weekly RoundUp', I'd first like to extend a warm welcome to those new readers from Iceland, who each took the time to pay a maiden visit to these pages at some point during the past seven days, or so.

To those new readers, and to everyone else who continues to read my Roku-related ramblings here on this blog, I'd just like to say... "Thanks for stopping by" & long may you continue to do so.

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 FIVE 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 Music, Special Interest, Screensavers & Apps 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:-

BIG JOE FAMILY SHOWS.....COST: $19.99 / $47.88 (MONTHLY / ANNUAL) [Roku Guide Review]

N.B. Although the "Big Joe Family Shows" channel is FREE-TO-ADD to your Roku player, there is either a MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION FEE of $19.99 or an ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION FEE of $47.88 (equivalent to only $3.99 per month) which MUST BE PAID in order to access the content. Essentially, BEFORE YOU CAN VIEW ANYTHING, you will need to VISIT the SIGN-UP PAGE for the "Big Joe Family Shows" channel VIA THIS LINK. The registration process requires that you provide your first & last name plus an email address. In addition, you must choose a username and create a password for your Big Joe Family Shows Account, as well as providing payment details. Once you have subscribed, you will then need to ACTIVATE YOUR ROKU PLAYER by entering the UNIQUE 3-DIGIT ACTIVATION CODE which will be displayed on your screen when you first launch the "Big Joe Family Shows" 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 activation code) will be updated automatically with a 'Success Message' and you can then start watching "Big Joe Family Shows".

So, what can you expect in return for your subscription fee? Well, content-wise, at the time of this post there were THIRTY-SIX VIDEOS, featuring the sort of entertainment that "Big Joe" Siedlik provided for polka fans via his show on RFD-TV in the USA. If you follow the link (above) for the 'Roku Guide Review' you can watch AN HOUR-LONG SAMPLE VIDEO of the show, so you'll know what to expect. Although there was only somewhat limited content available at launch I should point out that "Big Joe" Siedlik, who (himself) is behind the creation of this Roku channel, has made it known that there are more videos (from a library comprised of more than 500 hours of footage) which will also be offered through this channel in the future. In fact, whilst they were planning to wait six weeks from launch before adding more content, it seems that the initial response has proven so positive that more shows will now be added during the first week of October with the rest (from a collection of over 300 shows) to follow at a later date. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the "Big Joe Family Shows" Roku channel by visiting their OFFICIAL WEBSITE and, if you're already a fan of Big Joe's Polka Show (or simply wish to get social with other "Happy People" & show your support), then do so via the Facebook Account: Fan of Big Joes Polka Show (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 a "Big Joe Family Shows" 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.

ONE NATION.........................................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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

BIBLE DISCOVERY TV FREE................................................COST: FREE [Roku Guide Review]

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


So, whether it's compelling original programming with "fierce and fiery" real-life American Latino characters, Polka Music (incl. Polish, Dutch, German & Czech styles), Ethnic or Electronic Dance Music, Religious Knowledge, or even the Spooky Soundtrack that accompanies a Hallowe'en-Themed Screensaver, we've pretty much got all those bases covered with the latest batch of 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 thirteen 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 five 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, for my last six '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 !!


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, over the course of a week, NowTV [Powered by Sky] have yet again managed to produce a (NOT SO) GRAND TOTAL of absolutely ZERO NEW CHANNELS to add to their (already SEVERELY REDUCED) version of the Roku Channel Store as included on the NowTV Box. Meanwhile, the "Official" Roku Channel Store that features on all UK Roku players has added FIVE EXTRA CHANNELS during that same period of time. To keep things in perspective, in the eight weeks since the launch of the NowTV Box, there has been a total of SEVENTY-THREE 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". As I've said in previous weeks... if this lack of support for the NowTV Box continues, it will eventually be branded as the "NO TV BOX" as people become more & more disillusioned at all the unfulfilled promises & associated lack of channel choice available.


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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